Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Review: Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

Publisher: Ace (September 3, 2008)
Age Group: Adult 18+
Pages (Mass Paperback): 292
Series: Sookie Stackhouse* 1
Source: Bought
ISBN-13: 978-0-441-01699-0
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Mystery
*Originally: Southern Vampire Mysteries

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. 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 hands 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...

Having watched True Blood before reading this book, I struggled with interest in it because it was as if the show had been ripped right off the pages, most of it word for word. I pushed through the lack of interest to realize that there were elements of the show that I loved and the book left out the ones that I were uninteresting (Note: If you are going from the show to reading, there is no drug usage).

The first thing that stood out in Harris' writing was her ability to convey voice. The creation of Sookie Stackhouse's first person was done phenomenally well. It really gives the appropriate mood and draws you into the setting of the backwards Louisiana town it is set in. There was not a moment where Sookie's voice flawed.

Sookie is a solid character that is able to interact with slew of amazing support characters including Sam, Bill, and Eric Northman. Her "disability" is shut down with her interactions with them and she is really able to shine as her own person. Set in the first person, at the point in the series, we have not had the opportunity to really understand and construct ideas of the support characters other than Bill.

As an adult read, this book provides detailed, not obscenely graphic, but rather short adult love scenes, As a paranormal romance reader, I thought this book would take the turn the show takes and be heavy on the "romance" but rather, it is more geared as a mystery in the book setting. I was disappointed though; when it came to solving the clues and putting the pieces together of the murderer, Harris doesn't provide a lot of points to go on other than finger-pointing at Jason, Sookie's brother. This leads to an unbelievable end to the book because there was no reason to suspect who was really behind the idea. This left me feeling unfulfilled in terms of a suspenseful mystery.

If you are an adult fan of Twilight and paranormal romance, this book comes highly recommended due to the uncanny similarities of mind readers, "shields", human-vampire love, one of them fighting the weirdness of the relationship, the other "love" interest, etc.

Rating out of 5:
Please disregard any inconsistencies you may notice in the coming reviews.
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