I love the True Blood series. If it were not for the series I doubt I would ever have picked up the books, purely for the ridiculously shallow reason that I just don’t like the titles! As it was a friend of mine kindly bought me the first eight of the ‘True Blood’ books as a present to cheer me up (bless her!), and the books brought me some easy-going and entertaining reading at a time when I really needed some serious escapism.
The Charlaine Harris novels, starting with ‘Dead Until Dark’, follows Southern barmaid and telepath, Sookie Stackhouse, as she first starts up a relationship with a vampire Bill, and then goes on to get herself thoroughly mixed up in the supernatural world that exists along side the human one.
The first novel follows the first television series pretty closely. Within a couple of books however, Sookie’s relationship with Bill is over and there are a number of different other vampires and weres that she gets involved with. All of the ‘men’ are incredibly strong and sexy, and Sookie has the sort of sex any red-blooded woman would dream of having. My favourite of her steady stream of lovers has got to be Eric. In the third book ‘Dead to the World’ Eric has his memory taken away by a witch and he has to move in with Sookie while they try to find the witch responsible. Eric shows his softer side and he and Sookie plunge into a passionate affair. Needless to say, as soon as Eric gets his memory back he forgets everything that has happened and reverts back to his old self. My favourite parts of the series are when Eric reappears and there is a bit of a ‘will they – won’t they’ scenario going on.
Not all of the novels sit well with me. I don’t really like the whole ‘vampire politics’ side of it and I do tend to switch off when Harris starts talking about ‘the Queen of Mississippi’ and the ‘Sheriff of Louisiana’. I don’t know why, but I have difficulty suspending my disbelief. Maybe it is just that I don’t like politics, but there is part of me that likes my vampires to be a bit more wild and savage (which they generally are in the novels) and the thought that they have a political agenda just doesn’t sit right with me.
The same goes for all the introductions of other ‘supes’ (supernatural creatures). Okay, I know if there are vampires living in our community than why not werewolves? Well, werewolves I can buy, even ‘shifters’ (who can change into all different animals), but when we start getting into were-panthers, and even were-tigers, I do struggle to believe in it all. But Harris doesn’t stop there – soon we have fairies, demons, and a whole host of other supernatural beings I have never even heard of.
As long as you don’t go into these novels with too many expectations you won’t be disappointed. The books are great fun – lots of sex, action, and even a bit of comedy thrown in for good luck, and if you are looking for a bit of supernatural romance that isn’t too serious than I would highly recommend these books.
I will look forward to reading the rest of the series.