Showing posts with label Louisiana. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Louisiana. Show all posts

Monday, May 12, 2014

Skinwalker by Faith Hunter


As hesitant as I am to try a new urban fantasy kick-ass heroine series, I find myself constantly taking the plunge because when this kind of book is good, it is so much fun. This one was recommended to me by a few people, so I thought I'd give it a go.

This first book in the Jane Yellowrock series has an interesting premise and features a likable protagonist. Our heroine is Jane, a shapechanging native American vampire hunter. She's been hired by a very old and powerful vampire to come to New Orleans and hunt down a rogue vampire, and she is determined to keep her own secrets from the vampires while she tries to hunt down an unusual and deadly creature.

I liked the premise, and the mystery is interesting. The writing is a bit uneven, with some narrative wandering and a bit too much description, which tended to lessen the tension during key moments. The concept of Jane's beast and her dual nature was handled well and gave the book some interesting complexity. I found her detective skills to be a little baffling, though - she tended to just sort of react cluelessly to what was going on and then stumble across pertinent information. I like to be extra charitable to the first book in a series, and while this had some issues for me, there was enough good stuff that I plan to give the second book a shot and see how things go.

Books in the Jane Yellowrock series:
1. Skinwalker (2009)
2. Blood Cross (2009)
3. Mercy Blade (2011)
4. Raven Cursed (2012)
5. Death's Rival (2012)
6. Blood Trade (2013)
7. Black Arts (2014)
8. Broken Soul (2014)

Skinwalker (#1 in the Jane Yellowrock series) by Faith Hunter (Roc, 2009)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris


Telepathic barroom waitress Sookie Stackhouse has come a long way since the early days, before vampires came out and she was dreaming of something interesting to happen in her sleepy Louisiana town. Now she is firmly entrenched in vampire - not to mention werewolf and other shapeshifter politics, and her life has become more complicated than she could ever have imagined.

This ninth book in the series involves three storylines: Her brother's estranged, pregnant wife is found brutally murdered, and she must prove his innocence; she is endangered by a political coup among her fae relatives; and her relationship with the admittedly hot but overbearing vampire Eric is explored.

Once again Harris delivers a taut and gripping novel with complex characters who continue to change and grow - and surprise - through the course of the series. Johanna Parker does her usual fantastic job narrating the story, and I look forward to listening to the next book in this fun and exciting supernatural mystery series.

Books in the Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire series:

1. Dead Until Dark
2. Living Dead in Dallas
3. Club Dead
4. Dead to the World
5. Dead as a Doornail
6. Definitely Dead
7. All Together Dead
8. From Dead to Worse
9. Dead and Gone 
10. A Touch of Dead (short stories)
11. Dead in the Family

12. Dead Reckoning  
13. Deadlocked
14. Dead Ever After


Dead and Gone (#9 in the Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire series) by Charlaine Harris; narrated by Johanna Parker (Recorded Books, 2009)

Friday, October 14, 2011

From Dead to Worse

Sookie Stackhouse has come a long way from the days when she was a simple (if telepathic) barmaid, wistfully dreaming about something otherworldly that might spice up her humdrum life.  She is now firmly enmeshed in vampire politics, not to mention the world of shapeshifters, including town's local werewolf pack.  This eighth book in the series deals with the aftermath of the massive upheaval that took place in the previous book, and while it's a quieter book in many ways, it delves into many of the unresolved issues from previous book in the series.

There is a lot going on in this book, and rather than one single, smooth storyline as we've had with some of the previous books, this one bounces here and there, from a series of murders, the issue with Bob the cat, vampire politics, the damage from hurricane Katrina, the disappearance of Sookie's boyfriend Quinn, and the appearance of a long-lost relative of Sookie's.  I didn't mind that the plot was a bit scattered in this way - these were all fascinating elements, and I was happy to go along for the ride.  This installment of the series felt like a little pause from the breakneck action of previous books - particularly as the overarching plot line goes - although it was definitely a gripping read.  (Or should I say a gripping listen?  I have come to adore Johanna Parker's narration of the audio books, so these days I exclusively listen to them.)  I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I'm very much looking forward to continuing the series soon.

Books in the Southern Vampire (Sookie Stackhouse) series:
1. Dead Until Dark
2. Living Dead in Dallas
3. Club Dead
4. Dead to the World
5. Dead as a Doornail
6. Definitely Dead
7. All Together Dead
8. From Dead to Worse
9. Dead and Gone
10. A Touch of Dead (short stories)
11. Dead in the Family

12. Dead Reckoning (2012)

From Dead to Worse (#8 in the Southern Vampire series) by Charlaine Harris; narrated by Johanna Parker (Recorded Books, 2008)

Also reviewed at: 
Fyrefly's Book Blog"But I think the real reason that I enjoyed it so much was that it was hugely, compulsively readable."
One Literature Nut: "To me, this seemed like a slower-paced storyline that helped the reader retrace everything.  I enjoyed this regrouping and appreciate the continued strength that Sookie goes on to show."
Whimpulsive:  "I felt like I was reading 3 or 4 shorter stories that got shuffled together without creating any smooth flow between or among them and as a result it just felt a little choppy."

Friday, July 22, 2011

Ruined

Teenage Rebecca Brown feels completely out of her element when she leaves her home in New York City to live in New Orleans while her father is away on an extended business trip.  She's staying in a run-down old house in the Garden District with her Aunt Claudia, who reads tarot cards for a living, and her little cousin.  Her new school is an exclusive prep school, and the girls there are too caught up in the social hierarchy of the popular vs. the not-so-popular girls to want to spend time with someone who's not only an outsider, but also temporary.

Rebecca is trying her best to do her time, not get involved, and get back to New York as soon as she can.  But one night she follows some of the more popular kids when they are sneaking into the cemetery near her aunt's house.  There she finally makes a friend - not one of the popular kids, but a young African-American girl - who turns out to be a ghost.  From that moment Rebecca finds herself becoming more involved with life in New Orleans, as she comes to learn about a mystery involving a curse that reaches back through the years but is still very much connected to the present.

This is a fun ghost story, full of the atmosphere of New Orleans, with a dark and disturbing mystery as well as a dash of romance.  The secondary characters are a bit stereotypical, particularly the "bad guys," who are just a little too over-the-top evil and heartless.  Rebecca's dad never seemed quite believable in his actions, either - his behavior simply didn't make sense to me in the light of later revelations in the story.  Still, I did enjoy the evocative setting and the ghost story that stems from the fascinating history of lovely New Orleans. 

Ruined by Paula Morris (Point, 2009)

Also reviewed at:
Books and Other Stuff:  "Ruined is categorized as a Young Adult novel, but as an oldster, I enjoyed it. It was well written and informative. Morris also captured the pettiness of teens, which made me squirm."
Carrie's YA Bookshelf:  "I love ghost stories, so this one was right up my alley. Morris' writing is eerie and suspenseful, which creates an atmosphere where you never really know which character is friend or foe."
Today I read...: "Overall, the book was a fun and quick read. There is a dark element, but nothing entirely frightening."

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Definitely Dead

I've said it before, and I'll say it again:  it really bugs me when short stories about series characters contain pivotal actions that involve subsequent books in the series - particularly when no mention is made, in an introduction, for example, that points out the fact.  Why, oh why, couldn't they mention that readers might want to check out the story "One Word Answer," which appeared in the anthology Bite?  I spent some confused moments wondering if I'd somehow missed a book in the series somewhere along the line.  Finally I gave up and just went with it, and in the end it wasn't a huge deal - but I just don't like feeling out of the loop.

Now that that's off my chest, I will tell you that I did enjoy this sixth installment in the Southern Vampire mystery series.  My favorite series involve characters that change and grow through the series as a whole, and when the characters are compelling, the mystery itself isn't why I'm reading the book - so if it's fairly simple, as it is in this one, I don't really mind.

There are several mysteries here: one involves someone taking potshots at shifters, and Sookie's brother Jason is suspected of being involved.  Another involves the vampire Queen of Louisiana, who has agreed to a marriage with another powerful vampire - but it appears war may result if Sookie can't use her telepathy to help the Queen locate a missing engagement gift.  There's a new(ish) love interest here, and some interesting characters are introduced, including a witch who may turn out to be a friend to Sookie.  Some things didn't quite gel for me - such as the motivation of the Queen to even consider an alliance with the man she's engaged to - it simply never felt very believable.  Even so, this was another enjoyable, gripping installment in Sookie's exciting life, and I am certainly looking forward to more.  I continue to enjoy Johanna Parker's skillful narration of these stories, and I intend to listen to the rest of the series because it's just so much more fun that way.

Books in the Southern Vampire/Sookie Stackhouse series:
1. Dead Until Dark
2. Living Dead in Dallas
3. Club Dead
4. Dead to the World
5. Dead as a Doornail
6. Definitely Dead
7. Altogether Dead
8. From Dead to Worse
9. Dead and Gone
10. A Touch of Dead (short stories)
11. Dead in the Family

12. Dead Reckoning (2012) 

Source: My local public library

Definitely Dead (#6 in the Southern Vampire/Sookie Stackhouse series) by Charlaine Harris; narrated by Johanna Parker (Recorded Books, 2006)

Also reviewed at:
Ashley's Library:  "I also have to say that Sookie Stackhouse with a stun gun is not only hilarious, but also reminds me so much of Stephanie Plum from the Janet Evanovich books that I had to re-read it!"
Fyrefly's Book Blog:  "All in all, it was a fast and thoroughly enjoyable light read, which is what I’ve come to expect from the series."
Rhapsody in Books:  "This book is a must-read for fans of the series, since the truth comes out about all sorts of aspects of the plot."

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Dead as a Doornail

This is the fourth in the supernatural mystery series featuring Sookie Stackhouse, telepathic waitress. The books are best read in order, starting with the first book, Dead Until Dark, and while I always try to avoid spoilers, as each book builds on the next, it is difficult to avoid them when reviewing this series.

The main mystery in this installment involves a sniper taking potshots at supernatural beings in Sookies' small town of Bon Temps, Louisiana. The police are involved, but considering the fact that the police are unaware of the existence of shapeshifters and werewolves, they are missing a crucial part of the pattern. When Sookie's friend and boss, Sam, is injured by the sniper, Sookie starts using her telepathy - not to mention all the supernatural contacts she's made - to discover the culprit.

Sookie also becomes involved in some intricate and surprising aspects of the werewolf community, culminating with attending the contest of two wolves competing for the position of pack leader.

This was an engaging installment in this series, but the mystery element was fairly obvious and not all that interesting. What really held my attention was Sookie and the various relationships she has with the people around her. She has become something of a hot commodity among the supernatural men in her life, which is a huge change for the girl who had been accustomed to being thought of as the town nutcase. I like how strong and self-reliant Sookie is, and that she tries to do the right thing, even when it is inconvenient - or even dangerous - for her. I also enjoyed the cameo appearance of some characters from her Lily Bard mystery series! There are some intriguing issues that are raised in this book that I am curious to read more about in future volumes.

I have started watching season 1 of True Blood, the television series based on the Sookie books, and while there are some departures from the original storylines and characters, I'm finding it to be fascinating and surprisingly addictive. Although - and I'm curious to know if anyone else experiences this - since I've been watching the show, I find that my original mental image of the characters has been battling it out with the television characters - and I'm not sure which ones are going to win!

Books in the Southern Vampire (Sookie Stackhouse) series:
1. Dead Until Dark
2. Living Dead in Dallas
3. Club Dead
4. Dead to the World
5. Dead as a Doornail
6. Definitely Dead
7. Altogether Dead
8. From Dead to Worse
9. Dead and Gone
10. A Touch of Dead (short stories)
11. Dead in the Family


Dead as a Doornail (#5 in the Southern Vampire series) by Charlaine Harris; narrated by Johanna Parker (Recorded Books, 2005)

Also reviewed at:
Eclectic/Eccentric: "As always Sookie's love life is complicated and rather unbelievable. I've never met a woman so wanted by so many distinct men. Then again, good for her."
Fyrefly's Book Blog: "Sookie seems to be collecting hot supernatural men who are obsessed with getting into her pants at the rate of about one per book, and while I am okay with authors leaving some tangly unresolved emotional threads hanging from book to book, doing so with five (soon to be six) guys at once is getting to be a little excessive."
Rhinoa's Ramblings: " I like that there are still some humans in the mix and I hope it stays that way. It's interesting that Sookie straddles both worlds and we are still unsure exactly what she is."

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Hunger Like No Other

So yeah, the cover is pretty cheesy, and I probably wouldn't have picked this up based on a first impression (being the superficial, judgmental reader that I shouldn't be but admittedly am). I put it on hold at my library based on the recommendation of Carolyn Jean from that most excellent blog, The Thrillionth Page, and I admit I was a bit surprised its appearance when it came in. I suppose I've become accustomed to the dark, edgy urban covers on such books, typically featuring either a cropped portion of an athletic, kick-ass heroine or an evocative, stylized symbol.

A year or two ago, I put together a list of the series I've been working on, mainly as a way to remind myself what I've fallen behind on and to help keep up with my favorites as they are published. I had asked readers to comment with suggestions or input about their favorite series (I'm still open to suggestions!), and Carolyn was surprised not to see this series listed, saying it' s her absolute favorite. So I added it to my list, the way you people are always making me do.

At first I was a bit unsure about the whole thing. Our heroine, Emma, is on her own for the first time in her life, trying to track down clues in Paris about her mysterious vampire father. Emma is part vampire, part Valkyrie (at first is isn't clear exactly what that entails, but little by little, the full picture emerges). She does have to drink blood in order to survive, but she has never taken it directly from the source, so to speak - in fact, she has been warned by her adopted Valkyrie aunts never to do so.

Meanwhile, a Lykae (a sort of werewolf) named Lachlain has been captured by vampires, and has been withstanding torture by fire (immortal beings can withstand unthinkable amounts of torture) for decades. Lykae are destined to be with one single soul mate, and Lachlain has pined for centuries, hoping to find the One. When he catches scent of her (Emma, of course) somewhere in the city above his prison, he manages to do something (at vast expense to himself, physically) that he hasn't been able to for over a century: he escapes.

Lykae and vampires are mortal enemies, so it is understandable that Lachlain would have mixed feelings upon discovering the identity of his true soul mate. Emma is terrified of him; Cole walks a fine line with his overbearing, violent behavior at first - his years of torture and imprisonment have left him on the brink of insanity, which nearly had me setting the book down. But I'm glad I kept reading, because I found Emma's world - particularly her upbringing with the Valkyries, who are crazy, strong, delightful women - to be fascinating, and while Lachlain never really stole my heart, the relationship between him and Emma certainly did, as well as Emma's growth throughout the course of the novel - her side of the narrative is very much a coming-of-age story. Complicating their steamy relationship is a brewing war, with various powerful supernatural creatures taking sides and making alliances.

All in all, I found this to be interesting and enjoyable, with a cast of unusual characters with fascinating problems. The story was more complex than I expected, particularly the rich background of the various mythological beings and their relationships with each other. There were moments of delightful humor as well as some dark and disturbing moments. I love dark and funny, so that combination is always a welcome element when I'm reading.

Books in the Immortals after Dark series:
1. A Hunger Like No Other
2. No Rest for the Wicked
3. Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night
4. Dark Needs at Night's Edge
5. Dark Desires After Dusk
6. Kiss of a Demon King
7. Pleasure of a Dark Prince
8. Demon from the Dark

A Hunger Like No Other (#1 in the Immortals after Dark series) by Kresley Cole (Pocket Star Books, 2006)

Also reviewed at:
All Things Print: "This was my first book by Ms. Cole and it was... meh. Not bad, but not great either. I, of course, loved the Alpha male Lachlain."
Book Whispers: "This story ended up being more complex then I could have imagined a silly PR being. All of this is accompanied by Cole's great sense of humor, and she had me laughing out loud. I love it when I book can be funny and balance the dark and gritty elements."
Ciara Sweetheart: "I really liked Emma. She has amazing personal growth through the book, changing from a shy girl who lets people push her around to a brave woman who stands up for herself."

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dead to the World

It is New Year's Eve, and cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse has one major resolution for the upcoming New Year: not to get beat up. But when, on her way home from work that night, she sees a naked man running down the side of the road, her impulse to stop and help him leads her straight down a path that she suspects is going to throw that resolution straight out the window.

It turns out that the naked man is ultra-sexy vampire Eric - only he's not quite himself. He's been cursed by a witch and has no memory of who he is. Sookie is shocked and a bit fascinated by the change in his personality - the uber-confident, high-handed, self-satisfied Eric has been replaced by someone who is sweet, vulnerable and gallant. Sookie finds herself falling for this new Eric, even though she knows it's foolish.

The witches are on the hunt for Eric, and Sookie soon learns they are a force to be reckoned with. To complicate matters, Sookie's brother Jason disappears, after having last been seen with a young woman Sookie knows is a shape-shifter of some sort. When the police find a smear of blood on the dock behind Jason's house, Sookie fears the worst.

I enjoyed this installment in the Southern Vampire series, having reread the first three so I could continue on with the series. I like that, unlike so many heroines in this genre, Sookie is not a vengeful kick-ass heroine - she's more a polite, reluctant oops-I-just-kicked-ass, but-only-because-I-had-no-other-choice kind of heroine. She is kind and gracious, and when she finds herself having less than kind thoughts about truly odious people, she takes herself to task for it. I might not have noticed this so much had I not been reading Death's Mistress at about the same time I was listening to this one, and while the two heroines are equally likable, they are extremely different!

There were a few things that didn't quite gel for me (possible spoilers here - be warned), such as why, in the witch-house melee, the people she's gone in to save end up being escorted from the building by her nemesis while she stays inside - why? Made no sense. Also, why would the blood on her jacket be proof of anything untoward, as far as Eric is concerned, when she was wearing it at the witch house, which was the scene of an enormous, bloody fight? Of course her clothes would have been bloody.

Still, this was an engaging installment in the series, and once again I found Johanna Parker's narration to really bring the story to life. I enjoy the story arcs that move across books in the series, and the way in which events continually shape and change the course of Sookie's life. Things are not easy for her, but she does her best to live according to the values she's been brought up with - despite the fact that the world has changed to include vampires, werewolves, witches and other strange and unusual creatures. This installment has a bittersweetness to it, and it takes Sookie to some surprising places - I look forward to seeing what happens next.

Books in the Southern Vampire (Sookie Stackhouse) series:
1. Dead Until Dark
2. Living Dead in Dallas
3. Club Dead
4. Dead to the World
5. Dead as a Doornail
6. Definitely Dead
7. Altogether Dead
8. From Dead to Worse
9. Dead and Gone
10. A Touch of Dead
(short stories)
11. Dead in the Family

Dead to the World (# in the Southern Vampire series) by Charlaine Harris; read by Johanna Parker (Recorded Books, 2008)

Also reviewed at:
Avidbookreader: "While Dead to the World is not my favorite of the series, it was still a good, quick read. My favorite is still Dead Until Dark and I pre­fer Bill Comp­ton, no mat­ter how bor­ing he may be to some of you (and you know who you are)."
Confessions of a Bibliophile: "I liked how there are some events that happen here that will definitely change Sookie’s future — I can’t wait to see where the story’s going!"
Fyrefly's Book Blog: "Oh, this one was really, really good. It’s the same fun mixture of romance and fantasy and mystery and chick-lit as the rest of the series, but it comes together much more smoothly here."

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Club Dead

Sookie Stackhouse was living a fairly normal life, working as a cocktail waitress in a small town in Louisiana. Until she met Bill, a vampire, and fell in love with him. In this third installment of the Southern Vampire series (now also called the True Blood series after the television show based on the books), Bill is preoccupied with a project he's been working on secretively, and he tells Sookie he needs to go out of town for a few days. She senses that something is wrong, particularly when he hides some things in her house and gives her instructions for what to do in case he doesn't return.

Not surprisingly, Bill does not return when he says he will. When Eric, a vampire we've met in previous books, shows up on Sookie's doorstep and tells her that Bill is in trouble, possibly dead - and that he has lied to her, gone to see an old flame, a vampire he'd been in love with years earlier, Sookie is devastated and worried at the same time. Her mind-reading abilities may save Bill if he's still alive, which is doubtful, and despite her anger at him, she agrees to travel to Mississippi to try to locate him. Along the way she teams up with an attractive werewolf with a despicable ex-girlfriend and finds herself immersed in a highly charged, perilous situation where it is only her anonymity that protects her.

This third book in the series finds Sookie taking a good, hard look at her life and her relationships and realizing it's time to make some choices. She has gained some confidence since the first book, where she really saw herself as the crazy girl all the townspeople think she is. She has traveled, broadened her horizons, met new people, and learned a few things about herself. Still, this book finds her well and truly in over her head, and it is fun, as always to see her attempt to extricate herself. I enjoyed this one, although the pacing was a bit bumpy in places, and as I believe this is the last one of the series I've read before, I'm looking forward to moving into new territory with the fourth book. These books are an enjoyable combination of mystery, suspense, and fantasy with a welcome touch of humor.

Books in the Southern Vampire series:
1. Dead Until Dark
2. Living Dead in Dallas
3. Club Dead
4. Dead to the World
5. Dead as a Doornail
6. Definitely Dead
7. Altogether Dead
8. From Dead to Worse
9. Dead and Gone
10. A Touch of Dead (Sookie Stackhouse: The Complete Stories) - to be published October 2009

Club Dead (#3 in the Southern Vampire series) by Charlaine Harris; narrated by Johanna Parker (Recorded Books, 2008)

Also reviewed at:
Avidbookreader: "...the story is very read­able, char­ac­ter devel­op­ment was nicely done but there were some slow parts (mainly when Sookie is away from home) and I missed the Bon Temps com­mu­nity because for me, they make this series stand out..."
J. Kaye's Book Blog: "I think I would have enjoyed this book more if I hadn’t tried reading this series back-to-back. Doing so was similar to eating too much chocolate in one sitting."
Love Vampires: "The story is well plotted with twists and turns that are original and unexpected plus the mystery element of the story is first rate too. The action in the story was fast paced and once again Charlaine Harris has written a book that I found hard to put down."

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Living Dead in Dallas

The first volume of the Southern Vampire series saw Sookie Stackhouse, Louisiana bar waitress and telepath, fall in love with the vampire Bill (after saving his life), catch a serial killer, and come to an agreement with Eric, a very powerful vampire, to help him out with her telepathy skills from time to time. This installment opens with another murder - the body of one of Sookie's co-workers is discovered in a car in the parking lot of Merlotte's when Sookie arrives at work one morning. To complicate matters, the body is in the car of a police officer.

Before Sookie can find out more about the murder through the use of her telepathy, she is summoned to Eric's bar, where she finds that her skills have been promised to the vampires in Dallas, who are looking for a missing person. Sookie and Bill set off for Dallas, where what appears to be a simple job turns out to be more complicated - and dangerous - than Sookie could have ever imagined.

This was an enjoyable read, full of action, adventure, interesting supernatural (and mythological) phenomena, and interesting characters. Sookie is coming to realize that Bill is really not human, as much as she cares about him, and that there are things about him that she will never truly understand. Whether or not this will threaten their relationship remains to be seen, but there are some definite ups and downs here, and while at one point toward the end, Sookie says she will try to meet Bill in the middle, it seems to me that she is the one doing all the accommodating. So it will be interesting to see the direction their relationship takes in the next book. There were separate elements to this plot taking place, and I enjoyed the skillful way they came together toward the end to form a very satisfying - and surprising - conclusion.

Books in the Southern Vampire series:
1. Dead Until Dark
2. Living Dead in Dallas
3. Club Dead
4. Dead to the World
5. Dead as a Doornail
6. Definitely Dead
7. Altogether Dead
8. From Dead to Worse
9. Dead and Gone
10. A Touch of Dead (Sookie Stackhouse: The Complete Stories) - to be published October 2009

Living Dead in Dallas (#2 in the Southern Vampire series) by Charlaine Harris (Recorded Books, 2007)

Also reviewed at:
Avidbookreader: "I love the idea of dis­cov­er­ing other myth­i­cal and super­nat­ural crea­tures who are still hiding from mankind. North­ern Louisiana hasn’t been the same for Sookie now that she’s firmly entrenched in this fas­ci­nat­ing yet dan­ger­ous “new” world."
Medieval Bookworm: "I...enjoyed this installment in the series even more. The plot is a little more exciting, especially when it comes to danger to Sookie, the characters get fleshed out a little bit more, and overall it was a ton of fun to get back into Sookie’s world."
Reading Adventures: "Once again, I really enjoyed this read. There were several laugh out loud moments, and the relationship between Bill and Sookie seems to be developing very nicely indeed!"