Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse, #1)Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is one of those series which has wonderful characters without the writing to back them up. I found Sookie and Bill very engaging, but Bon Temps is a painful place to read about, and it has nothing to do with the supernatural.

Having been born in the very area Sookie is supposed to inhabit, I’ve shaken my head and rolled my eyes over a lot of cultural mistakes Harris has made. Little towns and cities in northern Louisiana do not have many French surnames, due to the fact it’s the wrong part of the state for that demographic. You’ll find mostly English, Scots, Irish, German, but very, very few lost Cajuns or other people of French descent.

Bill has got to be one of my favorite vampires of all the ones I’ve read about over the years, including some of Anne Rice’s creations. He’s dark and deadly, and a great foil to Sookie. Their romance is sexy and readable, and their relationship is interesting.

The other characters, including Eric, Sam, Jason, and others do their part, adding tension and narrative, but breakdown into distractions at times.

Having read several of Charlaine Harris’ Sookie books by now, I wish she’d stopped at the second or third, before she completely lost track of the ball. Too much mundane detail, too much interference by minor characters who contribute little or nothing.

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Living Dead in Dallas (Sookie Stackhouse, #2)Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Someone said these books reminded her of cotton candy; they taste good, but no substance, and I have to agree. Charlaine Harris’ success with this series has to be due to her characters, and not her writing skill. Love the main characters, Sookie (even though I’d like to kill her myself), Bill, and Eric, just to name a few. These books are not very well written, but the characters are so engaging at this stage, one feels compelled to continue.

One of the weaknesses in this series is the plethora of characters which at times totally overwhelms the narrative. The shortness of the books means there’s not a lot of time to develop the story, and the crush of characters pushed into it is like a boat foundering at times.

Now that I’ve actually read more of the later books, due mostly to some kind of warped need to see how Sookie survives, I wish I’d stopped with this book. Just walked away and left Sookie and Bill where they were, happy in my ignorance.

Bill continued to make me think he was a sexy and smart vampire, with Eric as the clown prince of darkness. Kind of like choosing a very nice red wine in a lovely bottle over a box wine with a plastic lining.

And where shall I go with Sookie’s continuous series of injuries? Can’t believe she stays nubile and luscious after all that. Whew.

Sookie, Sookie, Sookie. And Bill, you should have planned things better, my dear!

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