Review: Dead Until Dark – Charlaine Harris

Dead-Until-Dark

The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #1

Sookie Stackhouse is a waitress at the local bar in Bon Temps, Louisiana, called Merlotte’s. Everything is unassuming and normal, though Sookie struggles daily with what she perceives to be her affliction: she is telepathic. She uses inordinate amounts of energy to block people out, and lives with her grandmother, Adele. Sookie’s life is changed forever one night when vampire Bill Compton walks into the bar. She cannot hear any of his thoughts, and is somewhat relieved that she can let her guard down a little. He is also mysterious, and she likes that. However, at the end of the evening he leaves with a trailer trash couple, and Sookie caught a bad vibe from them. Following the couple out, she finds that they are draining the vampire, and she saves him. After that, Bill is sort of indebted to Sookie for saving him.

Though vampires have now stepped out in public, it does not mean that they are necessarily accepted in society, and Sam Merlotte, Sookie’s boss, worries about her spending time with a vampire. Sookie is extremely drawn to Bill, but the two are from two completely different times. Some vicious and violent murders have been happening around town, and it does not help that the victims were renowned for having spent time with vampires and being promiscuous. Things are looking bad when vampire punctures are discovered on the corpses, but even worse when the town relatiates. In the meantime, Sookie is irritated as hell that Sam waited all these years for Bill to step in before showing her that he has feelings for her, and she is irritated with Bill for being so distant and cold, though she is attracted to him. She is terrified and broken when whoever murdered the girls makes a play for her, and instead kills her grandmother.

After Adele’s passing, Bill spends more time with Sookie, who is falling completely in love with him, letting her guard down. When the murder investigations take detective Andy Bellefleur to Jacon Stackhouse, Sookie’s brother, she decides to investigate on her own, to show that neither Bill nor Jason could have been involved with the murders of the young women and her grandmother. Going to a vampire bar called Fangtasia, she meets with the owner, Eric Northman, to make some queries, and learns the scary lesson here that not all vampires are like Bill at all, and it frightens  her. Nevertheless, she wishes to clear the men in her life, and even starts to listen in on people more when Jason asks her to listen out for the real murderer. The town is seething over the murders, and are becoming increasingly hostile towards the vampires. It seems that soon they just might make a stupid play at them.

Will the townsfolk rebel and fight with the vampires? Will the tentative human/vampire peace fall away? Is the small town of Bon Temps cut out for a vampire? Who is killing the women in Bon Temps? Are they being killed because of vampire affiliation, or is there something else that connects these girls? Will Sookie and Bill ever have a decent relationship, or will something outside of them always get in the way? Will Jason beat the murder charges that the town is ready to pin on him?

GRADE 7I don’t even know how to explain this. I absolutely hate romance novels. They are so predictable and soppy and crap. But then I got a bee in my bonnet that all I wanted was something fluffy, useless, and light. A romance ticks all those boxes, but I was not up for something super mushy or anything. Then I remembered the Southern Vampire Mysteries that I had read a few years ago, and then just stopped, though I am  not sure why. Who knows, maybe I will get reacquainted with my reasons soon, or it is just one of those series that I lost track of. Well, it was what I needed. Not too steeped in the romance, and not with a story line that takes itself too seriously or anything, it was light and had more than just kisses, sex, and fights in it. Granted, Sookie is pretty average, getting huffy with Bill all the time and all that, but is less annoying than most characters in a romance novel. Plus there is the whole supernatural aspect to this that is pretty fun. I don’t know, don’t read these expecting something heavy or hardcore, but for light entertainment, they are worth the read. They flow and are very fast reads, so really not bad for what they are. Some of the characters are very entertaining, and the events keep you engaged. The progression is cool, and as an introductory novel, this was a rather decent first outing. I like the way Sookie finally finds someone she can be with, even though he is dead. It took me a while to get used to the concept of the vampires being known as well as the fact that they are marketing as an “affliction”. I can highly recommend you check these books out if you have not already, but not for mind-blowing reading or anything. I don’t think these books will really appeal to the male demographic, but who knows?

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33 thoughts on “Review: Dead Until Dark – Charlaine Harris

  1. movierob says:

    wow! how did u have the time and energy to read with all the Hitchcock movies this month 🙂

    Actually I read The Hunger Games (finally) last week and plan to start Catching Fire this week.

    I actually liked the book more than the movie.

    You and Nat inspire me to find time to read. THANKS!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zoë says:

      I read so much this past month it is SHOCKING hahaha!

      Oh, do let me know how it goes! Not too much of a shocker, that is usually the case 🙂

      🙂 It is my utmost pleasure, I am thrilled we are so positively influential!

      Like

  2. snapcracklewatch says:

    I tried getting into these, just couldn’t. I have a stack of them at my house brand new. I actually took them out this past weekend because I am moving and giving them to a friend. My husband read 3 of them and couldn’t get into it either. Do you watch the show? I can’t remember if you have mentioned if you like True Blood or not? PS.. I just read the book Wild by Cheryl Strayed and it was pretty good, you might like it. You could probably read it one day!

    Like

    • Zoë says:

      I can totally understand that lady, The first time I read these I liked them well enough for an afternoon read then just stopped. Recently I was in the mood for something light and stupid and these just fit the bill, so I have been having fun with them. They’re light, fast, ridiculous, fluffy – just what I needed. I am watching the show again. The first time around I watched until season three (for Eric, I won’t lie), but that fairy crap was too much for me. Recently I started again, and I figured what didn’t jibe with me the first time around with the books and the show is I took it way too seriously. Now I am just on it with a lighthearted, throwaway attitude and it seems to be working me out way better.

      Hmmmm, adding it to my list now, I might read it while I am on holiday! Thanks!

      Like

      • snapcracklewatch says:

        Well I have to warn you the show does not get better. I do hear that in the books a lot of what happens on the show, doesn’t really work that way in the books. But you are right it is very light reading and for you I bet you could read the series in like a week. LOL #fastreader

        Yes check out Wild!! It’s only 300 pages I believe and it was pretty interesting. Plus it is being made into a movie, so that is always fun. I believe the trailer is out already. 🙂 Yay!

        Like

      • Zoë says:

        Yeah, the two are totally different, which is appealing for me at the moment. They share very few things, but that works in some cases. I just started season five last night, so we will see.

        Exactly, it is a really fast one hahaha.

        Hmmmm, alrighty, then I will get on this!

        Like

    • Zoë says:

      Well, totally different from the TV series… they’re truly unlike one another, which works it out fine, so it isn’t all repetitive. The books are such a quick read, not snowed under by so much stuff happening like in the show, so the show had to fill in a hell of a lot to give it more flesh. Not as great as reading King or Slaughter, but perfect for if you want something really quick and silly.

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  3. caragale says:

    I read these books like crazy for a while, and I liked them pretty well. I thought Sookie was funny and all the supernatural stuff was kind of interesting. But after a few of them…I dunno. Much like the TV show, you kind of just stop caring. My favorite was book four because it’s Eric-centric (and I adore Eric), but after that…meh. Not a bad way to pass the time, but nothing phenomenal. You should probably just read the first four and then skip to NOS4A2. 😉 Good review, lady!

    Like

    • Zoë says:

      I agree with you there, you stop caring, but it still works sort of. Yes, four was my favourite! SO MUCH ERIC. He is amazing. Currently on book seven, nothing grand really, but I am having fun. They are silly. Yep, that is on my reading list, I really want to get to it. How is it going for you?? Thanks!

      Like

      • caragale says:

        Ahhhh I knew you’d like book four the best!! Eric is so damn SWEET. I wish they’d done more with that on the show, actually. Two questions: 1) Have you met Quinn the weretiger yet (God I feel like an asshole typing the word “weretiger”…lol)? 2) If you have met him, does his excessive use of the word “babe” make you want to punch walls? Just curious. NOS4A2 is going well! I mean, by my slow reading pace. Haha. I’m about halfway through and still loving it. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Zoë says:

        I freaking LOVE Eric ❤ ❤ he is the best thing ever from those books. And Pam!!

        Yep, I have met Quinn… just heard about his past from that were that was turned… will find out how accurate that is soon I hope. I am with you, it looks freaking retarded (weretiger – I can cringe about the way some of this is written). OMG so it is something that is irritated more people than me! I was worried it was maybe just an American thing that I was missing!

        YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY! I am so happy to hear that. I like Hill's writing style! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • caragale says:

        Oh yeah Eric and Pam win at those books. No doubt. Lol. Thank GOD. I felt like I was the only one who noticed that! Seriously, I hated Quinn and his “babes.” Also, he just sounds really unattractive, so that doesn’t help. Haha. Isn’t Hill’s style great? I don’t even know if I can put it into words. It’s just…awesome. 🙂

        Like

      • Zoë says:

        They win at the books, they win at the show. They were just perfect both sides, no matter how other stuff went downhill.

        He sounds WAY too big, and too bald, and too… too everything, though I am seeing where his story arc goes now.

        It is awesome, thanks for getting me onto his stuff!

        Liked by 1 person

      • caragale says:

        That is entirely true. Eric and Pam never fail to brighten a moment.

        Does Mr. Clean exist in South Africa? Because that’s who I think of when I think of Quinn. Hahaha.

        Happy to share the awesome, m’lady. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Tom says:

    Interesting, I was just about to mention is this read anything like True Blood, but saw that Abbi had brought it up just a few comments up above. I have to admit that’s been my intro to this series and I wasn’t really sold on it. I don’t like Anna Paquin that much and the whole story felt kinda. . . blegh. Books 9 times out of 10, however, are better than filmed versions or TV versions.

    Even still, might be a slim chance of me picking this up. Good read here, all the same.

    Like

    • Zoë says:

      So I am not the only person in the world who didn’t take a shine to Paquin! See, I knew there was a reason we were friends 😉

      Yeah, the show and the books are completely different. I took a long time to like the show, and fell out of love with it very quickly in season three… started again recently, but I have read the books without having watched the show, so maybe that is why I don’t hate either as much as most people seem to.

      Don’t know so much if you will be reading this 😛 Thanks Tom!

      Like

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