Saturday, July 10, 2010

Book Review - Dead Until Dark

I know this isn’t YA, but since it’s paranormal and that is the genre my novel falls into, I thought this might be appropriate. I won this book a long time ago in a giveaway that the wonderful Ally of CasuAlly Musing threw.

I’ve been wanting to read this book for awhile now, but never got around to buying it at the store. Last month on my cruise, I finally read it. The funny thing about it, is that my brother’s girlfriend, who came with us, also brought this book along to read. She is a huge fan of True Blood, and has told me that she likes the series better than the book.

Dead Until Dark (Book 1) [Southern Vampire #1]
Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
Release Date: May 1, 2001
Pages: 292

Goodreads Summary: Sookie Stackhouse is a cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana, but she keeps to herself and doesn't date much because of her "disability" to read minds. When she meets Bill, Sookie can't hear a word he's thinking. He's the type of guy she's waited for all of her life, but he has a disability, too--he's a vampire with a bad reputation. When one of Sookie's coworkers is killed, she fears she's next.

That isn’t the best description of the book, but it was much better than the one on Amazon. There is a lot going on in the Bon Temps and Bill and Sookie seem to be at the heart of it all. This book had a mix of humor, mystery and love story. The entire time I was reading, I wasn’t really sure who the killer was. It was kind of a shock when I realized who it was. I was easily thrown off track by all the red herrings that Harris tosses into the mix. By the big reveal, it really could have been anyone.

**WARNING – the next paragraph sort of contains spoilers. You’ve been warned.**

I think the main reason I didn’t really see it coming was that the stakes weren’t that high for the character who was behind it all. In writing my own piece of fiction, I’m beginning to recognize what makes a good book different from a great one. The murderer had no real motivation. Ok, fine, he hated vampires, but so did almost every other person in the town. No real connection to Sookie or the other women, like both Sam and Jason had. It just seemed a bit contrived to pin it all on going psycho because of the murderer's sister.


Overall, it was a fun read, but I’m not sure I’ll finish out the series. I think I’ll give Living Dead in Dallas a try and see how it goes.

After I finished the book, we started to watch the first season of True Blood. If I hadn’t read the book, I would probably like the series more. I am only about halfway through the first season, and I don’t really care much about most of the characters. The writers made Jason into a really mean person but in the book I got the impression that he was just a little misguided. I do, however, love the addition of Lafayette as a more prominent character. I won’t even talk about Tara, because that character just gets me angry. I use the scenes with her and her mother for bathroom and snack breaks.

Check out some other reviews of Dead Until Dark – CasuAlly Musing, An Everyday Angel

Relevant Links:

Order Dead Until Dark on Amazon
Order True Blood: Season 1
Charlaine Harris’ Website

Come back for next week's review: Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson.

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