Light and fluffy and fun, fun, fun! This is the first book in a series that you will enjoy every minute of, unless you just can't deal with your mysteries being tinged with the supernatural.
Charlaine Harris introduces a great cast of characters. As the series progresses, many of the characters introduced here are expanded on. Sookie is a natural detective, with her rare ability to read minds. She is drawn into the newly exposed community of supernaturals. After all, if vampires exist, then it is likely there are werewolves and fairies, and dryads, and all manner of things that go bump in the night.
The books blend the genres. This is a mystery, fantasy, romance, and comedy. The characters are really the stars of the show.
If you like this series, you should read the other Harris books. Also, the "rompiness" of these books is similar to the Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich. Another good series in this vein are the Harry Dresden books by Jim Butcher. I understand that many of the other vampire series out there are quite different than these light-hearted novels, so if you like the Hamilton series, this might not be your cup of tea.
I love paranormal books and was excited when I sat down to read this new series. Unfortunately, I couldn't make it through the 1st chapter or two. I didn't like the style in which it was written because everything was told from Sookie's point of view, characters didn't seem to exist unless they were interacting with her. I'm very disappointed...especially because I know it has such a huge fan base and has actually been turned into a tv-series. I know I'm missing out.
Update: I recently watched the whole season one of "True Blood" and loved it. If it is true to the book, I was right about it being an awesome story. Oh well guess that's just how it goes sometimes.
After reading Twilight, I felt the need to purchase this boxed set. Sookie Stackhouse is a likeable character who can read minds and falls for a vampire. I do feel some of the events in her life are taken lightly (i.e. deaths, threats, etc.). Also, it was strange to see that being a vampire within the community was recognized and accomodated in this book. This was definately a quickly paced, fast read and i DO look forward to reading the rest of the series, however I do hope it takes on a less "frilly" feel as it progresses.
I thought that this was a pretty good story. I had actually started watching the series first (even though I've had the first 6 of these books on my shelf for well over a year now--what can I say, lots of books to read! ;P) but figured I'd better get in gear because I HAD to know what was going to happen (generally) in the show and I have little to no patience sometimes. :) I actually like that I had seen a few episodes first because it made it a lot easier to visualize what the characters looked like and such since the author does a mediocre job of describing everyone and I just feel the characters are a little under-developed. (I guess I love those authors who tell you the littlest twitch someone has so you can see what they're doing in your head.)
It's a light read but will probably disappoint those into the darker vamp books, especially since parts of it remind me of series by other authors that have been out longer. The story does get better as it goes on, which could be a result of the author becoming more comfortable with her characters and such, but it did start out a bit slow.
Dead Until Dark is a great story! In it, Sookie Stackhouse, a young and eligible barmaid finds herself in the middle of a crime spree. On top of that, Sookie is attracted to unusual men. Her best friend is a wary confidant, and the men in her community are taking more and more interest in her.
Sookie lives with her doting grandmother, and constantly worries about her difficult brother who seems to be tangled in one mess after another. Then Bill shows up. Bill is a vampire. And Sookie's already confusing world becomes more and more complicated in a flash. Before long, Sookie finds herself in danger and not even Bill the vampire can properly protect her.
Charlaine Harris is an amazing author. She crafts familiar characters which are both endearing and a touch surprising. Though the book is primarily a mystery, Harris weaves enough steamy sex and rich romance to entertain lovesick readers. Events unfold quickly and details are vivid and strtong making this a quick and exciting read.
Though I can't recommend it to my students (because of mature content) Charlaine Harris is a fantastic writer and will appeal to so many readers. Dead Until Dark is just the first in a series of books that promises adventure, excitement, mystery, and romance. I can't wait to pick up another.