And Sookie, Too…

14 Mar

This review is probably somewhat irrelevant as I’m sure almost everyone who was going to read the Sookie Stackhouse novels has already done so, either as part of the surge that saw it transformed into TrueBlood or as a result of seeing that series. But, it is possible that there are a few who, like me, missed out the first time round and haven’t seen the series, so this may yet be of interest. Having read and enjoyed the various Aurora Teagarden Mysteries, it was natural that I would be interested in reading other work by Charlaine Harris, and so I grabbed the first Sookie Stackhouse novel, Dead Until Dark, for a pound in a charity shop.

The novel is a vampire story, but it is also a murder mystery, which may make it a good point of entry if you’re not too sure about the vampire genre, as vampirism largely plays second fiddle to humanity and relationships, despite casting a dark shadow over proceedings. Essentially, the plot revolves around young Sookie Stackhouse, a waitress with a psychic (dis)ability, coming into contact with a vampire named Bill Compton (vampires having ‘come out of the coffin’  into public knowledge, if not acceptance) and subsequently finding herself at the heart of a series of murders that appear to be the work of a vampire… naturally, not only must she survive the unwanted attentions of a psychopathic killer, but she must use her unique talents to help solve the case.

Although well written, as one would expect from Harris, it didn’t quite have me reading madly on as the Aurora Teagarden Mysteries had; indeed, at times, I felt as if I were having to slog my way through extremely long chapters. But, I’m glad that I did as, whilst it took a while for me to really get into the setting, I did find myself enjoying it and wondering just who the murderer was. Although, in some ways, cliched, it is one of the better takes on vampires going public that I’ve read and presented a quite believable world with relatively few flaws and quite some inventiveness. How well that is maintained through the sequels, I have no ideas, but if you have any vague interest in vampires and haven’t read it, I’d definitely recommend giving Dead Until Dark a go.

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One Response to “And Sookie, Too…”

  1. phillipaellis1968 May 11, 2013 at 4:40 am #

    One thing that must be stressed that in the Sookie Stackhouse novels the emphasis is on the paranormal beings as paranormal beings, rather than as foci of horror on the readers’ part. So they are not horror novels, despite the presence of vampires, werewolves, et al. There is also a strong emphasis on the characters’ lives, as well, and on the romantic prospects of Ms stackhouse, so much so that a friend of mine once called it “Austen with fangs.”

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