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Vampires Among Us- The Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris
If you want some amazing reading that you just can't put down, then you have to start reading all the novels written by Charlaine Harris about vampires. There are many vampire based novels on the market right now and I have read quite a few of them but the best series of books that I have come across are Charlaine Harris' novels, the Southern Vampire Series, about the perky and energetic cocktail waitress, Sookie Stackhouse, and her life after becoming involved in the world of the vampires.
The books have been followed up with the HBO series "True Blood", starring Anna Paquin as the irrepressible Sookie Stackhouse. The HBO TV series follows, but not exactly, the storyline in each of the novels. I would definitely recommend reading the novels first as they are much more in depth and focus on Sookie's story more than the TV series does. Some characters have a different focus placed on them in the TV series than Ms. Harris describes in the novels.
Sookie and the Vampire reality
Sookie Stackhouse, herself is the narrator in Charlaine Harris's novels, giving the reader a personalized look into Sookie is thinking when she reacts as she does during a given moment or crisis. Sookie is a mind-reader, something that has troubled her since her childhood, but her ability to read minds is a major point in the novels; how she learns to control and use the ability. She is an endearing character, full of spunk, energy, and true courage when the situation demands it, and during these novels, there are many situations that demand Sookie to reach into herself for that courage in order to survive.
Sookie finds herself drawn into the world of the Vampires after she saves one during a "draining" attempt by a husband and wife team. What you need to realize is in the novels the vampires have "come out of the coffin", that is, they have gone on television and announced to the world that they do exist and have lived among for many years without our actual knowledge. With the invention of "True Blood", a synthetic blood substitute which satisfies their nutritional needs and thirst for blood, the Vampires are able to function among us without attacking. By coming out, the Vampires are now recognized, although not always welcome, members of society. Vampires owning business's and maintaining homes right along with the human population is now a common place occurrence although there are some negative interactions between the humans and vampires.
After reading the series, you will definitely look at your friends, neighbors, and professionals and say to yourself "Hmm, I wonder if they truly do exist?".
Sookie's friendly and not so friendly people
If the fact that Vampires do actually exist isn't enough, during the "Dead..." novels, Sookie becomes involved with a host of other unusual characters. Telling you what they are would definitely ruin your experiences with the novels but let me just say the the Vampires seem to become pretty common as you continue your journey with Sookie. But you will come to love the varied and unusual citizens in Sookie's small part of the world.
These novels have everything for everybody...mystery, romance, sexual encounters, action, and danger all in a fast paced modern setting with Sookie Stackhouse in the middle of it all with her own southern brand of sass and wit. The way she handles every situation makes you laugh, cry, or just shake your head in wonder at how she does it.
The first 8 books in the "Sookie Stackhouse" series. The boxed set makes a nice gift for someone or for yourself. Each book has a short "teaser" for the next book in line to read.
This is book #1 of the series but make sure you have book #2 ready as you will dive right into it soon after you close the cover to the first book.
Go get all the novels at one time
When I started reading these novels, because of my daughter's recommendation, I thought one book will be good. Well, as soon as I near the end of that first book I was looking to make sure that we had the next book in Charlaine Harris' series. Buy the set, or at least a few of the books as you will not want to have to run to the store as you finish each book. They are that good!