Author: Charlaine Harris
Genre: Urban fantasy
Published: March 2002
Publisher: Ace Books
"Sookie Stackhouse likes living in Bon Temps, Louisiana, and she likes working as a cocktail waitress at Merlotte's. But she is having a streak of bad luck. First her co-worker is killed, and no one seems to care. Then she comes face-to-face with a beastly creature which gives her a painful and poisonous lashing. Enter the vampires, who graciously suck the poison from her veins (like they didn't enjoy it).
"The point is: the vampires saved her life. So when one of her bloodsuckers asks for a favour, she obliges-and soon Sookie's in Dallas, using her telepathic skills to search for a missing vampire. She's supposed to interview certain humans involved, but she makes one condition: the vampires must promise to behave, and let the humans go unharmed. But that's easier than done, and all it takes is one delicious blonde and one small mistake for things to turn deadly . . ."
Thoughts: The only reason this book didn't sit on my shelves after reading Dead Until Dark was the fact that it was in audio book format. Plus, listening to books while running on the treadmill and lifting weights makes the time go faster. However, I get rather strange looks when I snort at the dialogue and Sookie's rather ludicrous naïveté/actions.
Honestly, after the disappointment of the first book, I wasn't expecting much with this one. However, it ended up catching my interest a little more than the first. Since I have been sick and not going to the gym, it took me a lot longer to get through this book. And, if I had sat down with it for an extended time, I might have different things to say about it.
For me, the book felt as though it was all over the place. Sookie meets the maenad briefly in the beginning of the book and receives nasty, poisoned lashings as a message for Eric. Instead of following that a little more, Harris rushes Sookie and Bill off to Dallas to deal with a kidnapped vampire. After playing around in Dallas, she comes back to discover the sex club. I felt that, if done correctly, Harris could have made a whole book on the occurrences in Dallas. Honestly, she could have done the same with the maenad storyline. With the switching back and forth, it felt as though there wasn't a complete story. The fact that the sex club was rather sinister and involved important people was rather interesting, and I would have loved to see it play out. Further, I couldn't understand the point of having the maenad. The way Harris introduced her, it felt as though she was going to play a larger role. As it is, she was just kind of a side character that didn't have too much importance.
The dialogue between Bill and Sookie was still pretty canned and campy. There was still no real character development of the two, and they remained rather one dimensional. Plus, their relationship just annoys me. It seems to be based on sex and nothing else. I would like a little more substance between them. And, I'm sorry to say this, I don't like Sookie.
The saving grace was Eric. I loved that he had more time in the book, and the audience was able to see a different side to his personality. When he arrived in Lycra, I roared while I was shoveling my driveway! Even from the HBO series, it is obvious that he has a lot more depth than we have yet to be shown. Plus, a Viking will always get me excited! Unfortunately, the narrator for the audio book slipped more into a Transylvanian accent, and I wanted to scream on multiple occasions!
While this book had it's issues, it shows that they are getting better. According to a close friend, the series gets progressively better and Eric has a much larger role. So, with all of that in mind, I will continue to read the books.