October 07, 2011
Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
Alright, first off I have to say I had a chinchilla named Sookie (spelled Suki). The second thing I have to say is, they made a TV series off of this? I sure hope the rest of the books are better otherwise they must have really had to jazz it up for television. While there were some good aspects, I just had really hoped for much more from this book.
Sookie is a small town girl living near New Orleans. She works as a cocktail waitress and has decidedly no love life (despite being a pretty girl) and mostly just stays with her Grandma when not working. Then everything changes when Bill comes to town. Bill is no ordinary guy, he's a vampire. Now, it is important to note that vampires have come out of the closet so to speak in this book reality. They live on synthetic blood, and real if they're not caught and are kind of the "in" thing to be around right now. So of course Sookie is especially charmed with Bill. What makes him even more special is that for her whole life, Sookie has been able to read minds, but she can't read Bill's which is a relief to her.
While she romantically pursues this new vampire in town, a couple of murders start happening in the quiet town. And they all seem to have something in common; women who associate with vampires and are blue collar workers, exactly the description Sookie fits. With her new boyfriend and her brother as prime suspects and her mind reading not helping her at all she's not sure what to do. To add to it, her boss Sam has also started expressing an interest in her as well. Between her love life and the murders, she's not getting much rest or time to think.
The characters in this novel were kind of shallow to me. While the vampires were largely supposed to be that way, it also spread into the regular characters. Sookie's brother has more description of his personality than she does as the main character. There were also some characteristics of Sookie that weren't lifelike to me. As having been molested as a child, she sure didn't have any hangups about hopping into bed for the first time ever with Bill after barely knowing him. That just doesn't sound like something that would happen to me. The only character I really did like was Sam. I thought he was well developed and much more interesting than Bill. It was a shame he was only in the book for a small amount.
Harris' writing is descriptive, but somewhat juvenile. It was like she tried to put everything she possibly could into it, but didn't take the time to organize her thoughts. Her characters go from one random thought to another with no reason and some of the scenes could have been cut out altogether as they didn't add anything to the story. As far as the sex scenes, they were short and didn't seem genuine or even interesting. To the positive aspects she does have an interesting concept of vampires and how she fits them into her world. I thought her take was very unique and I hope in the later novels she develops it more.
It definitely wasn't my favorite book and I would say its probably good for fluff reading. I"ll probably end up reading the rest of the series just because I hate to leave things unfinished. It is my hope her writing and plots become better with each additional book.
Dead Until Dark