Spoiler warning for this review.
Living Dead in Dallas represents a lot of change for the Sookie Stackhouse series- it shows the shift from Sookie being an innocent bystander to a vampire lover’s chaotic existence, to being an active participant in vampire affairs. It has the same amazing style as before, showcasing Mrs. Harris’ witty writing and effervescent descriptions, with growth into the supernatural world surrounding Bon Temps.
The new twist on the story is one I absolutely adore. I loved seeing little details like how vampires travel through airlines- the innovative Anubis Air- and how specific hotels cater to them. I love that the story dives into Sookie’s new job as the telepath for Area Five, and the level of respect that comes with that. I can see her growing in confidence and ability, even running into another Telepath- which was a fantastic treat.
But at the heart of it, it’s the same old Sookie Stackhouse. The Sookie that won’t take any bull, that speaks bluntly back to beloved characters like Eric or Stan, the Sookie that gets herself right into the thick of it and then has to struggle her way out. She still has her kind heart, as well, seeing as how she dealt with Godfrey. The titular location, Dallas, adds a breath of fresh air and it’s lovely to see how Sookie handles that. I also loved seeing more strife against the vampires, with a new extremist religious group that become the main antagonists in the novel.
My one complaint over this novel, which brought it from a 5/5 to a 4/5, is the plot convenience. This is a personal pet peeve of mine. There were several parts of this novel that gave me pause because it just seemed a little too good to be true, a little too believable. Writers, of course, craft their stories however they want- but it is easy to read when a solution pops out of thin air without enough explanation to cover it. It took me out of the story a few times, and it didn’t quite hold or flow as well as the first novel, bringing my score down for my personal enjoyment of the sequel.
Still, this book is an absolute star. I still hold this book to a very high standard, coming from one of my favorite authors. I can’t recommend this series enough, and have already jumped immediately into the third book, Club Dead. Can’t wait to continue reviewing my way through this series!