Tag Archives: Dark Fantasy

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.

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.

Book Review: The Pillars of the World (Tir Alainn #1) by Anne Bishop

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Goodreads synopsis:

 The youngest in a long line of witches, Ari senses things are changing for the worse. For generations, her kin have tended the Old Places, keeping the land safe and fertile. Now, she finds herself torn between the world of mortals and the world of Fae, who ignore what occurs in the mortal world, for the roads between the two lands are vanishing into thin air.

I began ‘The Pillars of the World’ with an open mind because many fans of the Black Jewels series online pointed out that Tir Alainn wasn’t as good and Tir Alainn fans claim that you have to be open to it.  I didn’t really know what to expect and I did enjoy the book, especially at first.  I found it a light read but as time wore on, my views on it changed a bit.  I’m going to start with what I liked about it first though.

I adored Ari.  I thought that she was a great lead character and she was well-developed. I really did feel for her, alone in her cottage.  The big bad of the series – Adolfo – was given a point of view early on which made him much more menacing than any other villain I had read by Bishop.  Seriously, he was a great villain and he was reasonably well-developed too so the reader knows why he is the way he is.  Many of his scenes and thought processes are disturbing to read and are graphic, so I wouldn’t recommend this to the lighthearted.  Another point of view that I thought was brilliant in this book was Morag.  She is Death’s Mistress and can kill people at will.  She became my favourite character of the entire series.

Now onto the bad.  The love triangle was predictable, and became more and more predictable as the book went on.  I also didn’t like what I call the petty evilness of certain characters in this book (and the rest of the series for that matter) – I would have liked to have seen some character growth, but this isn’t a spoiler review so I’m not going to name names.

Despite the predictable resolution to the love triangle, the ending of the book is actually quite good.  I did kind of predict that it would happen, but like what happens to Janelle at the end of Daughter of the Blood in the Black Jewels Series, the end is better because you see it coming.  You spend most of the book dreading it.  The end provides some great set up for the next book in the series and a secret is revealed that makes the treatment of witches by society and the fae even more awful.

30 Day Book Challenge: Day Twenty Nine – Currently Reading

 

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This is a pretty straight-forward question, so here’s my straight-forward answer.    I’m reading ‘Bitten’ by Kelley Armstrong, the first book in the Women of the Otherworld series.  It is a good book and I hope to do of a review on it soon.  It follows the story of a pack of civilised werewolves that come under attack by a group of serial killer rouges or ‘mutts’ and how they deal with it.  It is told through it eyes of the only female werewolf in the world, Elena which is interesting, because most of the time in novels like these the main werewolf is a man.

So as you can tell, I’m enjoying the book 🙂