Top critical review
26 people found this helpful
Very good, but something's missing...
on April 18, 2000
This book is undeniably entertaining. The whole 'Lestat can't even handle everyday aspects of being a human' had me laughing out loud at times, and was a wonderful characterization on the part of Anne. However, I can't help but feel that this novel didn't drag me into its narrative so wonderfully as the first three books in this series. The writing seemed to have lost that...indescribably beautiful flow. The breathtaking mixture of gothic tragedy, horror and romance so notable in its predecessors remains, for the most part, aloof, and at times it feels like you are reading a well-written piece of fan-fiction rather than part of the Vampire Chronicles. I also had real problems with the character of David. Granted, he was mildly intriguing in 'Queen of the Damned', but now he just appears as yet another character in what had been a wonderful cross-section of characters created in the first few novels. He also annoyed me because the excellent love-hate relationship between Louis and Lestat, something that this series is infamous for, was often ousted for his ramblings on God. Enough! In fact, this character so bored me that I have to draw on points raised by some of the other reviewers-- you end up hoping desperatley that Louis, Armand or one of the others will show up again. And that's the thing; the scenes between Louis and Lestat are so entertaining, so insightful that when Lestat leaves to return to David, you just groan and think 'here we go again'. This novel is good for two things-- firstly, as an insight into the tragedy of growing old, of the waste of life, (so wonderfully linked to Yeats's 'Sailing to Byzantium') and also if you are just in the mood for a comic-book type of adventure. However, if the reason you read the first novels was for that blend of history, romance and gothic themes-- you will find it here, only not quite as much as you had hoped. Shame. In summary, all I can say is that perhaps this series should have ended with 'Queen of the Damned'. Memnoch was a travesty; this story, though entertaining, does not feel as 'tight' as the others in terms of narrative and characterization. I feel it should have simply ended with the scene where the other vampires have gone off to pursue their own adventures, and a furious Louis is stalking the streets of London with a grinning Lestat who howls, 'Tell me how bad I am! It makes me feel so good!' That's only because this story doesn't end quite so well, for all its excellent parts. Think of it as 'Ernest does necromancy'.