Sucking so you don't have to!
Vampires. Creatures that hide in the night, stalking just behind us in the shadows, waiting for that perfect moment to drag you away and feed off your blood to sustain their dead rotten flesh. How romantic. Well that's what millions of teenage girls (as well as adult women) would have you believe. Now I will be the first to admit that I went through my own vampire loving stage at the tender age of sixteen, which is why I keep getting drawn back into reading these books or "paranormal romance" as they tend to be called. But I have yet to find anything worthwhile in any of them. Charlaine Harris' Dead Until Dark, the novel that was the basis for the popular TV show True Blood, is no different.
Here's the skinny:
Vampires no longer have to live in hiding, fearing a stake or that their next meal might have over done it on garlic bread for dinner that night. A new invention (created by the Japanese, of course), synthetic blood (available in all types), is on the market. Now vampires no longer have to worry about going over to borrow a cup of blood from their neighbors as a midnight snack. Humans, vampires, harmony? Not so much. Of course there are always mistakes, and "things" happen. Vampires are around, but not exactly accepted. Doubly so for a small town in northern Louisiana, where a psychic waitress works at a bar hoping to one day see a vampire. One day, she gets her wish in Bill (yes Bill) the new vampire in town. She finds it curious that she can't hear his thoughts at all, when the thoughts of everyone else in town are near to crowding out her own. A lucky chance leaves him in her debt, while strange things start happening around town...
(spoilers beyond this point)
What I liked:
Unique: Okay, I'll give it that. While Anne Rice's vampires did flutter around Louisiana, I've never read about any vampires that were truly Southern. Though sometimes their Southern references got a bit ridiculous, at least the concept started out interesting.
The Cover: Yes, it was the cover that dragged me to the book in the first place. It is very nicely done. Abstract in the way of children's book illustrations. I love the choice of colors and the overall smoothness of the design.
What I didn't like:
Everybody Hates Me: Yes the main character is that kind of character. Because of her psychic powers everyone feels uneasy around her, and aside from her grandmother and her cat there is no one who is truly her friend. They all refuse to believe in her powers, and choose to think of her as crazy instead. So she leads a rather empty life, until she meets Bill that is.
Everybody Dies: Aside from the murders occurring around town to acquaintances of the main characters, they author saw fit to get rid of the only two creatures alive that really care for her, her grandmother and cat. I guess they were in the way of her becoming entirely dependent on Bill.
Let's Play With Paper Dolls: At first I was relieved that the main character didn't annoy me as much as some characters I could name. But I quickly realized it's because she doesn't have much of a personality at all. Aside from her powers, her job, and the death of her parents early on in her life there isn't really much to her. Bill too was sadly two-dimensional, for being a vampire who has lived some hundred plus years, he doesn't really seem to have done much with all that time. A little more detailing of the characters would have gone a long way to improving this book.
The bottom line:
It's not a read I would recommend to anyone. The book had decent parts but they were spread few and far between. The unfortunately thing is that while the first half of the book I would give a 4/10 (since I found myself enjoying it a bit), the latter half becomes dismally unbearable and I can't give it anymore than a 2/10. Leading me to decide the score at:
Three out of ten apples.