colleen the fabulous fabulaphile's Reviews > Dead Until Dark

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
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Oct 04, 09

bookshelves: urban-fantasy, vampire, romantic
Read in October, 2009

So, what can I say? I enjoyed the book, but in a guilty pleasures, sort of embarrassed to admit kind of way. Let's admit it - this is hardly well written, but it's quick and light and fun, and there's something to be said for that.

That said, I didn't really like Sookie's voice. I found it rather irritating right from the start. And the dialogue - ugh, who talks like that? And if people really do talk like that, then I'm glad I don't know them.

And there's not much character development to speak of. Sookie is annoying in her so-called naivette. It just seemed like manufactured drama to me. I mean, she accused Bill of being hot and cold, but, really, Sookie was just all over the place. She loves him, she hates him, she's not talking to him, she needs him - and over silly little trivial stuff. Talk about high maintenance.

And Bill's pretty one-dimensional. "I'm violent, Sookie, but I'll never hurt you." And those clothes?

Speaking of clothes - I didn't need to know about the print on Sookie's dress, or whether or not she washed her hair and shaved that day in the shower. Really, there are some details which are just extraneous. (Not to mention her fashion sense seems stuck in the 80s. If you're going to talk clothes, then talk clothes, dahling.)

Anyway... the whole thing with Sam was pretty damn obvious, too.

Erm, as far as characters go, I liked the grandma, and every one else (well, including her, really) seemed pretty much like a pastiche.

Actually, I think the best way I can say it is that it was like reading a soap opera. Over-the-top melodrama, with thin characters, and horribly bad dialogue.

I don't see myself continuing with the series.

Oh, but I do have to say, the whole "PR thing" about it being a virus. Ok - I could buy that people would buy that there's a virus that makes people avoid the sun and be allergic to garlic, or whatever... but the virus also makes their hearts stop and live forever? Really? And the fact that Sookie is surprised to discover it's supernatural? Ugh!

I'd probably rate it lower, because it was just horribly written and ludicrous, but I liked it, damnit... so take it for what it's worth.
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Reading Progress

09/30/2009 page 118
40.41% "Sookie's kind of annoying. And dense. And shallow. But the story's fun, in a guilt pleasures kind of way."
09/30/2009 page 146
50.0% "I think that was the most awkward sex scene I've ever read..."

Comments (showing 1-11 of 11) (11 new)

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message 1: by Sonky (new)

Sonky Sounds like a food critic reviewing a Quarter Pounder with Cheese.


colleen the fabulous fabulaphile *laughs* Is that a good thing, or a bad thing?


Greg of A2 "I enjoyed the book, but in a guilty pleasures, sort of embarrassed to admit kind of way."

I get that. I felt pretty much the same way. It comes off as something like vampire porn (if there was such a category at your local bookstore). It's thin in many areas (much cheese whiz in the dialogue) and then bizarre in other areas (yeah, the outrageously detailed clothing descriptions) that I was usually off balance while reading it. And yet...I continued on to the climax because its something you just can't stop once you've started. And then I read the second book and bought the third. Next stop, book therapy.


Libby I agree with Greg of A2 - once you start you can't stop. These books are totally a guilty pleasure for me. I love them for just what they are - harlequin romance with a heavy horror twist. I don't worry over their literary merit because, let's be honest, there really isn't any. It's just a solid soap opera for fantasy fans and there's nothing wrong with that.


message 5: by Sonky (new)

Sonky blackrose wrote: "*laughs* Is that a good thing, or a bad thing?"

I dunno; yer the critic. :)


colleen the fabulous fabulaphile Libby wrote: "I agree with Greg of A2 - once you start you can't stop. These books are totally a guilty pleasure for me. I love them for just what they are - harlequin romance with a heavy horror twist. I don't ..."

No, there's nothing wrong with that - just not entirely what I was expecting or what I would normally go for. Now that I know, if I do read any of the rest of the series, I'll try to unplug my brain before entering. ;>





message 7: by colleen the fabulous fabulaphile (last edited Oct 06, 2009 06:06AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

colleen the fabulous fabulaphile Greg of A2 wrote: ""I enjoyed the book, but in a guilty pleasures, sort of embarrassed to admit kind of way."

I get that. I felt pretty much the same way. It comes off as something like vampire porn (if there was su..."


I guess it's too much to want good vampire-porn? I guess as long as it *ahem* does the trick, that it doesn't matter as much - but I would be happy with a less annoying heroine. ;)

It does make me wonder, though - in group we've been talking about the quality of writing in fantasy, and whether it's improved, and I think, by and large, it has. I wonder if "romance" will ever go the same way, but, then perhaps it wouldn't be as fun.

As I said to Libby, I'll just try and disengage my brain before reading any future installments. Not an easy task for a tried and true cynic, but we'll see what happens. I do enjoy me some good popcorn, afterall.




colleen the fabulous fabulaphile Sonky wrote: "blackrose wrote: "*laughs* Is that a good thing, or a bad thing?"

I dunno; yer the critic. :)"


Depends on the context. I'm the critic of the book, but you're the critic of the critique. ;)

Though, thinking on the analogy, perhaps it's more a case of wanting a Quarter Pounder and getting a Whopper - still fast food but, imo, just not as good as it could be.


Megan Gallmeyer I found Sookie's voice annoying too.. Perhaps that's why I cannot stand that it's in 1st person.


Carolyn I ran to this series to escape the horror that is Anita Blake


colleen the fabulous fabulaphile (I never got notices that there were comments on this. Stupid goodreads.)

@Megan - I think it could be better were it not in first person, but I still think it's would, ultimately, be too soap-operay for my tastes. But her voice does just kill it dead for me. (Pun not originally intended.)

@Carolyn - I've never read Anita Blake and, from all I've heard about it, I never will.


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