Review: “Prince Lestat” by Anne Rice

21412673Almost 30 years after the defeat of Akasha, the Queen of the Damned responsible for the massacre of thousands of her own kind, there is a new crisis among the Undead. A mysterious Voice has been speaking to various vampires, young and old, provoking them to incinerate others of their kind. Meanwhile, the ancient ones whom the others depend on have hidden themselves away invarious places around the world, ignoring the pleas of the young ones to come together to prevent the destruction of their tribe. Only the strongest have a chance of answering the essential questions – who is the Voice, what is his motive, and how can he be stopped?

Prince Lestat was written in an entirely new way than Anne Rice’s previous books in the Vampire Chronicles series. Rather than being narrated by one principle character, each chapter jumps to a new narrative connected to the main plot. There are, of course, the ever-enduring personalities – Lestat, Louis, Marius, among others. But there is also a multitude of new or rarely seen characters, sometimes characters who were only mentioned in passing in the first books of the series. It is both surprising and pleasant to see these faces again after so much time.

While the structure of the book may be new, the main theme of Prince Lestat remains that which has pervaded all of the series – that is, the question of a vampire’s (and thus, humanity’s) inherent good or evil nature. The Voice that disturbs otherwise peaceful vampires demands the destruction of others, and some see little wrong in doing away with what they see as solely evil creatures. Others insist that this is arcane thinking, that no creature, even Undead, is inherently damned.

A new theme I noticed is a thinly-veiled hostility toward organized religion. This is no surprise to me, considering Rice left the Catholic Church a few years ago, disillusioned by its hypocrisy. She also has a progressive stance on science, which is also heavily reflected in the book.

In general, the book is very much representative of the world today, in which science tries to overcome superstition and people try to overcome their fears and assumptions in order to make a more peaceful world for everyone.

TL;DR: While Prince Lestat cannot live up to the first five books in the Vampire Chronicles series, it is a welcome addition after a 10 year wait.

4 stars

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Anne Rice announces new book featuring Lestat

This is insanely exciting news! Sunday night on an Internet radio program called “The Dinner Party Show,” Anne Rice announced that the title of her new book is Prince Lestat, and it’ll be released on October 28th, 2014.

Since I was 14 year old, Anne Rice has been my favorite writer and Lestat my favorite fictional character.  Adding to the excitement, there’s already plans for a sequel.

Of course I don’t expect these new books to measure up to her original Vampire Chronicles. I’m probably not alone in saying I was disappointed by the last couple books featuring Lestat, especially Blood Canticle. But I still have yet to find a separate series that comes anywhere close to engaging me as fully as what Anne Rice has done, and so I welcome some fresh Lestat.

Read more about this from Examiner. Then go add it to your Goodreads to-read list.

P.S. If you didn’t know, Target is selling signed copies of Rice’s The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty. So if you’re interested, go check if your local store still has it. I picked mine up a couple weeks ago!

The Vampire Chronicles Revisited

A discussion with a friend of mine this past weekend led me (read: shamed me) into returning to my favorite set of novels. This friend read the books at approximately the same time and at the same age as I did, and yet can recall an incredible number of details that I had all but forgotten.

So I am going to re-read all of the Vampire Chronicles, in order, hopefully over the course of the next year. I will make a separate post for each book, and in the meantime will continue reading and posting about other material.

My first time through the Vampire Chronicles, ten years ago, was about experiencing the story and transforming my mindset. I was fourteen years old, a freshman in high school, impressionable and clueless as to who I was or who I wanted to be. These books were my personal catalyst into a new perspective on the world, a perspective that has continued to shift throughout the past 10 years.

The second time through I am going much deeper. This time around is about studying the story, the prose, the symbolism, and the author as she reveals herself through her characters.

And so I embark on a journey to revisit my favorite books, my favorite characters,  and my favorite writer. Whether you’ve never read a word by Anne Rice or have devoured all of her work as I have, I hope you take the time to enjoy my ruminations on the Vampire Chronicles.

Stay alert for my first VC post on Interview with the Vampire.