Dead Until Dark

Dead Until Dark

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....

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Title:Dead Until Dark
Author:Charlaine Harris
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Dead Until Dark Reviews

  • Shannon (Giraffe Days)

    I'd never heard of these books until a few months ago, and as usual, once one person recommends them, everyone seems to be talking about them, you see them everywhere, and you get curious. They're in the fantasy section, though for some bizarre reason I was under the impression, at first, that they were YA and silly. They are fun, but they are definitely for adults. The vampire/mystery style reminds me of the one Anita Blake book I read, the first one, which was horrible (can't say that enough t

    I'd never heard of these books until a few months ago, and as usual, once one person recommends them, everyone seems to be talking about them, you see them everywhere, and you get curious. They're in the fantasy section, though for some bizarre reason I was under the impression, at first, that they were YA and silly. They are fun, but they are definitely for adults. The vampire/mystery style reminds me of the one Anita Blake book I read, the first one, which was horrible (can't say that enough times) - the similarities aren't obvious or anything, but perhaps because

    isn't paranormal romance, and it's not like

    or the Black Dagger Brotherhood books, Anita Blake is the closest comparison.

    Oh but this book is soooooo much better! After a slightly rocky start in which the writing confused me a bit (something that also reminded me of

    , perhaps unfairly), the story really gets going and in new and surprising ways.

    Sookie Stackhouse is a waitress at a bar in Bon Temps in Louisiana. She has what she calls a disability: she can read minds. She's spent her young life trying to guard against the babble of other people's thoughts, and because of the level of concentration that takes she never did particularly well at school and never went to uni. But she likes working at Merlotte's, likes living with her Gran since her parents died, even though she can't have a relationship - it wouldn't be fun hearing what a man thought of you while being "intimate", would it?

    She's also fascinated by vampires and has been waiting to meet one since they "came out of the coffin", so to speak, and became legal citizens. One night her wish comes true: a vampire called Bill (!) comes into Merlotte's and, joy of joys, his mind is silent. She can't hear a thing. Finally a man - an undead man, true - she can relax with.

    But while Sookie and Bill are trying to have a normal relationship, working class women are being murdered in the area and while at first it looks like vampire work, soon the police are looking at Sookie's womanising brother Jason. On top of that, the most powerful (and dead gorgeous) vampire in the area, Eric, has his eye on Sookie and her ability for his own uses.

    is a great mix of urban fantasy and mystery, and the crime side of the story didn't bore me a bit. I loved Bill, he was kinda adorable while also a bit unpredictable and scary (very nice), and while I didn't understand

    the expressions I've seen enough movies set in southern US states that I could picture the people, places and culture fairly well. The book could have done with better proof-reading to catch all those missing prepositions and, at one point, an interesting way of spelling "complexion". There were also a few times where Sookie, who narrates, is musing about something and then another characters replies - it threw me off because it wasn't all that clear that she'd voiced her thoughts.

    Sookie is a great protagonist, lively, fiesty, quirky and strong without being stubborn and bitchy, and her telepathy makes her especially interesting. She's definitely one of the better heroines of vampire novels I've come across to date. I loved Sam too, and Dean was great! Oh and the Elvis thing was funny too, though I was a bit slow in catching on. Anyway, if vampire books aren't your usual cup of tea, you might want to try this series because it's very enjoyable and fast-paced, yet with nice slow moments where you get to enjoy and understand the characters (so good character development, always important). So I guess this means I'm joining the Sookie Stackhouse bandwagon?

  • Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    I can't remember if I started the books before the show or started the books after becoming obsessed with the show. But who really cares! I loved this world and still do!

    Mel 🖤🐺🐾

  • Fabian

    Stephenie Meyer has nuthin' on this woman (...understatement!). Harris has in one pinky all the talent of the aforementioned hack, and her huge fan base must take note. "Dead Until Dark" is a loud middle finger to all those in deep love (& therefore those with questionable tastes) with the "Twilight" series.

    This book reminds me that not all fiction has to be poetry. This one has a clear plot, it ties together all loose ends. It is enthralling, addictive, everything one wants in the PERFECT p

    Stephenie Meyer has nuthin' on this woman (...understatement!). Harris has in one pinky all the talent of the aforementioned hack, and her huge fan base must take note. "Dead Until Dark" is a loud middle finger to all those in deep love (& therefore those with questionable tastes) with the "Twilight" series.

    This book reminds me that not all fiction has to be poetry. This one has a clear plot, it ties together all loose ends. It is enthralling, addictive, everything one wants in the PERFECT paperback novel. If only I knew about it before the HBO series "True Blood" (on which this book, book 1, is based) I would have definitely watch the series, but its occurred vice versa. The series explores characters, has more sex & violence (duh, HBO) but does not touch the same ground this one cleverly hides within its first-look junk-lit verse.

    Sookie is the Everygirl, clever, lost, in love, found, frightened but curious and courageous. Bill the Vampire lacks the Lestatness of those that came after the Anne Rice novel, but it's okay. At least he's not one-dimensional like Edward Cullen.

    Everyone here, it seems, has secrets. The theme.

    There are dark inhabitants of the world, some don't have to be vampires or shapeshifters but humans with deep flaws. Once the mystery is solved (I solved this one way before the climax), this theme comes to light. I wish I was a writer, important, like Charlaine Harris.

  • Emily May

    I started reading this series because I was currently watching True Blood and had developed a slight obsession with Eric. Since then, the books have become an absolute guilty pleasure of mine. They are not the best written and occasionally we get a little too much of what we don't care for (i.e. fairies and shifters) but amid the hot vamp sex and murder mysteries... who really notices those anyway??

    Most characters have both annoying and redeeming qualities, but this is good - I never did like th

    I started reading this series because I was currently watching True Blood and had developed a slight obsession with Eric. Since then, the books have become an absolute guilty pleasure of mine. They are not the best written and occasionally we get a little too much of what we don't care for (i.e. fairies and shifters) but amid the hot vamp sex and murder mysteries... who really notices those anyway??

    Most characters have both annoying and redeeming qualities, but this is good - I never did like the I-can-do-nothing-wrong hero/heroine. Plus Eric is

    ... have I said this already?

    If you're looking for a life-changing experience, try

    , but if you want something light, chick-lit style and kinda sexy too Sookie Stackhouse and her merry band of random supernatural creatures are where it's at. That probably sounded like a cheesy, promotional ad but what the hell.

  • Jennifer

    The first book in the Sookie Stackhouse series.

    I confess - I picked this up at the bookstore for a few reasons:

    1. The cover was sparkly and I liked the art.

    2. Vampires! Having spent a huge chunk of my youth hoping the vampires in Anne Rice's novels would knock on my window late at night (shut-up, like you didn't???) I have been looking for the next Brad Pitt with fangs. (shut-up, like you aren't???)

    And yeah. That was all it took. Sparkles and vampires - SOLD.

    I opened up the book and kinda reg

    The first book in the Sookie Stackhouse series.

    I confess - I picked this up at the bookstore for a few reasons:

    1. The cover was sparkly and I liked the art.

    2. Vampires! Having spent a huge chunk of my youth hoping the vampires in Anne Rice's novels would knock on my window late at night (shut-up, like you didn't???) I have been looking for the next Brad Pitt with fangs. (shut-up, like you aren't???)

    And yeah. That was all it took. Sparkles and vampires - SOLD.

    I opened up the book and kinda regreted it and thought -

    The main character is called (WHAT???) Sookie Stackhouse? And she is blond and a bar waitress and likes to flaunt her tight clothes and tans out in her lawn in a bikini. Hu.

    But I

    almost never stop reading a book once I start so I bravely forged ahead. And suddenly I stopped laughing and the pages started turning and I found myself thinking about the book when I wasn't reading it and wondering how fast I could get the next book....

    So glad that there were sparkles on the cover of this book. So very very glad.

  • Jayson

    | Almost Satisfactory

    Its supporting characters are flat and uninteresting, the plot’s banal, and the mythology isn’t explored to its potential.

  • Trin

    Sigh. I tried to give this a fair chance, I really did. I went into it hopeful, despite some other negative reviews that I’ve read, because I quite liked the pilot for

    , the new HBO series based on these books.

    , however, loses points from me right away because the two most interesting characters on the show—Sookie’s cranky best friend Tara, and Lafayette, the fabulous (in every sense of the word) chef at the bar where Sookie works—either completely don’t exist or have only the tin

    Sigh. I tried to give this a fair chance, I really did. I went into it hopeful, despite some other negative reviews that I’ve read, because I quite liked the pilot for

    , the new HBO series based on these books.

    , however, loses points from me right away because the two most interesting characters on the show—Sookie’s cranky best friend Tara, and Lafayette, the fabulous (in every sense of the word) chef at the bar where Sookie works—either completely don’t exist or have only the tiniest of roles, respectively. Lame. Still, I find the basic premise Harris has cooked up intriguing: in this world, vampires have come “out of the coffin” and are public knowledge; they can drink Japanese-manufactured synthetic blood and have basic human rights. (On the show I believe they are still

    toward those rights, but it hasn’t been made entirely clear.) That’s an idea that seems rich with symbolic significance that, correctly handled, could be truly fascinating.

    Instead, as Harris handles it, it’s just another boring romance between a powerful, possessive alpha male and his frail human woman who’s in need of his protection. Sookie isn’t, to be fair, as helpless and hopelessly devoted to her man as Bella

    Swan is, but the basic power dynamic between her and Vampire Bill is still incredibly

    . In general, as a couple, they are boring. So there’s that dullness—bad enough—which Harris proceeds to combine with several shakes of sheer lunacy. Sookie completely under-reacts to incredibly traumatizing things, like waking up with a naked shapeshifter in her bed, or a loved one’s murder. She believes the PR that vampirism is a virus and is

    when someone points out that that doesn’t make sense considering that shapeshifters and telepathy also exist, and, you know, vampires can

    . Despite being telepathic, Sookie’s only able to solve the oh-so-complicated mystery when the killer attacks her. (Handy!) Oh, and Elvis shows up. I am not kidding.

    I wish I were, though. I also wish I was wrong when I say that I can predict pretty much exactly how the rest of this series will go, with Sookie, like a less lubricated Anita Blake, fighting off the affections of two (or more!) men and unable to make up her goddamn mind. Both of those men will devote their (un)lives to protecting her, and Sookie will say, “God! I’m a grown woman, I can take care of myself! I don’t need you to protect me!”—and then, instantly, need them to protect her. And then Kurt Cobain and Jimmy Hoffa will show up to hang out with Vampire Elvis.

    Gimme a break. I can only hope that the show proceeds to more interesting ground, because reading this book, all I could think was: been there, done that, have the lousy fang marks.

  • Vanessa

    After reading a succession of more serious books, I felt the need to read something light and trashy. As I discovered from reading this book, you should be careful what you wish for. Light? Yes. Trashy? Oh yes. Oh yes, yes, yes. But not in a good way - just trash, trash, trash.

    It is hard to say what I disliked more about this book - the sophomoric writing, or the annoying, vapid, 2-d, Harlequin-romance-heroine-helpless-twit persona of Sookie Stackhouse. Sookie is a psychic, and this fact is used

    After reading a succession of more serious books, I felt the need to read something light and trashy. As I discovered from reading this book, you should be careful what you wish for. Light? Yes. Trashy? Oh yes. Oh yes, yes, yes. But not in a good way - just trash, trash, trash.

    It is hard to say what I disliked more about this book - the sophomoric writing, or the annoying, vapid, 2-d, Harlequin-romance-heroine-helpless-twit persona of Sookie Stackhouse. Sookie is a psychic, and this fact is used to explain everything from why she didn't do well at school and became a cocktail waitress to why she spends all of her free time sunbathing to why she can't see an obviously dangerous situation until she's up to her eyeballs in it. It does not, however, explain why she has such bad dress-sense (denim mini jumper dress with yellow bandana hair clip to impress the vampire who comes to dinner; Tweety Bird night gown that drives him wild with desire), or why her sexual naivete comes and goes like a rash - at times she is very confident about her sexual attractiveness (wearing "fuck me" red high heels etc) and other times wondering what Bill the vampire and all of the other men in Louisiana could possibly see in "l'il ole me".

    The sex scenes are either squirmingly bad or tedious. After reading two I just had to skip ahead a few pages any time sex with Sookie looked like it was going to rear its ugly and badly-written head.

    I know a lot of folks have enjoyed this series, and have devoured every book written by Charlaine Harris. From reading other reviews, it seems to be a very polarizing book. As for me, I could barely choke this one down and will look to satisfy my literary appetites elsewhere.

    3/28/10 - After having viewed the first two episodes of the HBO series "True Blood", I can now understand why people have gone bananas over this series of books. The show (what I've seen so far) is exceptionally good, thanks to a great cast and the writing talents of Alan Ball, who has turned a sow's ear into a silk purse. I can see how a reader might enjoy the books if they had viewed at least some of the series first and kept it in mind while reading Charlaine Harris's less than stellar prose. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case for me - and while I won't be reading any more of these books, I will continue to enjoy the show!

  • ✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)

    .

    Because of you most of my friends either hate me or think I'm a total freak.

    They think your story is better than candy, I think your story is the most uninteresting ever.

    I was recently told I was snarky and a cold-hearted, impatient cynic (you know wh

    .

    Because of you most of my friends either hate me or think I'm a total freak.

    They think your story is better than candy, I think your story is the most uninteresting ever.

    I was recently told I was snarky and a cold-hearted, impatient cynic (you know who you are people!^^).

    Which might partly explain why I didn't like this.

    Uninteresting at best. Apart from that?

    There is only so much I can read about Sookie's daily life: taking a shower, shaving her legs, plucking her eyebrows, putting on body lotion and deodorant… Seriously?

    Oh but wait, we also get to find out about fascinating stuff like her job at the bar or

    he gets his "khaki Dockers, green and brown striped golfing shirt, polished loafers, and thin brown socks" from Dillard's you see.

    And don't get me started about Uncle Bartlett's prostate problems.

    Something is finally about to happen! Oops, sorry, it's only Sookie going to work again.

    have known each other for about 5 seconds and they're already strolling hand in hand like two lovebirds. Okay, it's a bit silly but I can deal with it.

    Please tell me I did not just read this.

    Someone please shoot me. Again.

    And it goes on and on and on and on…

    Because Sookie & Bill kissing and having sex is about as unsexy as it gets. What are these people made of? Stone? Cardboard? I don't think I've ever read such

    But apparently Sookie doesn't notice because she's

    Needless to say, Sookie and I got off to a bad start.

    The girl is silly, immature and overly naïve. I get that she's supposed to have been sheltered all her life but this is just too much.

    To make things worse she's as emotional as a stone. Did I say that already?

    You got that right! I've never been a big vampire fan but this guy gives the word

    a whole new dimension. What with his

    , corny ways, wanting to settle down, not wanting to drink blood from humans…

    A real badass vampire life! To make things worse he's as emotional as a stone. Did I say that already?

    (yes

    , it's you I'm talking about) with images such as this one:

    By now I think you all realize

    But I'm a nice girl, I really mean no harm.

    I love you all and promise to behave from now on!

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