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review 2018-02-09 10:13
The Queen of the Damned - Anne Rice

The Vampire Chronicles — Anne Rice’s seminal work — keeps getting better. While I was lukewarm on Interview With the Vampire (though my reading of its sequels has deepened my appreciation of that dark little novel), I quite enjoyed The Vampire Lestat and was blown away by The Queen of the Damned. This novel shows Rice getting a firm grip on her vampires; she juggles action and exposition (and angst — oh, the angst!) expertly here, never allowing the story’s pace to flag. Not once was I bored or wanted to skim, as has been the case at times in the previous two Vampire books.


At the end of book two, Lestat awakened Akasha, the Queen of the Undead, from a six thousand-year slumber, and upon wakening she yearns to rule with an iron fist. The worlds of the mortal and immortal alike are in peril; some Vampires are spared from certain death . . . why? What is she saving them for? Read and find out.


This book features, on top of many exquisitely horrific moments, some superb character development. Marius, Armand, Pandora, Jesse, Daniel, the Twins . . . I loved these characters, one and all, and can’t wait to read about them in future volumes. Lestat and Louis’s relationship is also brought full circle in a heartbreaking callback scene to Interview With the Vampire. I was choking back the tears when reading that.


What can I say, I had a blast with this book. I will soon be starting volume four!

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review 2014-11-18 00:00
The Queen of the Damned (Vampire Chronicles)
The Queen of the Damned (Vampire Chronicles) - Anne Rice I read a lot of Anne Rice in the 80s, both her Vampire Chronicles and her Mayfair Witches series. I always find her very readable and there is always some dark beauty in her prose. However, like most series the quality tend to drop off after three or four volumes, the authors either begin to repeat themselves or try something radically different or experimental which does not work. As far as The Vampire Chronicles is concerned I think Ms. Rice has done a bit of both, and I lost interest after the fifth volume [b:Memnoch the Devil|31338|Memnoch the Devil (The Vampire Chronicles, #5)|Anne Rice|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1301778006s/31338.jpg|2925946].

Most readers of The Vampire Chronicles agree that the first three books of the series are the best. I would go as far as to say that these are the best vampire fiction I have ever read. [a:Bram Stoker|6988|Bram Stoker|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1202438456p2/6988.jpg] has nothing on Anne Rice as far as literary talent is concerned. Stephenie Meyer does not even deserve to be mentioned in the same breath.

OK, enough useless preamble. I reread The Queen of the Damned as part of my Halloween horror binge. I have long neglected the horror genre in favor of sci-fi, fantasy and even mainstream fiction. It never occurred to me to reread the first two Vampire Chronicles books [b:Interview with the Vampire|43763|Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1)|Anne Rice|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1380631642s/43763.jpg|873132] and [b:The Vampire Lestat|43814|The Vampire Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles, #2)|Anne Rice|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1347515742s/43814.jpg|3241580] because I still remember the stories very well even decades after reading them (the Tom Cruise movie adaptation is even more fresh in my memory). The Queen of the Damned however, is only remembered in term of broad plot outline, and I the denouement totally escaped me. I think this is because there is so much in this book. It is more epic is scale and more complex in structure and characterization.

In the previous book [b:The Vampire Lestat|43814|The Vampire Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles, #2)|Anne Rice|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1347515742s/43814.jpg|3241580] Lestat, the rebellious star of the Chronicles has become a rock star with hit albums (I think he made some kind of hair metal with weird lyrics). His vampiric brand of metal mayhem has the unfortunate effect of waking up Akasha the original vampire, with megalomaniac tendencies. Soon she is dispatching young (or crappy) vampires left and right with her mental powers and human males in general are on her (s)hit list. Who can stop the most powerful vampire ever? I won’t spoil it for you, but it is probably not whoever it is you are thinking of.

There are long flashback chapters where the narrative is set in ancient Egyptian time where the human queen Akasha is turned into the first vampire almost by accident. This part of the tale involves good and evil spirits, cannibalism and curses, it really is quite riveting. The sections set in the modern world is almost as exciting, Anne Rice’s world building and vampire mythos is some of the most vivid fantastical creation ever. I particularly like the Talamasca, the secret society for investigation of the paranormal where Fox Mulder would feel right at home.

Anne Rice’s prose always go down well with me, I particularly like her description of the elation and shame of vampire feeding:

“When they drank the blood they felt ecstasy. Never had they known such pleasure, not in their beds, not at the banquet table, not when drunk with beer or wine. That was the source of the shame. It hadn't been the killing; it had been the monstrous feeding. It had been the pleasure.”

Her descriptions of characters are always quite vivid:

“Her skin was white and hard and opaque as it had always been. Her cheek shone like pearl as she smiled, her dark eyes moist and enlivened as the flesh puckered ever so slightly around them. They positively glistered with vitality.”

The Queen of the Damned is definitely worth rereading if you have read it ages ago like I have, of course if you have not read it before it is even more of an imperative though I would recommend reading the previous two books in the chronicles first. This should not be much of a hardship as they are seriously gripping reads. That said if you were to read it as a standalone I think it would still be quite understandable.

A great read from first page to last.

Note: Fans of Twilight may find this interesting:

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review 2014-07-11 13:46
The Queen of the Damned (The Vampire Chronicles #3) by Anne Rice
The Queen of the Damned (The Third Book in the Vampire Chronicles) - Anne Rice

Lestat has rocked the vampire world with his music and his book revelations. But his voice has reached far more than he imagined – it has come to the ears of Akasha, the first vampire, the Queen of the Damned. For the first time in millennia, she has woken up


And she has plans – plans for Lestat, plans for the world of vampires and plans for all humanity.


It falls for a few ancient vampires to try and stop her as she unleashes carnage to realise her vision of what the world should be.




This book is 460 pages long. And like every Anne Rice books I’ve read to date it could easily be half that or less. I cannot even begin to describe the amount of redundancy and repetition there is in this book.


Usually when we get a character, the author will describe a bit about them, give some insight into their background and let the rest develop as the story progresses. Not Anne Rice. In these books we get a character and before they do anything even slightly relevant we have to have their life history. Not just their life history, but if we’re really lucky, we get their ancestry back 3 generations (at least) as well. It’s boring, it’s dull, it’s utterly irrelevant to anything resembling the plot.

I can’t even say there’s much in the way of coherent plot here anyway. A large part of the book involves recapping the last book. We have the dreams of the twins that just serve to be ominous foreshadowing – but are repeated and repeated and repeated and repeated over and over. I really can’t stress how repetitive this book is – this same dream is recounted not just from multiple sources but then multiple times from each source. And this is a theme throughout the books, we have multiple sources all thinking about Lestat and his music – but all thinking exactly the same thing about Lestat and his music. So we get the same thing over and over


And when people finally gather together their grand plan is EPIC EXPOSITION. Seriously, people being slaughtered, Askasha raging away and the gang gathers to have 2 solid nights of storytelling. The most long winded, repetitive story telling imaginable. Face the enemy with long winded folktales!


Then there’s the characters – all of who’s point of view we are treated to in ridiculous length – most of which are utterly irrelevant. At least Louis and Gabrielle and Armand have some history in the story and we don’t see too much from their POV, they’re recognised as being spectators. But the rest? What exactly was the point of Khayman? He just kind of sat in a corner and was ineffably sad. But we got pages and pages from his POV. Jesse? What did Jesse actually do? What was the point of her? What was the relevance of her Great Family? But she was there, her POV, her chapters worth of backstory was dragged up, we roped in the Talamasca for more pages of pointlessness – because none of it was relevant. None of it added to the overall plot. None of it added to the ending. None of her history or story was really relevant. And Daniel – another character inserted with a painfully long backstory and history with Armand who, like Louis and Gabrielle and Armand and Jesse, ended up being nothing more than a spectator for the – and I use the term loosely – action. These characters are not part of the story, they’re spectators, it’s like stopping a play in the middle so we can hear the biography of Mrs. Jones in the 3rd row of the theatre. It doesn’t matter, I have no reason to care, it’s pure padding



Read More

Source: www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2014/05/the-queen-of-damned-vampire-chronicles.html
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2014-04-12 00:00
The Queen of the Damned
The Queen of the Damned - Anne Rice I wasn't sure if I should rate this book two stars or three. Then I realized that despite the silliness, the pointlessness of some of the characters included, the occasional disjointed and messy feel of the book, and some boring chapters that seemed to take forever to get through, I liked it. Actually, I found myself liking some parts quite a lot and enjoying being back in the world of Rice's vampires and learning more of their history. It's unfortunate that Lestat became more annoying to me in this book than he ever was before, because I really liked him in the first and even the second book in the series. I have a feeling he's only going to get worse in the next books. Thankfully, I liked most of the other characters, except Baby Jenks (ugh!), and they were what kept me engrossed in the story. The ending was a bit of a disappointment, though.

I feel hesitant about continuing the series now. I want to read more of what happens to these characters, but I have a feeling that the more Anne Rice books I read the less I'll like them. That and I already had moments reading this book where Anne Rice's style of writing became incredibly tedious to read. Something tells me I should stop while I'm still enjoying the ride; I know I won't, though, not yet anyway.
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text 2014-03-22 12:59
Used Library-Book Sale Book Haul + a few others I've picked up over the last few weeks
Body Double - Tess Gerritsen
The Darkest Evening of the Year (Dean Koontz) - Dean Koontz
The Queen Of The Damned: Number 3 in series (Vampire Chronicles) - Anne Rice
The Hard Way - Lee Child
The Lost Labyrinth - Will Adams
The Beast in Him - Shelly Laurenston
Wolf Hall - Hilary Mantel
Bring Up the Bodies (Thomas Cromwell, #2) - Hilary Mantel
The Snowmelt River - Frank P. Ryan
The Tower of Bones (The Three Powers Quartet) - Frank P. Ryan

Hi all, had a borrowed book to be returned, a borrowed to be renewed (the library makes you come in and do it in person if it's the third renew of the same book in a row) and a book of my own that I just finished that I was donating anonymously, secretly to the library book sale (Laurie Loved Me Best by Robin Klein), so obviously it was absolutely imperative that I visit the library for the second time this week.  Since I was going up to the library's book sale anyway (to secretly, and against the rules, add my book to the others taken from the library shelves), I had a quick look to see if they had any new offerings that might interest me.  Of course they did, they always do.  I was very pleased to get five books for five dollars.  I look forward to, one day, reading my new purchases, although if I ever become a spirit with unfinished business that holds me to the physical plane it'll be because of all the books sitting on my shelves waiting for me to read them.


I also picked up two on my annual trip through Calgary Airport.  They have a very good, though not necessarily low-priced, bookstore called Coles (one of Australia's two main supermarkets is also called Coles, which is what drew me to them that first year) and I visit them every year on my way home from the Canadian ski trip (in five years I've picked up nine books) while we wait for the flight to Vancouver.


While I was in Canada I was contacted by an author whose previous book I had read and thoroughly enjoyed and reviewed accordingly.  The author (Frank P. Ryan) asked if I would like to review his newest books in return for complimentary paperback copies.  I was quite surprised to get a message from him, as there had been no further contact since he'd thanked me for my review 18 months ago.  Considering he'd been a completely polite and sock-puppet free author the last time I thought why not, especially as he was generous enough to offer paperbacks shipped all the way from America.


So, in the end I've got ten new books to read from this haul.

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