The Southern Vampire Mysteries / Sookie Stackhouse #1
Sookie Stackhouse is a waitress at the local bar in Bon Temps, Louisiana, called Merlotte’s. Everything is unassuming and normal, though Sookie struggles daily with what she perceives to be her affliction: she is telepathic. She uses inordinate amounts of energy to block people out, and lives with her grandmother, Adele. Sookie’s life is changed forever one night when vampire Bill Compton walks into the bar. She cannot hear any of his thoughts, and is somewhat relieved that she can let her guard down a little. He is also mysterious, and she likes that. However, at the end of the evening he leaves with a trailer trash couple, and Sookie caught a bad vibe from them. Following the couple out, she finds that they are draining the vampire, and she saves him. After that, Bill is sort of indebted to Sookie for saving him.
Though vampires have now stepped out in public, it does not mean that they are necessarily accepted in society, and Sam Merlotte, Sookie’s boss, worries about her spending time with a vampire. Sookie is extremely drawn to Bill, but the two are from two completely different times. Some vicious and violent murders have been happening around town, and it does not help that the victims were renowned for having spent time with vampires and being promiscuous. Things are looking bad when vampire punctures are discovered on the corpses, but even worse when the town relatiates. In the meantime, Sookie is irritated as hell that Sam waited all these years for Bill to step in before showing her that he has feelings for her, and she is irritated with Bill for being so distant and cold, though she is attracted to him. She is terrified and broken when whoever murdered the girls makes a play for her, and instead kills her grandmother.
After Adele’s passing, Bill spends more time with Sookie, who is falling completely in love with him, letting her guard down. When the murder investigations take detective Andy Bellefleur to Jacon Stackhouse, Sookie’s brother, she decides to investigate on her own, to show that neither Bill nor Jason could have been involved with the murders of the young women and her grandmother. Going to a vampire bar called Fangtasia, she meets with the owner, Eric Northman, to make some queries, and learns the scary lesson here that not all vampires are like Bill at all, and it frightens her. Nevertheless, she wishes to clear the men in her life, and even starts to listen in on people more when Jason asks her to listen out for the real murderer. The town is seething over the murders, and are becoming increasingly hostile towards the vampires. It seems that soon they just might make a stupid play at them.
Will the townsfolk rebel and fight with the vampires? Will the tentative human/vampire peace fall away? Is the small town of Bon Temps cut out for a vampire? Who is killing the women in Bon Temps? Are they being killed because of vampire affiliation, or is there something else that connects these girls? Will Sookie and Bill ever have a decent relationship, or will something outside of them always get in the way? Will Jason beat the murder charges that the town is ready to pin on him?
I don’t even know how to explain this. I absolutely hate romance novels. They are so predictable and soppy and crap. But then I got a bee in my bonnet that all I wanted was something fluffy, useless, and light. A romance ticks all those boxes, but I was not up for something super mushy or anything. Then I remembered the Southern Vampire Mysteries that I had read a few years ago, and then just stopped, though I am not sure why. Who knows, maybe I will get reacquainted with my reasons soon, or it is just one of those series that I lost track of. Well, it was what I needed. Not too steeped in the romance, and not with a story line that takes itself too seriously or anything, it was light and had more than just kisses, sex, and fights in it. Granted, Sookie is pretty average, getting huffy with Bill all the time and all that, but is less annoying than most characters in a romance novel. Plus there is the whole supernatural aspect to this that is pretty fun. I don’t know, don’t read these expecting something heavy or hardcore, but for light entertainment, they are worth the read. They flow and are very fast reads, so really not bad for what they are. Some of the characters are very entertaining, and the events keep you engaged. The progression is cool, and as an introductory novel, this was a rather decent first outing. I like the way Sookie finally finds someone she can be with, even though he is dead. It took me a while to get used to the concept of the vampires being known as well as the fact that they are marketing as an “affliction”. I can highly recommend you check these books out if you have not already, but not for mind-blowing reading or anything. I don’t think these books will really appeal to the male demographic, but who knows?