Nearly the end of March and I'm only on book three. I've had to put aside the other book I'm currently reading because it's very large and very involved and takes awhile to get through. I've really been reading 'scholarly' books so far this year, and while being very interesting and enriching, is also slowing my book consumption down to a crawl. So I went to the library and decided I needed something... quick. And upon spying the first of Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse vampire novels, I knew I had a winner.
What really spurred my wanting to read Dead Until Dark was a recent viewing of the first episode of True Blood, the tv series based on the books. I enjoyed the show for the most part and so decided that checking out the book was worthwhile.
I enjoyed the book, I like Harris' world. The supernatural lies very uneasily with the 'real' world as vampires have only recently admitted their existence and 'come out of the coffin'. A Japanese company has created a bottled, synthetic blood substitute that allows the vampires proper sustinance without having to feed on humans. For of course, killing of humans is unlawful, but likewise, quickly enacted laws have also rendered it illegal to kill (or do other bodily harm) to vampires.
Sookie Stackhouse, our heroine, is a waitress, a charming, well mannered, slightly naive (even though one wonders how she could be under the circumstance) southern belle. She also happens to be telepathic. It's a nice addition of Harris', where, if there are vampires, well then why shouldn't there be telepathic waitresses?
One day, an honest to goodness vampire walks into the bar Sookie works at, and she is immediately smitten. But entering the vampiric world is dangerous and exciting, and Sookie isn't entirely sure she's ready to do so, despite her attraction to the 150 year old Bill.
A string of murders in Sookie's town seem to point to those nearest and dearest to Sookie, either her vampire boyfriend, or her man-whore of a brother. And then Sookie herself becomes a target, further turning her already strange world even stranger.
The characters are all quite likeable (Harris' use of Bubba especially was quite funny) and it is a rich world for sure, enough so that I'd definitely consider picking up some more of the books and continuing with Sookie's adventures.*
*Also, Anna Paquin has done such a fine job as Sookie in True Blood that it was quite easy for me to hear her voice and see her mannerisms as I was reading the book.