Title: Dead Until Dark
Author: Charlaine Harris
Year of Publication: 2001
Length: 292 pages
First Line: “I’d been waiting for the vampire for years when he walked into the bar.”
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…
Review: I had to say first that I watched True Blood season 1 before reading this. In fact it my was impatience with Netflix waiting for season 2 to arrive that I finally decided to finally read this book after all this time. Other True Blood fans had urged me to read this so… I am glad they warned me of the difference beforehand. That does not mean that I was not comparing it to True Blood the entire time. I could go ahead and list the differences and comparisons and make a handy dandy chart but that’s not what I am here for.
Harris’ writing style was bollocks. If I had never seen a picture of her, I really would had thought of a woman between 15 and 25 was the author of this book. It’s not that sophisticated. It’s kind of writing I’d expect to read from a high school student’s creative writing paper. When you read the immature writing (for something based on True Blood; I know, sorry sorry), it was sad.
I felt like Harris wrote her outline for Dead Until Dark and then did not really flesh it out. Events happened one right after another. I know you’re thinking well, duh. But it was more literal than that. Harris didn’t flesh an event out, it was bang, bang, bang. But at the same time she gave too much detail. I really didn’t need to know every time Sookie shaved her legs or what kind of sandals she was wearing today. It was a bit odd.
The only character that was allowed to be more than one dimensional was Sookie and that was because it was written from her point of view. The other characters, fantastic characters like Sam and even Arlene, weren’t given a chance and it was a pure shame.
Sookie and Bill had no chemistry. Just to make it clear, love Bill/Sookie from True Blood. In this book they barely know each other and kept dancing around one another. They broke up at least twice, I believe. Sookie was more afraid and Bill just had the hots for her. That’s what I got out of their relationship in Dead Until Dark. I hope they will grow stronger as the series goes on, but who knows (there’s Eric after all).
Perhaps Harris really had a good idea but failed to completely execute it. I am glad HBO and Alan Ball saw the potential for this series and built it up and made it utterly fabulous.
I’m curious where the series will go from here with the differences with it and True Blood. Mind you, I don’t think I will read Living Dead in Dallas until I am finished with season 2 of True Blood.
Worst part: The childish writing style.
Best part: I think it’s the tiny things like the layout and feel of the town. Sam saying the word ‘cher’, The Bellefleurs, Lafayette being his fabulous self. The things that make this series the Sookie Stackhouse novels.
Reccomend For: I’d recommend this to people who already watch True Blood and are curious where it got its roots and fans of Twilight who want to read something else.
Other Books by This Author: Living Dead in Dallas and Club Dead