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Dead Until Dark
Charlaine Harris
Ace, 260 pages

Dead Until Dark
Charlaine Harris
Charlaine Harris is the author of three previous Sookie Stackhouse novels; Dead Until Dark, Living Dead in Dallas, and Club Dead. She is also the author of two popular mystery novel series, the Aurora Tegarden series and the Lily Bard Shakespeare series.

Charlaine Harris Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Dead to the World
SF Site Interview: Charlaine Harris
SF Site Review: Dead to the World

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Alisa McCune

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris is our introduction to Sookie Stackhouse, the Vampire Bill and the colorful town of Bon Temps, Louisiana.

Sookie, a very blonde, buxom, barmaid is not your average girl in Bon Temps. She has the ability to read other's minds. This ability is not an asset when working in a bar. Imagine if you could 'hear' someone's thoughts, worries, dreams, their most intimate feelings. How is a girl supposed to find a boyfriend in the backwater of Louisiana when she is acutely aware of all his thoughts? Sookie has found a solution -- the Vampire Bill. Vampires where 'outed' some years ago after the invention of artificial blood. Sookie is unable to read the minds of vampires and finds great comfort in the arms of Bill.

Sookie begins her adventure with a chance encounter with the Vampire Bill and the 'Rat' couple, some local trailer park trash. Things quickly escalate as Sookie faces a series of murders that -- surprise, surprise -- appear to have been committed by a vampire.

Dead Until Dark is a hilarious adventure from start to finish. From Sam Merlotte, the bartender with secrets of his own, to Jason, Sookie's brother, and all around stud-muffin with a fancy pick-up truck, all the characters are colorful and entertaining. While Dead Until Dark is not dark, heavy, horror, it is entertaining and engaging.

Many have compared the Southern Vampire series to Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series. While both series focus on human/vampire relationship, the similarities are few. Sookie lacks the predatory aspects of Anita Blake. Sookie is also very naïve, while no one would ever consider this of Anita Blake. Anita is very angst-driven. In contrast, Sookie is just a nice, hard working girl who happens to have some gifts or disabilities depending on your point of view. Dead Until Dark does share the mystery elements Laurell K. Hamilton, the focus of the early Anita Blake novels.

Copyright © 2004 Alisa McCune

Alisa discovered science fiction at the tender age of eight. She devoured The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis and never looked back. She lives in Chicago with her husband, cat, and 5000 books. For more information please visit her website at

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