October Reading Material: The Vampire Chronicles Continue

prince lestatOne of the items on my bucket list is to read all of Anne Rice’s novels.  I’ve read many, but not all of her works.  When I finally read Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, I started to rethink keeping this wish to read all of her books on my bucket list.  From darkness comes light and if she was going religious on me, I wasn’t going to continue reading her work.

But alas, she decided to return to what made her so famous to begin with…Vampire Lestat has risen from the dead (again).  Mrs. Rice has decided to resurrect her anti-hero, the Vampire Lestat in her new novel, Prince Lestat.

Here’s a little snippet from Barnes & Noble:

The novel opens with the vampire world in crisis…vampires have been proliferating out of control; burnings have commenced all over the world, huge massacres similar to those carried out by Akasha in The Queen of the Damned . . . Old vampires, roused from slumber in the earth are doing the bidding of a Voice commanding that they indiscriminately burn vampire-mavericks in cities from Paris and Mumbai to Hong Kong, Kyoto, and San Francisco.

As the novel moves from present-day New York and the West Coast to ancient Egypt, fourth century Carthage, 14th-century Rome, the Venice of the Renaissance, the worlds and beings of all the Vampire Chronicles—Louis de Pointe du Lac; the eternally young Armand, whose face is that of a Boticelli angel; Mekare and Maharet, Pandora and Flavius; David Talbot, vampire and ultimate fixer from the secret Talamasca; and Marius, the true Child of the Millennia; along with all the other new seductive, supernatural creatures—come together in this large, luxuriant, fiercely ambitious novel to ultimately rise up and seek out who—or what—the Voice is, and to discover the secret of what it desires and why . . .

And, at the book’s center, the seemingly absent, curiously missing hero-wanderer, the dazzling, dangerous rebel-outlaw–the great hope of the Undead, the dazzling Prince Lestat . . .

This being the month for all things spooky and scary, reading any of Anne Rice’s supernatural books will not only make you fall in love with these villains, but they will also make you look at history very differently.  Rice’s re-telling of history through the world of the supernatural is what makes me love her stories so much.

Stuart Townsend as Lestat in Queen of the Damned.
Stuart Townsend as Lestat in Queen of the Damned.

One of my favorite novels by Rice is Memnoch The Devil.  The way she depicted the temptation of Christ made me wonder if perhaps the devil was just misunderstood.  She gave new meaning to the term ‘sympathy for the Devil.’  That book made me look at the Bible very differently.  What if everything about the Devil was just a misunderstanding between God and his angel?  The Bible vilified him, making him out to be the bad guy, when instead all he wanted to do was to help.

If an author can change your way of thinking like this, they would have to be a master at their craft.  Anne Rice is definitely the master of hers.

After reading why the Christ the Lord years happened (she was close to death on several occasions and turned to religion during that time), and then why she turned away from Christianity afterward, I forgave her for the Christ the Lord years.  Those years were the years she needed to know something bigger than all of us was looking out for her.  We all find ourselves in those moments in our lives.  The Christ the Lord years were just the years when she needed God.

When you look at the progression of her work, you realize that the books she placed before us were just a reflection of her own world at that time.  It was about her own spiritual growth, it was about dealing with the death of her child.  You begin to see that these books are not just supernatural chronicles, they’re a chronicle of the things she was going through in life.

Even in Memnoch, she was grappling with the duality of good and evil.  That perhaps, the way religion is taught to us is a lie.  The Devil was and still is an angel.  What if his whole story was just a lie?  What if he was only trying to help, not deceive?

These are questions she posed to the reader.  She made you re-think how you viewed the world.  Instead of going on what religion tells you is the truth, what if there was another truth?  That was the whole purpose of Memnoch.  What if there was another truth?  It was her way of making you re-evaluate how you perceive life, God, and the world, that makes me believe that, like the gothic novelists before her, her works will be celebrated and adored centuries after we’re gone.  Why?  Because you’re a different person after you read her work.  She awakens your mind to question what you believe and take on the possibility that what you believe may not necessarily be true.

It’s understanding that, you begin to realize there are always other truths.  You will never know which truth is the real truth.  Every story has many different sides.  You can’t just listen to one and consider it the only truth.  You have to hear all sides.  Even when you hear all sides, you’re not always going to come up with one singular truth.  You begin to see that the duality between good and evil is really not a duality.  It’s just a misunderstanding of what is good.

While I’m only in the sixth book in The Vampire Chronicles (The Vampire Armand) out of 11, I will definitely be purchasing Prince Lestat to add to my library.  The Vampire Chronicles are worth spending time enjoying.  It may not scare you, but the stories will stay with you.  I’m glad to see Lestat is back.  I didn’t start to love him until The Tale of the Body Thief.  To see that he lives to see another novel, this, indeed, makes me happy.

The book is due to be released on October 28.

UPDATE: Just a few minutes after posting this, Anne Rice tweeted that her first book signing for Prince Lestat will be on 10/28 in NYC at 192 Books.  You must purchase the book through 192 Books in order to attend the event. DETAILS.  Space is limited {I have my order in for the event!}.

About Michelle Kenneth

Michelle Kenneth is the voice behind PerfectionistWannabe.com.