Err.. right. First I’d like to say that I’m very disappointed. I absolutely loved the True Blood series, and knowing that I always prefer the books to the movies/televised series, I fully anticipated I’d love these books. I was wrong.
Now, don’t get me wrong. The story was good, and I would give the story 3 stars. It lacked the depth and layering that the series did, they sure were the Sookie Stackhouse novels, but it was still the beginning of the story, and I liked the mystery in it, and I like Sam’s and Eric’s characters, as underdeveloped as they are in the books at the moment. The idea that vampires have legal rights to live among humans drinking synthetic blood is a good one, though I feel like I’m repeating points as these are things I’ve said after watching the tv series.
The trouble for me was that the writing style was less than satisfactory. I found myself backtracking to try to work out what the hell was being talked about way too often, and almost as often not being able to figure it out. Things being hinted at but never properly explained. She tried to put in suspense, by having Sookie come across a horrible scene and not describing it, or hinting at all, and just cutting off to the next scene, which just didn’t work. If you’re writing in first person narrative, the character will have seen things and mention what it might be to us, the reader. She’d have somebody say something in a dialogue, cut to a new paragraph and have the same person speak, which threw off the flow of conversation completely. And the sex. Please. Really. That was simply crude. I’m all for sex in novels, it adds to the story, particularly in a paranormal romance like this, but this was too much. I’ve lost count of the amount of detailed descriptions. It is not labelled as erotic fiction, I picked it up as a story, and was met with a little more than expected.
I could probably read more on the story alone, but the writing style was a 1 star for me. I decided to meet in the middle and give Dead Until Dark 2 stars because of the story, and in honesty, these books gave rise to one of my favourite TV shows which helped a little bit.
Of course, they are nice quick reads, so if you don’t have a lot of time to read long, detailed books, and have a lot of distractions around you, they might be worth a read, but I don’t think they’re re-readable, personally.
I would also like to add that this book felt to me like Twilight for the more mature reader. I noticed a few similarities, one being the complete devotion, though Harris attempts to draw away from it, Sookie always goes back to her vampire, who in turn labels Sookie as being “his human”. I find this whole.. vampire/human romance, in which the human requires a lot of protection from the vampire thing that seems be quite popular at the moment very dull. I love paranormal urban fantasy, I don’t see the point in soppy vampires. It is still much, much better than Twilight, but I couldn’t shake that feeling while reading it. The funny thing is that when I got the box from Amazon, I was disappointed about the cover art. I’ve mentioned before that I hate cover art advertising the movie/tv show. And after reading it, I’m still disappointed. It would be nice to at least have nice covers to look at.
All that said, I will probably test the waters with the others. They are very quick and easy reads, and the story is different to the tv show, so perhaps I might enjoy the others a little more when the story becomes less expected. I’ll remain hopeful.