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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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This is the second book in the Southern Vampire novel series and is a blend of the cosy mystery with a dark twist of vampirism and a little romance. In Sookie Stackhouse's world, vampires have 'come out of their coffins' a la the style of Laurell K Hamilton's Anita Blake series. The vampires have a legal status in America (pay taxes)and many of them are trying to go 'main stream' i.e. live with humans and try not to kill them. Anyway, Sookie, a small town waitress with a gift of reading people's minds is having a streak of bad luck. First one of her co-workers is murdered and she is the unfortunate person to find him. Then she encounters a mythical creature in the woods who poisons her and the local vampires save her, leaving her in their debt. So when they ask her to go down to Dallas and use her telepathic powers to help locate a missing vampire, she agrees, but this is only the beginning of her troubles. Sookie is a likeable character and human character, despite her gift. And she narrates this story in a chatty, witty style. She is no superhero, her only gift or 'disability' as she calls it is her powers of mind reading, but that has schooled her abilties to keep a straight face when she inadvertantly 'hears' something she really didn't want to know, but her gift has some uses. The book is fast paced and engaging. It is quite sensual in parts (but nothing as extreme as Anita Blake's more recent exploits), and, oh yes, of course there are a few gory scenes. This is an excellent sequel to Dead Until Dark, which should be read first so you get an idea of how Sookie gets involved with the vampires in the first place.
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on 12 April 2002
Sookie Stackhouse is a southern belle w/ a gift--though she sometimes calls it her curse--for reading people's minds. An ability which causes her no shortage of grief amongst the townspeople of her hometown of Bon Temps, Louisiana. In the previous book, she finally meets the man of her dreams: Bill Compton. Bill is a total blank to her. She cannot read his mind and that makes him instantly attractive and interesting to her. The fact that to her he is dark, mysterious, and handsome couldn't hurt either. Their attraction to each other grows, without some setbacks and roadblocks in the way, as the first book progresses and ends.
LIVIND DEAD IN DALLAS continues their romance and also shows us more of Sookie's growth since her first meeting w/ Bill. This time around her life is thrown a dangerous curve when she must travel to Dallas w/ Bill to help investigate the disappearance of one of that city's vampires. It would seem that the vampire leader of Louisiana has loaned out Sookie's telepathic services as part of the deal she made with this vampire in the previous book. A vampire whose obvious lust for Sookie and the use he can have with her unique power doesn't sit well with her lover, Bill.
So off to Dallas she goes, but not before one of her co-workers and also a friend of hers is killed and made to look like one of the townspeople committed the crime. As usual with her "gift" Sookie knows this to be untrue, but with her mission to Dallas more paramount, she sets this aside until her return.
Sookie's adventures in Dallas shows her more of the society that Bill has lived in most of his life. As much as vampires have been "outed" for over two years, they are still seen with revulsion and hate. LIVING DEAD IN DALLAS introduces what could be an interesting group if handled well. The Fellowship of the Sun Center is akin to an ultra-religious right group with a healthy dose of the KKK mixed in. Sookie must not only infiltrate and discover if this group of anit-vampire zealots has kidnapped one of Dallas' vampires, but also she has to deal with the fact that shapeshifters are also pretty much in evidence in Dallas. Unlike Ms. Hamilton's ANITA BLAKE series where shapeshifters are also outed as well as vampires, Ms. Harris' shifters want to remain a secret and will protectively guard that secret. This is a welcome change that separates Sookie's world from that of Anita's.
Sookie grows in this book. She no longer hates and fears her telepathic ability, though there are times in the book that she wishes she didn't use it to read someone's mind. But she has begun to hone and practice her ability with Bill's help and support. Sookie also remains pretty grounded in her personality and mindset, even though events both dark and unusual keep happening to her. Unlike Anita, Sookie doesn't gain a power in this new installment. Other than the enhanced reflexes and strenght she's gained from ingesting the blood of Bill and a couple of other vampires, she's stuck to having just plain old telepathy.
The relationship between Sookie and Bill remains a working project. Even with her liking to Eric, the vampire leader of Louisiana, which confuses her more than anything else, Sookie still stays by Bill's side. Where as Eric wants her not just for her body but also for what her power can give him, Sookie knows that Bill just wants her for being Sookie and nothing more and nothing less. It is a surprise to her at times that the most human relationship she's had with one of the opposite sex and he turns out to be far from human.
LIVING DEAD IN DALLAS is a successful and enjoyable follow-up to DEAD UNTIL DARK. It's tone is much darker and we see Sookie plunged into one dangerous scrape after another in this installment. We also learn, through Sookie's eyes, that dark going-ons and unusual habits are not just the province of the vampires and supernaturals. Sookie learns that the people of her town have their own dark secrets, but despite this Sookie emerges untouched by this darkness and more wise because of it.
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on 24 October 2003
This is a FANTASTIC book by Charlaine Harris - it's the 2nd book in a series - the first being 'Dead until Dark', the 3rd is 'Dead Club'. I love this Author's style of writing, it's so easy. I loved this book, a definate keeper, you won't be disappointed.
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VINE VOICEon 2 May 2005
The story of Sookie Stackhouse and her vampire boyfriend Bill continues. Sookie's colleague gets murdered and no-one seems to care except Sookie. Then Sookie gets blood poisoning which her lovely vampire friends have great satisfaction in sucking the poison from her veins! But, they did save her life...
Sookie gets asked to use her telepathic skills to find a missing vampire but, the vampires soon break their good behaviour condition over a nice blonde...
Bill involves himself with the local vampire self-governing body in Shreveport to get protection for him and Sookie and Bill becomes Vampire Inspector for Area 5, thus Sookie being Bill's girlfriend has to use her telepathic powers for Area 5's purposes.
So Sookie leaves work one day to find her friend and colleague dead in a police car outside the cocktail bar. A few days later she is out with Bill on their way to Shrevepotrt and she is attacked by a Maenad, Bill then gets her to Fangtasia which is a vampire bar owned by Eric the master Vampire! Then this is where Sookie has the poison taken out of her blood by the vampires.
This was brilliant and my favourite of the Southern Vampires series so far, lots to keep you enthralled!
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VINE VOICEon 29 December 2007
As often happens in a series like this (I feel the same thing about Harry Potter for example) as the first book really sets the story and is fatastically exciting, the second book has a lot to live up to and can sometimes fail to meet quite the same standards. In its own right this book is still really fun and lively, but I felt the whole taking-Sookie-to-Dallas thing didn't really work for me. I like her on her own territory best, with Bon Temps' characters feeling more realistic than the ones she deals with here. Having said all that, the series as a whole is probably my favourite in the vampire genre (if we ignore Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles, because they're an entity in themselves) and you will miss out if you don't read this installment. 5 stars for the series as a whole.
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Sadly yet again I'm still waiting to be wowed. I think my biggest problem with the books so far is Charlaine Harris is trying to fit so much in such a small book. And due to that I feel like there are things just being brushed over when I (not sure if everyone else) would have loved to read more about it. In the book there's a group of people called The Fellowship of the Sun. They are stated to being like what the KKK are to African Americans but obviously to vampires, but there was hardly any back story to them and considering they were such a big part of the book (and still to be in the series according to Bill) I was left wishing for more.

A new character was introduced called Callisto, who was a maenad. Sookie uncounted her in the woods while fighting with bill and was told to give a message to Eric ( which was Sookie being on the brink of death). Yet again not enough information was given about what a Maenad was or where this lady had come from and if it wasn't for my trusty friend google I would have been left confused. But by the end of the book she had already moved on.

I'm getting the hump with the fact that when Eric says jump Sookie has to say how high. I know she made a promise to him but its made out that its also because of scared everyone is of him and instead of angering him they do what he says. I know Eric is supposed to be portrayed as a powerful vampire who would do unthinkable things to you if you crossed him but in no where in the first 2 books has it explained it let alone given you any insight to the things he has done in the past. All you keep hearing is his older and a Viking. Your left thinking and hoping that maybe they will explain more as the books go on, but that's how I feel about everything.

As far characters go I don't like Bill or Sookie. But then I never liked them in the show so that doesn't surprise me. I cant wait to see more of Pam and Sam (hopefully), I love Eric. Even though he's not the same temperamental hot headed vampire he is in the show I still have a soft spot for him. I've never been a fan of Jason in the show but I still wish to see more of him. All in all I think the book was ok. It wasn't amazing, didn't leave much to the imagination and lacked suspense like the first one. I was left feeling confused with so much happening at once.

(I know I would like the books so far a bit better if I hadn't watched True Blood first, but think most of what annoys me about the books would still stick.)

SPOILERS
I think my biggest problem so far is having been a fan of the show for years I've grown very found of the characters. Like Lafayette, he is without a doubt one of my favourite characters in the show, he has so much personality and in my opinion is a big part of the show its self. Yet he dies without the first chapter in the book, and its so upsetting to think that he wont be in it. I mean don't get me wrong, if he did in the book it should have happened in the show (even though I'm glad it didn't) but I still cant help but feel upset about it. Another thing In the show he's the cousin of Tara, but I cant see that in the book, maybe it wasn't made a big deal of like other things that I've missed it. Even though I don't like Tara she's Sookies best friend in the show too but not in the book and thats strange.

Another thing that upset me was Godrics death. I don't think enough was said about that considering he's very old and powerful. Sookie turned up, talked to him for a few seconds and that was that. I feel like there should have been at least a few pages on it. (also, as much as I hate to admit it, I was waiting for the scene where Eric is with him at the end. Godric was Eric's maker in the show, but yet again if it was talked about in the book its something I've missed)

I've just got to try and not compare it to the show while reading it. Because judging how its been one book to one season, I won't be surprised until book 5 as hopefully I wont know whats happening and can just judge the book for what is is. If I read it before 10th June that is haha
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on 14 November 2013
After getting through book 1 over 2 nights, couldn't wait to get stuck in. Again watching Trueblood on HBO i felt this time they should have stuck to the book.
Again very well written, enjoyed the interaction with the charctures and enjoyed the introduction of the Maenod. Unlike the series, she wasn't the main the charactures. Loved how you got introducted to a darker side of a small town. People you thought you knew had other sides to them.
Loved the introduction of Eric more aswell. You got to see the fun side of him which set you up ready for the love storey between him and Sookie. Loved it.
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Sookie Stackhouse had been minding her own business, but Bad Luck found her. First one of her co-workers was murdered and no one else seemed to care. Then a beastly creature, called a maenad, gave Sookie's back a painful lashing laced with poison. A few vampires (Bill and Eric included) sucked the poison from her veins to save her. So when the vampires wanted Sookie to help them out with her special telepathic abilities, she agreed.
**** This novel picks up close to where the first left off. This book, just like the previous one, is a mystery story that can stand by itself. Yu do not have to read the first to fully understand what is going on. The secondary characters from the first book are in this one too, however, more time is spent on the mystery. Very good reading here. ****
Reviewed by Detra Fitch.
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on 12 February 2003
I've only given this book three stars, although I'm not sure why, as I thoroughly enjoyed it. I suppose it's because it doesn't rank as great literature and the odd sex scene does veer almost to the tacky. But the thing is, I really enjoyed it and wish it had been much longer (I could have happily read on at the length of War and Peace!) It's nicely innovative, being about vampires trying to be politically correct in small town America, as well as a sub plot of murder and mayhem. The sort of book you can pick up at any time and get straight into, but also that's worth reading - to my mind not many novels combine the two.
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on 27 January 2015
Enjoyed this series of books greatly and the only reason I stopped buying them was due to the fact they decided to change the covers for the actors in the show which as a collector is really annoying.
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