If you’ve seen the HBO Show True Blood, then you know the plot of Dead Until Dark. Vampires are real and everyone knows about them. Sookie Stackhouse wants to meet a vampire desperately, but she’s just a waitress at a small bar in Bon Temps, Louisiana where nothing exciting ever happens. The only thing that keeps things interesting/challenging for Sookie is that she can read minds. Other than that, her life is boring: she goes to work, she goes home to her home where she lives with her grandmother, she goes to work, ad infinitum… That’s the routine until a vampire by the name of Bill Compton strolls into the bar. The presence of Bill and a sudden string of murders in Bon Temps changes everything for Sookie.
This book is fine. It’s fine. It is solidly middle of the road. It’s a quick, light read if you’re looking for something to read on the beach or on the bus. It doesn’t take a lot of attention to get through. Sookie as a character is whatever the scene needs her to be. Compliant and demure in one chapter. Opinionated and confident in the next. Knows nothing about sex when she first meets Bill; knows exactly what to do during sex soon after she meets Bill. She changes to fit the plot. The other characters are much more defined and consistent.
I will commend Harris on the thought she has put into building this world in which vampires are full citizens and mind reading is real. She has clearly thought through some of the more mundane aspects of real vampires like paying taxes and social gatherings and the dichotomy of attraction and repulsion toward and by vampires from humans. Sookie’s affliction also has some interesting consequences. It’s a fun world that is not fully utilized.
[I tried reading the second book and the quality plummeted, so maybe don’t pick up this series.]