Title: Dead Until Dark
Author: Charlaine Harris
Genre: Fantasy, Vampire Literature
Rating: 2 Star
Sookie Stackhouse is a small-time cocktail waitress in a 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, she has this sort of ‘disability.’ She can read minds. And that doesn’t make her too datable. 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 with a seriously creepy crowd, with a reputation for trouble – of the murderous kind.
And then one of Sookie’s Colleagues is killed, she begins to fear she’ll be next…
Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
It took me four goes to finish this book. The first three times I didn’t get past the first twenty pages.
My mother got me the first eight books in this series after the first or second season of the TV series came out because I loved it. It was upsetting that that I had this 20 page issue with the series. I had such high hopes, but I just couldn’t seem to get into it. Finally the guilt for having a bunch of books someone else put effort in to get for me made me do it. This was years after I received them, and I read about six books between me finishing this. I don’t normally read even one other book if I’m reading another.
I think the only thing that has put this at the two star mark for me is that I have read other books that are far worst, and I’m trying really hard to not compare it to the series so much. But even if I could completely succeed in separating them there are still a number of things that bring this book down.
The writing style is is descriptive but not in a way that has a point. It tells you needless details that don’t enhance the story and even distract from it. This kept me out of the book the entire time I was reading.
The next thing is that the characters are completely unrelatable and boring. I really didn’t think Bill could be more of a bore, but I’m amazed to see the series made him better. They did this with Sookie as well surprisingly enough. The name ‘Sookie’ really suits her and her thoughts are all over the place. I didn’t connect with her at all on any level, didn’t feel she was actually sad when her Grandmother or her cat died. I think the fact that she didn’t have any friends at all was a serious issue. The only was you got to know how she was feeling on any level was from her talks with boring old Bill or from her scattered brain. In the series they introduced Tara (I don’t know if she shows up in the rest of the books yet) to try and fix this issue of Bill being the only person Sookie talks to on a deep level, though I dont know if the way she talks to Bill can be called deep, it mostly just ends up being poorly phrased sexual talk.
I don’t know if Sookie having a friend in the book would have made a difference however, because the dialogue is completely unrealistic. No one talks the way they do. A couple of lines that bothered me the most would have to be a few of Bill’s:
- ‘Bill seemed adept at reading the symptoms. “Make love,” he suggested. “Make love to me.”
- ‘”Don’t cry,” he told me. “Sookie, I have to tell you unwelcome facts.”‘
These could be explained that Bill talks differently because he is so old and from another time, but I’m pretty sure that no one talked like that. Ever. And that doesn’t explain the rest of the characters dialogue.
I’m hoping the rest of the series is better.