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Is it sad that I'm just sticking with reading this series because I want to know what's going on a little better (or going to happen) with the television series? Probably. If you have more patience on wanting to know what happens next, I'd suggest just watching the television series, because this is on of those books that was made better by going to the screen.
That said, this series reminds me a lot of Laurell K. Hamilton's "Anita Blake" series, but with less talent on the part of the author. It's very vampire-lite and the author is a bit all over the place with her plot, which is very weak. Of course it didn't help that the "answer" to the crime in the beginning of this book wasn't really addressed much until the story was nearly over and then the way in which the criminals were dealt with was a bit corny and convenient.
The characters are all fairly shallow in their development as well, and it's really hard to "bond" with any of them like you could in a well-written series... well, you could, if you're desperate.
Most of the time, I'm just not liking Bill, and Sookie is a bit pathetic since she lets her man drink of humans when he doesn't need to because he can get all his nutrition out of a bottle of synthetic blood. Since the whole biting someone else is quite enjoyable for the vamps, it's like he's cheating on her every time he does it. Yet, he wants her to be loyal to him while he continues to enjoy the thrill of tapping into someone else when he know she doesn't like it. I truly wanted to like him, but he's such a sleeze sometimes that it's easy not to. It's driving me crazy that Sookie's character likes to play-tough, but it seems she's so hard up for this guy she'll look the other way so she can keep going back to him.
Overall, the books are okay, but not a series I'd normally stick with if it weren't the the show on HBO. Luckily, the books are quick reads so the pain is minimal.