Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Book Review - Prince Lestat


Prince Lestat: The Vampire Chronicles

By: Anne Rice
Publisher: Knopf
Publication Date: October 2014
ISBN: 978-0307962522
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: January 2015

It's been a long time, over ten years in fact, since one of, if not THE most popular vampires of all time last appeared in print. Now, Lestat is back in all his glorious glory and the book is soaring up the charts as fans of Anne Rice grab their copies of Prince Lestat.

The book opens with a brief "Blood Genesis" that gives the reader an overview of the history of vampires, and then a "Blood Argot" that is basically a list of terms you need to know if you are to understand the story. At the back of the book are two appendices, with a 'cast of characters' and a guide to the other Vampire Chronicles books. I mention this first because, while fans of Ms. Rice will know all of this already, if you haven't read any of the previous books in the Vampire Chronicles series, you will need to read these sections first if you hope to follow the story! Alas, even with those, you may find yourself lost.

Now on to the story - sort of. Part 1 (of four parts) of Prince Lestat runs over 70 pages and is, again, basically an overview - an overview of the history of Lestat and others who have played major roles in the other books. There's a bit of action with a 'vampire doctor' who helps Lestat, um, procreate with a human but otherwise, it takes over 100 pages for the real story to start.

The basic premise of Prince Lestat is that there is a 'Voice' that has a nasty way of getting into the minds of vampires and speaking to them. The Voice is manipulating 'ancients' (the old vampires) to kill the young ones. Vampires are dying all over the world, courtesy of the Voice. If the vampire world is to survive, the Voice must be stopped.

Interrupting the plot of who/what the Voice is and will it/he/she be stopped, are a myriad of characters and their backstories. Some of these are interesting, some are slow and dry, and they all pretty much bring the plot to a halt. At times it's easy to forget all about the Voice as yet another character is introduced. The writing, and pacing, is all over the place, with some of it fast and tight, and other sections rambling and confusing. I suspect that rabid fans of Anne Rice will devour Prince Lestat, but for those who have either not read the books, or read a few in passing and enjoyed but were not consumed by them, you might want to give this one a pass.

Quill says: Not an easy read for those who have not read the previous 'Vampire Chronicles' books, but for those who can't get enough of Prince Lestat and Anne Rice, the book may prove an enjoyable read.