Everyone raves about the TV series True Blood but I haven't really got into torrenting and over here it's on a TV channel I don't have so I'll have to rent it when it comes out on DVD. In the meantime I thought I'd have a go at Charlaine Harris' novels, on which the series is based. Dead Until Dark is the first one, and it's quite fun, with some witty touches - I particularly liked Harris' tendency to give the vampires really ordinary names, a gag on the exotic names they're usually saddled with. Here the main vampires are called Bill and Eric, which is hardly "Lestat."
The book's set in Louisiana and it's interesting how there's little snatches inserted which suggest some of the inhabitants refuse to accept how the Civil War ended, and there's an undercurrent of racism that hasn't gone away, although for now this isn't made a big deal of. Some of the central ideas seem lifted straight from episodes of Buffy - lead character Sookie Stackhouse (well I guess if the vamps aren't going to have silly names...) can read minds and finds this debilitating, but she's relieved to find she can't read vampire minds. There's also a subculture of humans who get a sexual thrill out of being bitten. But Harris does have Sookie threaten to name her dog Buffy, so I guess she's acknowledging the influence.
The covers are a bit offputting, looking like cheesy paranormal romance novels, and to an extent this is what this is, and for me the book gets tedious when Sookie and Bill get together and there's several sex scenes in a row, but once that's out of the way it resolves itself into a fun little mystery. I think I'll give a couple of the other books a chance before moving on to the TV show.