Thursday, February 11, 2010

Dead Until Dark

by Charlaine Harris

I read this book for the Take Another Chance Challenge -- Challenge 6 - Genre Switch Up: Read a genre you have not read before.

I don't read vampire books -- I just don't, not my thing. I did read the Twilight series, but I don't consider them true vampire book (but that is a topic for another post!) Everyone is just so over the top about Sookie Stackhouse, that I decided to try one out. When I discovered I could download all 8 books onto my nook for $3.5o/book, I decided to go for it.

This was a very quick read. I read it in 1/2 a day while home with a sick child. I liked some things about the book and disliked many others. I kept expecting it to go somewhere and I just never did for me.

What I did not like - First, I have a problem with the name Sookie Stackhouse - it just does not fit the character for me. My BFF growing up had a cleaning lady named Suki - in my mind, I picture a very short Asian woman using broken English, not a tall blonde cocktail waitress with a Louisiana accent. It is just a strange name for me, just as it seems strange for Bill the vampire to be named Bill, it is just too common a name for a vampire. Secondly, I think most of the characters lack depth. Bill is just plain ole boring, Sookie's brother is a pain and Sam, the bar owner/shapeshifter is not very believable at all. Finally, there is way too much sex for me. Now, don't get me wrong, I like my trashy, rip the bodice romance as well as the next guy (gal), but I felt the sex scenes received much more emphasis than the plot line.

What did I like? I liked all the references to Southern culture; food, class structure, the glorification of the Confederacy, burial rituals and good old Southern hospitality. I like that Sookie is a telepath, but her powers are limited in some ways. I really liked the concept of vampires living out in the open. I thought the author did a great job of including prejudices against vampires in the book. I see parallels between discrimination against blacks in the South. But, by far my favorite part of the book is the way Charlaine Harris includes Elvis and Elvis sightings in the story. Brilliant!!

Since I do not have much experience with the vampire genre, I can't really say whether Dead Until Dark is a good representation of the genre. For me this was an entertaining read, something we all need from time to time. I will probably finish the other 7 books in the series eventually -- more than likely while sitting by the pool this summer.

Rating - C+


  1. I enjoyed all the Southern culture in this novel too. I also liked the mystery, even though it wasn't too hard to guess whodunnit, and the humor. All in all, I thought it was a good read, though I didn't fall in love with the series the way others did.

  2. I liked the series but in small doses. I have 2 more to go. Sookie gets stronger and more independent as the books go along

  3. I love that you don't consider "Twilight" a vampire book! you know, I read this first one and didn't love it ... it was just OK. But I had gone to the trouble to get all the books because everyone just LOVED them (I got them via Paperback Swap) so I'll probably read them from time to time and if I don't fall in love with it by book 5, then I'm done!