Book Review: Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

deaduntildarkTitle: Dead Until Dark
Author: Charlaine Harris
Genre: Paranormal fiction
Publisher: Ace Books
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Source: Print copy from the library
First line: I’d been waiting for the vampire for years when he walked into the bar.

I took Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris out from the library for the readathon, and then never got to it. It’s due soon, though, so I picked it up and read the whole thing in a day and a half. The story itself kept me riveted, but that doesn’t mean the book is without its weaknesses.

Sookie Stackhouse is a telepathic waitress in Louisiana. When she meets Bill, there is something different about him, something other than the fact that he is a vampire. She can’t hear his thoughts – and the silence is exquisite. With the invention of synthetic blood, vampires have come out of the coffin and are now a legally recognized minority. Bill is trying to mainstream – to live a “normal” life among humans. Sookie is extremely attracted to this dark, gorgeous vampire.

That’s not her only problem, though. Women who have slept with vampires are being murdered, and her brother is the prime suspect. Also, her boss Sam is acting strange. And Bill’s friends aren’t quite as friendly to humans as he is. Sookie has to find a way to clear her brother’s name and find out the identity of the murderer – before she becomes his next victim.

I signed up for the Sookie Stackhouse challenge because everyone has raved about these books. And I can see why – Charlaine Harris can tell a good story. She’s come up with a unique take on vampires and I really like the character of Sookie. She’s spunky and has a unique voice. What I was surprised about was the quality of writing. Some of the sentences were very awkward, and that would pull me out of the story. I’m not sure if this was Harris’s first book, but it read like it was.

That said, I did enjoy the story and the characters, and that’s enough to make me want to pick up book two.

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23 Responses to Book Review: Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

  1. Sandy
    Twitter: youvegottaread

    I just couldn’t handle the commitment this time around, but I know that some year, I’m going to read all of these books.
    .-= Sandy´s last blog ..A Challenge Honoring My Youth! =-.

  2. Michelle says:

    I like these books from a sheer entertainment value. I don’t pay too close attention to the writing because I know that isn’t likely Harris’ primary focus here (you know, making it a literary masterpiece and all that, haha). I’m through the first two books and really need to get into the third now. Glad you found this one entertaining and hope you continue to read on!
    .-= Michelle´s last blog ..Sunday Salon – November 1 =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Michelle – I will definitely give #2 a try – just don’t know when, as I’m still trying to wade through a stack of review copies. I went way overboard accepting free books this year!

  3. Kathy says:

    I felt the same way as you did. I hope the series improves!
    .-= Kathy´s last blog ..Wondrous Words Wednesday =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Kathy – I do want to see how the series progresses, so I’ll give book two a try eventually.

  4. Serena (Savvy Verse & Wit)
    Twitter: SavvyVerseWit

    I’ve really enjoyed the first two books in the series, but I did notice those awkward sentences on more than one occasion.
    .-= Serena (Savvy Verse & Wit)´s last blog ..Interview with Jane Odiwe, Author of Willoughby’s Return =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Serena – I think now that I know that, it won’t bother me as much in the next books.

  5. nomadreader
    Twitter: nomadreader

    I completely agree about Harris’s writing style; it is definitely awkward from time to time. Once I got into the story, I tended to overlook the writing quality. It’s certainly not great literature, but I do enjoy it! The second book is my favorite so far. Be prepared for awkward language in book three. For the first time, I couldn’t get past it in the third book. Enjoy!
    .-= nomadreader´s last blog ..children’s book review: Mercy Watson Thinks Like a Pig by Kate DiCamillo =-.

  6. heidenkind says:

    I felt pretty much the same way about this book. Quick read, but strange. I couldn’t even get through the second book, to tell you the truth. =/ I hope you like it more than I did!
    .-= heidenkind´s last blog ..Prehistoric Art: The Symbolic Journey of Humankind =-.

  7. Kathleen says:

    Thanks for your review. I’ve read so many rave reviews about her books that I feel a bit out of the loop not having read any of them yet. Your review makes me think I can wait just a bit longer!
    .-= Kathleen´s last blog ..The Tattered Cover Bookstore =-.

  8. Mindy Withrow
    Twitter: mindywithrow

    I appreciate this review, Carrie. I’ve been hearing about these books everywhere too but suspected that they weren’t for me. My way of thinking is that life is too short not to get great writing at the same time as great storytelling! So I always pass over the ones that seem formulaic.

    I’m so impressed by how much reading you get done with your busy and beautiful family!
    .-= Mindy Withrow´s last blog ..Currently Reading =-.

  9. stacybuckeye says:

    I have resisted the pressure to read this series so far, but know that someday I’ll get around to it. It sounds a little like Twilight to me. The story was good, but the repetitiveness of the writing started to irritate me.
    .-= stacybuckeye´s last blog ..Manhunting, by Jennifer Crusie =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Stacy – she’s got a different take than Meyer on vampires, which I enjoyed – different than the traditional one, too.

  10. S. Krishna
    Twitter: skrishna

    I enjoyed this one. I didn’t notice the bad writing you referred to, but I was pretty drawn into the story. I want to read the second one as well!
    .-= S. Krishna´s last blog ..Sunday Salon =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Swapna – I’m planning to do a personal read-a-thon toward the beginning of December, after NaNoWriMo is over – and I think I’ll have book two ready for that. Books that are heavy on good storytelling are god for nonstop reading!

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