Dead Until Dark is the first book in the Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire Mystery series by Charlaine Harris. The hit HBO series True Blood is based on this series and has made the book’s popularity skyrocket as a result. Luckily (in my opinion anyway), I started reading these books as someone who had never seen the series. I don’t know if Charlaine Harris set out writing Dead Until Dark with the goal of starting a series but if that was the plan, she did a fantastic job at sucking the readers in.
Dead Until Dark opens with you meeting the main character, Sookie Stackhouse. Sookie is a simple southern girl with one small quirk – she’s a telepath. She’s instantly lovable. You find yourself endeared to her right from the get-go. Although she was raised with old-fashioned morals, she doesn’t have an old-fashioned view of the world. She’s the last one to judge anyone for being different – this includes the recently “outed” vampire population. When a vampire, Bill Compton, finally comes into Merlotte’s (the bar Sookie waitresses at), she’s more than excited to make his acquaintance. Before she knows it, he becomes the love interest in her life.
Dead Until Dark introduces you to a lot of the local town’s people. You become familiar with characters such as Sookie’s boss Sam Merlotte, one of her best friends Arlene Fowler and her promiscuous brother Jason Stackhouse. You also meet the notorious Eric Northman, the vampire sheriff of Area 5 and Bill Compton’s superior. While Sookie is getting to know Bill, she quickly finds out that although she doesn’t have a problem with vampires, a good portion of the town harbors a strong prejudice against them. As women from town turn up dead, apparently the work of a serial killer, Sookie soon finds herself a target.
A classic murder mystery with a fantasy twist, Dead Until Dark is fun, edgy, dangerous, sexy and emotional. If you are looking for a good page turner that will keep you entertained from cover to cover, this book is for you. There were moments when I literally laughed out loud, moments where I blushed, some moments of anger, some of grief. Dead Until Dark takes you through the whole emotional spectrum. Overall, a great read. I give it 5 stars!