Charlaine Harris Schulz was born on the 25th of November, 1951, in Tunica, Mississippi, United States of America. Charlaine is a very well-known, beloved writer, most prominently of mysteries, ones often delving into the macabre.
As such, Charlaine has become famous for her The Southern Vampire Mysteries series that received an adaptation in the format of a television series, which went on for six years. A big portion of Charlaine’s novels have gone on to become bestsellers, and a number of them have been translated into various languages around the world.
How Did Charlaine Start Writing?
Charlaine Harris Schulz was born and grew up in a small town, namely Tunica, in the Mississippi River Delta portion of the US. Charlaine started with writing from a rather young age, then ventured into playwriting by the time she got into college.
As a child and a teenager, Harris focused primarily on writing poems featuring ghosts, apparitions, and the common theme in them was a certain angst. While going to Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, Harris tried her hand in writing plays.
Following her graduation, Harris went in headlong into writing and publishing her adored mysteries, which oftentimes fall into the urban fantasy subgenre. One of her works also got on our list of the best paranormal romance books.
So far as Harris’ intimate life goes, she has been married for quite some time. Along with her husband, Harris has raised three children, who have gone on to raise two grandchildren to Harris. Charlaine used to live in Magnolia, Arkansas, acting as the senior warden of St. James Episcopal Church, but is now residing in Texas.
Having covered all of that, we can now take our time to give our Dead Until Dark book review.
Dead Until Dark Book
This is probably one of the most recognizable Charlaine Harris books. It is part of Harris’ famous Sookie Stackhouse series. Dead Until Dark was published in the year of 2001.
It is rightfully one of the best Charlaine Harris books, but it is also one of her most inventive ones. For instance, at the core of the story is a tale of vampires, but it is all interlaced and wonderfully blended into a potent story of mystery, intrigue, and an apt dose of the romance we have all come to love from Charlaine. That’s why we also covered it in our selections of the best vampire romance books for adults and the best vampire book series.
The Setting of the Story
The small, sort of quaint town of Bon Temps, located in Louisiana, is where the story unravels. Sookie Stackhouse has the joy of referring to Bon Temps as her home. Sookie, herself, is in her twenties, blonde with sparkling, beautiful blue eyes, working as a waitress. Sookie is hardly of the ordinary sort of waitresses that one might have come to be used to, in fact; Sookie has a bit of a disability if we can call it that.
Sookie is a kind of telepath. It’s a telepath mainly because it limits the social life of Sookie quite a bit. Imagine knowing that the person across you can read your thoughts as easily as they can draw breaths… suffice to say, it’s not an easy feat being Sookie.
Something Wicked This Way Comes
The day seems to be a bit of a mundane one, right up until a strange man walks into the town. This stranger has dark hair, is pretty tall, and is a beauty. What’s so strange about a tall, dark-haired, handsome man, you may ask?
Well, Sookie doesn’t seem to be able to penetrate into this man’s thoughts. Now, we might have painted this man as being perfect. He isn’t quite that. While he is a pretty attractive man, he is also as pale as the apocalyptic horseman, bears a few fangs, and, insomuch as one can discern from his appearance, he’s pretty much dead. Bill Compton is his name, being a vampire is his game.
The ensuing from then on is a wholly invigorating, entrancing story. Bill and Sookie get to know each other and, in no time, they get to the point of wanting to be in a relationship together. Bill isn’t all that bad, as he and Sookie try to solve a few murderers that just so happened to start up as soon as Bill rolled up into town. Sookie’s brother also finds himself behind bars, and it doesn’t take long for Sookie to jumpstart her career of vampire-slaying in Louisiana.
Many comparisons to Twilight’s Bella Swan and Edward can be found and drawn, and they are somewhat warranted. Charlaine explains how Sookie can read minds, how Bill doesn’t gobble up real blood, but synthetic, and, most importantly it seems, her vampires have a glowing quality.
Other than that, there aren’t many similarities with the stories. To Twilight’s slow-paced, restrained plot, we have Dead Until Dark’s faster-paced, more action-packed storyline.
The Literary Merits of the Story
At times, the book can begin to feel like it’s a full-length feature film blockbuster the way that it’s written. Each chapter leads into a more interesting one than the previous one. There’s something so special about Charlaine’s writing that makes the page-turning a daunting process, but also one that you can’t wait to get to do.
Her characterization is also always on point. Sookie is an all-around enjoyable, quirky, badass character that drives the plot in ways that are just unforgettable. Bill and the mystery all around him make way for some level of ominous storytelling to go on before we finally warm up to Bill and see who he actually is.
While the synopsis might offer a peer into a solely action-packed world, Harris also deals with a lot of disturbing topics. There’s some brooding on the faults of incest, and the like. Oh, and the scenes can go very easily into gruesome violence. It’s no surprise why it was that we chose this book for a review.
The other many books of the Sookie Stackhouse series are wonderful in all their own ways and should definitely be read asap.