Blood-A-Thon Book 1 – Dead Until Dark

Blood-a-thon

The Southern Vampire Mystery Series Charlaine Harris

As I’ve wasted more time than I like to acknowledge looking up info on the new season of True Blood on the t’interweb, I’ve decided to re-read the Southern Vampire Mysteries (otherwise known as The Sookie Stackhouse or True Blood Series) by Charlaine Harris.

Inspired by BOOKELF, I’m making a ‘thon’ out of it!!

*****SPOILERS*****
*****SPOILERS*****
*****SPOILERS*****
Book 1 – Dead Until Dark 

 

Anna Paquin as Sookie

Sookie Stackhouse – the narrator of the books – lives in a small town known as Bon Temps in Louisiana. Her world is almost identical to our own (so much so there are frequent cheeky little pop culture references) save one important detail. In the late 1990’s, the Japanese perfected a synthetic blood source, one that fulfilled all the nutritional requirements a vampire would need.

Finally free from their ‘unfortunate’ need to use humans as a food source, the Vampire Community came out, with varying degrees of success. In the U.S., they became citizens, with almost all of the rights that entails.

Stephen Moyles as Vampire Bill

An outsider in her own community due to a strange curse – or gift depending on your perspective – Sookie has the ability to read the minds of those around her (making dating a bit tricky). She is keen to meet a vampire and so, when Vampire Bill walks into Merlotts’s, the bar she works at, she couldn’t be more thrilled!

She eagerly waits on the vampire and later that evening has to save him from two of her less scrupulous neighbours who attempt to drain him of his blood. Vampire blood – it transpires – is a potent aphrodisiac, with many drug like qualities. It can also be lethal, dependent on the person who takes it. To her shock, while Bill recuperates Sookie realises that she hears nothing from the vampire’s mind. The following night, Bill saves Sookie from those self same drainers, by sharing his own blood with her.

Naturally, a sort of sweet (and occasionally rather ribald) love story begins to emerge.
However, things are somewhat complicated firstly by two violent murders in Bon Temps, seemingly designed to implicate vampires and secondly by vampire politics.
The blood really hits the fan when Sookie’s beloved grandmother is brutally murdered, supposedly for her pro-vampire stance.

At first Bill is the natural suspect. Then her extremely slutty brother Jason is arrested – he had been foolish enough to leave videos of himself with the victims in their homes.

Sookie is forced to explore the vampire world more closely than she ever wished to try and clear his name.

Yummlicious as Eric

Visiting the vampire run bar Fangtasia, Sookie attracks the interest of an old and powerful vampire Eric. They strike a deal that Sookie will work for Eric, using her unique talents to identify an embezzler and he will answer her questions for her.
She points the finger at a vampire, while Eric confirms to her that the first two victims were fang-bangers; and regulars at his bar.

Bill – concerned at Eric’s clearly not even a little tiny bit platonic interest in Sookie – decides to improve his own status within the VC, leaving Sookie in the protection of a sort of half witted vampire – Bubba ( trust me – you’d rather find out his story on your own!).

Sookie – left alone – brings a stray dog home and is shocked the next morning to find out that the mutt is actually her boss – Sam Merlott. The supernatural world contains far more than vampires, with other groups not yet willing to reveal themselves to the human world.

At this point Sookie is heading towards overload. Her world is spinning wildly out of control, her family has been decimated and she seems to attract trouble like flames attract moths.

Naturally she too is attacked, making her likely the original target when her grandmother has been killed. Unlike the other victims, she is able to use her ability to ward off the attack and is horrified to discover that the killer is one of her brothers close friends. She is badly beaten, but manages to hold off her attacker until the law intervens. The next day – too late to be of any use whatsoever – Bill returns. He has become an investigator for the vampires, under Eric, but more powerful than before.

This is a very silly, pacy and enjoyable book. I really liked the new take on the mythos, which, although simply written, is quickly established. Having Sookie narrate can sometimes become a little tedious. Her angle is interesting but can occasionally veer into twishite terriotory as she elaborates on her feelings for Bill.
If I hadn’t been gifted the first 4 in the series, I’m not entirely sure that I would have continued with them, but as I had onwards and upwards!!

Score 5/10

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About Drneevil

Blogger, podcaster, reader, knitter. Founder of Leeds Book Club; host of Culturally Fixated; co-host of Conversations with Geek People; tech support for Leeds Browncoats.

Posted on July 17, 2011, in All Posts, Avid Reader, Blood-a-thon, LBC Book Reviews, LBC Challenges, Sci Fi and Fantasy, Southern Vampire Mysteries, TV. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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