Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Review: Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

I may be the last person on earth to read Charlaine Harris' Dead Until Dark - but I'm definitely not the last person to fall in love with True Blood, the racy HBO show based on the book. In fact, I consider myself a huge fan. So I was beyond excited to read the book that started it all when I bought my paperback copy in Dubrovnik. And I enjoyed it immensely.

Set in the small town of Bon Temps, Louisiana, the story revolves around a telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse. The vampires have just recently come out of the coffin and Sookie is excited to meet one. The vampire in question is the mysterious Bill Compton, but when Bon Temps is struck by a tragedy - which soon escalates into a killing spree - Sookie fears she might be in danger.

As a writer, Harris writes with assurance, so I ultimately forgave her the shameless 1st person POV - even when it came to the corniest sentences. She utilizes the mysterious and dark Louisiana atmosphere to the maximum, and in the context of the story, it works out perfectly. The story itself is a perfectly balanced detective story that is never too obvious (unless you've seen the first season of the TV show). However, there are enough surprises in the book to keep you reading, even if you did.

I loved how vampires are sometimes used allegorically to represent real-life minority groups. It's very cool to see them represent people of a different race or sexual orientation. However, I didn't like how in the end, the book ends very lightly, when I feel like it could have packed more impact. However, it is an excellent mystery book and the basis for a fantastic TV show. I can't wait to read book two!


This book counts toward my GLBT challenge.


itsJUSTme said...

EEEWWW! I read the book, I tried to like it because everyone loves them! I felt like I had to like them. I read the first one and just thought it was "OK" didn't hate it but stopped at #1. I guess I am just not into the whole Vamp. thing. I do, however like reading about witches much better!

Nikola said...

It is rather overrated, I think. But as a murder mystery, I thought it was very well executed. :)

Though I was surprised by all the explicit sex in the book! :D

Jenny Girl said...

I am the last person who hasn't read them! :)
I'm really on the fence with these books. I tried to watch the show, and couldn't get into it. My experience with vampires is not all sex, so I was a bit put off. Not a prude mind you, but I like my vamps Buffy/Angel style I guess.

If I give these suckers a try it will be because of you and your excellent review. THanks :)

Ceri said...

Glad you enjoyed the book. :)

Don't worry, you're not the last - I am! I watched two episodes of True Blood and wasn't really interested (though all my family are crazy for it) and I haven't read the books either. :P

AmandaRose said...

Great Blog! I've wanted to try this one out for a while, thanks for the review!

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Well, you are not the last person on earth... I still have not read these books yet. I really need to get to them from what everyone says. I want to, but for some reason there are always other books. (That seems to be happening a lot to me lately.)

Great review! :)

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

You are not the last person on earth to read these.... I am. :D I have books 1 -3 just have not got to them yet. "doh!"