Literary Criticism and Significance
As yet, Dead Until Dark, and indeed, the rest of Harris's Sookie Stackhouse novels, have not received much critical attention from academics. There appear to be no periodical reviews of the first book in the series, but publications such as Publisher's Weekly and Kirkus Reviews do not appear to pick up interest in the series with the third book, Club Dead, although both publications favorable reviewed Harris's previous Aurora Teagarden and Lily Bard series. Dead Until Dark received favorable online reviews, however. Romantic Times Online reviewer Susan McBride calls the novel praises Harris's writing, claiming it has "an edginess that makes for taut reading," while at the same time infusing the story with humor.
Perhaps the lack of critical attention stems from the subject matter. Dead Until Dark is, at its core, a romance novel as well as a mystery. While the mystery genre is beginning to receive attention from the academy, the romance is still largely ignored. Alan Ball's recent television adaptation of the series, True Blood, while it deviates from Harris's novels quite a bit, has brought attention to the novels, and it is possible that criticism will emerge from this attention.
The Southern Vampires series has also benefited from the recent surge in vampire popularity, thanks largely to the success of Stephenie Meyer's Twlilight series. In many ways, Dead Until Dark is a more adult version of Twilight, with the parallel plot of a young woman in love with an immortal. As both series progress, however, the similarities diminish.