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5.0 out of 5 stars Avid Reader & Reviewer
Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris is our introduction to Sookie Stackhouse, the Vampire Bill and the colorful town of Bon Temps, Louisiana.
Sookie, a very blonde, buxom, barmaid is not your average girl in Bon Temps. She has the ability to read other's minds. This ability is not an asset when working in a bar. Image if you could 'hear' someone's thoughts,...
Published on April 25 2004 by Alisa McCune

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More "Love at First Bite" than Anne Rice
What this book has going for it is great gobs of Southern charm in the guise of its heroine Sookie Stackhouse, a small town Louisiana cocktail waitress who has this unfortunate gift of being able to read minds. Then she meets Bill, and can't read a thing he's thinking,which is a delight in her eyes.Her inability to read him is tied to the fact that he's a vampire, which...
Published on May 16 2004 by Brett Benner


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More "Love at First Bite" than Anne Rice, May 16 2004
By 
Brett Benner (Los Angeles, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
What this book has going for it is great gobs of Southern charm in the guise of its heroine Sookie Stackhouse, a small town Louisiana cocktail waitress who has this unfortunate gift of being able to read minds. Then she meets Bill, and can't read a thing he's thinking,which is a delight in her eyes.Her inability to read him is tied to the fact that he's a vampire, which in Sookies world is as common as any other race, creed, or national origin. They are referred to as "fangs" versus "humans", and it's not long before she's head over heels in love with him. The problem starts when bodies begin to pile up around town, and Sookie begins to fear for her life.
Sookie is a disarming and utterly charming character, and for me is what makes the book unique.Bill seems an interesting guy, but there's not much to him besides his lust/love for Sookie, but I'm imagining more will be revealed in subsequent books.Overall I found the tone of the book hard to classify; Is it a romance novel with an underworld twist, or a mystery novel with a romantic undercurrent? Either, both, I don't know. Whatever it is, it's amusing and worth reading providing you're not expecting Anne Rice.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No way can compare with Tanya Huff or Laurell K. Hamilton, June 7 2002
By A Customer
I picked up this book mainly because of the reviews and because she was compared favorably with Tanya Huff's vampire series and Laurell K. Hamilton. No Way! Tanya Huff's was my favorite and I enjoyed Laurell Hamilton's up to the last three books. This book did not have anything in it that caught at my attention enough to keep reading. If you are looking for a good vampire book try the above two authors or Barbara Hambly's two vampire books, or a book called the Vampire and the Cowboy. This book I would rate as boring and just plain dumb.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not What I Expected, Jan. 16 2004
By 
Andrea Redich "funnymom29" (Monroe, Michigan United States) - See all my reviews
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It might have been a mistake to read this book after reading the Anita Blake series. I bought all three Charlaine Harris books and read them all in a row. I was more than a little disappointed. Some people may have found the books amusing....I didn't. I enjoy a good vampire book and found these books silly and well.........boring. Pretty much a waste of time. Sorry.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Fun with vampires, May 15 2004
Charlaine Harris borrows liberally from fellow writer Laurel K. Hamilton in her girl-meets-vampire novel. However, Harris is certainly more comical than Hamilton (at times to the point of spoofing vampire fiction) as well as less interested in the macabre. The very silly author starts off on the right foot by dubbing her blood lusting hero "The Vampire Bill." Not Ambrose. Not Vladimir. Bill. Then later she one-ups herself by introducing "The Vampire Bubba" and a were-collie. Again, her bizarre love triangle (vampire-human woman-lycanthrope) is lifted from Hamilton's work. The twist here is that Charlaine Harris' heroine, Sookie Stackhouse, is psychic while Hamilton's protagonist can merely raise the dead. The author sets herself a tough task by setting her book in tiny Bon Temps, Louisiana, a town she seems to be depopulated very rapidly. If she is going to continue the series, a busload of new characters will need to move into town or the action will have to move elsewhere. There are at least a dozen murders in this book (counting four vampires and one pet cat), but they are largely "off-camera" so the content is generally not too violent or gruesome. Still, conservative parents might want to screen this book first before letting their pre-teens read it since it is fairly explicit in parts. All-in-all, Sookie is a pretty likable heroine and the book turns out to be a fun, quick-paced read for those who enjoy humorous paranormal mysteries.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Avid Reader & Reviewer, April 25 2004
By 
Alisa McCune (Chicago, IL USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris is our introduction to Sookie Stackhouse, the Vampire Bill and the colorful town of Bon Temps, Louisiana.
Sookie, a very blonde, buxom, barmaid is not your average girl in Bon Temps. She has the ability to read other's minds. This ability is not an asset when working in a bar. Image if you could 'hear' someone's thoughts, worries, dreams, their most intimate feelings. How is a girl supposed to find a boyfriend in the backwater of Louisiana when she is acutely aware of all his thoughts? Sookie has found a solution - the Vampire Bill. Vampires where 'outed' some years ago after the invention of artificial blood. Sookie is unable to read the minds of vampires and finds great comfort in the arms of Bill.
Sookie begins her adventure with a chance encounter with the Vampire Bill and the 'Rat' couple, some local trailer park trash. Things quickly escalate as Sookie faces a series of murders that - surprise, surprise - appear to have been committed by a vampire.
Dead Until Dark is a hilarious adventure from start to finish. From Sam Merlot, the bartender with secrets of his own, to Jason, Sookie's brother and all around stud-muffin with a fancy pick-up truck, all the characters are colorful and entertaining. While Dead Until Dark is not dark, heavy, horror, it is entertaining and engaging.
Many have compared the Southern Vampire series to Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series. While both series focus on human/vampire relationship, the similarities are few. Sookie lacks the predatory aspects of Anita Blake. Sookie is also very naïve, while no one would ever consider this of Anita Blake. Anita is very angst driven. In contrast, Sookie is just a nice, hard working girl who happens to have some gifts or disabilities depending on your point of view. Dead Until Dark does share the mystery elements Laurell K. Hamilton focused on in the early Anita Blake novels.
Charlaine Harris is the other of three more Sookie novels; Living Dead in Dallas, Club Dead, and Dead to the World, to be published May, 2004. She is also the author of two popular mystery series; the Aurora Tegarden series and the Lily Bard Shakespeare series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Vampire Series, March 7 2004
By 
Elizabeth "lking173" (Los Angeles, CA United States) - See all my reviews
Okay I'm a huge vampire fan. I discovered Charlaine Harris' dead series quite by accident and immediately fell in love. If you are a fan of the supernatural or romance, you will not be disappointed. Very highly recommended! Be sure to read this series in order. This novel is the first in her series. Read this one first, following with "Living Dead in Dallas" and finally "Club Dead".
I almost didn't pick up this series due to the fact it was termed "lighthearted read," and I'm not a big fan of the newest craze of "comedy vampire books" on the market. I like my vampires with a little more depth and mystery. This series gives you that.
The heroine is Sookie, a southern gal in a small town. Sookie likes her simple life. She's a waitress and has no complaints except maybe the fact that she can read minds. Now the only problem with reading minds is that she pretty much knows just what most of the men who want to date her are thinking. And the men she has dated so far are not the deepest thinkers.
Now enter new into town the vampire Bill. Sookie has been waiting to meet one of the new vampires that came out "of the closet" once bottled blood came on the market. She has been longing to meet one of these vampires but being in a small town Bill is the first. She's already fascinated with Bill and then on top of that Sookie finds out she can't read Bills mind. The story goes on from there. I don't want to give too much away. Let's just say "its wonderful."
I must make a comment on the comparison of this series with the Anita Blake series. I have read quite a few disgruntled reviews comparing this series with Laurell Hamilton's and terming this a "copycat series." I disagree completely! I am also a big Anita Blake fan (but I must be truthful - only the first four and from there it went downhill). You can say in comparison that the worlds in both storylines accept the fact of vampires and werewolves and other otherworldly creatures, but this series IS NOT the same, and stands on its own. This series truly adds a southern charm all its own. I enjoyed Sookie the down home girl with all of her Southern charm! This is no way comapares to the Anite Blake series which is pretty "dark and depressing."
This book and the entire series gets 5 stars.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Homespun southern gothic, complete with fangs, Feb. 20 2004
By 
The first book in the Southern Vampire series by Charlaine Harris is a fun, quick, easy read. Sookie Stackhouse, a waitress in a small Louisiana town, is pretty and blonde and not dumb at all. She's perfectly normal, except for one small quirk. She has telepathy. This makes it difficult to stay sane, and impossible to get dates. Until she meets Bill, a tall, dark and handsome man whose mind she absolutely can't read. He's perfectly normal, except for one small quirk. He's a vampire.
Some things are just never easy.
And so Sookie's adventures begin. Over the course of the book, she begins dating and perhaps loving Bill, adjusts to small town prejudice, and even becomes involved in a freakish murder mystery. Someone is killing 'fang bangers', women who sleep with vampires and allow themselves to become willing prey. Since Sookie is currently involved with a creature of the night, she's naturally drawn into the grisly proceedings. And then there's her boss, a sweet sandy haired man who happens to be a lycanthrope and smitten with her. Her life just gets progressively weirder.
First and foremost, be prepared, if you are a Laurell K Hamilton fan or are acquainted with her writings, for a very watered-down version of Anita Blake, vampire hunter. We've got the supernaturally gifted heroine, the human-vampire-werewolf love triangle, the undead as legal citizens, and the occult murder mystery. Sookie, of course, is no Anita, neither as complex nor as strong as Hamilton's feisty protagonist. While this makes her proceedings more realistic and a little more accessible, you just won't fall in love with her like you would with Anita. She actually becomes a bit trying and boring near the end, though you'll still want to finish the book.
This book has its enjoyable elements. We find out that there is a black market for vampire blood, werewolves can become little collie dogs, and an undead Elvis Presley, who now calls himself Bubba, is Sookie's bodyguard. While nothing is truly exciting and original (we've seen most of it in the Anita Blake series), it is fun, and a good, light read for when Hamilton's books get a little melodramatic. If you're unacquainted with Hamilton, you'll probably be bowled over by the story's inventiveness. If you read Anita, you won't find anything new, but you'll at least get a homier version of the tales you know and love.
This gets three stars for combining charming style and mostly sturdy writing with a story that has been done before.
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4.0 out of 5 stars a good start, Feb. 11 2004
By 
Jem S. (BC, Canada) - See all my reviews
I give it to Harris, she has orginality, well a little bit. Sookie is expecting the vampire to be an "Antoine" "Francois" and all those lovely french names, who could ever think u can also have a Vampire Bill? Harris continued to create a heroine who is a cry-baby, a little bit nutty, and a weakling instead of the usual Buffy/Anita Blake "tough-as-nails-vampire slayers". I'm not against this part; it's very refreshing to have a more realistic woman who's not afraid to show her emotions or accept help from the opposite sex. But she still kept on with the typical love triangle with a shapeshifter, two vampires, and probably a human on the coming series just like the other vampire series out there. Continuing with the imitations, Sookie is gifted, not just an ordinary human, no-no, that wouldn't be interesting and I have a huge hunch her powers will grow immensely on the 3rd book or 4th book. Nevertheless, I like how she write, it's light, not so heavy and emotional with a faint attempt on humour. It's not laugh out loud funny but she has potential. The mystery is a put-down. You'll figure out the whole thing half-way through the book. BUt I know she'll improve on it. I'll give this 3 stars because Ive read better ones, but I encourage everybody to start the series. I know the characters and the author will become dear to me as I continue to read and learn about their emotions, principles, conflicts, etc..
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4.0 out of 5 stars Just a fun read, Dec 1 2003
By 
If you like a fun spin on the whole vampire genre (and a little romance) set in the South no less - you'll like this book.
There will be the inevitable comparisons between the Southern Vampire stories and Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series (of which I am a fan), but they are different. Yes, the main character is female and she does end up in a relationship with a vampire. However, this whole type of theme is not original to Hamilton and Ms. Harris puts her own spin to the world she creates.
First off Ms Harris knows her "South" and all the wacky characters that live there - whether they are human or vampire. These stories, though they have they do have violence and a few nice sex scenes (not as graphic or as violent as Hamilton's series) are not as dark and demented as many books out there.
Sookie Stackhouse has a "disability" - she can read minds. Which instead of making her some sort of comic book hero, is really a problem for her.
Humor! These books can be very funny. Ms Harris has a great wit which just adds to her storytelling. This is a quick read and fun. Buy it, you'll probably want to read it a few times!
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Intriguing Blend of Horror and Mystery!, Sept. 26 2003
By 
Fred Wiehe "Horror Author" (San Jose, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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Sookie Stackhouse has what she calls a "disability." She's a telepath. Now reading minds sounds like it might be a good thing, but as she points out it sort of gets in the way of relationships, sexual relationships in particularly. It's hard for her to have sex and enjoy it when she knows the man she's with thinks her breasts are too small or maybe he's thinking of someone else. Besides, other people's thoughts bombarding her all day drive her crazy. She works as a waitress in a bar and comes in contact with many people on a daily basis. So for her own sanity, and because she thinks it rude to listen in, she's learn to block out the noise from the minds of others. Then Bill comes into her life. He's the perfect boyfriend because she can't read his thoughts at all. That's because he has a disability of his own. He's dead. He's a vampire. Vampires have recently come out of the closet so to speak and exposed their existence to the world. All of this came about because of the creation of synthetic blood, making it possible for them to exist without preying on unwilling humans. They are the new minority and now wish to coexist with humans. Of course, the vampires-like any minority-have those who hate them. But they also have those who admire and adore them as well. These people are called fang-bangers. Three female fang-bangers suddenly turn up dead, murdered, and the vampires are quickly blamed. Fear fuels the fires of hatred and violence erupts between the humans and the undead. This puts Bill at risk. Also, Sookie fears that she's next on the murderer's list since she has a vampire boyfriend. So, with Bill's help, she uses her "disability" to solve the mystery, and in the process she puts her own life on the line.
This is an extraordinary and original book; full of charm and wit, capturing small-town America to a T. Harris blends together several genres-horror, mystery, and a bit of Gothic romance-with ease and aplomb. She has a straight forward, just between you and me kind of style that's fun and easy to read. One minute she's making you laugh, the next she's sending chills along your spine, and the next she's got you wondering who done it. This book will entertain and keep you guessing until the very end. I highly recommend it.
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Dead Until Dark
Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris (Paperback - June 2004)
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