Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

I sat down a few weeks ago to watch a show with my husband and daughter, which is a rare occurrence in my house. Usually, I’m reading a book or writing. Anyway, we were watching True Blood on HBO, when I got a little uncomfortable. I mean I turned to my 20 year-old daughter and said, “Can they do that on T.V.?”

She shook her head, like I must be an alien pod person, and said, “It’s HBO.”

I said, “Yeah, but can they do THAT on t.v.?”

She looked at me like I’ve been living in a cave or something and groaned, “Duh. They can do whatever they want.”

So anyway, I’ve been enjoying the series but a friend told me the books are even better. So I ran out to my local Borders and bought Dead Until Dark.

It’s a quick read at 292 pages. And I read the entire book on my airplane ride from North Caroline to Portland, Oregon.

So, you can grab this story and finish it in no time. And, to be honest, I liked the story better in the book than on t.v. Not that the actors aren’t all gorgeous on HBO but Sookie Stackhouse comes across as a smarter character in the book – at least to me. And, Bill Compton seems stronger in the novel than in Hollywood.

This isn’t a Twilight experience even though it has romance and is a vampire novel. It’s more complicated in some ways.

In Dead Until Dark the vampires have “Come Out of the Closet” and are living amongst the humans. They drink synthetic blood – or at least the ones who are “mainstreaming” and trying to live their lives without sucking off the humans around them. Plus, there are more characters with special abilities than were found in Stephanie Meyer’s books. Sam is a shapeshifter and Sookie is a clairvoyant and – I have a feeling – there’s more to it than that.

VB (Vampire Bill) and Sookie seem like star-crossed lovers. They both are unique and drawn to each other. But, VB isn’t all good. He’s got one wicked temper when pushed too far. And, with super human strength, a bad temper is a real BAD thing.

I just bought the second book in the series, Living Dead in Dallas, and I’ll update you all after I read that story.

But, if you like a quick story that keeps you turning the pages, Dead Until Dark is a fun book to pick up. And if you don’t have time for a quick story, you can always turn on the t.v. and watch the HBO show. But, remember, the books are better.


keri mikulski :) said...

I've been hearing a lot about this series. I'm adding it to my TBR pile. Thanks for the recommendation. :)

David Batista said...

My wife and I are actually huge fans of the show. I was already predisposed to liking it even before it aired, since I knew showrunner Alan Ball was behind the project, and he's the guy behind another highly successful HBO original series -- Six Feet Under (an excellent show, btw).

But True Love is a blast. I absolutely adore the writing and acting. My wife was so impressed that she ran out and got the books! She hasn't started reading them yet, but she's pretty excited. I myself will probably pass. I don't doubt that the books are better, but I don't want to spoil the show.

I'm sad that next Sunday is the season finale. Seems too soon for it to end already.

Kim Kasch said...

OMG David: I haven't seen the last couple Sundays and I had no idea next week was the season finale...

Time flies.

Catherine J Gardner said...

I don't know if we're going to get the series over here, so thanks for the heads up on the books.

adrienne said...

I'm starting to feel like I've been living in a cave - I'm just now getting around to reading Twilight, and we don't even have HBO. Sounds like a fun series, though.

Kelly said...

My hubby and I are so sad that there is only one more episode left of True Blood this season...But I am definitely going to get that book! Thanks for the review, Kim!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Amen, books are better. But I'm rather done with vampires--I had my fill in the 90's with Anne Rice. They're a bit like bellbottom pants, aren't they?;)

cindy said...

my friend gave me the first book and said it was an adult twilight. i don't get hbo, but know quite a few folk who love the show. twilight fan friend was not so into the book.

Rena said...


Going back to my happy little cave now. ;)

Kim Kasch said...

Cindy: I think Twilight is much better as far as the tension and romance go. But for Vampire junkies - Dead Until Dark is a good quick read.

And, aren't bellbottoms making a comeback? ;-)