Review: Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

Dead Until Dark
Dead Until Dark

Having watched the True Blood tv series before reading any of CHarlaine Harris’ books, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the source material. It turns out that the Harris books are funnier than the series. They also address some of the moral issues (mainly, how Sookie feels about the fact tht Bill is a killer) that are glossed over in the series.

There are differences between the first season of True Blood and this first novel in the series – I missed seeing so much of Lafayette, and Tara is completely absent from this book. There is still a lot of hot sex, though, and Sam is as gently compelling here as in the show.

Enough of comparisons, though. Dead Until Dark, taken on its own terms, is a a fun read. Sookie is vivacious, smart though naive, afflicted with a ‘gift’ and enthusiastic about the new and unusual in life. Bill the Vampire (and I loved how she laughed at his prosaic name) is brooding and mysterious, a real Darcy-esque vampire, but with enough that is different and intriguing to set him a little apart from the vast array of brooding romantic vampires out there.

With an unworldly but intelligent heroine, a cast of interesting and textured characters to populate her world, and a horde of vampires just as varied, it’s hardly surprising that the Sookie Stackhouse novels are so popular, or that they have inspired such a popular TV series.

Buy Dead Until Dark (Original MM Art) (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood)at Amazon.com

Review: Digger J Jones by Richard J Frankland

Digger J JonesI’ve enjoyed Richard J Frankland’s work as a playwright for many years – I was delighted to see his first book on the stand.

Eleven year old Digger J Jones is a terrific character – a feisty little scamp with a lot of personality. His diary entries make up the story – short, snappy observations from an alert, smart and funny kid.

The book, set in 1967 at the time of the Vietnam War and the Australian referendum for Australian Aborigines to finally be counted in the national census, looks at these historical events through a child’s eye. Digger’s straightforward assessment of how they impact on his life cut to the chase.

The loss of his brother Paul in Vietnam and his determination to ‘fight that discrimination’ and be counted as a citizen are explored alongside his day to day adventures – making enemies and friends, trying to live up to his newfound love for the nun Ally, discovering that poetry isn’t just for girls, and getting up to shenanigans with his best friend.

Digger J Jones is bursting with humour and heart. It might be a good book for any child – particularly boys – who have trouble getting into reading.

Buy Digger J Jones from Boomerang Books

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