Posts Tagged ‘Vampire


Book Review: The Queen of the Damned

Review on: The Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice

Series: The Vampire Chronicles (Book 3)

Rating: 4.5/5

When I first encountered this title before, from Anne Rice’s collection, I never thought it was part of the vampire series. I originally thought it had something to do with mummy’s and other paranormal creatures or something. Now, I know I was not correct, but i wasn’t entirely wrong, read below to find out why.

Enter The Queen of the Damned, and where we left off from the other book (The Vampire Lestat, book #2) is Lestat finding himself face-to-face with a very powerful vampire before he goes to his sleep-of-the-dead. The prior book talks about Lestat’s world-changing concert, but this next book takes place somewhere before and after the concert. The Queen of the Damned explains to us what happens before the concert, because most of us are left shocked and disoriented with regard to how Lestat’s concert ended the way it did. More or less, the end of the last book and the beginning of this book leads us to understand that another life-changing character makes its appearance, who else but Akasha. I guess I was correct when I guessed that this book sounded like it had to do with mummy’s, because The Queen of the Damned explains to us how it all started. Akasha kidnaps Lestat, and we later find out why it happens. Somewhere in the middle of the book, our young vampires meet up with some very old and ancient vampires who’ve been living for thousands of years, and they help readers understand how vampires came about (in the book). We meet a lof of new characters, and if you’ve read the Mayfair Chronicles series from Anne Rice, we get re-introduced to our old friends – The Talamasca.

Now, The Queen of the Damned is focused on Akasha, she’s the queen of the damned. The flow of the story focuses on why Akasha kidnaps Lestat and goes on the killing-rampage that threatens not only all vampires but mankind as well. With that, we discover the origins of vampires, and how Akasha becomes the slightly deranged vampire that she is. Her origins lead us to Maharet, a beautiful red-headed vampire whom we firstly meet as the relative of Jesse (also a new character) who works for the Talamasca and becomes intertwined with the story of Lestat, since we know and are introduced to the Talamasca who are there to study the paranormal and the weird and the things that normal humans don’t understand. We later find out that Maharet is one of the first vampires after Akasha and Enkil and that she has some connection to the red-headed twins in the dreams that start invading the younger vampires’ minds. We later understand her (Maharet’s) connection to vampires, and how she inconceivably helps bring about the birth of the undead race.

Okay, I find my prior paragraph confusing…and you probably do too. Let me make it much simpler, or at least I’ll try to. During the last book, we meet Akasha and Enkil whom we discover are the first vampires…aka The Mother and The Father, but they have been standing still and they haven’t moved for a very long time. In this book, we are shocked to discover that Akasha kidnaps Lestat and that yes, she can actually move, and she’s quite powerful too. Apparently, her listening to Lestat’s songs spurred something in her and she goes on this quest, or cleansing, which is something like her understanding of a perfect world. On her way to Lestat, she kills off most of the vampire race, except for a special few who are close to Lestat and whom she feels can be spared so as not to sadden Lestat. During her crusade/rampage, and because of Lestat’s concert, a lot of new and old characters meet up and later come together to find out how to stop Akasha. It is within this group, a meeting of old and new vampires that we discover the story behind the creation of vampires, which is also connected to the origins of the newly turned vampire Jesse (she gets introduced and turned in this book) and how she is related to Maharet. Sometime during Lestat’s kidnapping, Akasha gives Lestat some of her original blood which strengthens him but also makes him unable to say no to Akasha, and she introduces Lestat to her perfect world….a world without men, which includes killing off most of the mortal human men and sparing only a few. We also begin to understand that Maharet is the red-haired girl in the dreams, and that she has a twin – Mekare, the one who is creating the visions and spreading them to the vampiric youth.

Despite my mumble-jumble explanation of the story, I think that this book was pretty well-written. The only problem being that it’s sort of hard to understand which came first, as the book jumps from one story and one reality to the next, to some extent. There is an introduction of new characters, some who are familiar if you’ve read some of Anne Rice’s other works, which can be a bit confusing when you’re trying to see the story as a whole. There is a lot of history and stories in this book, and I guess the book itself is full of confusing ideas because it doesn’t only focus on one character. In this book, we meet a lot of people who explain their own stories – Lestat, Akasha, Maharet, Jesse and Khayman. It’s a lot to take in, though Anne Rice seems to organize it all pretty well so that despite all these various backgrounds and characters and stories, you later realize that they are intertwined and interconnected, and that they all serve a purpose.

Personally, I liked The Vampire Lestat better, as the story was more focused and more relate-able. The Queen of the Damned is confusing because it tries to justify and explain so many things that were left out of the previous book. What I loved about this book is how it interconnects itself with characters from Rice’s other books, and here you see the origins of not just vampires but of Maharet’s family, who’ve made a big impact in the genre that Rice writes about. I’m sure some of the members of this family will weave their way into some of Rice’s other books, which makes it just the more interesting. Sometimes though, I found myself just trying to summarize the characters, trying to figure out how they fit here-and-there-and-everywhere.

I would love to give this story 5 starts because it was so well-written and well thought out, but I find that Rice could have done better with how she spread some of the characters. She introduced a lot more characters here than in The Vampire Lestat, and she gave a lot more background and history, sometimes moving from past to present to past to present, while The Vampire Lestat had a clearer flow for the story. Also, I didn’t understand some parts of the end of this book, and I felt like she could have done more there…..but then again, there are still books that follow this one so maybe some of it will be explained later on.

I can’t wait for the next one: Tale of the Body Thief.


Book Review: The Vampire Lestat

Review on: The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice

Series: The Vampire Chronicles (Book 2)

Rating: 5/5

You haven’t understood Anne Rice’s vampires until you read about the Vampire, Lestat.  The Vampire Lestat is an introduction to Lestat, from his days as a human to his days and nights as a vampire. I find that Lestat is more human than most, but is also one of the best examples of a vampire.

So who is Lestat in this story? He first begins as a nobleman, born into a poor family of noble lineage. Early on, he was somewhat isolated from his brothers and sisters, but very close to his mother. He always felt like he didn’t belong, but he had wondrous dreams that always felt like they were out of reach. But on his final adventure as a mortal, he escapes with his friend Nicolas to Paris where they live their liberal and independent lives, until their jobs at the local theatre make Lestat the target of the vampire Magnus. Magnus kidnaps Lestat in the middle of the night and turns him into a vampire, before throwing himself into the fire (ultimately killing himself) and leaves Lestat to fend for himself as a new-born vampire. Lestat, proud and willful as he is, uses the money left to him to splurge on himself and his friends at the theatre, who don’t know who their benefactor is. Somewhere along the way, Lestat’s mother Gabrielle comes to say goodbye to her son, as she is already at the brink of dying. Instead of letting her die, along with her mother’s unresolved dreams, he turns her into a vampire like himself. Later on in the story, Nicolas becomes resentful of Lestat’s money and gifts, and forces Lestat to turn him into a vampire too. In the time before Nicolas is turned into a vampire, Lestat and Gabrielle encounter a band of vampires who belong to a coven under Armand (see book 1) who have long ago followed a set of guidelines about vampires, and serving Satan, and who have lived in hiding from humans. This coven tries to condemn Lestat and Gabrielle who try to make themselves human by living amongst them. Later on, this coven along with the now-turned Nicolas, become the Théâtre des Vampires (see book 1), leaving a very reluctant Armand in-charge of a band of vampires who must now try to adapt to the more modern Paris. Gabrielle and Lestat leave Paris and go on their own adventure but later part as they find that they have different desires for the future, but promising that they will meet again. It is in Egypt that Lestat becomes distraught and he buries himself underground, and how he later on meets Marius – a very old but legendary vampire. It is Marius who has been alive for over a thousand years that shares with Lestat all the questions he has had, later on introducing Enkil and Akasha whom Armand calls Those Who Must be Kept. He listens to the beginnings of Marius and his time since being turned, increasing evermore Lestat’s curiosity for Enkil and Akasha whom he wakes up with his violin-playing. Here, Enkil almost kills Lestat and Marius is forced to send Lestat away  to the New World, where the story of Interview With a Vampire begins. The story doesn’t end here as it takes us back to the beginning of the novel, where Lestat introduces himself as a rockstar who has exposed himself to the world as a vampire (fictional of course, to the eyes of the mortal) and exposes his story and the stories that were to be kept.

If you’ve read the first book, Interview With a Vampire, we finally see the character of Lestat whom Louis doesn’t describe much in his story, more or less because there is so much of Lestat’s story that Louis doesn’t know. If you wanted to see more of Lestat, this is really the book you should be reading. Finally, readers get a chance to see how Lestat really is, and why his personality and character is perceived the way he explains it. Because Rice writes the story from Lestat’s time as a mortal to his time as a vampire in pre-Industrial Europe to the modern 20th century, we are able to see the various parts of Lestat and how his experiences mold him to become the vampire that he is at the end of this book. This book is full of various characters, each interesting on their own, but contributing to a better understanding of our main character. It’s like joining a character from their birth to their death (or as far along as the story can take us), we see how they are at their immature stage, yet we see them learn from their experiences and we see them grow into something more. We don’t understand much of Lestat at the beginning of the story, but as time passes on, and the years and centuries in the book take place, we see Lestat grow and face both his immortality and his human-ness.

At times, the book feels like it’s carrying too much. Like there are too many characters and too many stories and too many things happening at the same time. When I read this book, I felt like I wanted to know more about so many other characters but it wasn’t tackled by Anne Rice. Well, it is about the vampire Lestat and not the others, but the introduction of those characters in the book, though short, pave the way for the future books of this series. One thing that the introduction of so many new characters does though, is that it gives us a clearer understanding of what a vampire really is. The different stories and personalities of the characters from the first two books (this and Interview with a Vampire), already tells us so much of Anne Rice’s vampire characters. It is quite a sight, seeing the limits of vampires, and also becoming disillusioned by what we think vampires are. As the book progresses, we begin to understand that vampires are not to be understood in the context of a single lifetime, but the lifetimes of so many characters put together, and the characters we have yet to meet in the future books.

At the start of this review, I said that I think Lestat is more human than most. Throughout the story, Lestat has this characteristic of being both inside and outside of a circle. He is made immortal but he clings to his human side, his family and his friends and his memories. Throughout the story, he is continuously searching for the place where he can belong or people he can be with. Unlike other vampires (explained in later stories), he is rarely alone and always has a companion with him. He longs for companionship while most vampires tend to keep away from each other. Also, within Lestat is a continuous struggle for good and bad.  One cannot say that Lestat is completely evil, but one cannot say he is completely good. This struggle to do what’s right and to do what’s natural (for a vampire), constantly clashes as Lestat lives on, whether it’s something personal that he learns on his own or whether it’s from the other people and vampires he encounters. Despite the years, Lestat’s personality changes yet remains the same, and you can see a power and arrogance and strength that was with him when he was a human and is still with him as a vampire, with his being a vampire and immortal and with power only making all these characteristics all the more clear to the readers.

One can’t help but love and hate Lestat for what he is.

The next book is even more shocking.


Book Review: Vittorio the Vampire

Review on: Vittorio the Vampire by Anne Rice

Series: The Vampire Chronicles

Rating: 3/5

Vittorio the Vampire is a creatively written story by Anne Rice, introducing to us Vittorio who is a very educated nobleman born in the mountains north of Tuscany. Before he became a vampire, Vittorio was a strapping educated young man who was gifted in physical attributes, but also gifted of mind. Learned because of his having traveled to places like Florence where he cultivated his love of literature and the arts. It is when he is 16years old that his quiet and peaceful world is destroyed by what he believes to be demons. All of his family members are attacked and killed when their compound is infiltrated, and he is spared by the kindness of one of these female monsters. It is then that he goes off to seek vengeance for his family’s death.

He soon learns that these demons are blood-sucking vampires who are creatures of the night, and that some towns actually pay them homage in return for their safety, by giving these vampires unwanted members of society like the sick, the dying, the misshapen, the old, and such. It is during his discovery that he is chanced upon by a creature of the night and taken to their abode, but not before having killed his abductor, and then having his life spared again by the same female creature that spared his life when Vittorio’s home was attacked.

The Court of the Ruby Grail – the Court of Vampires from long before men lived in that part of the world. Ursula, the female vampire who begs for Vittorio’s life, saves Vittorio from being killed by the Court for being impudent and unfailing in his philosophies. It is here though that he is poisoned and then left to wander in Florence, and this poison allows him later to see angels whom he is able to convince to aid him in taking revenge for his family. And it is later these angels that Vittorio disappoints and fails when in his quest to destroy the very things that killed his family, he is unable to kill the female vampire who saved him and who he has fallen in love with. Despite his revulsion of the vampires, he is tricked into becoming the very thing he loathes and goes on a blood-seeking adventure with Ursula.

It is only later that Vittorio is back in Florence and finds himself face to face with the angels he had faced, most especially the strongest of them, who grants Vittorio one last gift….a curse to what remains of his humanity.

Vittorio the Vampire is an interesting book with a very enthralling introduction. There are great expectations from the book as Anne Rice introduces a very strong-willed character who’s like a hero that can’t be defeated. His background, the setting, the movement of the story, it all seemed to be moving forward well. And then of course, there’s the reality of the story. Of how the story suddenly ended, the disappointment in the main character Vittorio and how I as a reader hoped that he would remain fervent in upholding his philosophy. The whole story takes place more or less in a span of one week, with most of the story focused on 4 days. Seeing as how Vittorio was introduced, despite the dilemma he is faced with because of the death of his family, I thought his revenge story would seem much more worthwhile as a read, especially since it is mentioned in the book how he is disturbed by his dream-turned-reality of holding his brother and sister’s severed head in his hands. Apparently, the decapitation of the vampires though interesting, didn’t garner much interest in me as a reader, in contrast to what I expected. Also, the resulting Vittorio (as a vampire) felt too much a disappointment since I half-hoped that Vittorio the human would have retained more of his human nature and would have more conflicting emotions within himself during his transformation. His gift-curse was appealing to me, though I would have loved to have that further expanded.

The thing I liked most out of the story was Anne Rice’s inclusion of the angels as Vittorio’s guides through his revenge-seeking adventure. The dialogue was thought-provoking, and reminded me a lot of the Philosophy classes I took back in university. There were parts of the story where Vittorio would quote from philosophers, and his having a stand against the angels as he was venting out his frustrations, and even the angels’ conversations with him, were really nice additions to the story.

I finished this book in about 3 sittings, over a span of 2 days, which is too say…you can go through the content of the story pretty fast. It’s not that hard of a read, and it has some biblical and philosophical references, which always makes for great debate topics later on.

The Doll(dalera)

What lies behind the mask of a doll, kept sheltered and propped against the shelf wall. Beautiful and untouched for all to see, she comes unmasked in beautiful glory.

The Doll behind the mask

A fresh university graduate from the Ateneo de Manila University who loves to write stories, articles and poetry. Enjoys reading books - mostly fiction, and loves to play video games.

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