Dead Until Dark – 4/5 Stars
It’s impossible to read this book and not think of the show. So I will be reading this book and thinking about the show. The main reasons for this impossibility involve a)I have seen like 6 seasons of the show and it is by far the way I think about these characters, this setting, and these stories. b) The show is clearly a very solid adaptation of the books, at least this first one. c) There are some reasonable changes the show makes in terms of balancing the focus (meaning that the novel is told strictly through Sookie, but the show is much more ensemble) and there’s a clear need to flesh out some characters and invent some more (we need some women who aren’t dead or “whores” perhaps), so they invent Tara.
But other than that it’s pretty faithful over all. There’s a solid amount of world-building, there’s context built to allow for the additional non-vampire stuff like Sookie’s abilities and Sam’s transformations. There’s a complete avoidance of the annoying ways that some shows like XFiles scoff at a lot of supernatural stuff and Supernatural scoffs at alien stuff, and things are pretty well balanced.
What’s best perhaps is that while the novel is ostensibly a love story/romance, the structure and plot are a mystery. The book introduces all the different things about the setting, the world, the characters, and the context while also delivering a compelling, dangerous, and what rendered mystery story. So kudos.