Friday, July 31, 2009

Review: Dead Until Dark

Summary: Sookie Stackhouse is a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town 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 dateable. And then along comes Bill. He's tall, dark, handsome -- and Sookie can't hear a word he's thinking. He's exactly the type 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. He hangs with a seriously creepy crowd, all suspected of -- big surprise -- murder. And when one of Sookie's coworkers is killed, she fears she's next... -- Ace Fantasy/Mystery

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed DEAD UNTIL DARK by Charlaine Harris. I am telling you up front that I would have never picked up this book if it weren't for the Sookie Stackhouse Challenge that Beth Fish Reads is hosting. I follow her blog everyday and I totally love her and her reviews, but I still wasn't entirely sold. And then I got involved in the discussions on Twitter and decided to take the plunge. If the rest of the books are as entertaining as DEAD UNTIL DARK, I think I made a good decision by signing up for the challenge.

I read DEAD UNTIL DARK one afternoon while I was at the shore. Beth Fish Reads told me that it was an ideal beach read, and she was so right. This book is a light, quick read that held my attention throughout. I absolutely love Sookie and I was pleased with how well Ms. Harris developed her character. I think my feelings toward Sookie are the main reason that I want to read more books in this series. I guess I just like "spending time" with her!

I also really liked the secondary characters in this story, especially Bill and Sam. I have a feeling that they are both going to be appearing in future books, and I can't wait to learn more about their relationships with Sookie. Both seem to have some secrets and I am excited to learn more about both of them. Right now, I'm not entirely sure about either of them; but based on this book, I think I like both of them. And I'm pretty sure that they are going to make things interesting in Sookie's life.

Another element I really enjoyed about this book was the mystery angle. I was anxious to find out who the villain was, and I admit that I was caught off guard a little. While I enjoyed learning about vampires and their lifestyles, I think I really appreciated the book because of the mystery storyline. I thought Ms. Harris did a good job building suspense, and she definitely kept things interesting with the twists and turns.

One thing that actually surprised me a little bit about this book was how graphic it was. Not surprisingly, there was lots of gore and talk about all things vampire. However, there was also quite a bit of sex-talk. I don't consider myself a prude, but I admit that I was blushing a bit while reading some of the scenes!

I have not watched the HBO series TRUE BLOOD which is based on the Sookie books, but I have heard so many terrific things about it from my friends. After reading DEAD UNTIL DARK, I'm thinking about catching up with Season 1 on Netflix. My husband has already told me that he's not interested in watching it with me so that makes it a little more difficult; however, I'm thinking that it just might be worth it.

I definitely recommend DEAD UNTIL DARK if you are a fan of the whole vampire thing or even if you enjoy a good mystery! I am so looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

15 comments:

bermudaonion said...

I haven't watched True Blood either, but since I caved to peer pressure, I am doing the Sookie Challenge. I'm relieved to see the books and the characters are good.

Beth F said...

Thanks for all your kind words (blush).

I agree that it's Sookie that is such a draw for the books. Nice review -- I know it's so hard to review a mystery.

Oh, my husband also said he had no interest in True Blood or vampires but agreed to watch the first episode with me. Then he said he'd try another one. Then he was hooked! So you may be surprised, your husband may change his mind.

Make sure the kids are in bed though, it's not for youngsters.

Meghan said...

I'm glad you liked it after all! I haven't seen True Blood either since I'm not in the US at the moment. I think it might be coming on over here sometime soon, so I'll probably at least give it a try then.

Tracie said...

I just finished the first book and am ready for the next. I enjoyed it as well and it is definitely a light read. It did make me really intrigued to see True Blood and it is making me seriously think about getting Netflix since my local video store does not have it.

budletsmom said...

I love the Sookie books I discovered them while watching the series. I must warn you though that the series is very adult and graphic at times - no children anywhere near the viewing. It is very HBO.

I am rereading the series now and just finished the second book and forgot how much I enjoyed them. Glad you enjoyed it as well - I also want to read the other series by Charlain Harris.

Dawn - She is Too Fond of Books said...

I'm going to read this one Sookie, and see how I like it ... I haven't been a fan of vampire books in the past, but I'm intrigued by all the tweets and blog posts I've been reading.

It may be like potato chips, you can't have just one ...

Kelly said...

I have GOT to read this series. A friend who is a big fan, says the show is pretty much focused on the sexual part of the books, she hates the show, loves the books!

Bibliomama said...

I would reiterate the warning that the series is much darker and possibly more graphic than I've heard the books are. The characters are great, though, so I guess that's like the book.

Good review -- I keep going back and forth over whether to read this series.

Karlie said...

I enjoyed this book as well, but the copy that I borrowed from the library had a much different cover.

Shellie said...

I've been watching the HBO series True Blood and love it. I would have never read any of Charlian Harris's books - I can be a bit of a book snob... but because of it I have the first in the series on order... Its good to see you liked them, and perhaps would not have read them either... nice review. :)

Jenners said...

I've been thinking of trying out these Sookie books for the same reason ... and I recently read an interview with the author in Entertainment Weekly (their vampire issue that just came out) that made me want to read them even more -- she sounds like a really neat lady. I think I shall give these a try too!

Jade said...

Initially when my friends told me how good True blood was... I was simply not interested.

Until a week ago, i started to watch that series while going to gym, and gotta admit I'm absolutely hooked on both the series and the book!!

can't wait to start reading the whole sookie series

carolsnotebook said...

I read the first few in the series, but then got bored. Maybe I'll get back to it sometime.

Michelle said...

Yay! I'm glad you enjoyed the book. I admit I was hooked after book one and went out and purchased the remaining available in the series at that time. I actually picked the book up as a result of seeing publicity for season one of the show and I read it just before it started. I love the show and encourage you to watch if you can. BethF is right though....definitely not for young eyes and ears!

anndrreaaa said...

This is a great series indeed!

It's good that you read the book before watching the series. I read it during the first season & found out who the killer was before it came on the show, so it kind of ruined the end of the season, haha.

The first book is pretty much the first season, & the second season thats showing now is like the 2nd book. So if you plan on watching the second season, I would hold out on reading the second book ('Living Dead In Dallas'), FYI :]