This is the first book of the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris.
Sookie Stackhouse is more than meets the eye, and most people in Bon Temps think she is nuts. She waitresses at a small bar and keeps to herself, rarely dating, but it isn't because she is crazy....she is telepathic. Reading minds is frustrating, dangerous, and sometimes downright upsetting, so Sookie does her best to stay away from people. That is, until she meets Bill Compton. Bill is a vampire, and because of that Sookie cannot read his mind. She is thrilled not to have to worry about hearing what he is thinking and finds him attractive. Bill is also very attracted to Sookie, not only because he needs a steady supply of O Negative, but also because she "feels different" to him.
Bad luck would have it that shortly after Bill arrives in town women start dying, and not only are they all in the service business like Sookie, but they all have vampire bites.
Sookie must try and find out who is killing the women in Bon Temps and also keep Bill safe and away from suspicion. Between finding a dead coworker, making love to a vampire, being beaten up, having her brother in jail as a suspect in the murders, and two deaths in the family, Sookie is a very busy waitress indeed.
This report prepared by Manda
Sookie Stackhouse is just about perfect: she is blonde, beautiful, hardworking, takes care of her grandmother and her irresponsible brother, doesn't mind living in a small town, enjoys being a waitress...and everyone thinks she is crazy. She cannot get a date or stand being around most men because she is telepathic. So when she meets the vampire Bill, who is trying to "mainstream" (live among humans) and finds that she cannot read his thoughts, she falls for him. However, having a vampire for a boyfriend isn't as easy as one would think. Bill has really creepy friends, drinks synthetic blood and may be a psychotic murderer. Someone in town is strangling women who are vampire junkies, and Bill is the only vampire who lives there. So Sookie sets out to find the murderer and clear Bill and her brother's name. In the midst of the investigation, she comes to the attention of a really handsome, really powerful, older vampire who sees that she could be very useful. Sookie isn't interested, but Eric plays by his own rules. Then, as if her love life wasn't confused enough, Sookie finds out that her boss, Sam, is really a shapeshifter and is falling in love with her too...
This book was a little slow at the beginning, but once Harris got going, Sookie became a delightful character to read about. She is funny and sarcastic and has a very interesting way of seeing life. Of course, being able to read minds will probably give you a slightly skewed vision of humanity. Anyway, I loved Harris' characters. Even the supporting characters were well drawn and you felt that you knew just about everyone in town that Sookie knew.
The only complaint that I have is that the mystery plot was pretty weak. There was not a lot of time given over to the mystery and the ending was kind of abrupt and a little too neat.
This report prepared by Debbie
Ace, May 2001, 5.99, 272 pp.
Powerful telepath Sookie Stackhouse lives in Bon Temps, Louisiana. Most local residents consider the beautiful twenty-five year old a bit slow, but Sookie knows that she must keep her mental shields in place to avoid inadvertently reading minds. Sookie has no social life, as she detests the idea of listening to her lover's inner thoughts.
When Bill the vampire enters the restaurant where Sookie works, she becomes ecstatic because she cannot hear his thoughts. With vampires recently gaining legal status, Sookie hopes to finally have a bit of a love life. The two outcasts hit it off, but someone is killing the females of the town with Bill and Sookie's brother Jason being the only suspects. Sookie knows that the perpetrator has made her the next target.
Charlaine Harris, author of two wonderful mystery series, joins the ranks of the urban fantasy authors (Hamilton and Huff) writing exhilarating modern day novels. DEAD UNTIL DARK is serio-comic who-done-it with supernatural overtones to spice the tale and keep mystery, horror, and fantasy readers elated with the plot and cast. Ms. Harris' fan base should multiply with what is the beginning of a Southern paranormal mystery series.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner