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on 2 February 2014
I have a confession to make: I watched the True Blood TV series before I read this book. For me, that’s normally a real no-no, and now I remember why.

If I hadn’t already seen the show, I probably would have enjoyed reading Dead Until Dark a lot more. The entire first season pretty much follows the storyline of Dead Until Dark, so the murder mystery wasn’t much of a mystery for me at all.

However, even if I hadn’t seen True Blood, I’m still not sure how much I would have liked the book. It’s not very believable. I know, it’s about vampires, but I believe books about fairies sometimes and they’re even less likely to ever be real than vampires, right?

There are a few too many cheesy moments in Dead Until Dark for my liking, and I didn’t particularly enjoy the sexy moments either. Again, I just didn’t believe in them. It was a bit cringy.

Having said that, I read Dead Until Dark pretty quickly, and I do want to read the next book in the series. There are some good moments in amongst the bad, and the characters are interesting. If you haven’t already seen the TV show, I think you’ll find this book an enjoyable but not amazing read.

I’ve heard, on good authority, that the series does get better after the first one, and that it differs from the TV show quite significantly, so I’m looking forward reading more and hopefully my review of the second book in the series will come with a four star rating rather than a three.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 4 September 2010
This is the first of the Sookie Stackhouse books and is the basis for the first series of True Blood Season 1 (HBO) [DVD] [2008]. If you've watched the series, it's still well worth reading the book as they operate in parallel to each other, rather than being the same. The Tara and Lafayette storylines, for example, don't appear in the book which concentrates on the Sookie/Bill relationship and the murders in Bon Temps.

Sookie's a great character: sweet without being a pushover, funny without being snappy or sharp (although she has her moments), and with a refreshing moral centre. Her relationship with Bill is funny and touching, sexy in a light way, and less all-encompassing-love which is what the HBO team have chosen to make it.

Harris is especially good at conveying the feel of small town America and, as readers, we quickly feel at home here so that reading the later books is like visiting friends.

This is the first of what is currently a ten book series and one of the things I love about this world is the way life moves on, things change, facts we think we know later turn out to be not quite what we thought them. So this isn't great literature by any means, but it's a great read and the series is utterly addictive.
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on 24 February 2010
I'm coming to the Sookie Stackhouse series rather late, and kinda wishing I wasn't. I made the mistake of not hopping on the bandwagon quickly enough, so I ended up watching 'True Blood' well before I even bought this first book. I knew who the bad guys were so I didn't get the benefit of the suspense as the mystery unfolded; I knew where the love scenes were so I didn't feel the chemistry in the same way; I was waiting for people and events that never appeared; and the voice 'reading' in my head through the entire thing was Anna Paquin's southern drawl - which is quite difficult to keep up, I can tell you!

Despite that, I really enjoyed it! It was quick and fluffy, with a few genuinely thrilling moments and some nice splashes of lust and blood in there, as there should be in a good vampire story. The relationships between the characters unfolded nicely and the end of the novel tied everything up neatly while still making me wonder what was going to happen next. I'm definitely looking forward to reading on, and I'll make sure I get plenty more Harris under my belt before Series 2 of True Blood hits the screens here!
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on 22 June 2017
i love it
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on 8 September 2009
Excellent read if you like vampires etc. Quite a lot of graphic sexual content so not good for young teenagers. I enjoyed the story so much that I read it twice. It's quite exciting all the way through. The series follows on in 9 other books - you will love to read them all and will keep you up until early hours in the morning. I have found it difficult to find another book series as good as the Twilight saga, however the Sookie Stackhouse series for me are rated as almost as good! Sookie is a good looking blonde looking for love! The love is found with a vampire - Bill Crompton, who visits the cafe where she works. She is telepathic but can't read the minds of vampires because they are dead of course! The romance blossoms and you will want to continue to read the full series to see what happens to their relationship - all isn't what it seems! So keep reading!!!!!!
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on 28 June 2008
Yes, I enjoyed this instalment in the Sookie Stackhouse series. I adore the small town atmosphere combined with a parallel realistic supernatural world. However, I didn't enjoy this book as much as I feel I should have done. I don't want to give anything away (I get a wee bit frustrated by spoilers and when I'm scrolling down reviews it can be hard for my eye not to catch something) - I'll just say that to me Sookie seems to be getting more selfish: the Quinn section of the story seems half baked and self absorbed (on Sookie's part) and seeing as things happen that allow Sookie to be given 'favours' by the powerful then if she'd wanted she could have helped Quinn and others. Even Sookie admits her reaction to her long lost relative comes over as whiny.

The Eric development was something I'd really been looking forward to and felt more could have been made of that. Though I'm glad it happened (yes, I'm talking in riddles!).

What I did enjoy was the way lots of loose ends were tied up (especially Sookie's ancestry) and interesting scenarios have been set up for the future with two particularly intriguing new characters (a king and a fairy - you'll discover who they are when you read the book!). However, it felt very much an 'inbetween book' - so I hope the next will have a stronger plot.

Of course, if you're reading this series then you HAVE to read this volume. If you're new to the series then you really won't get enough out of it and should start at the beginning with 'Dead Until Dark' (you're so lucky - you'll have eight books to read!). Very much looking forward to True Blood on TV (the new Southern vampire Sookie TV series)- hope we don't have to wait too long for it in the UK.
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on 28 January 2007
Sookie Stackhouse is a touch on the unusual side and everyone in her small town think just that, even the men. I add that as normally men can look past oddness if the woman in question is attractive - and Sookie is. However she can read mind, I can imagine that being a touch unnerving...

However Sookie isn't the only curiosity in her small town as a visitor has decided to set up home - Bill Compton. Sounds like a normal enough name doesn't it? Odd bit is that Bill remembers the civil war, because Bill was there. Yes Bill is part of the undead - a vampire.

The unfortunate thing about Bill is that just as he has turned up people seem to be turning up dead. Now is this coincidence or something more than that? Sookie clearly believes the former as she befriends Bill and even begins to think a whole lot more of him but as time passes even she begins to think there is more to him...

I quite liked the writer's style, in the beginning it has a certain naivety to it that reflects Sookie's own outlook on life and the writing grows somewhat from "Buffy" to something more sinister as it goes on, again reflecting Sookie's own journey of self discovery. There were weaknesses the book, the ending felt rushed and I don't think there was enough development of characters but to be fair this is a series and as an opening gambit this is a very decent effort.
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on 12 August 2009
I decided to read this book after watching and loving the series True Blood Season 1 (HBO) [DVD] [2008] which is based on this book series, or the first season, more specifically this book.

However, the two are very different. While the show is dark in a fairly light-hearted and campy way, the books are just light-hearted, there is no real darkness of grittiness to them. But they are enjoyable, and there is a certain familiarity with them, when you've seen the show. The characters are similar, I felt Bill had been changed most for the show, he's pretty cold and bossy in the book, where on the show, he never really gets away with bossing Sookie around.

But, back to the book. The writing is good, if a little simple. The characters are well developed, Sookie is an especially appealing heroine, which in a lot of other urban fantasy books, is a rare find. There is a mystery running through the book, much like the first season, which is probably the only storyline which plays out in both the book and show in the same way.

If I was going to make one criticism of the book, it would be that the two main characters, and the love interests of the book, Bill and Sookie have very little chemistry and a lot of their interaction is just Billie letting Sookie what to do. For example, whenever the two have sex, it is always on Bill's accord, never in a moment of passion or love. The whole relationship feels very routine and there is just never any time when it feels "real". I haven't read the second book in the series, Living Dead In Dallas: A True Blood Novel yet, so I don't know if Harris has has perfected the romance, but hopefully it will become less mechanical as the books progress.

Also those who have said this is a Twilight rip-off, they are wrong. This actually came first way back in 2001. It is just that Twilight has made the vampire novel more mainstream than ever, that people are beginning to get into other similar vampire/human romance stories.

So this does come highly recommended for fans of the genre, its a quick read, I read it it about three days, and its simple enough to read in large chunks. If you can get passed the light-heartedness and enjoy it for what it is then you will enjoy it, however if you go into it, expecting it to be in the same style as the TV show, you will be disappointed because this is far less dark.
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on 1 July 2017
My overriding feeling is that this book is offensive. All her characters are stupid and this is a deliberate choice on the part of the author. They refer to themselves as stupid and are predominantly white, poor and working class.
The main character is a waitress Sookie Slackhouse. She has the ability to constantly hear what people are thinking, which she refers to as her disability. If you compare the constant noise to tinnitus, then I would accept it as a disability, but it still feels an inappropriate term. She meets Bill the vampire at the bar where she works. In this enlightened America vampires are accepted as part of the community since the invention of synthetic blood and the fact that they no longer need to feed on humans. Bill is portrayed as a southern gentleman, although we are made aware that he is dead and does not have the same empathy and regard for life as human beings.
We meet Eric when Sookie is investigating the death of her grandmother. Bill takes her to a vampire bar and Eric is not only the owner, but the senior vampire in the area. Here the reader begins to see the organisation of vampire hierarchy as well as the seedier side of human fascination with vampires.
In order to broaden the supernatural theme, Sam, Sookie’s boss, is a shapeshifter. He rings her one evening telling her Jason, her brother, is in the bar and when she comes over he changes into a dog. Sookie thinking he is a stray takes pity on him and takes him home, only to find Sam sleeping next to her the next morning.
The ending ties all the loose ends of the story, but still leaves a hint of the future. When the man who has been murdering local waitresses attempts to murder Sookie she ends up in hospital and the police finally have their man. When Bill visits her in the hospital he promises to take care of her and explains in order to gain influence in the area, he has entered vampire politics and become an elected official. The future of Bill and Sookie’s relationship is therefore left open, until the next book.
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on 29 May 2017
It took me quite a time before starting this series, somehow i was a little afraid but after reading the novella in the Dark secrets anthology, i wanted to read more of this author and thankfully i remembered that i had this book in my pile soi could start without delay.

I do like the author ‘s writing style, it’s clear and she built an interesting universe even if i don’t have all the rules yet, for example she tells us that vampires are the last one to have revealed their existence and got special right... i would have wanted to know a little more about the others paranormals.

The characters are well buit and so far i prefer Sam... who is there and loyal but not too much on the “ ownership” side. Bill intrigues me he does seem to care for Sookie but somehow i’m not at ease with him. As for Jason, Sookie’s brother.. so far i dislike him greatly... i hate his behaviour but even more his reaction to Sookie past... of all other he should have been the one to trust her but not only he doubted her but he even accused her.
Sookie is interesting...she had a difficult life and her gift didn’t help ut despite everything she still is kind and looks for the positive... i quite admire that.

No i do prefer when the romance is building slowly along the book when it’s a serie slike this one so having Sookie jump in bed in teh first book bothered me a little even if i do understand the circonstances and the importance of it for the plot so it’s okay just not what i prefer.

The plot, hum it’s okay i did guess the murderer identity but i’m more curious about the problem Eric is at this time. The rythm is just what it should be and it’s read quite easily.
I do plan to continue this series and i have the second one ready in the pile , i think so at least, so we will see if the pleasure continues
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