I won’t even do lists this time because I had the same likes and dislikes. The plot was slow (really slow for a while in the beginning), the writing was a bit odd with the flashbacks and characters telling long stories to one another, but I’m invested in the characters, and that’s why I can’t stop reading this series.
This one was much more focused on Lestat though, whereas the other books had a lot about the other vampires as well. And, to be honest, I think I’m more invested in the others than I am in him. Lestat was his usual reckless, selfish, vain, dramatic self, and I’m finding it harder to feel sympathy for him. The sheer recklessness of his actions was astounding, honestly. He doesn’t think anything through, not even after hundreds of years of being alive and making mistakes. One thing in particular that threw me off a bit though was that he seemed to be getting back to his old self when the last book ended, laughing and having fun with Louis even. Then all the sudden in this book, he was despairing and wanted to die. I don’t even know how much time had passed, and so it seemed sudden. Then again, I don’t think he actually wanted to die. Afterward, even he didn’t think he had actually wanted to die. He had to have known the sun wouldn’t kill him. It was just another one of his dramatic flights of fancy. None of this is an insult to the writing though, it’s just Lestat’s character.
But anyway, things did pick up a bit once the story got to the body-switching part at least. It was especially interesting getting to see what being human again was like through the POV of such an inhuman vampire (although I do wonder how differently someone like Louis or Marius might have experienced it). Lestat just had one mess after another, he managed to get injured like five times within an hour. I almost felt bad for him, but I say almost because, again, it was his own fault he was in that situation. I liked the story most once David came back into it. I liked seeing the two of them work together, and the plot had much more tension during that time.
One last thing to note before I get to my spoiler-filled thoughts, trigger warning for *MILD SPOILER* on-page rape. *END SPOILER* This is something I plan to talk more in-depth about in a discussion on my blog soon. (It’s posted now, here’s the link: Why Readers Like Characters Who Have Done Awful Things)
My Thoughts on Everything Else (there might be *SPOILERS* in this section):
Honestly the little lover’s quarrel between Lestat and Louis around 26% was the best part of the book. Despite all the things I’ve said about their relationship being messed up, I kind of ship them now. Why can’t I just have a book about them actually being together? Because Interview was not that book. It glossed over all the feelings and the connection between them, and that relationship was unhealthy anyway. I mean, their relationship would still be unhealthy, but it would be a little more equal, at least, now that they understand each other better and now that Louis is not being purposely kept in ignorance by Lestat. And I don’t even care how unhealthy it would be, I just want to see them together, quarrels and all!
“Lestat, you can’t become human by simply taking over a human body! You weren’t human when you were alive! You were born a monster, and you know it. How the hell can you delude yourself like this.”
“I’m going to weep if you don’t stop.”
“Weep. I’d like to see you weep. I’ve read a great deal about your weeping in the pages of your books but I’ve never seen you weep with my own eyes.”
“Ah, that makes you out to be a perfect liar,” I said furiously. “You described my weeping in your miserable memoir in a scene which we both know did not take place!”
I think I could read a whole book just of the two of them bickering.
And speaking of things I could read a whole book about…
I should have switched bodies with the dog, I thought. And then the thought of Mojo inside my vampiric body started me to laughing.
I didn’t know I wanted that until it was suggested. But come on, imagine even just a short story about a dog running around in Lestat’s body. That would be hilarious.
On a more serious note, I liked that Lestat got a taste of his own medicine in this book. Throughout their time together in Interview, Lestat always thought he knew what was best for Louis, but in this book, when Louis decided he knew what was best for Lestat (refusing to turn him when he was stuck in the human body), when Louis had the upper hand, Lestat didn’t like that at all. Do I agree with Louis’s decision? I don’t know, but I think it was fitting for Lestat, even if he failed to see the comparison. Even if he burned down Louis’s house in anger and reverted back to his crappy treatment of Louis, threatening to kill him, holding it over him that he was his maker.
And it’s funny how he talks of being betrayed by a dear friend when he himself betrayed a dear friend very soon after by turning David into a vampire against his will. Then he had the audacity to feel miserable about it. This is why I can’t take his misery seriously or sympathize with him sometimes—he brings it upon himself, he hurts other people, then he wants to play the victim and get upset and makes it all about him instead of the people he hurt.
I enjoyed the book in the end, although I could’ve done without all the slowness at the beginning. And like I said, I’m too invested to let some odd writing choices stop me from continuing!
*I’ve read this book multiple times. This review was written after my 2nd read.*
No Rating (1st Read – mid/late 2000s)
3 Stars (2nd Read – 2018)
Fans of Books 1-3 in Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles. Anyone who likes beautiful yet deadly vampires, descriptive writing, and amazingly complex characters.