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Review: The Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice

The Queen of the DamnedIn 1976, a uniquely seductive world of vampires was unveiled in the now-classic Interview with the Vampire . . . in 1985, a wild and voluptous voice spoke to us, telling the story of The Vampire Lestat.  In The Queen of the Damned, Anne Rice continues her extraordinary “Vampire Chronicles” in a feat of mesmeric storytelling, a chillingly hypnotic entertainment in which the oldest and most powerful forces of the night are unleashed on an unsuspecting world.

Three brilliantly colored narrative threads intertwine as the story unfolds:

– The rock star known as Vampire Lestat, worshipped by millions of spellbound fans, prepares for a concert in San Francisco.  Among the audience–pilgrims in a blind swoon of adoration–are hundreds of vampires, creatures who see Lestat as a “greedy fiend risking the secret prosperity of all his kind just to be loved and seen by mortals,” fiends themselves who hate Lestat’s power and who are determined to destroy him . . .

– The sleep of certain men and women–vampires and mortals scattered around the world–is haunted by a vivid, mysterious dream: of twins with fiery red hair and piercing green eyes who suffer an unspeakable tragedy.  It is a dream that slowly, tauntingly reveals its meaning to the dreamers as they make their way toward each other–some to be destroyed on the journey, some to face an even more terrifying fate at journey’s end . . .

– Akasha–Queen of the Damned, mother of all vampires, rises after a 6,000 year sleep and puts into motion a heinous plan to “save” mankind from itself and make “all myths of the world real” by elevating herself and her chosen son/lover to the level of the gods: “I am the fulfillment and I shall from this moment be the cause” . . .

These narrative threads wind sinuously across a vast, richly detailed tapestry of the violent, sensual world of vampirism, taking us back 6,000 years to its beginnings.  As the stories of the “first brood” of blood drinkers are revealed, we are swept across the ages, from Egypt to South America to the Himalayas to all the shrouded corners of the globe where vampires have left their mark. Vampires are created–mortals succumbing to the sensation of “being enptied, of being devoured, of being nothing.” Vampires are destroyed.  Dark rituals are performed–the rituals of ancient creatures prowling the modern world.  And, finally, we are brought to a moment in the twentieth century when, in an astonishing climax, the fate of the living dead–and perhaps of the living, all the living–will be decided.

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As I sit down to write this review, I feel as if I am missing something. For the first half of this book I was thoroughly annoyed by all of the point of view changes. I felt many of them to be pointless and even if any of the characters turned out to be worth knowing later on, their earlier mentions were a waste of time and space. For example, can someone truly explain to me what purpose Baby Jenks served to further this story? I’m serious and even more so, why did all of these vampires who didn’t even know her keep referencing her? I’m so beyond confused by this particular plot device and I truly believe it didn’t serve any purpose other than to pad the book. In fact, I feel this way about much of the first half of the book. It is not until the author finally catches up to where The Vampire Lestat ends, that the book even begins to get interesting.

I know it may seem as if I despised this book, but in all truth I didn’t hate it. But I was severely disappointed by a large majority of it. Not only did I feel it was full of filler paper, but I also felt the actual moment with Akasha and the surviving vampires was a bit of a let down. I suppose the real disappointment is Akasha herself. Everything about this character was desperate and pitiful. This is supposed to be the Queen of the Vampires and yet, she’s so desperate for everyone to be on her side. It was one thing when she was a mortal queen, who was clearly envious of Maharet and Mekare. It’s another thing when she is the literal embodiment of what is keeping these vampires animated. Her reasoning for going after the twins made no sense and her reasoning for attacking the vampires and male humans was utterly deranged. She’s so oblivious to the way of the world and yet, she’s become such an extreme feminist that she believes ridding the world of 90% of the men will suddenly fix all the problems in the world. Can anyone say delusional?

The best part of this story is the tale of Maharet and Mekare. Not only is it the most intriguing part of this book, but it is the strongest part of the book. Initially I was confused as to why everyone kept referring to the redheaded twins. Fortunately, after a lot of eye rolling, I finally got to the part where everything was coming together and it turns out, it was worth being a bit annoyed and confused. Then again, I’m a huge fan of ancient times, especially in that region of the world.

I really want to continue on with this series. Despite my complaints, I have enjoyed it so far. But if I have to hear of one more freaking vampire claiming to love everyone they meet, I might scream. This is such a damn contradiction to what was mentioned about vampires in Interview With The Vampire, where the vampires were cruel and blood thirsty. Instead, out of the remaining ones, few barely drink human blood and they are all so damn in love with one another that it’s sickening. Especially with Lestat in particular, who literally falls in love with everyone and screws everyone. Why Akasha is so drawn to him is beyond me. But what I will say is that she proves he is not the liar everyone thinks him to be. Sure, he’s determined to break all of the rules. But it is Louie who exaggerated and lied in his book, not Lestat. Akasha even calls Louie the worst of the entire group because he is the one who kills indiscriminately. So at least I got some clarification for the questions that were raised after reading the last two books.

 

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Purchase the first two books of this series:

Interview with the Vampire The Vampire Lestat

Rating

Gold StarGold StarGold Star

 

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About Kristine

As an aspiring author, avid bookworm, fitness fanatic and dedicated mother, there just aren't enough hours in the day. I write or post about things I'm passionate about and spend my time trying to make the most of every day. Life may be a tough journey, but I have my ruby red slippers and am content on skipping along this yellow brick road until the end of the line.

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