Dead until Dark was a book which I read too late and I have not forgiven myself for it. I loved it and that is an understatement of the month. I was up two nights reading it and was drooling for more at the end of it. At the same time, I am hooked to watching “True Blood” – the series based on the books (there is more than 1 book in this series. As of now there are eleven and I just did a cartwheel for that), which is amazing. There are times when the writers do not do justice to the books or the plot when converted to a series – but True Blood doesn’t let you down. However, back to the book.
Sookie Stackhouse is a waitress in a small town near New Orleans. She lives with her Grandmother. She has major telepathic abilities. She can hear what folks are thinking and that’s the reason she cannot seem to meet and maintain her relationships with guys. Till that evening, a vampire named Bill walks into the bar where she works named after her boss, Merlotte. Sookie cannot hear Bill’s thoughts and she feels most comfortable with him. In fact, the book starts with Sookie’s narration of how she always has been waiting for a vampire to enter the bar and as luck would have it, he does.
The series is set in a time period which is neither too distant nor too close to the present. Vampires are “out of the coffins” – they are legally protected and recognized. They have rights. The Japanese have invented synthetic blood which is available in different blood groups to quench their thirst. There is a Vampire Bar called, “Fangtasia” (pun on Anastasia almost) and Vampire Blood is supposed to possess healing powers and increase sexual power. There is a black market for their blood and vampires are caught and drained for it. There are on the other hand some vampires who are not willing to give up on their old ways and shun synthetic blood and only want fresh human blood. They glamour humans and make them their prey.
Amidst all this there are deaths that start occurring in the town – murders more like it and well, you guessed it right – there is a possibility that vampires have a thing or two to do with them. Sookie on the other hand knows the victims and fears for her life as well, while trying to unearth the murderer as her brother Jason Stackhouse is wrongly convicted for a murder he didn’t commit (He is the daftest character ever and yet so lovable).
The book is not easily digestible by all. It has blood, lots of gore, offensive language and sex scenes to the hilt and may be that’s what makes it so different from the other Vampire Books (so-called) doing the publishing rounds. The secondary characters in the book hit home as well – Sam Merlotte, Sookie’s boss who has a huge thing for her, Eric – the oldest vampire that Bill knows, Jason, and Sookie’s Grandmother.
It is impossible not to love Sookie and the other inhabitants. Charlaine Harris has cast her spell and she has done it well. The novel is a pleasure to read and full of surprises and twists at every turn. You are completely immersed in the book. The words fly by and you want more for sure. In fact at the end of the book, I wanted to have my very own vampire. I am definitely going for the second one in the series called, “Living Dead in Dallas”.
Dead until Dark; Harris, Charlaine; Hachette Books; Rs. 350.