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Number Seven

Just Finished?
Dead Until Dawn by Charlaine Harris (Fantasy; Vampires)

Reason for Reading? I waffled with the idea of reading any of the books in the Sookie Stackhouse series for a while - I like the show True Blood and sometimes reading the books associated with a TV series can alter your opinions, either that the show isn't doing it right or that the original books were so wretched that it changes how you perceive the show, etc. I'd heard both good and bad things about the books, but [ profile] greenhoodloxley tilted the scales by saying that she quite enjoyed both the show AND the books despite them branching off in very different directions.

Was it Good? Yes, it was. At times I had trouble keeping my interest up because this first book is very, very, very similar to the first season of True Blood, but that's not a knock; It's just that I've seen it fairly recently.

Why? It's vampire romance, right? It has almost all the clich├ęs of the genre, but at the same time, it takes them and turns them on their head, just slightly, making it newer and fresher. Also, the idea of vampires "coming out of the coffin" is... cute, or something. (Can you tell this isn't going to be my most intelligent review?) The characters are well-written, and believable. A lot, an awful lot of books, especially ones featuring vampire romances I find, have these misunderstandings and such that pop up, and people separating and getting back together, and so on and so forth, but the misunderstandings are fairly idiotic. And so, though the angst is interesting and might keep you reading, you're aware of how dumb the whole thing is. These characters, well, the same sorts of things happen, but the reasons actually make sense. Wow. I could understand the characters, I could believe their actions, even if I personally could not often relate.

What's it about? Sookie Stackhouse, telepathic waitress from smalltown USA meets her first vampire after they've come out of the coffin, right about the same time that a bunch of unfortunate murders start happening around town.

Who's your favourite character? Bill, I think. Which is interesting, because its different than the TV show (where my favourites range between Eric, Lafayette, Sam, Godric, and Mariann[sp?])

Favourite secondary character Sam, I think.

Would you recommend this book to others? Yes. I'd also recommend the show, which I think I like a liiiiiittle bit better, but I'm not sure whether I'd suggest you read before you watch, or watch before you read.

Anything Else? I'll admit I sometimes found the writing a little bit ...casual? I didn't always find the prose compelling, basically - but the story is good, the characters are good, and it's easy to read.
I also felt that this book, somehow more than the show, brought more to the front the feeling of small town living; which is a mark of good writing, not bad, but still makes me uncomfortable in what I am certain is an unintentional way. Ditto on the "I do not feel that Sookie is an unrealistic portrayal of a female character at all, but at the same time, she's not my sort of female character either" feeling.
It's somewhat interesting, because I consider the show based around these books to be 'more serious' television, yet I would say the books are more, um, fluffy in comparison to other books. Like, True Blood might be one of my favourite television shows for a long while, but the books will never rank among my favourite books. They're light reading, is all.

Up Next?
Not sure. I'm still part way through Her Kind by Jane Cahill, but there are a few other novels (rather than short story collections) sitting on my shelf and tempting me right now, including Dragon Mage by Andre Norton and Jean Rabe, The Egyptologist by Arthur Phillips, The Darkness that Comes Before by R. Scott Bakker, Innocent Mage by Karen Miller and The Witches of Eileanan by Kate Forsyth.

Why? Because they're in my room and [with one exception] have not been read by me.

Hopes? That I will enjoy whatever I choose to read.

Want to know who's read this book before you? Yes. If anyone has suggestions on which of these books to read next, or wants to know what I think of one or whatever, let me know. Any help in the decision-making process would be good.
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February 2012

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