Posts Tagged ‘adventure’

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Story 8

Writing 7.5

Characters 8.5

Readability 9

Anne’s Rice’s second book in The Vampire Chronicles is a much faster and more exhilarating read than book number 1 – Interview with the Vampire. The second book follows the story of Lestat (Louis’ maker from the first book) – his life before vampirism, how he was made, and what is to become of him since.

Lestat is electric and impulsive. He awakes after decades of being asleep deep underground, and he awakes with a damning thirst, not just for blood but for fame. Lestat quickly becomes a famous rockstar, calling all Vampires to him through his music and in doing so, breaking the oldest rule of the Vampire coven… Never reveal yourself to mortals.

If you’ve read the first book you’ll know that it’s quite introspective in that it’s as much about philosophy in morality as it is about adventure and excitement. This second book has a much larger scope, beginning in the Renaissance and ending in the late 20th century.

If book one asked the question “Why do vampires exist?” then book two answers “why should anything exist?”

Why should Death lurk in the shadows? Why should Death wait at thje gate? There is no bedchamber, no ballroom that I cannot enter. Death in the glow of the hearth, Death on tiptoe in the corridor, that is what I am. Speak to me of the Dark Gifts – I use them. I’m Gentleman Death in silk and lace, come to put out the candles. The canker in the heart of the rose.

In the Vampire Lestat, there are older more powerful vampires, there is magic beyond comprehension, and finally there is the history and the mystery of Those Who Must Be Kept. If you liked Interview with a Vampire then you will devour book two: The Vampire Lestat!


The Map

Posted: August 22, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Story 8.5

Writing 7.5

Characters 9

Readability 8.5

“She lay pressed against the sheets, contemplating her options – terror was not something Olivia felt – at least not for years, and all she could think was, who or what could have been so stupid as to break into her room and rifle through her luggage? Some impoverished local looking for money or perhaps a passport? Someone who believed he was dealing with a poor befuddled middle-aged Englishwoman. What an idiot, and a dull joy stirred in her loins, the anticipation of the sadist, of the silent predator.”

Olivia, a mystical woman with dark secrets, pursues August Winthrop across Europe, shadowing him as he unlocks the clues of a great mystery. August, T.S. Learner’s protagonist, has inherited an old chronicle that contains secrets leading to a hidden treasure – but it isn’t easy. Throughout August’s journey he is pursued by a core of deadly organisations headed by even deadlier individuals. But what price is August willing to pay? And what could this treasure possibly be?

T.S. Learner’s “The Map” is a very intriguing mystery novel that combines incredibly likeable characters with a sense of intrigue that propels you further into the story with a hunger to unravel what’s the chronicle is leading August towards. 

One of my favourite parts about this book is how authentic it feels despite being a work of fiction. A big factor in this book’s authenticity is the way Learner blends myth and religion with history to create a totally believable sense of being. She consistently juxtaposes the mystical properties of chronicle and its religious weight against August’s firm sense realism set in the context of post World War Two leading into the start of the Cold War. 

“Digging carefully, he scraped away at the surrounding gravel and pulled free a miniature statuette of an angel, wings unfurled, a primitive almost demoniac depiction. The whitish clay it had been modelled from looked familiar. August realised with a shock where he knew it from – it was made of the same material as the statuette that has been thrust into the mouth of Copp’s corpse. Bone, human bone.”

The map is an exciting book. It keeps you on the edge of your seat as you await what happens to characters which grow on your the more you read. It feels genuine, the emotions is crafted with particular care for realism. in this book nothing is taken from granted, and yet luck plays a very interesting role. 

This book is 500 pages and I knocked it over in less than a week – it’s the kind of book you get lost among.