Though I watched the first season of True Blood almost a year ago, I didn't get around to reading Charlaine Harris' Dead Until Dark until this week. For those who have been woefully ignorant thus far that True Blood has a literary predecessor, the popular television show is based on the popular "Sookie Stackhouse" book series.
(On a random side note, I like this cover so much better than the original cover art.)
The series is told from the point of view of a telepathic waitress named Sookie Stackhouse, and the strange way things unfold when a vampire openly moves into the small Southern town where she lives.
Yet the reason I'm blogging about it is because it felt really, really familiar. Not just because I had already seen the first season of the television show. It felt familiar because I had already read Stephenie (seriously, what's with the spelling?) Meyer's Twilight.
Both novels have a primary character who can read minds. Both novels have vampire characters who gleam. Both novels have, as protagonist, a beautiful young girl. In both novels, the beautiful female protagonist has two supernatural suitors, one of whom is a vampire, the other of whom is a shapeshifter.
I know I've touched on this issue previously, but those are a lot of similarities between two bestselling book series. You've got to wonder if Stephenie Meyer's "dream" coincided with reading a certain book by Charlaine Harris.
Having read both books, I prefer Dead Until Dark. It's got all of the fun, addicting romantic stuff that's in Twilight (in a more realistic fashion, thank God), but has sex and violence aplenty. I've heard creepy stuff about sex being in the young adult series further down the road. Harris' series is more mature from the beginning.
I wouldn't say that Dead Until Dark is amazing, or a must-read. It's entertaining. It's got its' pros and cons.
I would say that it's disappointing that one of the biggest "pros" in Stephenie Meyer's favor - creativity - has proven to be nothing more than a dilution of the already popular ideas of a better writer.
And reading Dead Until Dark brought a question to the forefront of my mind: when does the number of similarities between two works of art become too great for the differences to matter?