Sunday, August 2, 2009
Review-Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
Dead Until Dark
Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire Mysteries Book One
292p. $7.99 pb
Ace Books, May 2001
As I surf the blog world I have encountered a plethora of reviews and chat about Dead Until Dark, book one of the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. So it seems almost redundant to summarize the story line. However for my own future reference and for those interested I will do so.
Sookie Stackhouse is a feisty young twenty-five year old bartender in the rural town of Bon Temps outside of New Orleans, Louisiana. She describes herself as pretty, blonde, blue-eyed. She says, her “ bosom is substantial and I have a waspy waistline.” Sookie however has a disability that interferes with her dating prospects. She is telepathic and is able to read the thoughts of the people around her. This isn’t comfortable to her as she explains how unsettling it is to know what a date is thinking about you. Honesty is not always a good thing. But, when a vampire named Bill walks into the bar and sits in her area, she discovers her mind is quiet for a change. She is overjoyed to discover she cannot hear his thoughts.
Vampires are common in Bon Temps and considered a segment of society, albeit trans-human dating is not always acceptable. They have become vampire through the transmission of a virus and so they walk the night. Bill has inherited a large home and has decided to mainstream here. When he meets Sookie, he knows she is something special, different an enigma and he is immediately stricken by her. As you can guess, they go out on a date, but soon the trouble starts. Sookie is witness to Bill’s anger and brutal strength. Later, a girl is discovered murdered, with bite marks on her neck an apparent death by strangulation. So now the stage is set for the mystery of Dead Until Dark.
I fell in love with this book from the first page. Is this a deep thought provoking novel headed for a Pulitzer Prize? Doubtful. Although it has won The Anthony Award and is now on HBO as True Blood, based on this series. Charlaine Harris is a literary temptress who hooked me into the story immediately. I couldn’t put it down. I loved the character of Sookie and her recalcitrant and sarcastic wit. She is strong, feminine, opinionated and eccentric. What a fabulous combination to pair up with a suave, handsome and sexy vampire who together ignite the turning pages. Go ahead and try something different. Charlaine Harris is sure to entertain you with her skillful storytelling, but be aware, I don’t think you will want to stop at book one. The series contains seven volumes. Hopefully, they will keep me coming back for more of the same fabulous fantasy.