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Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse, #1)
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message 1: by Andrew, Wound Up (new) - rated it 2 stars

Andrew Finazzo (johnyqd) | 301 comments So, I needed a new book. Michelle keeps wanting me to read the Dexter series, but I love the HBO show quite a bit and everything indicates the books actually aren't as good. Then Michelle threw out True Blood, which I've only seen the pilot of and didn't really enjoy it.

Since we're a week away from kicking off Mic Breaks Only I thought I'd throw up an ongoing thoughts thread of my experience with Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris (which True Blood is based on).

Warning! I will spoil everything. Enjoy.

message 2: by Andrew, Wound Up (last edited Jun 22, 2012 08:42AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Andrew Finazzo (johnyqd) | 301 comments One page in:

There are a thousand of these books. What have I gotten myself into.

I'm so irritated because the Amazon page count is 300+, but the Kindle length is only 4k+. In other words the hardcopy of this book is printed in a huge font and I'll be done with this book quick.

One page in and the vampires are sparkling. Fudge. I tried to read Twilight once, please don't put me through that again world.

message 3: by Andrew, Wound Up (last edited Jun 22, 2012 10:15AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Andrew Finazzo (johnyqd) | 301 comments Main character is Sookie (hereafter referred to as Snooki) who is a waitress at a small town bar in Louisiana. And who can apparently read other peoples minds. She wants to be a vampire groupie but there aren't any vamps hanging out in her town.

Vamps exist and apparently suffer from a disease that causes their "symptoms" (more on these later when I know more). Vampire blood is sought after as a narcotic with methlike effects. Extraction of vamp blood ends poorly for vamps.

So, book opens with Snooki working a table and shazam, there's a vamp wanting a glass of red wine. And he apparently appears to glow to our heroine. Two locals hitch up to his table and Snooki mindreads that they are planning on harvesting the Vamp's blood outside the bar.

Snooki cuts out of work early and goes all Buffy the Vampire Saviour on the meth heads. She learns that she can't mind read vampires. This only increases her desire for all things vampy, i.e. they would make a good boyfriend.

message 4: by Andrew, Wound Up (last edited Jun 22, 2012 11:42AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Andrew Finazzo (johnyqd) | 301 comments I'm worried. I hate intentionally bad grammer unless it is done really well. Most authors don't have Mark Twain's nuance.

Snooki's brother just said "Rene said he liked to have goetten killed, she was so mad." Ugh.

Siphoning, now with more hyphens: "si-phoning".

message 5: by Andrew, Wound Up (new) - rated it 2 stars

Andrew Finazzo (johnyqd) | 301 comments End of chapter 1:

The same day as the fight with the meth heads there was a murder in town. The victim was an ACTUAL vamp groupy (they apparently choose to donate blood quite... directly). Mystery!

Snooki's grandma wants her to ask the vamp (who we'll call "Bill" since that is apparently his name) to come to a meeting of a historical society she (grandma) is a member of.

Snooki arranges to meet Bill after her shift at the bar. She gets jumped by our favorite meth heads, who subsequently get snuffed by Bill. Bill saves Snooki from impending death by feeding her his meth-like (and magically healing!) blood.

There are lots of other people milling around the plot. They are all exceptionally good looking (except the dead girl...).

Snooki considers her mind reading a disability or craziness, it is personified via touch. Due to these things Snooki isn't much of a dater.

Oh yeah, almost forgot, since Snooki can't mind-read Bill she can freely snuggle with him AND he agreed to go to her grandma's club. L.O.V.E.?

There is a lot of plot going on in this book. The mythos is confusing and being dribbled out very slowly. I've certainly read worse books recently.

message 6: by Andrew, Wound Up (new) - rated it 2 stars

Andrew Finazzo (johnyqd) | 301 comments End of chapter 2:

So much for excitement and intrigue. Snooki goes on a date fit for Jr High School with Bill (chat with grandma, stroll down the boulevard, kiss). Then Snooki swings over to Bills the next night and interrupts a vamp-thug party, including lewd acts in progress. Snooki leaves pissed off, refusing Bill a second kiss.

We learn some things about Bill and vamps, pretty standard fare. Some humans carry an anti-vamp disease in their blood, compared to HIV/AIDs.

Oh yeah, Bill covered up his killing of the meth heads by making it look like a tornado threw a trailer on top of them, squishy style. The locals find this low on the suspicious scale, even though it had been clear skies at the time of the event.

Sorry my update isn't in any way interesting. Snooki and Bill are just competing to show each other which one is most emo and sensitive.

message 7: by Andrew, Wound Up (new) - rated it 2 stars

Andrew Finazzo (johnyqd) | 301 comments Dear Snooki,

You might need therapy. Remember when you just found your coworker dead, apparently murdered? Then a minute later you saw an ex boyfriend and "heaved a sigh at the sight of his muscular arms and pectorals"?


Even though you try to explain it away because you have been "keeping your hormones in check" for so long I have to call your out for being a bit crazy. I don't even how you consider anything kept "in check": the last two nights you've dated Mr. Hunky Vampire AND you've constantly mooned after your boss.

Maybe some type of hormone therapy? I mean that, as a friend (just kidding about the friend thing, but you know what I mean).


message 8: by Andrew, Wound Up (new) - rated it 2 stars

Andrew Finazzo (johnyqd) | 301 comments End of Chapter 3:

See above, another death. Snooki's boss also has some supernatural stuff going on.

Everyone but Snooki is having sex with everyone else, and everyone is very good looking.

Snooki's taking the investigation of the two deaths into her own hands (not sure why) with Bill's help (which makes sense, the victims both had nonlethal bite marks).

message 9: by Andrew, Wound Up (new) - rated it 2 stars

Andrew Finazzo (johnyqd) | 301 comments End of Chapter 4:

Snooki and Bill go out to a vamp bar (where there is blood on tap AND vamps meet up with human groupies willing to be a meal). They are investigating the two deaths, both victims had hung out at the bar.

After the bar they make out while parked in a vacant parking lot. A police officer interrupts their kissing, Bill gets crabby, Snooki takes it personally, and the night ends in a huff.

message 10: by Andrew, Wound Up (new) - rated it 2 stars

Andrew Finazzo (johnyqd) | 301 comments End of Chapter 5:

Snooki's beloved grandma, who we barely got to know, got hit by the strangulator. Since our cast of characters is quickly dwindling a great uncle has started flitting around the edge of the story now.

Before the untimely death Snooki went on a date with her boss Sam. She and Sam went to a public appearance made by her other boyfriend Bill. Small town or not, that's just not cool Snooki.

Not cool.

message 11: by Andrew, Wound Up (new) - rated it 2 stars

Andrew Finazzo (johnyqd) | 301 comments End of chapter 6:

Snooki and Bill have adult relations multiple times, with a brief interlude for various humans and vamps to express their jealousy/outrage/anger about the situation.

Charlaine Harris tries to bring some poignancy to the relationship with blunt comparisons to interracial discrimination.

Bill's house has been remodelled and Snooki made this comment about his new shower: "It was big enough for two grownups and maybe a dwarf or two." That was the best part of the chapter.

message 12: by Andrew, Wound Up (new) - rated it 2 stars

Andrew Finazzo (johnyqd) | 301 comments End of chapter 7:

Snooki and Bill have adult relations multiple times, with a brief interlude for... a bunch of stuff actually.

Snooki confides to Bill that her great uncle molested her (remember him from chapter 5?). Bill violently kills him.

The town gets all mobby on the vamp-thugs who had partied with Bill way back in the beginning. Burn them to death and some random female human, 'cause only three ladies have died so far.

In between "kisses" Bill ominously tells Snooki that if he should die she should go to Sam.

There is also a scene where we learn that Bill just naps right in the dirt, coffinless. Snooki doesn't realize that most people consider muddy worminess a turn off.

message 13: by Andrew, Wound Up (new) - rated it 2 stars

Andrew Finazzo (johnyqd) | 301 comments End of chapter 8:

I wonder if Charlaine was running out of steam at this point? There is a "Godfather of vampires" joke... which mirrored the same line from the previous chapter. Dialogue has started to go off the rails, for example: Snooki gets upset and decides to dig a hole (no idea...), she stops to ponder to Bill "I have excellent arm and shoulder muscles." Then she starts digging again.

The only action was some more vampy Kamasutra. Snooki's brother wants her to use her telepathy to find the strangulator, Bill agrees. Bill tells Snooki that a master elder vampire has summoned her back to the vamp bar.

Unformulated rant: The men in this book (Bill & Sam) are ultra sensitive (Sam) and emo (Bill). Nothing wrong with that, but how many real "guy friends" would spend a full day cleaning someone else's house to cheer them up? Sam did last chapter. Maybe having the vampire be a whiny emo dude is ironic?

message 14: by Andrew, Wound Up (new) - rated it 2 stars

Andrew Finazzo (johnyqd) | 301 comments End of chapter 9:

Remember how vamp blood is meth-like (and magically healing)? So Snooki had previously had some of Bill's blood twice, for healing purposes. Now, to "prep" for the meeting at the vamp bar Snooki gets a full dose of Bill's blood meth. Later in the chapter she "accidentally" shoots up on a stranger-vamps blood. Hey Snooks - didn't anybody tell you "don't do meth, NOT EVEN ONCE!"

The master elder vampire wants Snooki to use her telepathy to find out who embezzled a few $$ from his bar. She fingers the bartender (he's the one who bleeds in her mouth while being staked to death by the other vamp).

Some things start to get confusing here, because the "rules" about how things work are being ignored. Snooki normally can't read vampire thoughts, but she has started getting glimpses of the master elder vampires. Snooki also starts bossing a lady vampire around, and the lady vampire listens.

Maybe Snooki just has super-meth powers.

message 15: by Andrew, Wound Up (new) - rated it 2 stars

Andrew Finazzo (johnyqd) | 301 comments End of chapter 10:

The vamp-meth is making Snooki feel strong and sexy, and helps her chop vegetables very quickly. It also increases the blonde pigmentation of her hair.

Since she's feeling so great she decides to "take some time away from Bill". I.E. flirt with other dudes for a while. Is Bill just her safety net?

After a few hours of flirting with Sam and other people at the bar, Bill turns up. Snooki decides she's in love with him again and has taken enough time away.

The Strangulator attacks! Snooki's cat gets throttled. Thank goodness Snooki randomly dug a hole in chapter 8, it makes cat burial super easy. Cat was a female, putting the body count at 5 ladies.

Now, a moment of silence for Tina the cat.

message 16: by Andrew, Wound Up (new) - rated it 2 stars

Andrew Finazzo (johnyqd) | 301 comments End of chapter 11:

Time for some denouement. This is another chapter where a bunch happens. The pacing in this book is all over the place, which kind of drives me crazy.

Bill is leaving town for a few days and leaves Bubba to guard Snooki's yard. Bubba is actually Elvis reincarnated from the coronor's table as a semi-retarded vampire who eats housepets and other small animals. Nope, I'm not kidding.

Snooki, apparently sad about Tina the cat, takes home a suspiciously clean stray dog from outside her workplace. The dog is super smart. Thankfully Bubba the vamp doesn't eat the dog because it is actually Sam.

So, Sam's secret is that he's a shapeshifter. Snooki finds this out when she wakes up with a naked Sam next to her. Subtle Sam, that's what I'm going to call him from now on.

As Sam starts to get dressed the local lawman arrives to question Snooki about a local female who has been stangulated. He's tired so Snooki puts him into her spare bed, because she needs more men having sleepovers at her house. Maybe she has a local man/vamp checklist that she is trying to fill up.

While the lawman naps Snooki drives Sam back to the bar. Snooki's brother is parked at the bar, passed out in his vehicle, in what looks like a frame-up for the strangulations. Cliffhanger!

I'm pretty sure Snooki's brother is a red herring. The main reason for this feeling is that she was an intended victim at one point. The crimes involve sex and I've (thankfully) gotten no such vibe from the brother.

message 17: by Andrew, Wound Up (new) - rated it 2 stars

Andrew Finazzo (johnyqd) | 301 comments End of book:

Dead Until Dark ended with a long drawn out fizzle.

Snooki is attacked by the strangulator, who was just a human dude hanging around the fringes of the novel. He gets past Elvis using a poisoned cat. Snooki gives him a stabbing and beatdown after a chase through the woods and a graveyard.

Bill comes back into town a day or two later and tells Snooki he's been secretly running for (and won) a vampire political position.

The end.

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