Dead Until Dark is the first book of the Sookie Stackhouse Novels (Southern Vampire Mysteries) by Charlaine Harris and the basis for the TV show True Blood. [Here’s my first review of it.]
Plot (shamelessly copied from myself):
Sookie Stackhouse is a waitress in Bon Temps, a small city in Louisiana. And she’s also very SPESHUL, as she can hear people’s thoughts, which drives her crazy. Then along comes Bill – he’s a vampire and Sookie can’t hear a thing he’s thinking. Which of course means *snip* romance! With all the romancing, you almost forget that there’s a killer on the lose – killing girls, who slept with vampires.
The first time round I wasn’t very excited about the book. But then a boxed set lured me in and I had the first eight books of the series at home and I figured now that I bought them, I can read them as well and decided to start again with the first book. And this time round, I liked it much better.
Now on with the review that is much less of a comparison with True Blood and much more of a review than that first one.
I don’t really know why liked the book better this time round, since my points from the first time round are still valid: the writing is not very good. The symbolic ending was a bit headdesky (still better than the True Blood season ending with Flaming Bill, though). But there are a few nice jokes in there and the pacing is good which makes for a quick read.
Sookie is still quite a mystery to me. The amount of time she spends thinking about outfits and make-up and general grooming alone is enough to make her feel completely alien to me. But I liked the way Sookie’s religious beliefs are incorporated just so matter-of-factly. It’s not a big thing, it’s just part of her life.
Bubba is still awesome, but I miss Lafayette and Jason is really treated like shit. It is amazing how little Charlaine Harris likes him. And I still don’t get Bill’s appeal. There is so little sexy in him, it’s already kind of impressive.
Summarising: Maybe I was in a more forgiving mood than the first time round, but I enjoyed Dead Until Dark a good deal.