Book Review: Vampire Academy (Richelle Mead)

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Plot:
Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth’s magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest vampires – the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa’s best friend, makes her a dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them.

After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, a school for vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. But inside the iron gates, life is even more fraught with danger . . . and the Strigoi are always close by.

Rose and Lissa must navigate their dangerous world, confront the temptations of forbidden love, and never once let their guard down, lest the evil undead make Lissa one of them forever . .

Rating: 7/10

I mean, just look at that plot line. Who wouldn’t want to read that? I had a lot of fun, and admitting it probably means flushing my good name down the toilet. Well, I liked it. It has obvious questionable plot lines. The class system is outrageous and wouldn’t hold up anywhere. Then there is that little fact that Dimitri, regardless of his hot-cakiness, is much older than Rose and shouldn’t have lost his job and then faced prosecution. It is also probably everybody’s worst nightmares to have someone be able to read your mind constantly. Eugh. I would be in so much trouble.

Despite all these little things, the book is great. It is light reading and really a book for teens, but it has great pace and ends interestingly enough to make you want to pick up the second book. If they truly followed the book in the movie and given it a darker edge I think the movie wouldn’t have failed quite as spectacularly.

Although definitely not for everyone, Vampire Academy is so much fun. I recommend you read it if you enjoy vampire books.

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Movie Review: What We Do in The Shadows (2014)

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Plot: Viago, Deacon, and Vladislav are vampires who are finding that modern life has them struggling with the mundane – like paying rent, keeping up with the chore wheel, trying to get into nightclubs, and overcoming flatmate conflicts.

Rating: 8.5/10

Things I do in watching comedies: sarcastically snort, fondly smile or gallantly chuckle. I never LOL in them (I doubt people laugh out loud as often as the use that abbreviation, but that is another post for another day). My point is: comedies have become too formulaic with humor that they are rarely truly hilarious anymore.

I laughed out loud watching What We do In the Shadows. It is politically incorrect: Vampire Nazis, Vlad the Poker and Viego’s love for Katherine are some of the funniest things I experienced in here. It mocks the hell out of Twilight and I’m pretty sure True Blood with the vampires floating in the air. The New-Zealand accents exacerbate and the fact that we are dealing with vampires, in New Zealand, makes it just funnier. Everyone’s love for Stu but bare tolerance for Nick, swearwolves everywhere and the whole perfection of Vladislav, Viago and Deacon kept me entertained for the hour and a half it ran for. I loved the whole mockumentary style of the movie and how well that told the story.

Some favorite scenes:

Vlad, my favorite vampire of all time:

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Probably my second favorite scene and one of the greatest laughs in the movie:wearwolves not swearwolves

This one is for Zoë:

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And then this: The funnest and craziest phrasing I’ve ever come across… LOL!!sandwich

What We Do In The Shadows is unique, hilarious and worth a try. You will hopefully shake with laughter. Definitely recommended!

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Series Review: True Blood Season 3

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Rating: 6.5/10

Hmmm, I was on quite a roll after finishing Season two and had the need to check if it True Blood could at least remain its’ fun factor. It does, although there are some major irritants that start popping up during three.

Season Three was the last season where there were more good than bad moments. I still laughed out loud in a few places, and there is a semblance of continuity and structure here and there. The plot holes aren’t huge yet, something that becomes a big problem later on. I have such beef with how these vampires’ death becomes change all the time, because it changes every season.

TBS3 Sookie and Jess

This show is addictive and yet I can never really pinpoint what in this show makes it so impossible to walk away from. Bill is still a huge martyr in here which makes him nearly as impossible as Tara Thornton to cope with, but his spine keeps growing and eventually he becomes something that even while you don’t like him, you grudgingly respect him. I have hated the whole run with Bill’s maker since it started out, and while it was better explored than in the books, Lorena was around way too long for me to enjoy the plot line. The actress irritates me so much and I would probably have been less irritated with the character if the actress was different.

 TB Sookie and Eric kiss

Season three has some real development for Sookie and Eric and I enjoyed that. I’ve always thought that if she ends up with a vampire it should be Eric, because Bill is just such a pain in the ass all the time. The first official kiss of Eric and Sookie was quite nicely done – in season three there was still some originality and not just ridiculous interactions between characters.

What I liked:

Lafayette Reynolds: Lafayette dies quickly in the books but I am so happy that they kept him in the show. It’s quite hilarious because he has one of the best subplots and it doesn’t even come from the books. I think he is a great representation of the gay community – he is obviously interested in men but it is quite clear that you should not mess with him, not one bit. I thought the introduction of Jesus was beautiful because he was a guy that was GOOD – he didn’t have some ulterior plot to hurt Lafayette in the long run.

The deviation from the books:I am usually the first to complain when a show/movie ignores what the book did and go into a new direction. It can work however, exactly like they did here. The books are fairly preposterous at a few places and as ridiculous as this show is, it would have been impossible to send Sookie to a conference for vampires (please don’t let that happen later on or I will look stupid).

More Eric: This show runs like this: BAD, BAD, BAD, TARA CRIES, SOOKIE MAKES EVERYTHING ABOUT HER, BAD, BAD, Tara cries, BAD, BAD, OOOH ERIC, SHOW IS SAVED. He’s gorgeous and sarcastic and funny enough to carry the show through extremely silly places.

Jason Stackhouse: Oh my life, what an adorable moron. I honestly don’t know who my favorite character is – Jason or Eric. Jason is so hilarious and the things he says can make me laugh for days. He goes through an awful lot of character development which is one of the show’s redeeming qualities.

Hotshot: It is so hillbilly and incestuous and perfectly brought to life.

Alcide

#ForScience

Alcide: He’s pretty much exactly as I wanted him to be and Joe Manganiello certainly looks the part.

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Jessica Hamby: I was prepared to hate her at the end of season one but Jessica grew on me. She is the perfect teen in the story – she messes up a whole lot but she has a good heart and is genuinely trying to figure out who she is.

What I didn’t like:

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Tara Thornton: I think the only character more annoying than Tara Thornton ever is Carrie Mathinson, but that is only a maybe. Tara has a default facial expression, and her constant sobbing and moaning about her horrible life is too much for me. Lafayette and Sookie both have as much problems as she does, Jason probably more, but THEY aren’t constantly sobbing and hating the world.

Russell Edington: I thought that the actor was a bad choice and I found the vampire ridiculous rather than scary.

Lorena and Bill: How can two such annoying people be allowed on screen at the same time?

Sam’s birth family: The entire story arc irritated me endlessly and it was once again something to fill the series out that dragged too much in the end.

The very different ways vampires die when exposed to the sun:

Godric and Russell were about the same age, and this is what happened to Godric when he went out in the sun:

This is what happened to Russell when he went out into the sun:

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(Sorry for the crappy pic – This was the only one I could find on the internet and I searched for ETERNITY) 

Consistency?

TB3 was watchable, funny and enjoyable. I think if you want to stop at the end of the good stuff, this is probably the last season to watch because it goes downhill very fast from here.

Book Review: All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris

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Plot: Louisiana cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse has her hands full dealing with every sort of undead and paranormal creature imaginable. And after being betrayed by her longtime vampire love, Sookie must not only deal with a new man in her life—the shapeshifter Quinn—but also contend with the long-planned vampire summit.
The summit is a tense situation. The vampire queen of Louisiana is in a precarious position, her power base weakened by hurricane damage to New Orleans. And there are some vamps who would like to finish what nature started. Soon, Sookie must decide what side she’ll stand with. And her choice may mean the difference between survival and all-out catastrophe. (via Goodreads)

Rating: 6/10

These books are slowly but surely worsening as we go further into Sookie’s life. The gaping holes in the story drives me mad – sometimes things are referred to that wasn’t even mentioned in the previous books, sometimes there is so much drama it’s like did that really just happen?It seems like it will always be “everyone wants Sookie” which is very amusing because she is always stressing that she has no experience in relationships or men or anything. I really did like Quinn and think it is a shame that he never made it into the show – he seemed like just the right, normal human guy Sookie needed – strong enough to fight against Vampires but he could grow old with her. I wasn’t a particular fan of the vampire summit either – talk about a generally stupid idea for a group of people with known haters to be in one place during the day and then not being able to face the sun to defend yourself.

These series started out relatively fine – no works of art but nice reading if you need some brain dead fun. After the eight book I had to take a big break because it was just too meh for me. I’m ready to return now, hopefully to something slightly better written. It is still fun to read though, but I can’t binge read anymore – it is time to alternate with more serious books just for a break in-between.

All Together Dead is not even close to the best book in the series, although I will suggest reading it if you are planning to go through the entire series (you’ll end up even more confused if you leave it out)

Book Review: Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris

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Book #6 in the Sookie Stackhouse Series

Sookie has started John Quinn, a shapeshifter that changes to a tiger, and their relationship seems promising. She is taking it slow, because she has been burned often by her hasty habit of jumping into bed with men she finds attractive. Sookie and Quinn are attacked by young werewolves out on a date, and the main suspect is the newly elected leader of the Shreveport werewolf pack, a man with a known grudge against Sookie.

Sookie is visited by Mr. Cataliades, a part-demon lawyer who works for the Queen of Louisiana. He is surprised that Sookie never got the formal invitation to visit Sophie-Anne Leclerq, but when they find the messenger dead in the woods of Sookie’s house, they understand why she never received the now missing invitation.

Although loathe to visit the Queen, Sookie doesn’t have much of a choice. She must clean out her dead vampire cousin Hadley’s apartment while in New Orleans and discuss the vampire summit with the Queen, as she’s invited as part of the Queen’s entourage.  Sookie meets Amelia Broadway, a witch and the owner of Hadley’s apartment. They quickly become friends, and they are both lucky to survive an attack by newly created vampire Jake Purifoy that had been hidden during his turning in Hadley’s apartment.

Upon meeting the Queen, Sookie also meets the king of Arkansas, Peter Threadgill. He is Sophie-Anne’s new husband, but it is clearly not a love match but a business arrangement between the two vampires.

After the Queen and Sookie witness Amelia and her coven do a construction spell where they see how Jake Purifoy came into Hadley’s apartment, Sookie learns that her appeal to vampires may be because she has a bit of fairy blood in her. The Queen also asks Sookie to look for a precious bracelet Peter gave her that Hadley took in a moment of anger because it would mean major upset if Peter discovered the loss of one of his matrimonial gifts to his wife. Will Sookie be able to find the bracelet in time? Who keeps attacking Sookie for no reason? Who didn’t want her to visit the Queen?

Rating: Depressed, 5/10

This book left so much to be desired. It had plot holes so big I had to check whether I’d missed a few pages. Like the death of Hadley – was Hadley ever even mentioned? Suddenly Sookie has met Mr. Cataliades and everything; she’s been to the execution of Hadley’s killer, etc. I was extremely confused. I understand that there is a filler short story but these things should be necessary. Filler stories shouldn’t have the entire function of making the other book work!

I liked the addition of John Quinn. He is much more interesting than Bill Compton, who is the world’s biggest moaner and general pain in the ass. I understood Sookie’s anger when she realised that Bill had seduced her on the orders of the Queen of Louisiana. I would have been furious and heartbroken. I respected Eric that he made Bill confess when he learnt of this information.

I think the whole Debbie Pelt story had been stretched way too far. So, she’s dead and Sookie killed her, but it shouldn’t be in three books. Initiate and resolve, Harris. I found the whole “ectoplasmic reconstruction” spell so absolutely ridiculous. Honestly, it might even be sillier than the whole werepanthers and weremoles naming system in these books. I enjoyed Amelia a bit, and hope to see more of her in the next few books.

I found it faintly disgusting that there was all that hype about the supernatural creatures sensing Sookie was on her period. I mean really, and why initiate only in this book? Did she not have a period for the three years prior to Definitely Dead? I wished Eric had more time in here because he is always fun to read about.

This was probably the worst book in the series, and everything before and after it is makes more sense and is more fun.

Who is sending the werewolves after Sookie? Can she find Sophie’s missing jewels in time? What will she do when she learns of Bill’s true reason of coming to Bon Temps?

 

Book Review: Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris

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Book #5 in the Sookie Stackhouse series

Jason Stackhouse is now a werepanther, courtesy of being bitten by Felton Norris. Calvin Norris, leader of the inbred community in Hotshot, helps Jason with his transformation. Calvin keeps making it clear that he would love to get to know Sookie a whole lot better, but she is confused as to whether she wants him or his medical benefits his job gives him.

A series of shooting attacks on shapeshifters takes the South by storm. Sam is shot in the leg and needs to ask Eric for a temporary bartender to help out. Charles Twinning is sent from Fangtasia, and the eccentric pirate becomes a favourite amongst the drinkers of Bon Temps.

Colonel Flood, leader of the Long Tooth werewolf pack of Shreveport is killed by the mysterious assassin, and that means it is time for the unorthodox elections werewolves hold in such an event. Alcide invites Sookie to Flood’s funeral, but he has ulterior motives: his father is taking part in the elections and they need to know what the man is planning against him. Sookie is furious, but somehow Alcide has discovered she killed his ex-girlfriend, Debbie Pelt. She tells Alcide that his father’s opponent plans to bring his father’s gambling debts into the picture, and that is enough for them to start shielding against.

Bill brings Selah Pumphrey to Merlotte’s, and Sookie is jealous but knows she needs to accept that Bill is going to date other women as they are not a couple anymore. One night, Sookie’s house is set alight and she is saved in time by Charles and the fairy Claudine. She moves into one of Sam’s rentals until her house is restored, but the drama just won’t end – after visiting Calvin Norris, who was also shot in the sniper attacks, in the hospital, she is gunned down and lives just because she heard the other person’s excitement seconds before the shot. Sookie’s house is also burnt down, and she knows that someone wants her out of the picture. Who is behind the shifter attacks? Who placed a hit on Sookie even though she is not a supernatural creature? Can Eric accept that he might never fully remember what happened when he had temporary amnesia?

Rating: 6/10

Before completely finishing this book I really felt the need to take a break from the Stackhouse series. I returned after watching the first two seasons of True Blood, and had to get my fix until I could start on Season three.

This is the first book in the series that begins to show gaps. The torching of Sookie’s house was so ill explained. Yeah, Charles did it, but I thought so many strings were left untied with the loose explanation that was given.

Tara Thornton: Literature vs. True Blood

Right now I’m not sure which character leads as my least favourite version of her. The sub plot involving her is not required at all and not even juicy enough to make it worth the pages it is written on. Tara book version is still less annoying than Tara True Blood version, but not by far.

The book is still “Everyone loves Sookie so much” but that’s okay – Twilight was built on the same premise. I just wish there was one desirable character that didn’t want Sookie, you know. That girl lived her entire life chaste and now everyone wants a piece? Doesn’t add up.

A subplot still terribly underused is Jason becoming a werepanther. I didn’t find it significant enough to be interesting, but it could have had more show time.

Everything seems to happen at once: shootings, arson, werewolf elections, Bill’s petty relationship with someone else, etc. etc. The inclusion of Quinn could be interesting, but I am not getting my hopes up. It will probably just be another way of Sookie playing with someone’s feelings because she just isn’t sure about what to do.

Not the best of the series, but still fun enough to quickly read when your brain is exhausted from daily life!

Series Review: True Blood Season 1

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Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) is a resident in Bon Temps, a small southern town. She lives with her grandmother and works as a waitress in Merlotte’s, who is owned by Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammel), a man with a secret, a murky past and a great crush on Sookie. Sookie’s life isn’t easy at all – she has telepathic abilities she struggles to control, and spends a large portion of her time having to try very hard and not to answer unspoken questions.

The world changed when vampires declared their existence after the successful manufacturing of True Blood, a synthetic yet effective form of blood. Provided with a food source that wasn’t alive, they could safely come out and live amongst their breathing counterparts. The world is still much divided – some people are obsessed with vampires and their super healing and hallucinogenic blood, others are wary and some like extremist church Fellowship of the Sun are extremely against their existence, citing them as an abomination sent from the devil.

Sookie isn’t quite a vampire fanatic, but she wants people to accept them because she understands too well the feeling of being secluded just because you are different. Merlotte’s gets its first vampire one night, and Sookie is immediately taken with Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), who seems to respond to her as well. She saves Bill’s life after he is attacked for the purpose of being drained of blood, and after his initial displeasure of a woman saving him they start a tentative relationship.

sookie and bill

Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten) is Sookie’s brother. He seduces the ladies left, right and centre and lands himself in a spot of trouble when everyone he bangs ends up dead. Jason knows he’s innocent, but detective Andy Bellefleur doesn’t think so. Jason becomes hooked on V, an acronym for Vampire Blood, and the town drugdealer Lafayette eventually refuses to sell it to him. Desperate for more blood, he heads to vampire bar Fangtasia where he meets Amy Burley. She provides him with V and they become involved, although it quickly becomes clear the Amy isn’t nearly as harmless as she appears.

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Sookie feels the need to clear her brother’s name, and quickly establish that all of the deceased ladies had previously had some sort of dealing with vampires. Bill agrees to take her to Fangtasia, so that she can listen to the thoughts of the humans there to maybe find out what is going on. It is at Fangtasia where Sookie meets Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgard) a prominent figure in the vampire community. He is Bill’s boss and very old and powerful, and everyone defers to him. Sookie saves Eric and his right hand Pam (Kristin Bauer) from a police raid and when Eric establishes Sookie’s powers, he uses her to find out who’s been stealing from him. Bill is forced to kill the offending vampire and as punishment he is ordered to turn a young girl into a vampire.

This however, does not prove Jason’s innocence, and when Amy is found murdered next to him in bed, he is finally charged with murder. Can Sookie prove Jason’s innocence? Who is actually behind the brutal murders? How will Jason cope knowing he was zoned out and couldn’t prevent Amy from being killed right next to him? What will Sookie do when she finds out that Bill turned an innocent girl into a vampire?

Rating: 6/10

Look, I don’t think I will offend anyone by stating that this is one of the worst pilot seasons ever made. The acting is atrocious, there is no chemistry, and the characters are annoying as hell. Tara Thornton is probably the most annoying person ever written. There is a very fine line between honesty and rudeness, and she is quite often on the wrong side. The actress irritated me endlessly and the character was devoid of any associability for me. I am not overly fond of the casting of Sookie Stackhouse, but made peace eventually with Anna Paquin as she puts effort in and improve with time. The casting of Sam Merlotte worked out very well and he is what I thought Sam would represent. I also think the casting of Alexander Skarsgard as Eric was perfect because physically he IS Eric and his acting is some of the best in True Blood. Stephen Moyer is a thorn in my side – the way he pronounces “Sookie” makes me faintly mad with irritation. He joins the dubious acting side of the cast and pretty much irritated me the entire season, but since the character in the books are just as annoying, maybe he was just doing his job.

Bon Temp is also very much like I thought it would be. It is dinky and run down and the residents are dancing the narrow line if when crossed could be rated hillbilly. Some characters I enjoyed plenty: Lafayette, Arlene, Hoyt and Terry. They are all unique or sweet and make the show liveable. Lafayette especially intrigued me because while he is obviously gay and a bit of a transvestite, everyone knows not to ridicule him or mess with him. Andy Bellefleur is exactly what I hoped he would be: a bit of a bully in desperate need of affirmation.

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True Blood isn’t exactly as the books written by Charlaine Harris, but there is enough in for you to know what is going to happen eventually. I liked most of the changes, although I didn’t really enjoy the extreme transformation Tara went through – her role in the story completely changed and her nature as well. I don’t think all the sub plots of True blood is really necessary – Tara’s whole drama with her mother (why are we interested and what influence does it have on the plot development?), Jason’s incessant banging and subsequent troubles were way too exploited, even though I eventually grew fond of his vacant expressions.

True Blood season one was absolutely dinky and painful in some places and tries desperately hard to be dark, broody and sexy, and fails most of the time. I persisted through the tortuously slow first episodes and the last are more palatable. I am watching Season two now, and it already improves on many of the first’s mistakes.

Recommendation: Vampire Diaries is by far the more enjoyable between these two series, but if you’ve had your run of VD and needs something new in a dying genre, give it a try, but don’t get your hopes up for instant addiction.

Book Review: Dead to the World (Charlaine Harris)

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With Bill travelling Peru to continue building the vampire database the vampire queen of Louisiana wants, Sookie Stackhouse is rebuilding her life in Bon Temps without him. She has a lot to focus on – her brother is dating a shape shifter, she is still working on her self-control to not read people’s minds, and she is also dealing with the snide remarks about her previous relationship with the vampire.

Sookie finds Eric Northman on the side of the road one night, stumbling, clad only in jeans. There is obviously something very wrong with him – he can’t remember anything about his life or even his position as the Sheriff of Vampire area 5. Pam and Cho show up, and they ask Sookie to look after Eric while they try and catch the witch that cast the spell on Eric. Jason, Sookie’s brother, negotiates a massive fee for Sookie’s help, and the vampires reluctantly agree because they know the witches have put a large price on Eric’s head should he be delivered to them.

The offending witch is Hallow, a powerful, underhanded and corrupt woman who drinks vampire blood and that, combined with her powers, makes her a formidable enemy. Pam tells Sookie that the witch wanted profits from Eric’s vampire bar, Fangtasia, as well as Eric for a lover, and when he refused, she cast the spell on him.

Sookie has another problem to deal with when Shirley Hennessey, Jason’s boss, calls to ask where Jason is because he isn’t at work. Worried, Sookie checks up on him, but although his truck is at home, he is missing. The police don’t seem too overly worried about this, as Jason is known to do whatever he wants.

Sookie takes it upon herself to find her brother. The options of his whereabouts are endless. When the police find tiger tracks near his house, they think he was mauled to death. Sookie also knows that Pam and Cho could very well have taken Jason hostage as insurance while she takes care of Eric, and Sookie is also worried that Hallow and her coven might have taken him.

With Eric having no idea who he is, devoid of his charming but offensive personality, he and Sookie soon become lovers. Pam and Cho propose a plan to take out Hallow and restore Eric, but will they be successful? What will the vampire do when he is his old self again and knows that he has become Sookie’s bed mate? Can Sookie find Jason alive and well?

Rating: 6.5/10

The Fourth book in the Sookie Stackhouse series comes in at nearly the same pace as the previous three. I have to say that I wasn’t as completely enchanted and having fun as with the other books. Sookie really gets around a whole lot and she doesn’t discriminate when it comes to sleeping partners, and that is starting to grate on me. I think she blatantly ignored it most of the time that her brother was missing, because hey, she was banging the hot Viking vampire.

There were a lot of things happening in this book that could have been explored to great detail – Hallow, Jason’s disappearance, an inbred wolf community, Eric losing his memory, the fairy rocking up. Everything was swept under the rug most of the time and not really written to what it could have been.

Hallow turned out to be so disappointing. She was the complete reason that Eric lost his memory, but her character was underdeveloped and she was destroyed as a by-product. I also think the fairy was incredibly lame. Why include her if you are not going to completely incorporate her completely?

Oh yes, and regarding Eric’s memory: It would have been way more fun if Eric had pretended to lose his memory – it jibes perfectly with his character and is something he would do. THAT could have been a plot twist.

Debbie Pelt’s demise was something I found petty pleasure in. No matter my irritations with the heroine, I am still on Sookie Stackhouse’s side and want her to live happy and safe. Debbie was very evil and deceptive about it, and I really like Alcide, who deserves better.

Bill is still his annoying self, and he has tons to make up for in the future books. Talk about moody, difficult and obsessed – and people say Eric is the difficult vampire in here?!

I am definitely continuing with these books, but I do hope that there is a developing story line somewhere. So far the books are completely separated from each other and there is no continuing story line, which is something that can make the books much more enjoyable.

Book Review: Living Dead in Dallas (Charlaine Harris)

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Sookie Stackhouse is still dating the vampire Bill Compton, and still works as a waitress in Merlotte’s bar in Bon Temps, a small town in Louisana. With Bill’s new position in the vampire ranks they can live in relative surety that the Sheriff of the vampire Area Five, Eric Northman, will honour their relationship and not try and seduce Sookie.

Sookie’s friend and co-worker Lafayette is found murdered in the sheriff’s car, although Andy Bellefleur was taken home by his sister that night, suspicion does arise that Andy might have murdered the black, gay man, two unacceptable qualities to the primitive minds of some of the Bon Temps residents. Andy’s sister, Portia, asks Sookie to read the minds of the people and maybe find the true killer that way. Although Sookie doesn’t like the Bellefleurs much, she agrees to avenge her friend’s murder. Sookie starts looking for a secretive sex-club that has started in Bon Temps because Lafayette had bragged about attending one of their get-togethers, and was murdered shortly after his first visit.

Sookie is summoned by Eric for a job, and on the way there she is attacked by a maenad, a demon that wants Eric to offer up a tribute to her. The maenad attacks Sookie as a message to Eric, and both Bill and Eric are worried about the maenad’s presence, something Eric admits can be troublesome. The two vampires clean up Sookie well enough and promise to find an appropriate offering for the maenad to placate her.

Eric explains the mission: he is “loaning” her out to the Dallas vampire community to find Ferrell, one of their coven mates who went missing. Sookie agrees to head over to Dallas to read the minds of the humans there and search for Ferrell if Bill can accompany her.

In Dallas, Sookie learns about a new fanatical cult that is determined to rid the world of vampires. She is betrayed and kept captive in the cult’s basement, and a strange, suicidal vampire helps her escape and carry the news to her friends.

Will Sookie find the missing vampire in Dallas? How will the Fellowship retaliate? Who murdered Lafayette and can they be apprehended to clear the Sheriff’s name?

Rating: 7/10

Another short and quick read, Dead in Dallas is exactly the type of addicting literature that I love. It is so fast to get through, it is just on the right side of fluffy to not break your brain but keep you interested, and it has the supernatural element alongside the romance. I really like that each book has an entirely new story – the complete set of books don’t run one theme the entire time. It keeps the books fun with a new adventure each time.

I am becoming such a fan of Sookie Stackhouse. She isn’t insanely book smart but she is street smart and sure of who she is, and believes enough in herself to stand up for who she is and what she believes in.

Eric Northman is such a hilarious brat of a character. The word “NO” is not in his realm of understanding and he couldn’t care less about the trivialities of the human nature. I respect him because while he is underhanded in his attempts to seduce Sookie he waits for her clearance and respects her “NO”, which is very surprising.

Bill Compton is a bit of a pain in my ass sometimes, although I generally enjoy him. He is very possessive but at the same time leaves Sookie in danger and won’t change his most annoying ways.

The books are well written in this series and that scores major points with me. I haven’t found any grammar mistakes or any ridiculous repeated phrases.

My only issue is a ridiculous one, and it is that the vampires have to sleep during the day. I mean that could really have not been in the books, you know? Would have made things a lot more fun!

Have you read these books? What did you think?

Book Review: Dead Until Dark (Charlaine Harris)

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Sookie Stackhouse lives in Bon Temps, Louisiana, where she works as a waitress in Merlotte’sBar. Although pretty, she is regarded as “mad” because of her ability to read people’s thoughts. She works with her friend Arlene, and her boss, Sam Merlotte, has a crush on her, although he is always very respectful about it and her gifts.

After the successful manufacturing of synthetic blood vampires are out in the open and everyone is aware that they exist. There are three viewpoints on their existence: they must die or they are treated like gods or people are somewhat indifferent about it. Sookie in between thinking they are celebrities and not caring about what they do. She is excited when she meets Bill Compton, a 173 old vampire who is trying to fit in between humans. Initially she saves his life, then he saves hers, and they are soon romantically involved.

A series of murders on young women in Bon Temps happen and everyone starts suspecting the vampire. Bill explains to Sookie that a vampire would drain the body of blood, making sure not to waste a droplet of it. She believes him, but the fact remains that there are people in town who would hurt vampires – shown when another vampire dwelling is burnt down overnight.

Sookie’s brother Jason becomes a suspect because he had sexual relations with all the victims. He begs Sookie to use her mind reading abilities to find the killer, but that means that Sookie needs to embrace her powers and not suppress them, as she usually would.

As Sookie investigates the murders, she heads to a vampire bar, where she meets the mysterious vampire Eric Northman. He is obviously in some position of power as Bill respects him, but Sookie is unimpressed by his attitude and looks. Eric notices that Sookie is immune to his “glamor”, a form of compulsion, and this only makes him more curious. Realising what she can do, he soon requests her to help find a criminal that stole from his pub.

Will Sookie’s help be enough for Eric? Who is killing the girls in Bon Temps? Is Sookie and Bill’s relationship safe in their two perilously balanced worlds?

Rating: 7/10

So here it is: a little miracle on my blog. I have finally managed to get my brain back on a level where I can read new material. I reread the Nora Roberts Inn Boonsboro trilogy last week, and it was enormous fun, but it didn’t result in any literature post as I’ve already done it.

Zoë suggested that I read these books – a form of romance she actually likes, and I decided to give it a try.

This book had some good things going for it: The characters are all strong, the female lead can protect herself as well and also her boyfriend if needs be, the story is original. I like the direction that the author took – what if vampires existed and humanity knew about it? I like the length of the book (short) – a thick novel would not have worked with the material.

I enjoyed Sookie Stackhouse (you were completely right there, friend). She is no genius and obviously a bit cooked, but she is fearless and will stand up for herself and say what she wants.

This was a fun, sexy book, easy to enjoy and no one was breaking their brains trying to understand the plot and subplot and who is related to who (I love books like that, but sometimes you need to revert to the simple life of vampires)

I had a nice giggle with the whole vampire version of AIDS – I have been overthinking a vampire’s reaction to infected blood for ages and I am glad some author tried to give a way as to the effect it would have on vamps.

Recommendation: I don’t think a lot of men will enjoy it, so girls, go give it a try!