Sookie’s Drama-filled Smutfest

In lieu of Simba’s hair evolution #2, we bring you…

Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris

This is the second book in the Southern Vampire Mysteries series and to be honest, I wasn’t all that impressed. Not one of my favorite books and having started out not liking Bill from the first book this book just reiterated why I didn’t like him. I’ll try to keep my distain towards Bill out of the recap, but seriously he’s a DOUCHE!! On with the recap…

More after the cut…

Living Dead in Dallas

Cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse is on a streak of bad luck. First, her coworker is murdered and no one seems to care. Then she’s face-to-face with a beastly creature that gives her a painful and poisonous lashing. Enter the vampires, who graciously suck the poison from her veins (like they didn’t enjoy it).

Point is, they saved her life. So when one of the bloodsuckers asks for a favor, she complies. And soon, Sookie’s in Dallas using her telepathic skills to search for a missing vampire. She’s supposed to interview certain humans involved. There’s just one condition: The vampires must promise to behave–and let the humans go unharmed. Easier said than done. All it takes is one delicious blonde and one small mistake for things to turn deadly…

We begin our readings by finding Andy drunk at Merlotte’s, which is not typical for him. Sookie, ever vigilant regardless of if the person has been mean and evil to her in the past, calls Andy’s sister Portia to come get him. She does and is rude to Sookie, go figure, even though Sookie is trying to help. The next day when Sookie arrives at work she finds yet another dead body, only this time it is Lafayette, the poster boy for extravagant homosexual men. I understand that we wouldn’t have the mystery portion of the series without topics like this, but seriously how many people have to die within the first chapter before enough is enough?

Sookie is once again questioned by Sheriff Dearborn and a new character, Alcee Beck, the only African-American detective on the parish force. After being asked when was the last time Sookie had seen Lafayette alive she responded a few days before and he’d been going on and on about a party where there were all kinds of sex hijinks going on.

Sam: “I don’t think there are too many biracial, bisexual parties in Bon Temps.”
Sookie (pointedly): “But that’s just because no one invited you to one.”
I wondered if I really knew at all what went on in our little town. Of all the people in Bon Temps, I should be the one to know the ins and the outs, since all that information was more or less readily available to me, if I chose to dig for it.
Sookie: “At least, I assume that’s the case?”
Sam (smiling at Sookie a little as he dusted a bottle of whiskey): “That’s the case.”

It was only a matter of time before Sookie and Bill got into another argument. Sookie is a better woman than I am for all the arguing they do and she sticks around. This time, Bill is telling Sookie about the strip mall that he bought and all the businesses have been informed that if Sookie is to visit her purchases should be billed to him. Sookie does not like this one little bit and when the car mysteriously shuts off, she bolts from it.

Bill: “You’re acting like a child, Sookie. I could come to get you, but I’m not going to waste the time. When you’re calm, come get in the car and lock it. I’m going now.”

While Bill’s off finding a mechanic, Sookie is attacked by a creature of the night. The attack is a message for Eric Northman. Yup, none other than the magically delicious vampire boss at Fangtasia. Bill finds Sookie and rushes her to Fangtasia, where Eric is awaiting them because they had a meeting scheduled. Eric commands Pam to call for the doctor. Sookie likens the doctor to a hobbit due to her size, but she hasn’t lost her snarkiness (regardless that she’s dying from the poison from the attack). Sookie demands an apology and when her first one doesn’t meet her standards we get the following:

Eric: “Angelic Sookie, vision of love and beauty, I am prostrate that the wicked evil maenad violated your smooth and voluptuous body, in an attempt to deliver a message to me.”

Now that’s one hell of an apology that I do not think any woman could turn down.

After Sookie awakens from the “healing” she learns about why Eric summoned her to Fangtasia and the thing that attacked her. It would seem she’s been loaned out to the Dallas vamps to help in finding a missing vampire. The terms were discussed and the high-handed, even though she’s a human, Sookie makes sure the Dallas vamps know her terms regarding no harm to guilty humans. On another note, the thing in the woods that attacked her was a maenad, a follower of the god Bacchus. Maenads like debauchery and wars, so maybe she caused the fight between Bill and Sookie (not likely given the participants).

Sookie returns to work and asks Sam for some time off. One thing leads to another and the sexed up Sookie is lost in the moment of making out with Sam. The virgin to nympho personality got old after chapter five of book one; some eleven chapters later, its not any better. Later, Portia pays a visit to Sookie asking her for a favor. Why is it that the Bellefleur’s always want someone to do something for them but they never seem to repay the favor?

Sookie: “Listen to me, Portia Bellefleur. I’ll listen a little. Not for your or your brother, but because I liked Lafayette. He was a friend of mine, and he was always sweeter to me than you or Andy.”

After arriving in Dallas, Sookie is approached by a minister. Only she senses something is wrong with this minister; he’s asking all the right questions regarding her presumed lost loved one (Bill’s traveling in a coffin which Sookie is seen waiting for), but Sookie can’t help but feel something is not right. Her suspicions were proven correct when Bill comes out of the coffin and the priest begins to drag her away. She catches glimpses into his mind and knows his intentions are not honorable.

After the attack, Sookie is shuttled off to meet with the Dallas vamps. We are introduced to many new characters; the most notable is the nerdy Stan, head of the Dallas vamps.

Stan: “She comes in an agreeable package.”
I supposed that was meant to be a compliment, a pat on the back, for Bill.
Bill inclined his head.

Sookie learns more of her task and probes the minds of a few workers at the vampire bar, Farrell, the missing vampire, was last seen. During one of her probes she sees another vampire that may have been involved, a young male with blue tattoos. After describing him to those present in the room, Bill leaves and comes back to announce his name is Godric but he’s currently using the name Godfrey. He’s aligned himself with the Fellowship of the Sun and wishes to “meet the sun” something none of the vampires find agreeable.

After the news of Godfrey; Sookie, Bill and Stan are discussing their options when Sookie brings up the attack at the airport. They come to the conclusion that the room must be bugged. Stan asks his second in command if any new vamps have visited the area, he learns of only one that arrived the same day. The vamp in question is a tall blond, yup none other than Eric, but he’s masquerading as a vamp from California by the name of Leif. They find the bug and dispose of it, a plan is formed for Hugo, Isabel’s (Stan’s second in command) lover, and Sookie to infiltrate the Fellowship of the Sun’s headquarters. Then they all leave, Eric interrupts Bill and Sookie before they christen the hotel room.

Eric: “You don’t want a nightcap?”
Was he hoping to be offered a bottle of blood? Eric’s eyes went to the refrigerator, then to me. I was sorry I was wearing a thin nylon robe instead of something bulky and chenille.
Eric: “Warm from the vessel?”
Bill maintained a stony silence.

The next afternoon, Sookie meets with Hugo to go to the FotS. When they arrive they run into Sarah Newlin, the director’s wife and the director himself, Steve Newlin. Sookie is only getting calm readings from the two, so she doesn’t realize that they are in trouble until it is too late.

While being shown around the FotS “church”, Sookie and Hugo are lead downstairs into the bomb shelter. Sookie claims claustrophobia but it doesn’t matter, her and Hugo are forced down the stairs and into the locked bomb shelter. Sookie gets injured while trying to escape but her attempt is futile. Her and Hugo are thrown into a cell and locked inside. Sookie finds out about Hugo’s betrayal of the vamps before the door opens to Gabe telling Hugo he’s to visit Farrell’s cell. Once Hugo’s out of the cell, Gabe proceeds to make his move on Sookie, when she declines, they get into a scuffle but she’s no match for Gabe’s strength (even with vampire blood in her system). Sookie is saved by Godfrey before Gabe can rape her.

Sookie (with as much dignity as she could muster): “Please let me out. They’ll kill me.”
Godfrey: “But you consort with vampires.”
My eyes darted from one side to another, as I tried to figure this one out.
Sookie (hesitantly): “Ah, you’re a vampire, aren’t you?”

Godfrey helps Sookie escape the bomb shelter only to run into trouble in the hallways above. Sookie hides in an empty office and listens to Godfrey share his doubts about the upcoming ceremony. While in the office, Sookie comes up with the idea of using her gift to call for help. She remembers the bell boy at the hotel, whom she learned had her gift when they checked in, and called to him. She told him to pass on a message to Bill about her being in trouble. When the conversation on the other side of the door was taken somewhere else, Sookie made her escape. She was caught in the meeting hall by a human family when she was rescued by Luna, a shapeshifter undercover in the FotS. Luna helps her escape from the compound but they are chased and injured when Sarah rams into Luna’s vehicle. Luna and Sookie are taken to a hospital and Sookie rushed through some tests and released to be escorted back to the hotel by Luna and two other shapeshifters. They blindfold Sookie before she can get into the car and head off to the hotel. She’s met by Eric at the curb. He helps her up to her room and attends her injuries before Bill returns from trying to find her.

The next morning Sookie awakes before dawn and gets dressed. She calls a cab to take her back to the FotS compound where she meets with Godfrey.

Godfrey: “I am an evil creature.”
Sookie: “Yes, you are.” There just wasn’t any getting around that. “But you did a good thing, saving me from Gabe.”
Godfrey: “By killing one more man? My conscience hardly knew the difference. There have been so many. At least I spared you some humiliation.”

Sookie watches Godfrey “meet the sun” and cries over his passing. She returns to the hotel and climbs back into bed. When she awakes again, Bill informs her that they are to go see Stan. Sookie arrives at Stan’s residence and says she’ll only tell the story once. She tells the full story about the previous day, leaving out only aspects that she feels will be harmful to the parties involved. After telling her story, they are invited to stay for the welcome back party for Farrell. While Sookie is sitting on the couch sipping at a drink, a human girl who’s one of the local vampire’s girlfriends visits her. They talk for a bit then the girl leaves to get a drink. Eric replaces her spot on the couch. While talking with Eric, Sookie begins to sense the thoughts of attackers outside the house. She yells “Hit the deck” right before the gunshots ring out.

In the aftermath of the attack, Sookie finds herself lying under Eric (lucky woman). During the shooting, Eric covered her to save her.

Eric (smiling at Sookie): “I knew I’d get on top of you somehow.”
Sookie: “Are you trying to make me mad so I’ll forget how scared I am?”
Eric: “No, I’m just opportunistic.”

Eric informs her that Bill has gone after the attackers. Eric also tells her that he’s taken a bullet in the shoulder and that she needs to suck it out before the skin heals around it. After sucking the bullet out of Eric’s shoulder, they have a passionate kiss. After Sookie comes to her senses and breaks the kiss, Bill returns from his hunting. They argue, yet again, because he didn’t check to see if she was okay before going off to seek his revenge. After they argue, Sookie storms out of the house, taking the rental car they arrived in and heads to the airport where she catches the next flight back to Louisiana where she arranges for Jason to pick her up from the airport.

Sookie and Bill spend three weeks apart, during which time he’s seen around town with Portia Bellefleur while Sookie sulks. They reunite after the local high school football where Sookie sees Bill with Portia. Bill is waiting for Sookie at her house when she returns home and they, yet again, have make-up sex. I see a theme here where they argue and get back together by having sex; never really talking about their issues. Since no one knew about their reconciliation, Sookie was invited to “the” party by, eww gag me, Mike Spencer, the funeral home director/coroner. Sookie finds out that Bill will be out of town via a message on her answering machine so she decides to call Eric.

Eric: “I am here.”
Sookie: “And I am here.” I was a little amused at Eric’s phone answering technique.
Eric (sounding fond and warm): “Sookie, my little bullet-sucker.”
Sookie: “Eric, my big bullshitter.”

Sookie invites Eric to the orgy to act as her bodyguard and asks if he can pretend to be gay. Eric agrees to attend after much ribbing of Sookie on his part.
Eric arrives to take Sookie to the party in a pink skin tight tank top and aqua and pink lycra pants. Sookie can’t help but look at him in all his glory, how could you miss such a “package”.

Sookie (eyeing her and Eric side by side in the mirror): “Hey, our hair’s the same color.”
Eric (grinning at Sookie): “Sure is, girlfriend. But are you blond all the way down?”
Sookie: “Don’t you wish you knew?”
Eric (simply): “Yes.”

They arrive at the party and Eric asks if he could be bi-sexual instead of gay. Sookie never answers but they proceed into the party to astonishing sights. Eric is not fazed by what is happening but Sookie is uncomfortable. Eric helps Sookie by leading her to the couch to “make-out” while she reads the minds of the others. Sookie finds some evidence of the harm that fell upon Lafayette and the parties involved, but none that would help in a court. They make excuses to go outside and while Eric has Sookie laid out on the hood of his car, Bill shows up. Bills not happy with what he finds but Andy’s arrival interrupts the impending argument. Andy has a gun and the party goers come outside to see what all the commotion is about. Andy calls Sookie over to him and is threatening her when Sookie’s “dog” Dean and the maenad come out of the woods. The maenad tortures the party goers and kills everyone but Sookie, Bill, Eric, “Dean” and hypnotized Eggs and Andy.

After the maenad leaves, Eric and Bill begin the cleanup. They find Tara hiding on the patio amongst the body parts of the other party goers. By this time “Dean” has changed back into his human form, Sam and offers to take Eggs and Tara home. After Tara makes a comment about not wanting to forget what happened and what would keep her from talking about it, Eric erases her memories. While searching through the cars, Eric finds evidence that clears Andy of Lafayette’s death. Sookie returns home with Bill where she falls asleep before any hanky panky can occur. The next day, while going for the newspaper Sookie finds a chocolate cake. When she returns, Bill and Sookie listen to the message left by Ms. Caroline Holliday Bellefleur. After going through the birth and death records kept by Bill’s family, Bill learns that he is related to the Bellefleurs and asks Sookie what they need. She tells him that they need money. Sookie then asks why Bill does not like the Bellefleurs and he reminds her of the story he told at the Descendants of the Glorious Dead meeting. The young boy calling for help was Jebediah Bellefleur.

Bill: “If anything happens to me, you should go to Eric.”
Sookie: “You’ve said that before. If anything happens to you, I don’t have to go to anyone. I’m my own person. I get to make up my mind what I want to do. You’ve got to make sure nothing happens to you.”

Living Dead in Dallas Questions for Discussion

1. Sookie says, “Only Bill’s determined entry into the vampire self-governing system had kept me safe…” In hindsight, do you think that is true? Or a lie told by Bill to tie Sookie more closely to him? (Please try to hold ways you would like Bill to die to a minimum in your answers.)

2. Do you think the Maenad was really responsible for Bill and Sookie’s argument? Do you think it was just a lover’s quarrel? Do you think it was divine intervention? Did you think it was funny that Sookie flipped bill the bird after their argument in the car? Do you wish she had flipped him a flaming stake instead? Do you think either of them over-reacted?

3. What were your first impressions of Eric’s request that Sookie and Bill go to Dallas? Are you concerned for Sookie, having rarely been this far from home?

4. Sookie gets a sudden view into Stan’s mind. Do you think with practice she’s improving her ability? It was an accident? Stan meant for her to see that? What do you think about the Dallas vampires, as opposed to maybe Bill or Eric and Pam, or the Monroe vampires?

5. We meet some shapeshifters in Dallas. What are your feelings on that? Were you surprised? Which animal would you turn into, given the choice?

6. Sookie goes back to the Fellowship to watch Godfrey meet the dawn. What did you think of this? And by “this” I mean everything: Sookie willingly going back to the fellowship, Godfrey’s decision and his intent to follow thru on it, Godfrey actually meeting the dawn. Godfrey thinks he’s a bad person, and a bad vampire. What do you think?

7. Sookie, still hurt, and now really hurt b/c Bill left to go Fellowship chasing without even stopping to see if she was dead or injured or worse. What do you think of Bill’s actions? Do you think he should have spared at least a thought for Sookie? Or is he merely acting on his nature? Sookie takes the rental car and goes back to the airport, catching the first flight home. Is this the same girl we met in Dead Until Dark? Do you think Sookie is learning from her experiences?

8. Because she is apparently the “new Sookie”, Sookie gets invited to a sex party, and in all probability the person who killed Lafayette will be there. What do you think about her decision to take Eric to the party with her? How about Eric’s choice of outfit?

9. Any other thoughts on Living Dead in Dallas? What’s your favorite quote, scene or event? What’s your least favorite?
 

 

 

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~ by Scooby on April 21, 2010.

 
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