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Review: Dead Until Dark

October 29, 2009

Dead Until Dark

Sookie Stackhouse is a waitress in the small town of Bon Temps, Louisiana.  Sookie can read minds – this would seem like a gift to some, but to Sookie, it’s a disability.  Listening to everyone’s thoughts is overwhelming and blocking them out gets very tiring.   Sookie is thrilled when a vampire, Bill Compton, comes into the small bar she works in because she’s been wanting to meet a vampire ever since they became legally recognized.

Sookie and Bill become involved in an on again/off again relationship and several women in Bon Temps have been murdered.  Some people suspect vampires are guilty and others suspect Sookie’s brother, Jason.  Jason asks Sookie to do some mind reading to solve the crimes and clear his name.

There’s a little more to Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris, but I don’t want to reveal any spoilers.  I’ve read a lot of reviews of this book and know lots of people who loved it.  I think my expectations were set too high, because it was just a little better than average for me.  I couldn’t understand Sookie’s attraction to Bill and was frustrated at times with their relationship.  I also felt like the story got bogged down in unnecessary details and like the reader wasn’t given enough clues to try to solve the mystery.  The story was a light, fun read but it just didn’t draw me in like I was expecting it to.

Sookie Stackhouse challengeDead Until Dark is the first in the Sookie Stackhouse aka Southern Vampire Series.  It’s the first book I’ve read for the Sookie Stackhouse Challenge.

This book was sent to me by Staci.   I am an Amazon Associate.
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51 Comments leave one →
  1. October 29, 2009 6:34 am

    Glad u found it to be a fun read, cos I just fell short of hating it. I never hate books but with this one I came pretty close to that too. It all depends on preferences I guess. Inspite of not liking the first one I went on to read the series just to see how the rest of the books turned out. :)

  2. October 29, 2009 8:08 am

    While I enjoyed this book, I think I was expecting a little more too. The reviews have been super. It was a fun, light read (perfect for the beach) but I haven’t read the rest of the series yet. I better get moving!

  3. October 29, 2009 8:24 am

    So sorry!!!! You were probably expecting too much. I love the books because I love Sookie. They aren’t great writing, they’re just kind of fun.

    I’m so glad you gave the books a try. Don’t force yourself to read more if you think you’ve had enough. Thanks bunches for playing along and meeting Sookie.

  4. October 29, 2009 8:25 am

    I’ve read this first one too. Definitely a light read and I enjoyed it for that. I get what your saying about not enough clues to solve the mystery. Everything was a red herring!

  5. October 29, 2009 8:40 am

    It seems lots of people are enjoying this series. So glad to see you did as well. I have so so many books I want to read, I couldn’t possibly add a new series right now..LOL

  6. October 29, 2009 8:45 am

    Maybe it just isn’t your genre at all. It’s tough when all you read is superior reviews and then it doesn’t make the grade for you. It’s almost like a double disappointment.
    I’ve never read her vampire series, just her Aurora Teagarden cozies. Those are more my style. Have you tried her other books?

  7. October 29, 2009 8:53 am

    I really enjoyed this book, but I think its because I’ve been watching the series on HBO and I’ve seen some of the events pulled from the book into the show. But I also like vampire fiction, so that could be it too.

    I added your link to my review here: http://www.savvyverseandwit.com/2009/08/dead-until-dark-by-charlaine-harris.html

  8. October 29, 2009 9:04 am

    I haven’t read any Charlaine Harris, but they seem like fun books. I’m not sure they would be my cup of tea though!

  9. October 29, 2009 9:09 am

    I have not read these but have heard so much about them. Thanks for the review. I am still unsure if these books I would enjoy but if one comes my direction any time soon I certainly will give it a try.

  10. October 29, 2009 9:21 am

    I’m sorry you didn’t love it as much as you were expecting to. =( Too much hype can really kill books like this.

  11. October 29, 2009 9:25 am

    I’m not much of a Bill fan myself, but I like Sookie enough to keep reading. She gets some much better love interests later!

  12. Nadia permalink
    October 29, 2009 9:42 am

    Glad you liked the book. I know what you mean about it being just a bit better than average. I’ve heard so many great things about it I was expecting nothing but the best. In the end I got a good solid read about a fun topic. I’m in the middle of the second book and so far I’m still enjoying reading about Sookie. Bill is rather bland, but who knows what will happen to him and Sookie in the future. Cheers!

  13. October 29, 2009 10:26 am

    I know LOTS of people who have read this, but I haven’t jumped in myself. They sound interesting, and I watched an episode or two of the series, but I haven’t had the push I need to immerse myself. Maybe it’s vampire-overload. :)

  14. stacybuckeye permalink
    October 29, 2009 11:53 am

    I try not to read the hottest book when everyone is raving about it because my expectations are just to high. This is a series everyone seems to rave about, but I’ve sworn off vampires!

  15. mariag permalink
    October 29, 2009 12:48 pm

    I plan on reading this one soon. I think I will lower my expecations and see what happens.
    Thanks for your honest review.

  16. October 29, 2009 1:00 pm

    When I first read the Sookie books, I hadn’t previously read many contemporary paranormals – so I think that’s why I liked them so much. They were perfect for what I wanted at the time, light fun reading.

  17. October 29, 2009 1:05 pm

    I was going to read this one for the read-a-thon but never did get around to it. I will one of these days soon though.

  18. October 29, 2009 1:09 pm

    I just finished it too and I totally loved it! My only objection was the name Sookie – it seemed to spoil the serious, romantic moments! :–)

  19. October 29, 2009 1:10 pm

    I completely agree! Your review is very similar to the one I wrote about this book when I read it (years ago).

  20. October 29, 2009 2:12 pm

    It sounds like you were a little letdown by this one. Thanks for your honest review.

  21. October 29, 2009 3:51 pm

    I signed up for the challenge as well and I am afraid that I also have my expectations set way too high and will be disappointed by the series. I didn’t even start yet and I guess I am just waiting for the right mood to hit me.

  22. October 29, 2009 4:10 pm

    Since I already bought season 1 of True Blood, I think I will see if I like that before I try any of the books.

  23. October 29, 2009 4:17 pm

    Sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy it completely. I did like it, not as much as the Twilight books, but I thought it was good.

  24. October 29, 2009 4:42 pm

    See, that’s what I’m thinking, won’t live up to the hype. Plus I watched the first two episodes of the series, and was totally turned off. I know books are almost always better than the show, but ….I just can’t get over my dislike.
    Thanks for the honest review B!

  25. October 29, 2009 4:51 pm

    I just started this last night – for the challenge, like you. I’m not very far in, but the story has sucked me in. Occasionally I find myself wincing at the sloppy writing – awkward phrasing, etc.

  26. October 29, 2009 6:47 pm

    I really enjoyed this one and I’m glad that you liked it. I have yet to move on to the next one but when I’m looking for a fast good read I’m sure I’ll pick it up then!! :)

  27. October 29, 2009 7:20 pm

    I’m so over Bill. Team Eric all the way baby!

  28. October 29, 2009 8:02 pm

    I wonder if I have expectations that are too high too! Everyone goes gaga over these books. Well, I have it sitting there waiting for me so I’ll find out someday soon!

  29. October 29, 2009 8:16 pm

    I felt the same way about this book you did — it was a fun read, but not quite worthy of the hype. I enjoyed your review!

  30. October 29, 2009 8:55 pm

    Hmmm. I haven’t taken on the Sookie books yet (in fact, I didn’t know exactly which ones they were!). Maybe some afternoon when I’m looking for a light diversion. Cute cover, tho!

  31. Carly permalink
    October 29, 2009 9:12 pm

    De-lurking to say that I agree. I picked this book up at the airport this summer, and while I was entertained by it, it didn’t live up to what I wanted it to be — and I didn’t even know True Blood was based on a book, and I’ve never seen it, so I definitely didn’t have a whole lot of preconceived notions. It was okay, and I might read more, but it’s not my favorite vampire series (for what it’s worth, I haven’t read a ton of vampire things, but I do really enjoy the YA series The Morganville Vampires).

    I would like to read some of Charlaine Harris’s other series, though. Especially the ones about the town of Shakespeare.

  32. October 29, 2009 9:13 pm

    never read anything by her…and I think I will just leave her pretty far down the list. fun is good but…

  33. October 29, 2009 11:03 pm

    Dead Before Dark sounds like a good Halloween season read!
    I just started The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson… in search of some spooky reading as the night approaches!
    In this thing, the creepy matron of Hill House repeatedly tells the first two guests, “I leave before dark comes.” And after a pause, she adds, “in the night” — “In the dark.”
    You seldom read good scary stuff that takes place at like, high noon!

  34. October 29, 2009 11:04 pm

    Ooops.
    I meant Dead UNTIL Dark!

  35. October 29, 2009 11:08 pm

    sookie, sookie, all over the place…except i’ve never read any of these books! :) i keep hearing all about this character (and maybe a tv show too?) but have yet to give one a try. maybe in 2010? i’m already scheduling that far in advance!

  36. October 30, 2009 12:25 am

    Et tu, Kathy? I think that I am the last person to have not read a Sookie Stackhouse or seen the show. I don’t even think I knew who she was until Beth started this challenge. Too bad you didn’t like them a little more.

  37. October 30, 2009 5:29 am

    I still haven’t started this series, but I really don’t want to add 8 (right?) books to my TBR. Sorry you didn’t enjoy it as much as you thought you would, may be the rest of the series is better.

  38. October 30, 2009 11:23 am

    I’m sorry you didn’t love this. I’ve been holding off for fear of the same reaction.

  39. October 30, 2009 4:41 pm

    I read the first few in this series and just got bored.

  40. October 30, 2009 6:54 pm

    I read this book last year (you can see my review here http://www.stephanieswrittenword.com/?p=803) but wasn’t all that impressed for some of the same reasons you mentioned). Oh well, we can’t like them all!

  41. October 31, 2009 8:54 am

    I want to read this, but am almost afraid to because everyone seems to love it. My expectations may be a little too high…

  42. October 31, 2009 8:59 am

    Since it seems that everyone is reading these books I’ve been trying to ignore them…but I don’t think I can do that any longer.

  43. November 2, 2009 12:00 am

    Can you believe that I haven’t started reading it and the whole series is sitting in my shelf. I need to get moving on the series.

    Frankly, I have high expectations for this series too, just like you.

  44. November 2, 2009 8:47 am

    I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it as much as you had anticipated. You make very good points about the story. I do feel like the mystery went on a bit too long but I was glad to be surprised in the end by who the killer ended up being.

    Perhaps further books will grab you more :)

  45. justicejenniferreads permalink
    November 2, 2009 2:20 pm

    This sounds like an enjoyable-enough book. I liked your synopsis of it – I feel like you gave away just enough to make me want to read it. To me, it sound like something different to read, a break from the more dramatic heavy stuff, which I enjoy but sometimes I need a break from.

  46. November 2, 2009 4:22 pm

    I recently bought this book, so I am a little disappointed to hear that it wasn’t a great read for you. I have been following everyone’s forays into urban fantasy with interest, and had also heard a lot of good things about this series, so I grabbed a copy. I think I am just going to have to adjust my expectations when I do get to it. It might make a nice and non taxing read for a rainy day.

  47. November 4, 2009 10:24 am

    I love the Sookie Stackhouse series. Have you watched any of True Blood on HBO?

  48. November 4, 2009 9:42 pm

    I’m still not sold on this series, but Serena was laughing up a storm when she read book 2 during the Read-a-Thon.

  49. November 5, 2009 8:48 am

    Please keep going! The fourth one, Dead to the World is the best.

  50. November 12, 2009 1:41 am

    These books are never going to go down as Great English Literature ;)

    They are a fun read though. Popcorn if you want them to be, but there is actually some quite intricate plot and character development as the series progresses.

    Oh and there’s a reason you don’t get Sookie’s attraction to Bill ;)

  51. Shan permalink
    February 11, 2010 1:10 am

    I am just getting around to reading the blogs I follow, I know its sad, but I have read every book so far in this series and am waiting as patiently as possible for the next book this year. I mainly wanted to comment on the fact that you said you didn’t see(understand) Sookie’s attraction to Bill. Well, part of it you stated when you described Sookie. She reads minds, and its kind of sucks if you can read the mind of the guys you are dating. With Bill she didn’t have that problem, since he is a vampire she can not read his mind. She was able to have a more “normal” relationship with him.

    If anyone else is new to this blog or have never read CH’s books about Sookie Stackhouse, go out and buy or borrow these books. They are great.

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