Tag Archives: Anne Rice

Review: The Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice

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DSC00190From Goodreads: In The Queen of the Damned, Anne Rice continues her extraordinary “Vampire Chronicles” in a feat of mesmeric storytelling, a chilling hypnotic entertainment in which the oldest and most powerful forces of the night are unleashed on an unsuspecting world.

Three brilliantly colored narrative threads intertwine as the story unfolds:

– The rock star known as Vampire Lestat, worshipped by millions of spellbound fans, prepares for a concert in San Francisco.  Among the audience–pilgrims in a blind swoon of adoration–are hundreds of vampires, creatures who see Lestat as a “greedy fiend risking the secret prosperity of all his kind just to be loved and seen by mortals,” fiends themselves who hate Lestat’s power and who are determined to destroy him . . .

– The sleep of certain men and women–vampires and mortals scattered around the world–is haunted by a vivid, mysterious dream: of twins with fiery red hair and piercing green eyes who suffer an unspeakable tragedy.  It is a dream that slowly, tauntingly reveals its meaning to the dreamers as they make their way toward each other–some to be destroyed on the journey, some to face an even more terrifying fate at journey’s end . . .

– Akasha–Queen of the Damned, mother of all vampires, rises after a 6,000 year sleep and puts into motion a heinous plan to “save” mankind from itself and make “all myths of the world real” by elevating herself and her chosen son/lover to the level of the gods: “I am the fulfillment and I shall from this moment be the cause” . . .

These narrative threads wind sinuously across a vast, richly detailed tapestry of the violent, sensual world of vampirism, taking us back 6,000 years to its beginnings.  As the stories of the “first brood” of blood drinkers are revealed, we are swept across the ages, from Egypt to South America to the Himalayas to all the shrouded corners of the globe where vampires have left their mark. Vampires are created–mortals succumbing to the sensation of “being emptied, of being devoured, of being nothing.” Vampires are destroyed.  Dark rituals are performed–the rituals of ancient creatures prowling the modern world.  And, finally, we are brought to a moment in the twentieth century when, in an astonishing climax, the fate of the living dead–and perhaps of the living, all the living–will be decided.

From the Hardcover edition

‘The Queen of the Damned’ is a good, if a bit of a  mixed book.  It is very immersive in places, and parts such as Jesse’s point of view and the story of the twins are very enjoyable to read.  However, in parts I also found the book disjointed and slow to read.   Personally I liked this book, but not as much as the Vampire Lestat, my review of which can be found here.

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October Wrap-Up

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Here are the books that I read, started or finished in October:

 I started and finished The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo and The Fifth Elephant by Terry Pratchett.  I also finished The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice on the seventeenth.  I started the Bronze Horseman by Paulina Simmons and Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice.

My favourite book of the month was the Vampire Lestat and my least favourite was The Fifth Elephant.

Review: The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice

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From Goodreads: Once an aristocrat in the heady days of pre-revolutionary France, now Lestat is a rock star in the demonic, shimmering 1980s. He rushes through the centuries in search of others like him, seeking answers to the mystery of his terrifying existence. His story, the second volume in Anne Rice’s best-selling Vampire Chronicles, is mesmerizing, passionate, and thrilling.

The Vampire Lestat continues on from Interview with the Vampire, this time following the story of Lestat.  My review of Interview with the Vampire is here.  The Vampire Lestat is a very exciting book.  A lot happens within five hundred and fifty pages.  It is sometimes hard to believe that it happened in a short number of years before Interview with the Vampire. The mythology that is introduced in this book adds to the atmosphere and excitement.   It is very complex, and is expanded on in the follow-up book ‘Queen of the Damned’.

 Lestat is more comedic character than Louis, but at the same time by the end of this book you will see Lestat differently than his portrayal in Interview with the Vampire.  He isn’t as sad as Louis and his sense of humour permeates his point of view.  It is a joy to follow him around really!  I’m giving this book and eight out of ten because I loved it.  It was awesome and I think it is my favourite in the series.

Review: Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice

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Interview with the Vampire follows the story of Louis, a vampire made in the nineteenth century by the vampire Lestat in New Orleans.   It begins the series known as the Vampire Chronicles. Interview with the Vampire is a very enchanting book.  You get sucked in (no pun intended) from the very start by Rice’s fantastic prose and world building.

One of the things that I love about this book is the atmosphere.  It is dark as expected (it is about vampires) but it also seems to capture the essence of America and New Orleans.  If you read this book you will probably want to visit the place because the book really just makes you want to.

An interesting twist in this book from the normal vampire spiel, is the story of Claudia, a vampire made when she was five years old.  She is Louis daughter/best friend and as she gets older as a reader you really feel her pain, of being an adult trapped inside a child’s body for eternity.

The ending is fabulous.  I don’t want to spoil it, so I won’t say much, but it does leave you feeling for Louis.  The characters introduced in this book are so charismatic that you want to find out more about them, but at the same time that doesn’t make them all good guys.  I really liked that.

Overall I would give this book and eight out of ten because it is really good and this was my second time reading it and I loved it even more than the first time.

October TBR

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I am a big fan of booktube and enjoy watching such and such a month’s to be read posts, so I am going to do the blog version here.  In October I want to read

1. Dagon and Other Macabre Tales by H.P. Lovecraft

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2. Nightwatch by Terry Pratchett

3. The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice

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4. Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice

I don’t expect to get them all done, but a girl can hope right?

PS – I know my pictures are pretty bad – I have a really old camera.

30 Day Book Challenge: Day Eighteen – Book You’re Most Embarrassed to Say You Like

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Hmm… decisions, decisions.

I guess that there are books that I wouldn’t like to be seen reading.  Mainly, anything by Ann Rice.  That seems mean, because many of her books are bad.  It’s just… I don’t like the covers.  They are cheesy.  It doesn’t help that when I have mentioned in the past that I like the Vampire Chronicles people have been like ‘oh you read that‘.   Those people were a bit judgemental though because they actually decent books that I was engrossed in when I read them.   And by ‘those people’ I mean they were my English teachers so…

30 Day Book Challenge: Day Eleven – Book from your favourite author

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I don’t believe in favourites.  I don’t have a favourite band or recording artist.  My first couple of posts in this challenge weren’t hard to write-up per se but I did have to consider it.  I’m just not a favourites type of person.  I like what I like, depending on my mood.  I don’t have a list set in stone.

Writers are a hard thing to judge, because you might like one book or series by one, and then hate everything else that they do.  Likewise, how do you judge an author?  Do you take in the overall story, the characters or do you look at the nuts and blots of the text – the way they actually write things.  Should I judge the classics and contemporary books separately?

Anne Rice is probably the best technical writer that I’ve ever read.  Like I said in my last post, the way she writes is amazing.  She just has a magic to her prose that I’ve not encountered before or since in a modern book.

George R. R. Martin writes strong prose, if a bit too much of it, but I love ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ because of the way he incorporates reality into his fantastical story.  I love the way that the books are hard to read because of all the pain and death the characters suffer through.

Anne Bishop is not very strong with prose.  She tends to repeat phrases again and again.  However, with the ‘Black Jewels’ she created really lovable characters.  Complex characters like Daemon Sadi are very rare and are compelling to read.

Trudi Canavan is an interesting writer.  In her first trilogy ‘The Black Magician Trilogy’ her writing style is pretty bad.  The first book said trilogy ‘The Magicians’ Guild’ suffers from too little plot.  It does not do justice to the rest of the series.  Both ‘The Novice’ and ‘The High Lord’ are emotional reads.  The plotting is excellent.  You don’t know who is good and who is bad.  ‘The Magician’s Apprentice’ (prequel to the BMT) has better writing, and a complex plot.

In terms of classics I think Gaston Leroux’s ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ is a great read.  The pace, plot and tone are great.  I read the translation though so who knows?

‘The Moonstone’ by Wilkie Collins has a great plot too.  I may be wrong but it was one of the first detective type novels and it is very well written.

Naturally, I think Emily Bronte is great – I listed ‘Wuthering Heights’ as one of my favourite books.  The prose creates the atmosphere that I love.

I have read several plays by Shakespeare.  All of them were good.  He is probably the greatest writer of all time – but academics argue if he even wrote down what we read today.  I love plays like ‘Macbeth’ and ‘The Merchant of Venice’ because even though they are hard to read they have these great conflicts.  As a reader you feel conflicted when you read about Shylock being kicked but wanting a pound of flesh, or as you watch Macbeth spiral from a good man into an awful human being.

I guess the answer for today is not that I have no favourite authors, but that I have too many, and in no particular order.

30 Day Book Challenge: Day Nine- Book that makes you sick

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This choice took me all of two seconds to make.  When I was in my mid-teens I saw the film version of ‘Queen of the Damned’.  I liked it enough to read some of the Vampire Chronicles – mainly from ‘Interview with the Vampire’ to ‘Memnoch the Devil’.  I really liked the first three.  Being a teenage girl I developed a bit of a crush on the character Armand, so after the first three books I purchased ‘The Vampire Armand’ thinking that I’d love it despite the negative reviews.

Anne Rice is a talented writer.  I still love the way she is able to describe things in such great detail.  She makes places come to life.  The plotting in the Vampire Chronicles starts to drag after ‘Queen of the Damned’ which is a real shame.  There is an abundance of fan criticism over ‘Memnoch the Devil’ because of how it basically is a tour of heaven and hell… I got about one hundred and eighty pages in before I gave up.  Therefore, when it came time for me to read ‘The Vampire Armand’ I was already out of love with the series.

Okay, so why does ‘The Vampire Armand’ make me sick? It is perverted.  It is the story of Armand, his ‘Interview’ if you will.  It is also an expansion on the story of his life that he told Lestat in ‘The Vampire Lestat’.  I think I found it sickening for several reasons.  I was growing older because I didn’t read all the books in one go – over two-year period.  I was becoming more and more aware of the sub-plots and things that were not quite being said.  And quite frankly it is just perverted book.  I ended up skimming through it, because Armand was very young (twelve or thirteen) when he began his ‘love affair’ with Marius (who had been a vampire for a long time by that point, and was older when he was made anyways).  Eww!

From what I read Armand was okay with it all, even though he was clearly the most damaged of the whole lot of characters in the books.  No one stopped talking to Marius, not even the more modern vampires.  Sure, the story dressed itself up in the idea that this had all happened when it was normal, but Armand was telling it is the Nineties.   There was no change in attitude.  And as a reader, I just still remember the graphicness of the ‘sex’ scenes.  Technically, the vampires can’t have sex, but that really doesn’t stop them doing very sexual stuff.  If I’m honest it actually makes it weirder and squicker.

‘The Vampire Armand’ turned me off the Vampire Chronicles forever.  Sorry I just had to say that.