From the beginning I knew that most probably, no other book could come close to capturing the "true" vampire personna like Stephanie Meyer's, but I also REALLY wanted to give it a try. The Sookie Stackhouse character was very entertaining and likeable; I did find myself caring about what happened to her. But beyond that, there were a lot of problems for me. The key vampire here, Bill (I mean, give me a break! Bill???)was not very likeable. I didn't find him either believable or love-inspiring in any way. I also had to get past the fact that in this story, vampires have "come out" of the coffin so to speak, and they walk among the humans like they are regular people. There are very few secrets about them here, which is a "real magic" and suspense killer. The vampires, if they are "good" like the Cullens in Twilight, do not feed on animals, but drink synthetic blook produced by humans and served up to them like a mai tai or a glass of milk. Ms. Harris has also incorporated about every typical vampire talisman there is: silver, stakes to the heart, sleeping underground during the day, only coming out at night, etc. I now find all this stuff just unimaginative and disappointing after Meyer's complete remake of the vampire world. Anyone who has ever seen a vampire movie already "knows" all that "stake to the heart", campy junk. Why not give us something new?
The whole plot of Dead Until Dark revolves around a series of serial murders, and of course, the vampires are suspected. Big surprise. Are they really to blame? Did our "hero" Bill do them? Well, the end is fairly predicable also, as is the gratuitous sex scenes and the blood and gore, all of which are not present in the Twilight series, and refreshingly so. But the real "Deal Breaker" here was this: out of he blue, at almost the end of the book, one of the main characters comes forth and reveals that he is a "shape shifter." He can turn himself into animals at the full moon. Now, while I understand Harris may have felt the need to incorporate some kind of "Jacob" or werewolf character like the outrageously popular and well-written one in New Moon; however, the reader gets no explanation whatsoever for this so-called "shape shifter." Like why? Why is he a shape-shifter? What is a shape-shifter's purpose on our earth? How did he become one? Why do we care? Well, my answer to that is: I DON'T! This contrived device sprung on us at the end of the book for no apparent plot-reason really irked me, and I finished the book gratefully, ready to move on to my next non-vampire book.
So, if you are a Sookie Stackhouse fan and can't get enough of this series, please comment here and tell me why. Maybe your bite will "change" me into a new believer in "true blood." But for now, I will remain a Twifan.