Saturday, July 10, 2010

Dead Untill Dark - Charlaine Harris- Review


Dead Untill Dark

I'd been hearing about the Sookie Stackhouse novels for some years without ever really taking note of purchasing them. When my friends described them to me, they sounded much like any vampire novel I had read before. It wasn't until I was walking through my local Kmart store that I decided to give the first book a try [Dead until Dark] and I must admit I was impressed.

While Dead until Dark is not my all time favourite vampire novel, it did captivate me and draw me into Sookie's World and I adored that she has the ability to hear peoples thoughts, because it added another dimension to the plot and begged a lot of questions to be answered throughout the book. Some of which were answered, while others I believe are left to the readers imagination.

My biggest downfall was watching the HBO series while reading the book, and being to greedy to get to the end of season one so that I could move on to season two. It made reading the book sometimes difficult to get back into after taking short breaks and often made me question the value of the novel over the series, as there was more characters in the television series than there was the book.

Without letting it drag me down, I read through till the end of the book and put the television series aside to come up with a decision on what I liked and disliked about the novel- Dead until Dark.

For me the characters were brilliant. Each had their own definable traits that added to the overall plot and thickened it in places where I felt Charlaine's writing fell a little flat. For me, if I wanted to read about what a character wore, ate and where she slept I would read a teenagers diary. Given, knowing where Bill slept was part of building the character, but there were some slow parts in the novel that dragged on a little and made me put the book down when I really didn't want to have to.

I enjoyed that the novel was subtle most of the way through reading it, when it came to the sexual content. In the HBO series it was explicit in sexual content, and while I enjoy a little erotic nature sometimes it was overbearing when I wasn't in the mood, which made the novel bearable in all my moods.

The journey of the story was something I also took pleasantly and I enjoyed the pacing of the novel. It began very simply, and over the span of the book grew more complex in background story and added character plot.

The only thing that I found annoying was the quick way that the end was handled. I am not certain in my mind if it was because I had watched the series and knew how it was going to end, or because I had high expectations for the ending after being hooked from the beginning and was restless in anticipation for the truth. Either way, the ending was a let down for me and I believe it could have been dragged out a little longer with more detail and emotion.

Despite the few flaws it does have. I will be reading on to the next novel in the series. Living Dead in Dallas and I hope that even though I have watched the second season, that I will be able to read the novel with fresh eyes after some time.

I am giving this book four stars [****] because despite the differences in the novel and series. For a novel alone it was a different read and I want to read on.


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