Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris (Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire #1) Book Review

Dead Until Dark

Book Review by Debbie Winkler

Series: Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire Series Book #1
Author: Charlaine Harris
Publisher: Ace Books (May 2001)
ISBN: 0441008534, EAN: 9780441008537
Page Count: 292 pages
Format: paperback

Target Age Group: adults
My Rating: 4.5/5 stars, A Telepathic Waitress, a Mainstreaming Vampire & a Collie Walk Into a Bar…


Sookie Stackhouse is just about perfect: she is blonde, beautiful, hardworking, takes care of her grandmother and her irresponsible brother, doesn’t mind living in a small town, enjoys being a waitress…and everyone thinks she is crazy. She cannot get a date or stand being around most men because she is telepathic. So when she meets the vampire Bill, who is trying to “mainstream” (live among humans) and finds that she cannot read his thoughts, she falls for him. However, having a vampire for a boyfriend isn’t as easy as one would think. Bill has really creepy friends, drinks synthetic blood and may be a psychotic murderer. Someone in town is strangling women who are vampire junkies, and Bill is the only vampire who lives there. So Sookie sets out to find the murderer and clear Bill and her brother’s name. In the midst of the investigation, she comes to the attention of a really handsome, really powerful, older vampire who sees that she could be very useful. Sookie isn’t interested, but Eric plays by his own rules. Then, as if her love life wasn’t confused enough, Sookie finds out that her boss, Sam, is really a shapeshifter and is falling in love with her too…


This book was a little slow at the beginning, but once Harris got going, Sookie became a delightful character to read about. She is funny and sarcastic and has a very interesting way of seeing life. Of course, being able to read minds will probably give you a slightly skewed vision of humanity. Anyway, I loved Harris’s characters. Even the supporting characters were well drawn and you felt that you knew just about everyone in town that Sookie knew.

I also enjoyed the idea of the vampires coming out of the closet, so to speak. The vampires were using the press to claim that they were victims of a virus and that they couldn’t do anything about their condition. So Japan created a synthetic blood (in different blood types/flavors, of course) that the vampires could live off of. The vampires didn’t have to hide anymore and many were becoming policemen and the like to use their talents to help society.

The only complaint that I have is that the mystery plot was pretty weak. There was not a lot of time given over to the mystery and the ending was kind of abrupt and a little too neat. This was unfortunate because everything else about the book was great. I look forward to reading more books by Charlaine Harris and hope that she sticks with this series for a while. If you like Laurell Hamilton, Tanya Huff or Susan Sizemore, you will love Charlaine Harris.


This book contains some violent fighting, murders and lots of blood. There is quite a bit of crude language and lots and lots of sex. Appropriate for readers ages 18 and up.

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Filed under Fantasy Books, Mystery Books, Romance Books

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