It has been less than 48 hours since I finished Dead Until Dark and I have now finished Harris’ second instalment of the Sookie Stackhouse Novels. I admit now that I am an addict, guilty as charged. I’m beginning to realise that my enjoyment of the books is surpassing my enjoyment of the HBO series and I am already fearing what I will do once I finish the final book, which at the rate I’m going, shouldn’t be too long. So, here are my ten thoughts on Charlaine Harris’ Living Dead In Dallas.
I had to take a moment away from the novel when I discovered the unfortunate fate of Lafayette. It was not so much the character I mourned. It was more the connected storylines. No using a man’s fake hip to escape Eric’s dungeon, no Jesus and creepy witch powers, no possession, they were all gone in the back of Andy Bellefleur’s car. So, I’d like to take a moment of silence now for Lafayette, gone but not forgotten.
2. Your new best friend, Maryann.
Being used to the quick slash and dash nature of Maryann in the HBO series, I was rather shocked to find her stood, conversing with Sookie. She seemed civilised (despite the opposite being true) if not friendly. She had no vendetta against Sookie personally, she was just the messenger. She seemed more real, less otherworldly and this made her lust for anger and sex and death seem more forgivable.
3. Hello, Jason, are you there?
So, I know I expressed my mixed emotions about Jason in my review of Dead Until Dark. But I didn’t mean leave him completely out of the plot! Two mentions of Jason, both in a passive role, had me missing the mischievous antics of the Stackhouse boy. No joining of the fellowship church, no affair with Sarah Newlin, just dating a girl for a few months straight and a potential baby on the way. I suppose you’ve got to give it to the guy, after all he went through in the last novel.
4. Puppy love.
Bill, I can understand. Eric, I can definitely understand. Sam, I’m not so sure. His kiss with Sookie seemed a little misplaced for me in this book. I felt that their relationship was headed towards a platonic heaven and instead they ended up, once again, entangled in one another’s arms. Sookie has so much on her plate with the vampires, we don’t need Sam coming along, providing more confusion.
5. Key in my knickers? Thanks Bill
I couldn’t help mentioning this scene. It really cracked me up. It is one of the seldom seen moments where Sookie and Bill share a chuckle together. Also, it is one of the first times we see Sookie exploring her sexuality through her fashion, with the thong in this scene and then the matching set, later on in the book. I enjoy that Sookie is becoming her own woman and using her sexuality to tease Bill.
6. I’ll have an appointment with Dr Northman, please.
So, I asked for more Eric and boy did I get him. First as Leif, then as Dr Northman, tending to Sookie’s wounds and then finally with that priceless bullet sucking scene. His humour really adds to his character and I can’t help hoping that within the next few books, we will see more Sookie and Eric action. Here’s to hoping.
7. Farrell and Godfrey.
Now, I might not have my Bubba to fawn over, but I do have two new additions that I’ve taken a warming to. Farrell brings with him the first peak at a bottle of True Blood, not to mention his badass flirting skills, especially with the gender he has no interest in (a bruise fan, are we?) Farrell is easy to warm to, a victim with a high sex drive and a lust for younger men, who also wears a cowboy outfit everywhere he goes. Give me a Y-M-C-A and off we go! However, Godfrey is harder to make a judgement on. A child molester and murderer, obviously not the best guy. But also Sookie’s saviour in the moments before rape, so maybe not the worst. There is no indication in the novel that Godfrey is Eric’s maker and I did miss the scene Eric and Sookie share on the rooftop in the TV series, the moment before Godfrey meets the sun. I found Godfrey a breath of fresh air. He was not cocky, nor attempting to mainstream. He knew what he had done and he was taking action against it and I think I can respect him for that.
8. Orgy, who? Orgy what?
I’ll take any excuse to see Sookie and Eric making out on the bonnet of an expensive car, but this put the cherry on the top. We were finally introduced to Tara and her fiance Eggs. I hope that we shall see more of Tara in the future, no doubt that we will. The scene in the lake house was brilliantly disturbing, I found myself wincing at the idea of someone kissing up Tara’s legs whilst she fumed over Eggs and Eric. The seedy nature of the scene, paired with the uncomfortable nature of Sookie’s thoughts worked wonderfully for me, acting as the second climax, after the basement in the Fellowship.
9. Maenad madness.
I was expecting Maryann to play a far larger role in Living Dead In Dallas than she did. I suppose the title suggests that the plot was to revolve around Sookie’s dealings in Dallas. But, I was expecting a little more torturing, a little more sex crazed lunacy. I must admit that part of my mind wonders if Maryann’s storyline was even necessary. Sookie could have gone to the orgy and found out about Lafayette’s murder without the involvement of the Maenad. She added a different element to the plot, but I hoped perhaps that Harris would have gone more into depth with the Maenad plot.
10. Ending with cake and a Bellefleur.
I enjoyed the humane nature of the final few pages of this book. Bill seemed to transform from a sup to a somewhat normal man. However, I have a feeling that fractures are beginning to show in Sookie and Bill’s relationship. His insistent mentioning of Sookie being with Eric, were something to happen to him, suggests that Bill knows something that neither Sookie nor the readers are privy to. I enjoy their relationship, but I would not turn my nose down at Sookie trying something new and giving Bill a break. At least she has her cake.
I am enthralled with this series of books so far. Harris’ style is proving to be one of my favourites. Sookie is becoming more mature, but also more threatened with every plotline and despite no sign of Jessica turning up anywhere and the passing of my beloved Lafayette, I have my fingers in Club Dead and I am hoping for more Eric, more Pam, less Bill and more Sookie being a badass. I shall be back to give my thoughts on the third instalment in this series.