Dead Until Dark: A Review of Charlaine Harris’ First Book in Her True Blood Series

until darkCharlaine Harris introduces any of True Blood’s most admired characters in her first installment. Dead Until Dark, introduces Sookie Stackhouse, her sex-on-a-stick brother Jason, Vampire Bill, Eric Northman, Sam Merlotte, Detective Andy Bellefleur and many others.

Harris begins Dead Until Dark, her story of the fictional town of Bon Temps much like HBO begins the series with vampires finally “coming out of the coffin.” The vampires have officially announced their existence thanks to the Japanese who were able to create a synthetic blood substitute eliminating to the need for vampires to feed on humans, though it does not take away the vampire’s strong desire for human blood.

Vampire Bill

Sookie Stackhouse, a waitress at Sam Merlotte’s bar and supernatural in her own right, is excited that Merlotte’s has had its very own first vampire visitor, Vampire Bill. Sookie immediately befriends Bill, winning him over later in the story when she saves him from hated vampire drainers. Harris lays the foundation for the relationship that will later develop between the two.

Dead Until Dark and True Blood

The first season of HBO’s True Blood is based off of this book. As seen in the show, Vampire Bill and Sookie meet, Renee turns out to be more than what everyone thought he was, the Rattrays turn out to be a lot more than just drug dealers and what is most strikingly different from the series is that when Sookie runs into trouble with the Vampire Longshadow in Fangtasia, it is not Vampire Bill who does the staking.

Outside of plot-line with Renee that mostly ends in this book, much of what occurs in Dead Until Dark is setting up the story-line for the next installment in the series. Much of what has happened to Sookie will effect her choices and decisions in what Charlaine Harris delivers next and in what HBO delivers in season two of the True Blood series.

Commentary of Harris’ Creation

Overall, Harris does a great job of getting the reader to feel as though they are truly in Bon Temps, watching the beginning of all of this supernatural activity swirl around them. Her descriptions and plot twists make for a true page turner. Dead Until Dark, as action packed as Harris has written it, is still kept on the short side of a novel, but that does not mean the reader is left feeling jilted. Instead, readers are made ready and looking forward to what Harris creates next in Living Dead in Dallas.

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris is available for purchase through Penguin Books with ISBN 9780441016990.

Published by

Dr. Katherine Kuzma-Beck Hart

A college professor and author, enjoying life at the Jersey shore with her tiny zoo and growing family..

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