rating: 2 of 5 stars
I was glad to start "Living Dead in Dallas" as I was in the middle of "True Blood" on HBO since the series introduced many characters in Book 2 who will also become regulars in True Blood's Season 2. Creator Alan Ball has also mentioned that Season 2 will take a lot of inspiration from "Dead in Dallas," but I hope he improves on the novel.
The novel opens with Sookie finding the dead Lafayette in Andy Bellfleur's patrol car. She then has an encounter with the maenad (Marianne Forrester in the show) and then she and Bill head to Dallas to help Stan the Dallas vampire chief find his missing nestmate. Here in Dallas we meet the Fellowship of the Sun -- which I believe will be an important antagonist in Season 2. Sookie gets beat up a lot from beginning to end and after she and Bill survive two lovers' fights she helps Andy find who killed Lafayette. She kisses Eric the vampire and likes it and Bill doesn't seem to be all that jealous. This novel is full of plotholes (now, really, Bill doesn't know how he's related to the Bellefleurs and he hasn't looked at the family Bible since he's been living in Bon Temps?)and swift summaries -- like Harris knew she was going to go back and elaborate on her scenes, but never did. Perhaps she was bored with them and needed filler. Most of the cat and mouse scenes in Dallas reminded me of a Nancy Drew mystery and I couldn't finish this book long after I started it. But after Sookie and Bill leave Dallas the action picks up. In fact whenever Eric, Sookie and Bill are in a scene together (pick Eric/Sookie or Bill/Sookie) the writing is full of energy and is extremely enjoyable to read. Why can't all of the book be this way?
As some of the other reviewers have stated, I found Sookie very annoying in this book because she's written like a selfish bimbo. She is looking to pick a fight with Bill and seems to totally forget he's a vampire - Hello?!
I prefer everything about the show to the books, so far, but I like the books for the background information since the show throw's so much information at you to digest right away. All I can say, is Harris is a good writer, not a great writer, and she gave Alan Ball plenty to work with.
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