Dead Until Dark – Charlaine Harris (Sookie Stackhouse #1)
Summary: Sookie Stackhouse is just your average waitress in a small town, but her life begins to change when she starts a relationship with a vampire named Bill. Bill makes her happier than she’s ever been, and things are finally going her way…until a string of murders rock her tiny town. Can these events be stopped, or will Sookie be the next victim?
Review: In all honesty, I was pretty sure I was going to hate this book after the first few pages; however, I’ve never seen True Blood and I’m one of those people who have to read the book before watching the show/movie, so I pressed on. Fortunately, things began to pick up towards the middle portion of Dead until Dark, and while some of the plot elements made me roll my eyes, I was completely absorbed in this book from that point onward; I may have even stayed up late to finish it.
Sookie wasn’t my favorite protagonist ever, but I did think her mind reading ‘disability’ was pretty cool. It was really interesting that she could hone in on certain people, and I liked that sometimes she couldn’t read people at all. Her romance with Bill seemed a bit rushed, especially when her virginal background is taken into consideration, but their relationship kept me turning the pages to see what would happen next, even if I skipped over the sex scenes because they were a bit awkward.
I also really liked that vampires were not forced to hide in society, but rather, people knew that they existed with absolute certainty. The vampire groupies were an interesting addition to the story, and the subtle details, like manufactured blood, made perfect sense in the world Harris created.
On the whole, I wish the side characters were developed more, especially Gran and Jason. I was intrigued by both of these characters, and shedding a bit more insight into each of them definitely would’ve added to my enjoyment of the book. Perhaps more character development occurs in the latter books of this series.
The mystery component was really well done, and I was on the edge of my seat wondering when they would find the next victim and who that person would be. For me, this was the portion of Dead until Dark that shined the most.
If you’re looking for something fun and you enjoy vampire tales, give Dead until Dark a try. I may read more of this series, and I’ll definitely be watching True Blood sometime soon.