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Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse/True…
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Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood, Book 1) (original 2001; edition 2010)

by Charlaine Harris

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
11,872486223 (3.79)485
Member:msdana
Title:Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood, Book 1)
Authors:Charlaine Harris
Info:Ace (2010), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 327 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:Read

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Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris (2001)

Recently added byprivate library, arena555, proze, shadow3511, SheWolf29, LoriAnnK, PriPri77, DobbyHasWings, FionaBaylis
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Showing 1-5 of 476 (next | show all)
I really enjoyed this book. A few of the other paranormal books have taken a bit to get into but I was "in" to this book within the first 10 pages. The characters are fun and quirky and the setting is refreshing.

The storyline was entertaining and the identity of the killer turned out to be not too surprising, but not really expected either. I wasn't sure who it'd be but when I found out I wasn't shocked either. Good stuff. And at 290 some pages its a pretty easy read. ( )
  thanbini | Jun 19, 2016 |
Mwhahahahaha, finally - finally! - another vampire series that's not just good, but great. This cute and cozy mystery packs quite a whollop in it's short form, with a marvelously different story, genuinely warm characterization, and amusing injections.

Sookie is a delight to read about, as she's young and fiesty, holding a cute curiosity about the 'dark side', cursed with a bad reputation of being a freak. Weighed down by the small town's perception of her, she lives at home with her Grandmother and works at a local bar. Not your traditional heroine so far, it's even odder when she can read minds, but hates the ability as it only brings her trouble. Bill the vampire is the typical irresistible type, yet thankfully speaks in normal dialogue and not old-world fancy Vampire lingo. Eric the vampire appealed to me strongly, and I hope to see more of him in upcoming books. The same goes for Sam the bartender. You have to love series where you fall in love with all the main players :) There is also the introduction of a 'bodyguard' that's so over the top it's borderline ridiculous.

The two together form a cute pair, but not so cute to where it's obnoxious or too light to be taken seriously. Don't get me wrong - there's plenty of seriousness in this book. From murder to two terribly sad events, there's also the bizarre vampire groupings. It's not as bloody as The Anita Blake series, but it does have it's share of violence.

The mystery was a twisted one, but there are not many clues and traditional mystery footprints. The culprit did surprise me, but I was so engrossed with the rest of the story I didn't spare much mind to figure out the villain anyway. Will that put off routine mystery readers? Maybe. The story is involved with many sub-plots, the bulk of it romantic, with emphasis on dysfunctional family, Sookie's feelings of being different, obstacles from outside forces, and then the mystery of the murders. With a book only 260 pages long, that's a lot to cover, no part able to dominate the story's time by itself. Generally I prefer books where several things are happening at once, so it clicked with me.

On the romance side, it's not the sort of book where hero and heroine fall deeply in love and forget everything else as they set sail toward a sea of eternal bliss. They're plagued with chronic problems and hurdles to cross, internal doubts of the nature of their pairing, issues about the future they're choosing to ignore - for now - as they settle down to explore each other. The two match in a sweet way as the vampire searches for a home, weary from travel, and the telepath yearns for peace with someone whose mind she CAN'T read.

It's hard to think of negatives with this one, as it was so enjoyable. After it was over, I'm so determined to dive into the sequels I'm becoming obsessive. But to be objective here, even if it did have a dark tone, some may be turned off by the light and cute world. Sookie doesn't seem very consistent in her thoughts about sex and love, either. At slight times her southern way of speech gnawed a nerve, especially with the phrase, "He's gonna know I'm not normal." I don't know why, but reading 'gonna' usually pains me. Comparisons to Hamilton are inevitable, being that there are vampires considered legal, but I see plenty of changes here to make it stand as a completely different series and not another copycat.

If you can't already tell, I loved this story. Addictive characters gave a much-needed boost to a dying sub-genre that needs more exploration before it's buried. Paired with a clever mystery, the relationships are as addictive as the villains unveiling. ( )
  ErinPaperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
Funny and quick witted, I just don't like vampire books. Why do I keep reading them? ( )
  sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
In Dead Until Dark, Sookie Stackhouse is a waitress who lives in a world where vampires have recently come out to the public and become legal citizens, following the development by the Japanese of a synthetic blood. This makes it possible for vampires to live in the open without the need to hunt humans for sustenance. Sookie lives with her grandmother, Adele Stackhouse, and has an older brother, Jason. She is also, secretly, a telepath, able to read the minds of all people she meets, which causes her to act a bit strangely and consequently to be thought crazy by many of the people in the town.

One day a vampire, Bill, comes into Sookie's bar, and she quickly falls for him, in part because she can't read his mind, and in part because he is different from normal people, as she is. The vampire Bill Compton is a Civil War veteran. In his first visit, Sookie saves him from the Rattrays (vampire drainers), and Bill returns the favor the next night when the Rattrays attack Sookie.

In the meantime, there are several murders in Bon Temps, and people believe that vampires are behind the murders because many of the bodies are of women who have been known to hang out with vampires, and most have been bitten. One of the victims is Sookie's grandmother, Adele, presumably because the killer was interrupted in her house as he searched for Sookie. The Bon Temps police suspect Sookie's brother Jason and arrest him because he has been romantically linked to two of the victims. Sookie wants to help her brother, so starts hanging out with vampires and "fangbangers" (people who like hanging around vampires). Bill takes her to a vampire bar, Fangtasia, in Shreveport. This begins Sookie's immersion into the world of supes. She discovers that her boss Sam is a shape-shifter when she lets a stray dog sleep beside her and finds a naked Sam in the morning.


Fangtasia is owned by Eric Northman, the local vampire official (i.e., sheriff) who is much older and more powerful than Bill. Eric soon discovers that Sookie can be useful and orders Bill to have her use her telepathic ability to determine the identity of the person who has been stealing from his bar. Sookie finds out that Eric's partner, Longshadow (a vampire), has been stealing money, and she almost gets killed in the process. Eric saves Sookie's life by staking Longshadow when he attacks her.

Bill, concerned with Eric's power over himsef and Sookie, asks a local vampire, Bubba, to protect Sookie. Sookie discovers that the murderer is her brother's friend Rene Lenier. He almost kills her, but she fights back. Badly injured, Sookie wakes up in the hospital and finds Bill by her side. Bill tells Sookie that he has become his area's investigator, working under Eric. ( )
  mrsdanaalbasha | Mar 12, 2016 |
Surprisingly, I thought this was quite a bit better than [b:Twilight|41865|Twilight (Twilight, #1)|Stephenie Meyer|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41DcKN0STkL._SL75_.jpg|3212258]. Not great, but perfectly enjoyable. My one real regret is that I'll never know how I would have pictured the characters had I not seen "True Blood" first-- Anna Paquin and her fellow cast members slipped perfectly into the book's roles as I was reading. ( )
  BraveNewBks | Mar 10, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 476 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Charlaine Harrisprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Harris, Charlainemain authorall editionsconfirmed
Desimini, LisaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Parker, JohannaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
My thanks and appreciation go to the people who thought this book was a good idea--Dean James, Toni L. P. Kelner, and Gary and Susan Nowlin
First words
I'd been waiting for the vampire for years when he walked into the bar.
Quotations
"It's hard for me to get used to young ladies with so few clothes on" - Bill Compton.
"Bill, are you quite attached to your friend?" - Eric Northman
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0441008534, Mass Market Paperback)


Visit our Sookie Stackhouse series feature page.

Sookie Stackhouse is just a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. Until the vampire of her dreams walks into her life-and one of her coworkers checks out....

Maybe having a vampire for a boyfriend isn't such a bright idea.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:21 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Sookie Stackhouse is a cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana, but she keeps to herself and doesn't date much because of her "disability" to read minds. When she meets Bill, Sookie can't hear a word he's thinking. He's the type of guy she's waited for all of her life, but he has a disability, too--he's a vampire with a bad reputation. When one of Sookie's coworkers is killed, she fears she's next. Sookie Stackhouse is just a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. Until the vampire of her dreams walks into her life-and one of her coworkers checks out. Maybe having a vampire for a boyfriend isn't such a bright idea. A new vampire mystery, in the vein of a lighter & more romantic Laurell Hamilton.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 14 descriptions

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