Dead Until Dark – Charlaine Harris


I wasn’t sure about this one going in. I saw a couple of episodes of True Blood, so I knew half the story – the show was pretty faithful. Beyond that I had only what I’d heard to go on, and that was wildly diverse.

It was … interesting. Sookie is a very different sort of narrator, a very different sort of protagonist; there’s her “gift”, yes, but mostly it’s her voice: not educated, but not stupid. She’s naïve, in some ways; she’s ignorant, in a lot of ways – but now all ways; she’s frank, honest to a fault, and pretty fearless. I like her. I have to hand it to Charlaine Harris for creating a completely different voice. But does it become somewhat annoying now and then? Well, yeah. Unfortunately, it does.

I wanted to like the story. The take on vampires is as different as the narrative voice, as they work their way through integration into society – or not. Again, credit goes to Harris for something new. (The title’s very good too.)

But I just wasn’t into it. There were quite a few things to like, and I liked them fine. But I just didn’t find it enjoyable, and there was a point where in classic Fonzie fashion the book jumped the shark – not something a series does for several books, usually, but … really? I won’t spill the identity of the Personage who makes an appearance as an ill-made vampire (Harris herself never uses his name, which was coy to the point of foolishness), but the whole sequence involving this person created echoes of revving motorcycle engines in my mind. Funny – Jim Morrison showing up as Not Dead in The Stand didn’t trouble me; I liked what King did there. This was very different. And it stuck a stake in the heart of the book. So to speak.

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