I’m curious about the interaction of TV series and series of novels. We rented the TV series based on Jim Butcher’s Dresden novels and were instantly hooked. Then I started reading the books and became rapidly even more hooked. My husband followed and we now both qualify as fans of Harry Dresden (but no longer of the TV series). We’re not rich fans though; we still have to wait for the paperback editions. Patience is such a hard-earned virtue.
We watched the first episode of True Blood a while ago too, and promptly gave up. But we knew the stories were based on books, and the plotline was intriguing, so my husband bought me the first book which I read last year. Now I’m hooked on Sookie Sackhouse too, and I’ve just finished book 3. I’m looking forward to more.
Meanwhile we saw the Nightside books, by Simon R Green, at a local bookstore and thought they looked fun – wizards, England, mystery… But my husband is already giving up on them. I’ve only read one so far, and I really enjoyed it, so perhaps I’ll reserve judgment. But I’m wondering if my husband would have been more easily hooked if there’d been a TV tie-in. Do TV series sell books, even when they don’t follow the plot, just by giving flesh to the image?
Still, back to Sookie Sackhouse, True Blood and Club Dead. Charlaine Harris does a really nice job of introducing new characters, new locales, and more complex rules and regulations into each of her books. I like the way the world expands without the reader ever feeling like the author’s inventing things just to fit the plot. Instead, the point of view stays firmly with the character of Sookie, who really doesn’t know everything and knows she doesn’t. And each addition just adds to the “reality” of her unreal world.
The action is exciting, the mystery intriguing, and the emotional rollercoaster that Sookie ends up on is very believably told. The mixture of tension and humor is very nicely done, and the cultural references are really quite delightful. I loved Bubba and all his deeds and misdeeds.
There are violent werewolf biker gangs, and kinder werewolf builders. There are vampires that seem to struggle with conscience, and others that don’t seem to know the word exists. And there’s even a nice slice of modern technology interacting with vampire lore, though the combination wasn’t quite so satisfying as I’d hoped. Plus there’s nails to be done, to match the gorgeous dress, and there’s wounds (some pretty gory and graphic ones) and tears to be repaired. The sweet dénouement left me eager to start the next book – a pity really since I haven’t got it yet.
Charlaine Harris is certainly keeping my attention, even if the TV series didn’t. But maybe I’ll catch the repeats somewhere some day.