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Title: Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse #1)
Author: Charlaine Harris
Published: May 1, 2001
Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Mystery
My rating: 4 Stars
Read from November 9 to 15, 2011
Every author who writes a series involving vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters, and the like comes up with his or her own rules for the supernatural world they create. I liked the new take on vampires in this book, where after the Japanese invent synthetic blood called "TruBlood," vampires decide to let the world know that they do exist and want to integrate themselves into mainstream society. Of course, there are also some vampires who prefer to remain living the way they have for centuries and don't wish to become a part of society.
I thought it was interesting to see how the vampires interact with humans now that humans know vampires exist. I loved the characters of Sookie Stackhouse, Sam Merlotte, Bubba, and Bill Compton. The relationship between Sookie and Bill was very sweet, and it seemed to me that the era Bill is from (the Civil War era) was probably the reason he was a gentleman.
Sookie is a very relatable character even though she has an ability that sets her apart from most other humans--she is telepathic. She seemed to confide in the reader as if the reader is a friend, and I really enjoyed this approach to the writing of the book. Sookie has a lot of difficulty with her ability to read others' minds; she learns information that she doesn't want to know. This made school nearly impossible, and she has given up on dating because it was difficult for her to know every thought, positive and negative, her date had about her. I was sympathetic to her plight, and when she found out she can't read vampires' minds, I was happy for her to be able to find some relief from the constant racket in her head.
I didn't compare this book to the HBO series as I have only seen the first two episodes of the first season when it first debuted. I have heard there are some differences between the books and the T.V. series. I plan on watching the T.V. series and can't wait to see these characters come to life!
This book had a little bit of everything. There was mystery, romance, supernatural elements, likable characters, not so likable characters...I didn't previously have any interest in reading this series and only decided to last fall. I'm definitely glad I ended up reading this book; it was well worth my time!