Book Review : Dead until Dark

On July 31, 2010 by Aimee

Yeah, yeah, yeah … I’m way late to the game. But I don’t have HBO and wasn’t, honestly, all that interested in vampire stories. In all the stuff I’ve written, I only have a vamp in one story … so you can see, it’s not my ‘area’.

Anyway … every time I ask for suggestions on a book, I get the ‘You’ve got to read the Sookie Stackhouse series” also known as True Blood from HBO … or rather the tv show is based on the books (way way cool!).

And so, the other day, as I stood in line to buy Hunger Games, there was Dead until Dark by Charlaine Harris and I picked it up figuring I “might as well get on with it already”.

I’ll admit, I was not sucked into the first couple of chapters. Not sure why, but it was slow going … and then it shot off like a rocket ship. Sure there is all sorts of stuff in it that are my writing pet-peeves and elements of style that as a budding writer myself I’m told to never to do … ever, ever, ever. Can I just repeat that I’m told never to do these things? 🙂 But I digress.

And the setting in Louisiana, I couldn’t get a handle on the names and the way people were responding to each other, but as the story progressed and I learned the characters more, I found I understood them. Didn’t mean I always liked them.

For example, I’m Type A personality, go-go-go, competitive and always looking for the next opportunity. Sookie is ‘happy’ in her job as a waitress. If that’s where I’d been with my personality, I’d have owned the bar in a matter of years. I don’t understand a lack of “drive” very well … which is probably why most of my characters are a bit competitive and some very aggressive. Sookie’s got ‘issues’ that I can’t relate to as well — paranormal issues. But, of course thats the kind of stuff I love to read about and write about and I love how she deals with them, adjusts to them.

There are a few ‘points’ made in the book that I wish weren’t there. I cannot stand story lines or arcs that involved the molestation of children. No, it’s not a big part of this book, but it is an element of back story and I wish it wasn’t. These are the kinds of things that as a writer, they help make the personalities of our characters and it’s a lot easier to write than to read (at least for me).

I think it’s funny how she’s played the vampire as virus method to mainstreaming. Absolutely hilarious. So many scenes I had to laugh at because I could imagine them playing out in my mind.

Guess that’s why this one got picked up for tv. 🙂

So yes, despite my mostly-stay-away-from-vampires philosophy, it was a great read and I will likely, pick up another. 🙂