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Book Review: Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

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Finally, I picked up Dead Until Dark, the book that True Blood (the TV series) is based on. I was curious to see what’s all the fuss about, and whether the book is all they say the series is. I didn’t expect much of it. Thought it would be extremely corny and silly, considering it’s premised on sexy vampires lurking rural Louisiana, legally recognized (as in having citizenship) by humans. Boy, was I wrong! Not about the corny part, because it can be seriously argued for corniness; but about dismissing it as silly. I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I read it in a breeze – and it’s safe to say it’s one of the most enjoyable books I’ve read lately. I feel like hugging the book, if only it were a tree (I sure hope it wasn’t).

The book is so much fun because it touches almost every corner stone of all-too-common, sexy-girly (maybe boy-y too, I’m not sure) wishful fantasy. It embodies all the unmistakable elements of fabrication, which are always nice to dream about, and apparently read about too, in the lovely first person voice of our heroin Sookie Stackhouse.

Sookie is beautiful and twenty-five. Pretty face, great hair and curvy body – check on the shopping list for looks. Not only is our heroine pretty, she’s also sweet and kind; not educated yet very smart – another check checked for personality. She also has this cute name – a combination of promiscuity and puppyish sound to it. And she gets to wear hot waitress outfits, as she works at a bar called Merllotte’s, in the fictional town of Bon Temps.

Sookie is extremely special because she can read people’s minds (who wouldn’t want that – special and a telepath!). Surely enough she’s not aware of her own specialness, and isn’t at all cocky about it. Seriously, Sookie sees her disability (is how she calls it) as a curse rather than a gift. She’s mildly persecuted for it, called names, and mainly can’t have any friends or be intimate with men, because knowing the total-honest-truth about people and their minds, is not so much fun. All this adversity and isolation in Sookie’s life, simply screams for a good-girl’s reward in the form of hot sex with a dark and tall supernatural blood sucking fiend.

Everyone in the book (at least every one of the worthwhile males) wants to bed Sookie (as in to get into her shorts), but in a good way, because they also feel protective of her. Though Sookie is feeling pretty lusty herself from time to time, and also is definitely craving love, she mostly keeps to herself – her specific weirdness being the reason; which again, just screams for a good-girl’s reward in the form of hot sex with a dark and tall supernatural blood sucking fiend.

Her first lover (and only in this book) is the dark, tall, sexily cruel (or cruelly sexy) powerful vampire Bill, who is completely and utterly in love with Sookie. This vampire is the most mature, passionate and considerate (super natural stamina too) lover. A really tense sexual tension is crafted between vampire Bill and Sookie in the first part of the book, since Bill sexily refrains from “harming” Sookie. In the middle of the book they engage in plenty of nicely depicted sex, with blood sucking on both parties, and some other stuff you ought to read for yourself, in a very straight forward, not even a bit vulgar, endearing manner of writing.

Add to all this some vampire politics, diverse supernatural characters, murders, violence and mystery, and you got yourself a highly engaging book to relax with after work. No hidden meaning. No pretentious layers or psychological crap. Just purely entertaining piece of literature, in contemporary writing style, which is both clear and believable. And now, if you’d please excuse me, I’m going to order the other nine books in the series.

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