Dead Until Dark is the first book in the series, known alternately as The Sookie Stackhouse Novels or the Southern Vampire Mysteries, and is the book on which the first season of HBO’s True Blood was based. HBO did a pretty good job. They made some big changes, but I liked the changes they made. So, if you’ve seen the first season of True Blood and are interested in reading the books, don’t let already knowing the story get in your way. Like I said, there were changes, and also it’s only the first book. Everything will be brand new after that.

If you haven’t seen True Blood and are looking for some vampire books to read (ahem, Twilight fans), here’s what’s up with Miss Sookie Stackhouse. It’s been two years since The Great Revelation, when vampires “came out of the coffin.” Thanks to the Japanese invention of synthetic blood, vampires no longer need to feed on humans. They have revealed themselves to humans and wish to become part of society. Sookie is a self-described barmaid and telepath, living in Bon Temps, Louisiana. She’s always been something of a misfit because of her special ability. When the vampire Bill walks into her bar she realizes she can’t hear his thoughts. For the first time in her life she can have a relationship with someone without knowing every thought in his head. And mayhem ensues.

For those of you who have read Twilight and are thinking the I-can-read-everyone’s-mind-except-yours storyline sounds familiar, the Sookie books actually came out before Twilight. Everyone who writes vampires puts their own little spin on it. They keep some traits from previous authors and invent some of their own. Charlaine Harris is no exception. She has created a world that is sometimes dark and gritty and sometimes just plain hilarious. It’s reads like a supernatural soap opera.

The eighth book is due out in paperback in April. The ninth book is due out in hard cover in May. There’s a lot of vampirey goodness to go around here.

Here are the titles:
Dead Until Dark
Living Dead in Dallas
Club Dead
Dead to the World
Dead as a Doornail
Definitely Dead
All Together Dead
From Dead to Worse (out in paperback in April 2009)
Dead and Gone (out in hard cover in May 2009)

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