Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

Dead Until Dark
Charlaine Harris

Finally I finished a book in just one sitting!

And it's the first in Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire Series with Sookie Stackhouse as the lead character. The book that started it all for Alan Ball thereafter deciding to adapt it to the small screen. Yes, this is the first book in the series that gave birth to HBO's True Blood.

Sookie Stackhouse is a telepathic waitress in a bar called Merlotte's, in a fictional town called Bon Temps located in Louisiana. In Sookie's world vampires just came out of the coffin (literally) after the development of a synthetic blood for them to drink instead of eh, human blood. Sookie's been waiting for a vampire to show up in Merlotte's. And when a vampire did show, her world turned upside down.

The vampire in question is handsome, enigmatic Bill. Yes, Bill. A normal name. Not as imaginative as Lestat or as romantic as Armand. Bill Compton, a true son of Bon Temps. He served in the Civil War before he became a vampire. Sigh.

For Sookie who had to control herself and put up mental shield not to hear the thoughts of the people around her, the presence of Bill is comforting. She can't hear his thoughts at all! And amazingly enough, she's not affected by his glamor.

So yes, it's partly a love story, partly romance. Yes, it's between a vampire and a human.

It's also a mystery. Women are being killed in Bon Temps and the murderer is on the loose. Two of them are known to have been intimate with a vampire due to bite marks. And Sookie's brother Jason is a major suspect because of his previous relationships with them. Until Sookie's beloved grandmother became a victim as well. People are now suspicious of the vampire mainstreaming with them.


It's a quick enough read. Enjoyable as well. Just the right combination of humor and horror. Enough to take you away from everyday life for the couple or so hours to read it.

I picked it up because I've seen a handful of episodes of True Blood. The advantage to seeing the adaptation first is that now I read the words with the Southern accent in mind. Hahaha. The disadvantage is that I know now where the series deviated from the book, so to speak. Plus, I also know the killer. I've no idea if the show will retain that ending though, hahaha.

I already mentioned that I like watching True Blood. Here's Sookie and Bill played by Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer.

But the tv series is more graphic. Well, tv is a visual medium so what else do I expect, particularly from a cable channel at that. And I already mentioned that there are changes from the book itself which is understandable. The show amplifies certain characters that make them more interesting, more layered than the handful of lines afforded them in the book. Plus the additional storylines are apt for a one hour show that combines supernatural mystery with a love angle.

I do love the fact that the show retained the tone of the book. So there are moments while watching the show that I have to just laugh at the dialogue. I treasure those moments in the book as well.

Allow me a moment of shallowness by adding that I love the cover. The cartoony drawing of Sookie and the vampire is fun. Plus it's glittery. Ok, moment of shallowness over.

I'm actually reading the second book now. Tsk tsk tsk. What will happen to me after the 12-episode season is over and I finished the rest of the books as well? Tsk tsk tsk.

Dead Until Dark won the Anthony Award for Best Paperback Original in 2001.