Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Book Review: Living Dead in Dallas

Pages: 291
Format: Paperback
Genre:Paranormal Romance/Mystery
Star Rating: 2/5
Buy: Amazon

My Summary: Sookie Stackhouse is called to Dallas with "her" vampire (Bill Compton) to help to solve the mystery of a missing vampire who is part of a nest there. In the meantime, Sookie meets new supernatural beings and tries to solve the mystery of a murdered friend.

My Review: I liked it. But, as you can see, I gave it two stars -- less even than Dead Until Dark. Before I go on, let me assure you that I'm enjoying this series enough to finish it. It's compelling and Charlaine Harris creates good, and mostly very believable, characters. I like her style, and the more I read the Southern Vampire Mysteries, the less I like Twilight.

So why the low rating? After all, when you like a book, don't you rate it high? I guess most people do, but I'm trying to be honest both with myself (for re-reading purposes) and with my audience (so you can decide whether or not to read this book).

I found Living Dead in Dallas to be very confusing at times. There were entire pages that I had to read and re-read in order to understand what Harris was trying to say, and even then I finally accepted what happened next without fully grasping what had led up to it. The description and context was all over the place, and gave the impression of being poorly edited (probably because it's second in a series, and the fault may lie with an editor, not with Harris herself).

Moreover, this book included two mysteries, both of which were unsolvable from the point of view of the reader. While Sookie (and others) may have had enough information to solve the mystery in the context of the plot, there is no way that the reader could have, not having been given sufficient information in a timely manner. Personally I don't like that.

On the plus side, let me repeat that Harris' characterization is excellent, and makes up for the lack of good mystery writing. As I said, I will (happily) finish this series, consecutively. Hopefully Club Dead leaves a better impression.