Dead Until Dark (Southern Vamps 1) – Charlaine Harris
Okay, I’m going to change things up a little bit with my Sookie reviews (other than the basic change of, you know, actually putting them up), and not rate them or talk about them as I do my regular books. This is my first official reading challenge, and I’d like to make it a cut apart from everything else here.
I first picked up Dead Until Dark many years ago, when it was still new and unknown, and eons before I’d even heard of Twilight. Back then (and see here how easily I slip into old person vernacular… “oh, in the good old days…”), vampire stories (other than Buffy/Angel) were still considered kinda weird and fanciful and only for desperate housewives with no lives. At least in my circles – no offense intended towards longtime fanpires. Please don’t slay me. I am now long over that unfair and outdated stereotype/personal opinion.
For the uninitiated, and those who haven’t yet been introduced to the wonderfulness that is True Blood (the TV series), Dead Until Dark is the first book in the Southern Vamp series by Charlaine Harris, which brings us into the world of a Southern barmaid named Sookie Stackhouse who just happens to be able to read minds. Except those of the undead (vampires), who have made their existence known and are now legal citizens of the world.
Weird, huh? Oh, it’s only just begun.
First line: I ‘d been waiting for the vampire for years when he walked into the bar.
I’m going to skip the cheesy Casablanca reference that comes to mind, and just say that the vampire in question would be the very dark, very dangerous and very very hot Bill Compton. Yes, it’s true. If ever there were fictitious vampires (or guys in general) to fall for, this is the series to find them in. 100% testosterone-loaded, dark, brooding men. Who just happen to be nocturnal. Yum.
Um… right… got a little distracted there. Sorry. Back to Sookie, who was orphaned at an early age and lives with her grandmother in the small town of Bon Temps, northern Louisiana. She doesn’t have a lot of friends or prospects, because mind-reading kind of takes away all the fun and mystery. Things get shaken up in this sleepy town once Bill walks into Merlotte’s (owned by the equally hot Sam Merlotte) and announces himself as the newest resident.
And coincidentally, along with that comes a series of murders aimed at fangbangers (Which, yeah, means what it sounds like). The main suspect? Sookie’s promiscuous and non-discerning brother, Jason. Crap.
What follows is a surprising series of events and developments, as well as a burgeoning sizzler of a relationship between Sookie and Bill, all in the hunt for Bon Temps’ own psychotic serial killer. And of course, Charlaine Harris’ matchless sense of humor comes through in real laugh-out-loud moments provided in the form of Sookie’s insight and strange capabilities, as well as a dazzling supporting cast (And no, I swear, no one sparkles).
If you’re a fan of True Blood, here’s some warning – I think this book alone constitutes the entire first season, so there’s spoilers. And there’s a lot of divergence in the storyline, so go into this with your mind clear.
All in all, this one’s an old favorite of mine, and I’ll still recommend it to everyone who’s a fan of mature reading – even if vampires aren’t your thing.
Question: I’m curious… those of you who are reading/watching Sookie, are you Team Bill, Team Eric, Team Sam or someone else? And why? No spoilers!!!