Thursday, January 5, 2012

Living Dead in Dallas

book review thursday

book review thursday Living Dead in Dallas by Charene Harris, the second book in the Sookie Stackhouse series revolved around two separate plot lines. One involves a murder in Bon Temps, while the other involves vampire politics and their interactions with the infamous anti-vampire church, The Fellowship of the Sun. I absolutely sped through this book. It's not that it was incredibly engaging- rather it was because it was such an easy and quick read. While there were certain passages made me absolutely hooked, and I couldn't wait to read the next word, there were equally many that made me cringe- the graphic ones in particular.
I realized that a good chunk of that is because, well, I'm rather prudish when it comes to fictional voyeurism. I get uncomfortable even reading (or watching) about fictional characters kissing, let alone engaging in some hanky-panky. But a larger part of it was that in this book, I just felt that it was poorly written and unrealistic. Make up sex? Realistic. Make up sex after your boyfriend has just murdered someone and given absolutely zero thought about your safety and has yet to apologize? Not so realistic. Make up sex when your boyfriend has not only done the aforementioned, but has also had absolutely no preamble or warning? Barring issues of consent here, uh, not romantic. At all.
Apart from that minor quibble, my biggest issue with the book was that after the big adventure in Dallas, the home town mystery was essentially slapped together. I would have enjoyed it a great deal more if it had been either handed in a more detailed manner, or had been given it's own separate book. I vastly preferred how the television series handled the two story lines. I had to reread the passages involving the climax of the maenad a few times to understand what happened, and I'm still not entirely too clear.
I did appreciate that I could recognize the differences between the books and the television show. I think I still by far prefer the TV version. It feels more campy than badly written, and gives greater detail to many of the areas that are sort of whitewashed by Harris. It's certainly interesting to see where they got their jumping off points. I was glad to see that Tara and Eggs were both actual characters in the books, though I was disappointed in that their story lines were mere shells of what they are on the series.

(On a side note, every time Monkey and I see Eggs on another show or movie, we both have to point out "oh it's Eggs". It doesn't matter that at this point, we've seen him more often in other roles than as his True Blood character.)

As a whole, this was a good fluffy read, and something I'd recommend for pure beach bunny purposes. I loved Eric's exchanges with Sookie- that was something I don't often get to appreciate on the television show (I think I just haven't warmed up to Eric yet on the show, though in the last episode I watched- I'm almost a whole season behind at this point- I definitely wanted to cuddle up with him.) Anyways, the exchanges were humorous, and I can definitely see the appeal for those diehard Sookie/Eric shippers. After Bill's inability to see beyond his own penis blood-lust, I'm firmly in the anti-Bill camp. Their relationship has definitely gone out of favor in my mind. Charene Harris has done a great job of developing an interesting world with engaging characters.

Dead After Dark: something I'd recommend to someone who wants something light and fluffy, but definitely not a great piece of literature. Speaking of which, I've been sadly lacking in that department for a while... This is why I miss going to a book club!

(4/5 stars)


Reckless Glue said... Reply to comment

These books are totally such a guilty pleasure for me...I devoured them all so quickly! waiting for the newest one to come out is torture...