Wednesday, 6 October 2010

The Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris

The Southern Vampire Mysteries

1. Dead Until Dark
2. Living Dead in Dallas
3. Club Dead
4. Dead to the World
5. Dead as a Doornail
6. Definitely Dead
7. All Together Dead
8. From Dead to Worse
9. Dead and Gone
10. Dead in the Family
11. A Touch of Dead

I came a little bit late to the Sookie Satckhouse party. I was never quite sure that I really wanted to read these books, especially after Twilight. I think I’ve mentioned that I find the whole idea of Twilight stupid (teenage vampire romance, UGH!), the writing is poor, the teenage angst and romance bits are annoying and generally I should hate everything about those books. That’s why I’ve read them all. Twice. I don’t know what it is, but once you get started, they kind of grab you. Since Twilight, I’ve read a lot of similar books, like the House of Night series (I have yet to make myself finish, huge ugh!), and Shiver, which I hated, so going down the Sookie Stackhouse road didn’t appeal that much. Then Audible offered one on sale. And I was hooked.

Sookie Stackhouse lives in the little backwoods town of Bon Temps, Louisiana, works at the bar as a waitress and is a telepath. Most of the residents of Bon Temps know there is something wrong with Sookie, but they just assume she’s stupid or strange and leave it at that. Because of her abilities, she finds it hard to make and keep friends and dating is next to impossible (how do you date a guy when you really know he’s only got one thing on his mind?). Sookie tries to fit in, but it’s difficult.

Ever since Vampires had come out of their coffins, she, like just about everyone else, had been eager to meet one, and lo, one fine night in walks Bill the Vampire. Bill changes Sookie’s life in a whole lot of ways. Not only can she not hear his thoughts, which she finds terribly relaxing, but he introduces her to the super natural world. Her life suddenly becomes a whole lot more interesting as she tries to navigate and survive both the natural and the supernatural worlds by both hiding and using her telepathic abilities without falling under control of either side.

I’m not going to say a whole lot more about these books and I’m not going to review them all individually. I might have had I not read them all in one lump go, but it seems silly to review all ten in a row. So, I’m just going to say that no, they will never win any nobel prizes and no they aren’t going to become great literature, but they are highly entertaining. They’re also charming. The characters are likeable and real, in that you could see that this is just the way real people in Louisiana would react if Vampires and things that go bump in the night did come to town. Some think it’s cool, some are enamored, some want them all destroyed and a few are completely indifferent. It’s like a slice of life that you (the reader) don’t have to take seriously. The whole series reminds me of a phrase we used to use for an internet site I visited when discussions got a little heated – pretendy fun-time games. It’s not real, it’s just fun, don’t get your knickers in a twist over it. The Southern Vampire Mysteries are pretendy fun-time games for when you want to block out the world as it is and have a little fun.

If you’re looking for a good, light, fun read with a little supernatural and a little romance thrown in, you’ll like these books. On the basis of being fun and entertaining, they merit 4.25 out of 5.


Jeane said...

I was never much interested in the series until I started watching the tv show w/my husband. We've really enjoyed it and now I'm thinking I might like the books too.

Lady Rook said...

Sorry I didn't see this post before. I'm so pleased you liked the books. I love them and have read them several times since discovering them earlier this year. The TV series I didn't like as much. Eric/Sookie is my new OTP. :)