Title: Dead Until Dark
Author: Charlaine Harris
Release Date: May 1, 2001
Series: Sookie Stackhouse #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: 4 out of 5
From the back cover:
Sookie Stackhouse is a small-time cocktail waitress in Bon Temps, Louisiana. She’s quiet, keeps to herself, and doesn’t get out much. Not because she’s not pretty. She is. It’s just that, well, Sookie has this sort of “disability.” She can read minds. And that doesn’t make her too datable. Then along comes Bill. He’s tall, dark, handsome – and Sookie can’t hear a word he’s thinking. He’s exactly the kind of guy she’s been waiting for all her life…
But Bill has a disability of his own: he’s a vampire with a bad reputation. But he is an interesting addition to the town, and Sookie can’t help but listen to what everyone else thinks of Bill…especially because she’s starting to fall for the buff bloodsucker. But when a string of murders hits town – along with a gang of truly nasty vampires looking for Bill – Sookie wonders if having an undead boyfriend is such a bright idea.
And when one of her coworkers is killed, Sookie realizes that Bill and his friends may have some special plans for a woman who can read minds…
Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels have been on my radar for awhile, but it was only after seeing the first season of HBO’s True Blood that I really wanted to read Dead Until Dark. (Each season of the show is going to span one book, so I’m planning on reading a book after each corresponding season.) One of the most fun parts of reading the book was comparing it to the TV series, figuring out what they had changed. Though they did add a lot, presumably in order to make the series more interesting, I was actually impressed with how close they did stick to the details of the book.
One thing I did like much better about the book was the character of Bill. I felt like in the novel, he is unashamed of being a vampire. While he does want to mainstream, he is less apologetic about things he has done in the past. In the show, Bill seems to be more tortured – he reminds me a lot of Angel from the first few seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I liked the book version of Bill and hope we’ll be seeing more of him in upcoming seasons of True Blood.
If you aren’t planning on watching the show, definitely still read the books if they interest you. I think I actually liked reading Dead Until Dark more than watching the show. As I said, they added some elements to the story in order to make it more interesting, but I think it does better without them.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Dead Until Dark. The prose moves quickly and the story is interesting. It’s actually a mystery, and even though I knew the culprit, it was still fun to watch it unfold. It’s a great novel to read after you’ve read something heavy and are in the mood for some lighter fare. I’m just sad I have to wait a year to read the next book in the series!