Charlaine Harris’s Southern Vampire Series – behind the scenes of True Blood
While her writing style may not be suited to everyone’s taste, Charlaine Harris’s Southern Vampire Mysteries, which the HBO television series True Blood is based on, is nothing short of entertaining.
I first started reading the series with the first novel, Dead until Dark, well before the show, and when the series was far from completed. Thus began an addiction to the Southern, small-town dramas of heroine Sookie Stackhouse, barmaid and telepath, in an America where vampires are mainstream and the world is full of other supernatural beings. The True Blood television series began in 2008 to huge popularity, captivating a whole new audience that had previously not read the books.
The series begins at a time when Vampires have come out of hiding due to the creation of a form of synthetic blood, allowing them to sustain themselves without having to feed on humans. Telepathic barmaid Sookie Stackhouse meets her first vampire, the mysterious Bill Compton, one night when he walks into the bar. So begins Sookie’s involvement in the politics and dangers associated with the Vampire world, and the mysteries and complications her ‘talent’ is used to help solve.
When I initially started reading Dead until Dark, I nearly put the book down. I was a little shocked, and unsure of exactly what I was getting myself into. Thirteen books later and the series concluded – I’m glad I didn’t. The series will appeal to readers who like paranormal romance with a touch of mystery, and the characters are alluring and loveable. With humour, romance, raunchy and mystery combined, readers will find themselves laughing out loud, picking sides and wanting to know who Sookie will end up with.
Luckily for fans of the book, there is still the True Blood television series, although the final season is currently airing. True Blood mirrors the book and characters in many ways, but does alter from the books more as the series progresses. Certain characters, relationships and plot lines are consistent, but there are some big changes to minor characters that readers of the book may not like. Personally, I find the show very entertaining in its own right, with good representation of a lot of the characters I loved from the book. However, the books win by a mile for me, and I was sad to see the end of Sookie’s story in the final book, Dead Ever After.