Book Review: Dead Until Dark

Dead Until Dark, by Charlaine Harris, is the first book in the series that the HBO show TrueBlood is based on. I’m going to start off by saying I am almost at the end of season 2 of the show, so NO ONE TELL ME WHAT’S HAPPENING!!! I hate spoilers! Don’t tell me what’s coming up in the books or the show. At all. I hope everyone is clear on that point.

The book is about a girl named Sookie Stackhouse who lives in a small town in Louisiana. She’s a waitress, and psychic, but hardly anyone knows she can read minds. The main premise of the books is that an artificial blood substitute has been created that can sustain vampires instead of human blood. As a result, vampires have come out of the closet (coffin?), and are now living openly in human society.

I have enjoyed both the first season and first book, and I’m withholding judgement (me?? I know, I was surprised, too!) until I finish season 2.

The show is kind of good/bad, like reading a trashy romance novel, even though I wouldn’t categorize the novels it’s based on as trashy at all. Season 1 seems to follow this first book fairly closely, but (I’m told) after that it gets kind of crazy. This is an HBO show, so there are boobs, like, every ten minutes, and everyone swears like they just discovered bad words.

This is supposed to be about the book, however, so I’ll get back on track. The heroine, Sookie, is actually a really charming character. She’s very practical, and no-nonsense, and she’s genuinely nice and thoughtful. Even though super-natural things are occurring all around her, and she falls for a vampire of all things, she has her head on straight, and keeps it that way.

I hate it when the main characters in books go haring off doing stupid crap that makes no sense simply to make the plot move forward. That may have been my problem with the Stephanie Plum novel I read recently. Sookie does not do that crap; she approaches everything with common sense, and a “Well, may as well get this done” approach. I appreciate that the author can write an intelligent character, and I plan to read more of this series, even if the show goes all to hell. On the Clever Chick Scale this gets an “I’m intrigued; let’s see what happens”.

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September 13, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , . Book Reviews.

3 Comments

  1. Black replied:

    I read the first novel too, I liked it. I hear the show deviates from the books significantly later on, but I’ve only seen season 2 so can’t say for sure.

    I couldn’t agree more about poorly written protagonists. Main characters that are either extremely dense or careless feel fake – like they were made that way simply for the sake of moving the plot along. The show ‘Weeds’ (from what I saw) falls into this category and I had the misfortune of reading a Kim Harrison novel (urban fantasy) that fell into this category too. I’m reading Ready Player One right now by Ernest Cline – I highly recommend.

    • thatcleverchick replied:

      I know just what you mean! You’re reading the book, and the main character goes into a shady looking building, then gets captured by horrible people, and of course she left her cell phone at home, and didn’t tell anyone where she was going, yada yada. I always feel like characters that dumb deserve to be killed off, not the star of the plot.

  2. Book Review: Living Dead in Dallas « My Attempts at Cleverness replied:

    […] a crazy tangent. The plot in the book makes a lot more sense, and is more consistent with the way the other book is […]

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