April 21, 2013

The Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice

This book is the third in Anne Rice's vampire series, which began with Interview With A Vampire.  As the third book, it's probably best if you read in order, but I must admit, I haven't read the 2nd book and I got along ok in this one, although I was awfully glad to have read the first book for the background information.

Lestat's singing has awakened the first vampire of them all, Akasha.  In a time of turmoil, the vampires are all out of sorts, trying to survive and wanting to keep their secrets hidden from the human race.  But Lestat bringing to the open has changed everything and with Akasha on the loose, the times are dangerous for both vampires and humans, as she has an interesting sense in who should survive in this world.  Only a small group of vampires, old ones and Lestat's friends seek to stand against her.  And another ancient power to match Akasha's is roaming the earth.

I can't say I really cared for any of the characters in this book.  We were supposed to care for Jesse.  She had such a major role in the book but I thought she kind of fizzled out and didn't really matter towards the end.  Armand, he too took a back seat and Louis only had small roles through the whole thing.  Lestat was predominant, but he was never really a character I liked anyway.  Maharet was probably the best character.  She had the history and depth to be interesting and good intentions, which is more than you can say for a lot of the characters in the book.

The biggest problem was that this book was too long.  It wandered around aimlessly and had so many scenes that didn't really mean anything.  An example would be a young biker vampire who we got to see for a few pages.  While her story was sad, it didn't really add anything.  And a lot of the book was just the telling of history, so it went back and forth between modern times and when the vampires originated.  That was actually the only part I enjoyed as I liked hearing how Rice's vampires came to be.  But all the filler around it just bored me even if Akasha was on a rampage.  There is a lot of violence in this book, and strange relationships between the vampires.  If you've read Rice before you probably know all this though, but new readers probably would be surprised at some of the things she puts in her pages.  I just think this book was trying to be too many things at once.

I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as the first, but I'm curious to see what happens to all of the characters so I'll probably read some of the other books.  But this one, I just didn't quite see the appeal.

The Queen of the Damned
Copyright 1988
491 pages

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