Title: Dead Until Dark
Series: Sookie Stackhouse
Author: Charlaine Harris
Published: 1st May, 2001
Sookie Stackhouse is just a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. Until the vampire of her dreams walks into her life-and one of her coworkers checks out…. Maybe having a vampire for a boyfriend isn’t such a bright idea.
My, my, my. I was so excited to start reading this book! I love the T.V. series True Blood (Which is adapted from this book series) so I couldn’t wait to see what was different, what had been taken out in the series or adapted.
This is rather a long review since I’ve gone into detail. I have not revealed any spoilers unless I have stated so!
The world is a place where Vampires have ‘Come out of the coffin’. A virus is what has turned them, a virus that there is no cure for.
Sookie waiters at the local bar in Bon Temps, Louisiana. She enjoys it mostly except that she never feels like there’s any peace, she always needs to keep her guards up. The town has never had a real vampire visit so when one suddenly turns up one night and expresses his interest in staying the town is in uproar, they’re not quite sure what to think. But Sookie is personally excited, a real live vampire! What she’s most excited about is how peaceful it is that she doesn’t need to hold her guards up when around him. Meanwhile, a string of murders is rocking the town.
I loved the plot, I loved that it was more than vampires and romance. There was a lot of that thrown in but it wasn’t what the story was based around. The plot was well thought out and very deep compared to a lot of vampire books I have read. This is definitely refreshing! What I mean is that it is refreshing to read a vampire book that isn’t about vampires or discovering vampires, it’s based in a world that is already semi-used to vampires.
*WARNING: This section contains spoilers if you have not read the books or at least seen all the seasons of True Blood*
Oh my god. So I honestly did not like Bill that much! I thought he was controlling, obsessive and very underhanded. But to be honest I think that actually only has to do with the fact that I’ve seen all the seasons of True Blood that are out so I know how the story and character’s progress, so I’m picking up on things that I wouldn’t have otherwise. Like really wouldn’t have otherwise as you wouldn’t have even known to look there unless you know what happens. That’s interesting. Really interesting. And really shows a sign of good writing in my opinion. I hate it when authors make things really obvious and you’ve already guessed what’s actually happening way before the main character has.
I really like Sookie in the books. Harris has done a great job at creating a likeable, fun and interesting main character. She has flaws yet they don’t make you hate her, after a few books that I’ve read lately that makes me feel relieved.
Hmm Sam comes across as pretty creepy. I don’t like him as much as I do in True blood. Jason is Jason, he’s the same in True Blood and this book. We actually didn’t get to see much of Eric so I didn’t really get to make up my opinion on the book character of Eric.
The world Charlaine Harris has created was very believable. I liked that vampires had ‘come out’ and that everyone was dealing with it in their own way. There were lots of people that hated vampires and anyone associated with them, I liked that, I liked that not everyone was in love with them. Maybe I liked it because the vampire books that I have read (I have not read all of them!) everyone was a vampire lover or the vampire haters didn’t feature much.
It was interesting that Vampirism is thought of as a disease in this world so everyone can cope better with the fact, rather than thinking that vampires are actually the dead risen. The Vampire politicians (League?) have done that themselves, very clever. I love how Sookie reacts when she realises it’s not a disease. I don’t think we see that in the series which makes me feel the book is definitely more in-depth (Of course, books always are!).
I found the style of writing in this book interesting but good. There was just enough information to understand what was going on and how without it dragging the story or plot on. I really liked it like this for the obvious reasons of enjoying the story and understanding everything at the same time.
The writing wasn’t amazing or poetic but it would have been soooo weird if it had been. I did not pick up this book thinking it was going to be an amazing write or a poetic read. The writing was quirky and entertaining, there was never a moment that I had no idea what was going on nor was there ever a moment that there was too much detail or description. I think it was just the right balance.
Although there were parts where I would have liked more detail as it just skimmed over things or events. But those parts of the writing were far and few. And probably had good reason.
I wasn’t disappointed to find that the first season of True Blood was nearly identical to the book event’s wise and plot wise, minus point of view wise. There was a character inserted into the first season that we haven’t met in the book (Yet?) which I thought was interesting, that character seemed to tie up the loose ends that were left from things that weren’t adapted from the book to the T.V. series.
I knew that the Sookie Stackhouse series was in first POV from Sookie only but as I was reading this book I kept wondering how the writers for True Blood came up with all the other storylines that we see that don’t involve Sookie but are crucial to the story. I was incredibly interested in this, and in parts I kept thinking ‘Ohh, so at this point this character has just done this in the T.V. series but Sookie has no idea about this.’ etc.
It fascinated me and made my reading experience more interesting. I thought it might have taken away from it but it didn’t. And I know that these are two different things. True Blood is based off of the Sookie Stackhouse Series, so any other content we see in the T.V. program was not exactly what Charlaine Harris was envisioning when she wrote these books. Still, I like that it all tied in so well.
At first I couldn’t stop seeing the actors and the scenes that were in True Blood because it was honestly exactly the same thing as far as the story and order of events went (To begin with at least) but as the book went on I was able to use my imagination more which kind of surprised me but was not disappointing in any way. That’s the thing with reading books after watching it’s adpated movie or T.V. series, you lose the power to imagine the book on it’s own.
I do wonder how I would have felt about this book if I had not seen or loved True Blood so much? Whatever it would have been, I was not disappointed at all by this book! Although I probably am a tad biased because of my love for the T.V show.
Overall, I think that this book was freaking awesome! I have no complaints and loved every second of it. The writing was good but exactly what I had expected when I picked up this book. The characters had depth and were interesting, the world was believable and realistic as far as it can go with paranormal beings involved, and it was enjoyable. So enjoyable!
I have given this four clubs only because even though I did love this book and have no complaints, it did not amaze me like a five club book should.
I recommend you give this book a try if you like vampires and/or like True Blood. It’s quite a fun read and I really wish I could just read the second book in the series straight away! Alas my to-be-read pile has seventeen books to get through before I can move on to the second book of this series.