I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles. (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).
Sookie Stackhouse is a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. She's quiet, keeps to herself, and doesn't get out much. Not because she's not pretty. She is. It's just that, well, Sookie has this sort of "disability." She can read minds. And that doesn't make her too dateable. And then along comes Bill. He's tall, dark, handsome--and Sookie can't hear a word he's thinking. He's exactly the type of guy she's been waiting for all her life....
But Bill has a disability of his own: He's a vampire with a bad reputation. He hangs with a seriously creepy crowd, all suspected of--big surprise--murder. And when one of Sookie's coworkers is killed, she fears she's next....
So finally, I meet Sookie Stackhouse. I am late to the party by about 15 years, but I really enjoyed making her acquaintance. I polished off the book in one evening and could quite happily have turned around and read it again right away. In fact I did go back and read my favourite sections again.
I found Sookie to be a smart and feisty main character. Instead of her telepathy being an advantage, she has found it the ultimate in distracting, almost like a learning disability. So when she runs into vampire Bill and finds that she is unable to hear his thoughts, she is immediately impressed. I loved her independence—she does her own dirty work, for the most part, not relying on her boss, Sam, or her brother, Jason, to bail her out.
Bill is an interesting vampire, in that he is so different from all the Lords of Darkness that one usually runs across in fiction. Here is a guy who has returned to his old home town and who seems to want nothing more than to settle back into small town Southern life. In that regard, his vampirism is a disability, bringing with it unwanted responsibilities and relationships.
So, is there any future for this human-vampire couple? I note that there are many more books, and once I have made a dent in my current stack of library books, I’ll be ordering the second one to check up on them.