The Vampire Chronicles Progress 03/01/20

I have some thoughts about The Queen of the Damned (Book 3). I’m not enjoying it as much as Interview with the Vampire (Book 1) or The Vampire Lestat (Book 2) for some pointed reasons related to their POVs.

Interview with the Vampire

The first book is third person limited. Imagine a camera with a microphone in a room with two people in view: an interviewer and a vampire. The only information you are given is what’s observed by this camera, and what either of them say. The interviewer, if I recall correctly, is unnamed in this book. (He is given a name in Book 3, and that’s a point I’ll use against him later on.) Louis is who talks most, by far. He’s the vampire and subject of the interview.

Louis (lew-E) is a captivating personality. Being a vampire is a moral struggle for him, and as far as wikipedia and youtube essays have informed me, that’s a unique humanizing angle that didn’t exist before. It’s a treat to listen to him writhe uncomfortably about his religiosity over the course of centuries, hungry for redemption despite thinking maybe he doesn’t deserve it for feeding on blood from humans to sustain himself.

His frustration with Lestat – his vampire creator – and his lack of answers about the nature of vampires and their position in the hell / heaven dichotomy sends him down spirals of introspection. One thing I want to mention: Louis is religious and I am not; that didn’t stop his “god must be dead” toil from being both heartbreaking and compelling to read.

The Vampire Lestat

The second book? Wow. I have such conflicted feelings. Before reading, I would have swore to you Interview with The Vampire was as far as you needed to read in this series. It felt so self-contained. And so you know, that’s how I prefer things: for open doors to shut; for endings to be the end. Sure, leave some stuff for the fanfic people to explore between themselves, but the story within the scope of the book/show/movie must finish.

But Lestat de Lioncourt of The Vampire Lestat blew me away. Anne Rule had to have known we readers had questions about Lestat from the first book; we were thirsty for the deets.

Of course, I didn’t quite understand how thirsty I was until I read the preamble to Lestat’s *in-universe* response. Oh yeah, that’s right. He read Louis’s side of the story, and he has some clarifying bullet points, as well as a long-spun story of how he was human once.

And fuck me, that’s cool! I’m rapidly falling in love with the format of in-universe storytelling. (More on this in another post?) The book begins with a hook and sinks a couple more in you by the end. Sucks to suck if you were a Day 1 release reader and you were stuck agonizing, waiting for Book 3… Right?

The Queen of the Damned

While I can’t call The Vampire Lestat a roller coaster ride, given the 180,000-some word / 550-some page girth, it was exciting and the storytelling wasn’t patchwork like The Queen of the Damned.

Yes, I know why the perspective is changing to different vampires all over the world for the sake of worldbuilding: to show the ability set and power scaling of vampires. I’ll thumbs up the distinction of each character and how their perspectives and objectives are different. But I’m 25% through the book and the cliff-jumper at the end of Book 2 hasn’t been addressed by Lestat.

World-wide every vampire can feel the return of an “original” vampire. Everyone mentions their fear of a person able and willing to combust them with a thought. I’m getting this strong sense of “Shit’s happening! … Over there.” and what is interesting is not what I am reading.

I’ll admit both Book 1 and Book 2 are heavy on fluff, but you can blame on that on Louie and Lestat and their propensity for verbosity. I could even wager 25% is fluff – that’s novels in general. But the chance that all 25% is frontloaded for this one and I won’t have to deal with more afterwards…?

Ending Thoughts

1. The interviewer in Book 1 earns a name in Book 3. His name is Daniel. Armand (another vampire from from Book 1) makes Daniel a vampire after refusing for several chapters and that’s the kind of audience-insert nonsense I’ve learned to love and hate over the years. *sigh* It’s also important because it demonstrates Armand is a salty bitch and possessive of anything related to Lestat, even via Louie. So it gets to stay.

2. Book 2 is technically a prequel and a sequel. The prequel end of it is one of few I’ve enjoyed. Most leave a bad taste.

Questions:

Have you read this book and do you remember if it was worth it? I’m now 28% in and I’m grinding my teeth. HMU @casserlysnotes on twitter with your response.

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