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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Living Dead in Dallas - Charlaine Harris

Read for the RIP III Reading Challenge.

Leave it to me to manage to request the second book of the Sookie Stackhouse novels before the first. And to decide to read it for a challenge so that I don’t really have time to send it back and get the actual first book. So, I was missing a bit of the back story that explained why Sookie was so happy to jaunt over to Dallas to help the vampires over there, but fortunately, the back story wasn’t really necessary to understand this book.

I’d been hearing about these books for a quite a while, even more so when HBO decided to develop them into a series (True Blood). I figured RIP III would be the perfect excuse to give the story a try. And I definitely enjoyed it. In this version of the world, the vampires have gone mainstream, and all the attendant civil rights clashes have begun. In addition, while the humans still aren’t aware, there are plenty of other supernatural beings out there that are perfectly happy being in the shadows, and are none too happy that the vampires have potentially outed more than just themselves.

In the middle of this, we find Sookie Stackhouse, Louisiana bar maid, who has managed to fall in love with a vampire (Bill). The back story of this is naturally in the book I haven’t read yet, though I’ve certainly had the odd hint here and there from various interviews I’ve read/heard with the author. Sookie’s pretty much a normal girl, except for the fact that she’s a telepath. And now that the vampires now about her, she’s being loaned out to the Dallas vampires to help solve the disappearance of one of the members of their family. Through in a cult of anti-vampire fanatics, the local chapter of shape-shifters, and a vampire who wants to kill himself by facing the sun to atone for his sins, and you’ve got some pretty action.

I definitely enjoyed the book. Sookie, for all her special gifts, is actually a pretty normal girl, and is great fun to read for that reason (and I can totally see why they cast Anna Paquin to play her). I also really liked how the vampires are having to figure out how to fit into “normal” society (and let’s face it, are they any weirder than some people that are out there?). I’m definitely going to request the rest of the books (in proper order).

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