I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles. (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).
Cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse 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: they saved her life. So when one of the 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 said than done, and all it takes is one delicious blonde and one small mistake for things to turn deadly...
The second installment of the Sookie Stackhouse series, and a bit of a struggle for the author, I think, to figure out exactly which way she was headed with the series.
Sookie and Bill start to have a few more misunderstandings and a major row and have to decide whether they will continue their relationship. It’s unclear to me whether vampires in this series have emotions or are just possessive—maybe book 3 will clear that up for me. The fact that she is “loaned out” to the Dallas vampires to help them solve a missing-vampire case rather emphasizes the human-as-chattel idea, making me question Bill’s motivations.
Meanwhile, we get to know Bill’s vampire boss, Eric, a little better and frankly I’m starting to wonder why Sookie chooses Bill over Eric. Yet another reason to read book three. By book’s end, we see Bill being forcibly reminded of his human past and genetic ties to the living, and at that moment, I understand Sookie’s attraction to him.
Also introduced is the anti-vampire Fellowship of the Sun association. Sookie gets a lot of physical abuse in this installment (much of it at the Fellowship’s hands), and it seems to me that her vampiric associates should be doing a much better job of protecting their investment! The Fellowship of the Sun has great potential, which I hope to see realized in upcoming books.
Despite (or many even because of) my doubts and reservations, I look forward to having time to read the next book.