Monday, May 16th 2011

Review: Dead Until Dark, Charlaine Harris.

Publisher: Gollancz
Publication Date: June 11, 2009
Received From: Bought
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9780575089365

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 and 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. Worse than that, he hangs out with a seriously creepy crowd with a reputation for trouble – of the murderous kind.

And when one of Sookie’s colleagues is killed, she begins to fear she’ll be next…


Dead Until Dark is the first book of the Sookie Stackhouse series written by Charlaine Harris. Harris was already a well-established mystery series author before divulging into the vampire genre. I had heard of this book series before but for some reason or another I never got around to start reading. However, after being recommended watching HBO television series ‘True Blood’ I decided it was the time to get reading!

The plot is presented through the first person narrative of waitress Sookie Stackhouse. I love Sookie! I could really identify with her. She lives a fairly straightforward life with little excitement or worries yet seems to always be wanting more. She is a very humorous individual and extremely likeable. There are plenty of moments throughout the book where Sookie’s personality guarantees to have the reader laughing out loud.

When vampire Bill Compton comes into her work place one night, Sookie gets a whole lot more excitement than she could ever have imagined. A relationship begins between Sookie and vampire Bill and as a result, Sookie has to deal with the trials and tribulations which come alongside that relationship. As well as Bill, other main vampire characters are introduced in the book. For instance, Eric Northman; vampire sheriff and owner of vampire bar Fangtasia. Eric is a character who is explored further in subsequent books.

The take on the vampire genre Harris offered in the plot line was unique in comparison to the other vampire themed books I have read to date. Vampires are public knowledge after ‘coming out the coffin’ to the human population. It made an interesting read to experience how the two different races, vampire and humans, co-exist. It definitely made a change from the common plot where girl meets vampire; is shocked but falls in love regardless. There is no shortage of surprising twists in this book and I found I couldn’t bring myself to put it down! Harris uses her experiences as a writer of crime books to incorporate a murder mystery into the fast-paced plot.

As a whole, the book is a delight to read! There is something in the book for everyone and it shows the potential for the progression of the plot and characters for the books that follow. This is one of the best books I have had the pleasure to read in quite a long time and I would recommend picking it up if you haven’t already!

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