This book doesn't add any lore of the vampire mythos, but it is still splendid written and Lestat is still a completely enthralling character. I hate him, yet I can't stop reading about him. It is an adventure that takes you into the mind of this fascinating creature.
I get to see the world through his immortal eyes. Rice's philosophy and prose are still very much on point. The minor appearances and references to the other vampires were just about right. It was bound to to be a hard task to follow Queen of the Damned, as it brought up our expectations so high. Having met his creator, the first of the vampires, and becoming a living god himself, how could Rice still surprise and entertain us?
Quality writing. That's how. This book is, as were the previous two, about Lestat. It is a one man's show, nothing more matters. And yet we still get a magnificent tale, told once more through the words of our beloved villain, the vampire Lestat.
The book starts a bit slow. There are 3 other major characters in the story. His antagonist, the Body Thief, the man that can grant him something he has always wanted: an end to his torment, something more precious then immortality itself. Something that all vampires secretly craves after a some years, when they realize that their supernatural lives have become meaningless, making them apathetic and jaded to the world.
This man, a con artist by his own definition, has a proposition so enticing that the oh so impetuous Lestat could never refuse, be damned the consequences for himself or the others. Even after being admonished against it by his closest and most beloved friends. Surely nothing can stop him from getting what he wants, right?
David Talbot is the supreme general of the Talamasca. A man who dedicated his life to study the occult, and who has or had at a certain time in his life some powerful telepathic abilities himself. He might be the only ally that Lestat truly have in this endeavor. But just how much abuse derived directly or indirectly from Lestat's actions can this virtuous and dignified man take before he is forced to act on his conscience?
Louis is Lestat's progeny, his second born. He worships him like a god, in spite of being constantly annoyed by his self destructing nature. His loyalty will also be tested in this adventure as Lestat's continue on his quest to break any and all rules that are imposed on him. Even if that means committing the greatest of sacrileges against his kind. Not to mention humanity.
And finally we also have a significant participation of a minor character, Gretchen, a devote and compassionate nurse who helps him in his moment of most need. She shares with Lestat emotions she herself has never felt, and he never though could ever feel again.
This is again a book where the characters are the main attraction, even though the plot leaves nothing to be desired. It is just not as spectacular as the previous books. And the ending, oh how infuriating it was. But to be fair, Lestat's does warn us against continuing reading it!!!
So, to conclude, Lestat still is the marvelous monster the author set him up to be from the very first book of the chronicles. Most people didn't seem to get it, but I hope it has become very clear by now what we're dealing with here. And it is this consistency that I love about Rice's writing. She doesn't compromise his integrity and still manages to make us interested in what he is about to do next.
Can't wait for the next book.