INTRODUCTION | SERIES

aka The Southern Vampire Mysteries; True Blood

GENRE:

Paranormal Chick Lit.

SETTING:

Bon Temps, Louisiana for the most part, with a lot of action in Shreveport and the occasional visit to the Big City.

SEX:

Prevalent and adventurous.

OUR HEROINE:

Sookie Stackhouse, telepathic waitress and part fairy, irresistible to all.

OUR HERO(ES):

Vampires Bill Compton and Eric Northman.

LOVE RIVAL(S):

Bill and Eric, as well as werewolf Alpha Alcide Herveaux, weretiger Quinn, werepanther Calvin Norris and the long-implied devotion of boss/shapeshifter Sam Merlotte, which got him the girl in the end, much to the despair of many.

SIDEKICKS:

Human – high school friend Tara Thornton, and Amelia the accident-prone witch; Vampire – Pam; Other – Sam and Jason.

VOICE:

First person, the simple prose of simple Sookie.

VAMPIRE MYTHOLOGY:

Fairly basic. The vampires insist that they suffer from a communicable medical condition and are not in any way magical creatures.

STATUS:

The Great Reveal brought about by the Japanese invention of artificial blood is several years behind us.

SOCIETY:

Modern, mostly small town South.

NOTABLE POWERS:

Strength and healing, various mental abilities, blood sharing can create psychic connections.

CREATION:

Made.

WEAKNESSES:

Harris vampires are literally “dead until dark” leaving them vulnerable to daylight slayings. Stakes through the heart and silver cause problems. Sunlight burns. Cannot enter a house without an invitation, and this can easily be revoked.

FOOD SOURCE:

The miraculous blood substitute known as Tru Blood or its classier cousin, Royalty; blood from willing humans called “fangbangers.”

OTHER LEGENDS:

Weres, shapeshifters, psychics, fairies, various mythological nasties.

BOOKS:

There are thirteen novels in the series: Dead Until Dark (2001), Living Dead in Dallas (2002), Club Dead (2003), Dead to the World (2004), Dead as a Doornail (2005), Definitely Dead (2006), All Together Dead (2007), From Dead to Worse (2008), Dead and Gone (2009), Dead in the Family (2010), Dead Reckoning (2011), Deadlocked (2012), After Dead (2013) and Dead Ever After (2013). There is also the short story collection A Touch of Dead (2009),  and various short stories published in many different anthologies, many of which are important to the chronology.

RECENT:

The series was completed with Dead Ever After in 2013.

OTHER MEDIA:

True Blood ran on HBO for seven seasons, concluding in 2014, and while it diverges quite significantly from the novels, it tells a compelling vampire-y tale all its own.

MERCHANDISE:

Merchandise abounds, including custom designed jewelry. Oh, and let’s not forget the “uniquely carbonated, slightly tart, lightly sweet blood orange drink” Tru Blood that was available for purchase at the series’ height. Delicious!

ANALYSIS:

Sookie Stackhouse isn’t one for high falutin’ lyrical prose; her language is remarkable only for its ordinariness. And all this crazy shit happens to her all the time, but she still has to get up and put on her apron and go to work for tips at a bar. Essentially, she is the best example of the Every Woman one could ever hope to meet, and as she recounts her bizarre life in the most commonplace of terms, she is utterly, endlessly charming.

WEBSITE:

www.charlaineharris.com

QUOTE:

Someone had put Jace Everett’s ‘Bad Things’ on, and just about everyone was singing along.
— Sookie (indulging in a little shameless True Blood pandering), Dead in the Family (2010)

About the author

RACHEL HYLAND

Rachel Hyland is Editor-in-Chief of Geek Speak Magazine and, she is pretty sure, the one true queen of Fantastica, raised in obscurity to protect her from the dark lord Sinisterium. If you see her magic sword, get in touch via twitter: @rachyland or Instagram: @rachelseesdeadpeople. The fate of the many worlds may just depend upon it.

  • Darth Sara

    Oh this series! I love it and hate it and it’s endlessly entertaining.