Today I finished reading Charlaine Harris‘s Dead Until Dark, the novel on which the HBO series True Blood is based. I love the series, so I thought that I would read the book. It turns out that I love the book too!

My experience with reading vampire fiction is rather limited. I think I’ve only read Bram Stoker’s Dracula, a few Anne Rice novels, and Jewelle Gomez’s The Gilda Stories. I’ve been wanting to read some didn’t know what to start with. I’d also like to find some good gay vampire fiction, but I’m worried that it all just be too cheesy. What I like best about Dead Until Dark is that it’s dark, sexy, and fun without being cheesy (or at least when it is a little cheesy, it admits it!).

Dead Until Dark introduces us to Sookie Stackhouse, a waitress in a small Louisiana town who happens to be able to hear other people’s thoughts. When a vampire named Bill walks into the bar in which she works, Sookie is immediately fascinated by him. In the world of Dead Until Dark, vampires have “come out of the coffin” and mingle openly among humans. This has been made possible by a Japanese drink of synthetic blood that keeps vampires alive without the need for human blood.

When Sookie saves Bill from being drained by two local dealers (vampire blood isĀ  an aphrodisiac and stimulant for humans), she and Bill embark on an unusual and sometimes difficult relationship. Making this relationship all the more complicated is the suspicion that Bill may be involved in the brutal murders of local women, each of whom have had sex with a vampire recently.