Posts Tagged ‘book review’

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 11.19.43 am

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!

DSCN0274

Story 7

Writing 7.5

Characters 7.5

Readability 7

I can almost hear you groaning as I tell you I’m reviewing a book about vampires. But please don’t worry, these vampires don’t sparkle in daylight but they do burst into flame and they don’t drink blood for some sort of sexual pleasure, they do it to survive. These are the vampires of old, the ones you love to fear.

And then suddenly I remembered two conflicting things and was torn in agony: I remembered the powerful beating of her heart against mine and i hungered for it, hungered for it so badly I turned my back on her in the bed and would have rushed out of the room had not Lestat held me hast; and I remembered her mother’s face and that moment of horror when I’d dropped the child and he’d come into the room.

Published in 1976, Anne Rice’s novel follows the main character Louis as he is transformed from man to Vampire, by his companion Lestat. This books is less about Vampires killing without remorse, but more about searching for meaning in immortality. How does someone justify living forever at the cost someone’s life everyday?

The story follows Louis, Lestat and later Claudia as they explore America and Europe in search for other Vampires like themselves. The story is given direction as Louis slowly loses his humanity and replacing it with the coldness that defines all other Vampires. But whether he will be able to shed all humanity (as other Vampires before him have done) and therefore find peace of mind will be a hard task.

Another interesting part of this book is that it told in retrospect as Louis is interviewed by a nameless ‘boy’. This means the story is both told in present and past tense giving Louis a chance to reflect on his journey (and we are given that same opportunity through him). it also sets up the feeling that a long period of time passes throughout the telling of the story.

This book is philosophical in its approach to exploring human nature. It forges complex characters who challenge the idea of what it is to be ‘good’ and what it is to be ‘evil’. It’s book one in a long series and definitely worth a read!