Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse #1) - Charlaine Harris Like most books that I review, this one comes with a story. A few years ago I was introduced to urban fantasy in the form of the Dresden Files series and the Fever series. I found that I really enjoyed it. Since I also enjoyed Twilight (sorry folks, but that's the way it is), I thought that I would give this series a try. That was at the time when HBO started the True Blood series, which I was excited about. WRONG! I couldn't even make it through one show of the series, they were way to graphic for me. Since I figured the books were like the show, I gave up on trying to read them. But my sister and a number of her friends kept telling me how great they were, and that they weren't as bad as the show. I'm glad I finally tried them.

This first book of the series spends a lot of time on Sookie Stackhouse, Bill the vampire, and defining their developing relationship. Along with that, though, the author weaves a back story about a series of local murders. Through that story, she is able to introduce a tapestry of supporting characters that I believe will become more important as the series continues. As they say, this is just the beginning.....

As I read, it became apparent that these books are nothing like the Twilight books, but are more of the Dresden, Fever, Greywalker type of urban fantasy. For one thing, the relationship between Bill and Sookie seems more realistic. In addition, the books are not just about the relationship, but also about the area and the world that Sookie and Bill live in where vampires are "coming out of the coffin" as the author says, to live among the humans. Although she explains a few things about vampire society, she hints at many more, leaving the impression that as the books go on she will be further defining their society. I am really looking forward to this development.

Another boon, in my opinion, is the creative cast of supporting characters in the book. Some of them are totally human, some are vampires, and some are in-between, like Sookie, who is human but can read minds. I am also looking forward to what role some of these characters play in later books, and how the story develops in that way.

All in all, I give this book 4 stars and am looking forward to continuing with the series to see what develops. I hear they get better as they go on, and I am hoping this is the case.