Charlaine Harris’ ‘Dead’ series
Back in 2001, I had the opportunity to read Dead until Dark the first book in the series. However, it wasn’t a paranormal romance, and I wasn’t interested at the time. But with the buzz from the True Blood series, I thought I’d give it another try. I’m glad I did since the mystery/horror elements are much more appealing than the paranormal romance this time around.
Dead Until Dark
The story: a socially isolated waitress (Sookie) at a bar in rural Louisiana encounters a vampire and goes to his rescue when he is attacked in the parking lot of the bar. This action embroils her in a supernatural murder mystery.
I love Sookie’s wry observations on her own and everyone else’s behavior. She doesn’t easily accept all the bizarre revelations about the supernatural people but she doesn’t waste time protesting her new reality either. Her tenuous place in the social structure makes it believable that she’d fall into the ‘outgroup’ of vampires and such. I hope that Harris enriches all the minor characters – the community members are all quite interesting.
Living Dead in Dallas
The story: A co-worker at the bar where Sookie works is murdered. She is hired by vampires to solve the mystery and she learns far too much about supernatural world.
I was slightly disappointed with this one. It may be that the author is moving from a single novel to a series and so has to lighten the tone a bit. I also missed Sookie’s hometown politics and interactions. Dallas was less interesting to me here. I do like how Sookie is changing due to her adventures: she’s more confident, more daring and a bit more sophisticated.
The story: Sookie’s having boyfriend trouble and then he goes missing. She’s got to find him and upbraid him.
I don’t like the urban setting. Moreover, this one got way too painful for me. I really hated what some of the characters in this book did. So much so that I contemplated dropping the series.
Dead to World
The story: Sookie is bitter and alone after her breakup. It never rains but it pours since her brother disappears and she has an amnesiac vampire dropped into her lap (more or less).
But I did pick up the fourth book and I’m happy for doing it. Sookie’s back at home which pleases me no end. Sookie’s becoming more resilient emotionally and mentally, and I think she’s becoming a force to be reckoned with. Normally I’d find fault that every guy she meets is instantly attracted to her. But I can buy that her psychic powers are the real lure and they are all supernatural beings. No humans for Sookie.