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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fresh and interesting look at the world of the supernatural
So I was in a bookstore and I had to kill some major time and that is how I came across Harris' southern vampire novels. I had never heard of them before so I thought I would try the first one out. Well I read it in a day and went back to the bookstore and picked up the of the series that was availiable.

This book introduces us to Harris' heroine Sookie...
Published on Feb. 8 2007 by Kelly Brianna

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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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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fresh and interesting look at the world of the supernatural, Feb. 8 2007
So I was in a bookstore and I had to kill some major time and that is how I came across Harris' southern vampire novels. I had never heard of them before so I thought I would try the first one out. Well I read it in a day and went back to the bookstore and picked up the of the series that was availiable.

This book introduces us to Harris' heroine Sookie Stackhouse, a beautiful waitress in a small town bar. Not only does Sookie live in a world where vampires have recently been agknowledge as existing and are open to the public, she also has the gift/curse of being able to read people's minds.

I don't want to give anymore away but I would say that any fan of the supernatural should read this book, especially if you like your stories modern and with a sense of humour.

Currently I'm reading the second book in the series, so I can't really verify that the rest of the books are any good. But if they follow in the footsteps of Dead Until Dark, I think I will enjoy them just as much.
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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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm a waittress, May 16 2010
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Urban fantasy usually takes place in, you know, urban areas. Cities, big towns, and places where vampires and weres creep in dank alleys.

But Charlaine Harris took a slightly different approach in the first novel of the Sookie Stackhouse series, "Dead Until Dark." While it has many of the genre staples -- werebeasties, vampires and superspeshul humans -- this series is solidly entrenched in warm Southern charm, humor and mellow mystery.

In an alternate world where vampires have revealed themselves to the populace (courtesy of bottled faux-blood), waitress Sookie Stackhouse can read minds, which is more of a curse than a blessing.

But when she encounters vampire Bill Compton, she discovers that she is unable to read vampire minds. Unfortunately she's run afoul of some vile people who want to cruelly drain Bill of his blood, so she charges out to save "the vampire Bill" from his silver bonds and blood-draining. They're mutually intrigued, and an odd little romance starts to bloom.

But then Sookie's life is overturned by some supernatural personal problems -- a coworker dies with fang marks on her thigh, and her grandmother is viciously muredred. And as she tries to find the murderer, Sookie finds that the supernatural world is a lot more complicated -- and close to home -- than she ever dreamed.

"Dead Until Dark" does a great job of avoiding the usual pitfalls of urban fantasy -- it's not all doom'n'gloom, gothic pomposity and angst. In fact, Harris has a fun time spoofing it with the wannabe-seductive, cheesily-dressed "fang-bangers ". Instead, it's soaked in down-home Southern charm, the pleasant little town of Bon Temps, and a generally mellow, relaxed atmosphere.

Of course, it doesn't stop Harris from piling on gruesome murders and some truly nasty people, both vampire (the vampire gang crashing at Bill's house) and human (the "Rats"). Her style is warm, steady and mildly tongue-in-cheek ("the traditional capes and tuxes for the men to many Morticia Adams ripoffs among the females"), but there are some decidedly bleak moments and moral dilemmas woven in there.

Sookie is a likable character -- an unpretentious and no-nonsense waitress who doesn't go looking for trouble, but whose telepathic talents often draw it to her. And Harris handles some horrible topics through her, such as her childhood molestation and her bickering with her slutty, not-too-bright brother.

The supporting characters are also pretty well-drawn -- her kindly boss Sam turns out to have his own supernatural secret (werecollies!), the gorgeous golden Viking Eric, and her lovable Grandmother. Bill is a rather bland character as love interests go, but Harris does give him a great sense of chilly "otherness" and great age ("It's hard for me to get used to young ladies with so few clothes on").

"Dead Until Dark (Southern Vampire Mysteries, No. 1)" is a solid, pleasantly down-home little urban fantasy, with lots of vampires, the odd shapeshifter, and some nasty little murder mysteries. Fun little urban fantasy book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK, but not as good as expected..., May 8 2009
By 
Why Not (Toronto, ON, Can) - See all my reviews
Having just finished reading this, the first book in the Sookie Stackhouse series, I will say that I do intend to pick up at least a couple of the sequels ... however I also found Dead Until Dark to be quite lacking in a few key areas for me. First and foremost, I get easily disappointed with a read when the characters act in ways that just don't seem natural, when their motives, behaviour, choices, thoughts etc. just don't add up to what I might expect a real, live person might do. I found this was frequently the case with Charlaine Harris' writing, as I just wasn't convinced of the legitimacy of Sookie's emotions, reactions, decisions and considerations in many cases... I did enjoy the fiery chemistry as she eased into a relationship with Bill, the vampire, but then I felt that his character could have used more developing on a deeper level; I get that vampires are generally cold-hearted, for the most part lacking in the human emotions that they have long since left behind, but as we got to know Bill a little more throughout the book, it would have been nice to see more dimension to his ultimately rather flat personality. There was some decent background on his former life, but I feel like Harris needed to open him up to us a little bit more... On the plus side, the fictional world in which vampires are an 'accepted' albeit taboo part of society provided a unique and interesting backdrop to the story, and I'll look forward to learning more of that world's intricacies as the series progresses.
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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
(REAL NAME)   
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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5.0 out of 5 stars SO THIS IS WHAT ALL THE FUSS HAS BEEN ABOUT, Jan. 29 2011
By 
Buggy "SUNNIE Day reader" (British Columbia, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
I must be one of the last people on the planet to read Dead After Dark. I also haven't had a chance (yet) to watch the True Blood series although because it's been all over the media I had a pretty good visual reference for the characters here without actually having to compare the two. I was able to just go along for the ride. And what a ride, I can definitely see now what all the fuss has been about.

Honestly I had a hard time putting this down. Harris has created the perfect mixture of paranormal romance, mystery and action. With intriguing, humorous characters and situations and an absorbing, fast moving plot. Her take on Vampiric society is fresh and fascinating and I appreciated how we were continually reminded that despite "coming out" vampires are still very much predators.

I also found Sookie to be incredibly relatable despite her "disability" and supernatural circumstances. Harris just has a way of making her feel all girl next door so that we discover everything right along with her. I also loved Harris's portrait of small town America and in this case it's unique bar patrons whom I felt like I knew. This could be in part because I'm from a small town and I also cocktailed for years so the characters seemed familiar to me. Whatever the case I'm glad I finally got around to reading this series.

Sookie lives in the real world of small town Louisiana. She is a pretty cocktail waitress, lives with her grandmother and because of her telepathic "disability" keeps to herself. The people in Bon Temps tend to think that Sookie's a little crazy because she knows things she shouldn't and acts strange while her mental "guard" is up.

Everything changes the day Bill walks into her bar and orders a bottle of synthetic blood. Bill is a vampire and ever since they entered mainstream society she's wanted to meet one. To make things even more interesting Sookie can't hear a word he's thinking, Bill might just be her perfect match, except of course for the fact that he's dead. Unfortunately soon after Bill arrives people start turning up dead, in particular waitresses. After an attack at her grandmother's house Sookie fears she might be next. Then there's Bill's creepy group of friends, the recent Elvis sightings, her brothers illicit behaviour and all of a sudden her boss isn`t quite who he appears to be either.

So like I said I really enjoyed this, the love scenes are steamy and dirty (think outdoors, mud, and covered in blood dirty) and Bill well he is just delicious in a dangerous bad boy wanting to brush your hair kinda way. The romance aspect here was very good. I also really liked Sam's character and appreciated how his true self wasn't revealed right away. Bubba was another awesome little addition and the many townsfolk and their idiosyncrasies were fantastic. There are some surprising moments here and I never really knew where things were going to go next. Although I'll be honest I had a tough time keeping straight who was who. Getting many of (the many) secondary characters mixed up so that even at the end when the killer was revealed I had to back track to figure out who it was. Can't recommend this one enough.
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4.0 out of 5 stars "twilight" for grown ups, Dec 2 2009
This is a quick, entertaining read. It's got some very sexy vampires and a murder mystery running through it.

Sookie Stackhouse is the main character and she's telepathic. She also kind and sweet and pretty tough. While the world adjusts to vampires coming "out of the coffin" because of the creation of synthetic blood. Sookies works at a dead end waitress job struggling to cope with knowing what everyone around her thinks , when all she really wants is some peace and quiet. In walks Bill the vampire to order some O negative. His mind is silent to Sookie (she can't read vampires minds) , the perfect man - sure he's undead but he's hot. While their relationship grows you begin to understand the stigmas that go with being "infected" with the vampire virus and how those who associate with them are judged. When girls who dated vampires start showing up dead in Bon Temps, Sookies home town, things get interesting. I read the book before HBO started the series and unlike most screen adaptations , the HBO series is great but read the book first.True Blood: The Complete First Season
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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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Dead Until Dark
Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris (Paperback - June 2004)
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