Charlaine Harris
Dead Until Dark
Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire Series, Book #1

Reviewed brought to you by OBS Staff member Heidi

“Dead until Dark” is the first novel of the Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire series by Charlaine Harris that the HBO hit series, “True Blood” is based on.  It follows the life of a young telepathic waitress, Sookie, in the small town of Bon Temps, Louisiana.

Vampires have just come out of the coffin and admitted that they have existed for centuries.  They claim that the Japanese invention of synthetic blood has made it to where they no longer need human blood to survive and therefore are not a threat to humans.  Of course, most humans still have their doubts.

Sookie is elated when Bon Temps get their first vampire, Bill, and he comes into the bar while she’s on duty.  Unfortunately an evil couple convinces him to go outside with them and they start to drain his blood so they can sell it.  Sookie had overheard the couple’s thoughts about how much money they could make off of the vampire.  She goes outside and finds them and rescues Bill.  While he is recuperating so he can leave Sookie discovers that she can’t hear his thoughts, which after a lifetime of hearing every little thing that everybody thinks, his mind’s silence feels like heaven.

The couple returns after Sookie gets off work one night and beats her severely.  They would have killed her if Bill and a stray dog hadn’t scared them off.  Bill has her drink his blood, which has healing powers, and without it, she would have died.

Suddenly women are starting to be savagely murdered in town and Bill and Sookie’s brother, Jason, are the top two suspects.  Did Jason kill them after a night of passion?  Did Bill’s vampire instincts take over and end their lives??  They did all sleep with Jason and they did all have vampire bites on them…all except one, who doesn’t  appear to have been the intended target.

And if that wasn’t bad enough a group of vampires that have no desire to live equally with humans comes to town and causes havoc and the townspeople react.

Sookie can’t help, but fall in love with Bill and they have many ups and downs and many obstacles to overcome.    And they must find who is murdering these women before the murderer kills Sookie.  This is your typical love conquers all, type of story…or is it?

I personally loved this book, although I never felt that close to Bill.  For most of the book, I felt that he was just after one thing—getting in Sookie’s pants.  But that did not stop me from enjoying this story and I never saw the ending coming!!    I did find it strange  that the heroine in this story was named something as off the wall as Sookie and the vampires have normal run of the mill type names like Bill, Eric, and Pam….I was imagining something more exotic.  This is a great book for any vampire obsessed readers out there and it’s a delightful light read…that will leave you longing for the next book in the series.