Monday, November 2, 2015

[Review] Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse #1) - Charlaine Harris

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"Dead Until Dark" by Charlaine Harris is the first novel in the Southern Vampire Mysteries Series.

In a world where vampires are acknowledged by the general public, telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse meets and befriends vampire Bill Compton.

When people start getting murdered in the small town of Bon Temps and everyone suspects Bill, Sookie is determined to defend him.

Show or Books - Pick one.

I love the TV show, so picking this up was a no-brainer. However, it feels more like the books were written after the TV show came out, not the other way around.

As a dedicated fan who knows every single line in almost every episode, I couldn't help but notice that even the dialogues are absolutely the same. I would even go as far as to say that you don't have to bother with the books/show if you're familiar with one of them. It really just reads like a transcript of the show. Therefore I was insanely bored and couldn't really get into it.

Cardboard Cutout Characters

Sookie is a very nontransparent character, it's super hard to sympathize with her. Harris is absolutely unable to portray her emotions, so all her reactions towards things seem to come out of the blue. Every other page Sookie starts crying and from one second to the next everything is okay again. It honestly felt like the story were told from the perspective of an omniscient narrator instead of an actual person.
We really don't find out anything about the love interest, the vampire Bill. I don't think Harris even bothers to explain what he looks like. One second he's there, the other he's gone and all the relationship between the two is 100% dialogue.
Then again, their dialogues feel like chat conversations and they don't really seem to react to anything the other one says. The whole novel reads like a transcript. It feels extremely static and the characters just don't come to life. No chemistry either, their first kiss and attraction in general came out of the blue.



Overall: Do I Recommend?

Stick with the show. Don't even bother. It's just flat out very bad writing, I'm sorry. I have never read a book that made it so difficult for me to get pictures in my head. While I do love the premise and overall idea, "Dead Until Dark" is a trainwreck.
The southern feel doesn't come across, it reads like a caricature, I even enjoyed "Beautiful Creatures" more than that.

Additional Info

Original Title: Dead Until Dark
Author: Charlaine Harris
Published: September 3rd 2008
Pages: 292
Medium: Paperback, Media Tie-In
Publisher: Ace Books
Cover: Ace Books, 2008
Genre: Adult / Paranormal
ISBN: 9780441016990

"Sookie Stackhouse is a small-time cocktail waitress in 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, Sookie has this sort of "disability." She can read minds. And that doesn't make her too dateable. And then along comes Bill. He's tall, dark, handsome - and Sookie can't 'hear' a word he's thinking. He's exactly the kind 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, hangs with a seriously creepy crowd, with a reputation for trouble - of the murderous kind.

And when one of Sookie's colleagues is killed, she begins to fear she'll be next ...
(Source: Goodreads)

Have you seen the TV show?

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