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Pandora (New Tales of the Vampires) Mass Market Paperback – December 26, 1998
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"This is Rice in top romantic form."
--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"SEDUCTIVE . . . [RICE] HAS RETURNED TO THE SOURCE OF HER BEST WORK, her sexy and invincible vampires. . . . Pandora is a superheroine: beautiful, of course, but also smart, fearless, independent, lusty, resourceful, and so pumped up at the end of her breathless narrative, she takes off for New Orleans, hot on the trail of Lestat and Marius."
"EERILY VIBRANT . . . The title character is a highborn woman of Augustan Rome who later names herself after the Pandora of mythology, opening her own box of surprises. Sitting in a modern-day Paris café in the aftermath of a fresh kill, the vampire Pandora accepts the challenge of recounting her history and immediately sets to work, filling the blank pages of an elegant leatherbound notebook. . . . A wealth of narrative twists and period detail."
--The New York Times Book Review
"RICE'S MOST BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN WORK . . . A BOOK THAT CELEBRATES THE WONDER OF THE WORLD ON EVERY PAGE."
--Raleigh News & Observer
From the Inside Flap
Anne Rice, creator of the Vampire Lestat, the Mayfair witches and the amazing worlds they inhabit, now gives us the first in a new series of novels linked together by the fledgling vampire David Talbot, who has set out to become a chronicler of his fellow Undead.
The novel opens in present-day Paris in a crowded cafe, where David meets Pandora. She is two thousand years old, a Child of the Millennia, the first vampire ever made by the great Marius. David persuades her to tell the story of her life.
Pandora begins, reluctantly at first and then with increasing passion, to recount her mesmerizing tale, which takes us through the ages, from Imperial Rome to eighteenth-century France to twentieth-century Paris and New Orleans. She carries us back to her mortal girlhood in the world of Caesar Augustus, a world chronicled by Ovid and Petronius. This is where Pandora meets and falls in love with the handsome, charismatic, lighthearted, still-mortal Marius. This is the Rome she is forced to flee in fear of assassination by conspirators plotting to take over the city. And we follow her to the exotic port of Antioch, where she is destined to be reunited with Marius, now immortal and haunted by his vampire nature, who will bestow on her the Dark Gift as they set out on the fraught and fantastic adventure of their two turbulent centuries together.
"From the Hardcover edition.
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Though it is hard to place a solid rating criteria on a novel, I use these options as my comparison:
• Novels that I loved and hated (I have read half of the books from this author and almost all of this particular series, I have read many books involving vampires, and I have read many that are great or horrible at picturing the surroundings).
• The author’s credibility as a writer (she is fairly well known).
• Public opinion of the series (two of the books in the series have been made into movies)
• Value (you are receiving two novels for the price of one).
I bought the combination to take this series further on a trial run. I loved Interview with a Vampire, and Queen of the Damned both of which are part of a series written by Anne Rice called “The Vampire Chronicles”. There are many books in the series and they do not have to be read in a specific order. Anne Rice designed the books to rely mostly on their own, though there may be a few references that are not caught by the reader do to previous unread stories.
Being that this is two books, I’d prefer to give a review of each individually as they both stand on their own, and they stand well though I did have my preference. Pandora takes the perspective of a female vampire; this is rarely the case in vampire novels that I have read and I was pleasantly surprised. She lives in ancient Rome during the end of a war and beginning of political upheaval. During the story many of the cultural ideals that pertain are explained, briefly, to help the reader understand why things are happening. I will not spoil it with further detail, this is a must read novel and one of my all-time favorites.
Vittorio the Vampire is written during the time of the Medici rule in Italy, a time where tradition and innovation where at extreme odds as well as the conflict of religion and the pursuit of knowledge. Vittorio is a human for most of the novel which adds anticipation given the title. The scenery is painted with the brush of eloquence taking the reader on a tour of Italy. There are a few chapters in the novel that feel drawn out with description, however this does not detract from the overall journey.
All readers have their preference of style and structure when it comes to a book. And not all books are for everyone. However, if you enjoy vampire novels or novels that bring the pages to reality, these are two books worthy of your valuable time. As I closed on the final pages, I caught myself wishing the story would go on.
Pandora goes back to Roman times (Anne Rice is great with history--really does her research) then goes into the 20th century.
This book is basically a journal written to David Talbot about Pandora's human life, her life was a free un-married woman in Antioch, her vampire origin, and the complicated relationship she had with Marius. I know many other fans wouldn't put this book at the top of their list but this one is special as it is the only one of her vampire novels in the voice of a woman. Also, how can you not love the ancient world? I get my vampires and historical fiction in one swoop!
Oh, how I love history. From Ancient Egypt, to the Roman Empires and Greek Mythology. It is just beautiful. Anne Rice is a great Historical storyteller. She obviously does meticulous research, and she takes her knowledge and spins a mesmerizing tale of olden times, when people lived life, just for the sake of living.
She writes of an era, when time was abundant. And it was spent with families and close friends, reading, writing and gaining insight into their life. Expanding their minds with philosophy and poetry and just about anything that was within their grasp. When time really did take a lifetime, and it was savored with all its beauty. Unlike now, with time passing by, faster than we can blink.
This is not another novel of a Vampire in Rices collection,this is the story of Pandora. A woman whose mind rivaled that of a scholar, her thirst for knowledge and the meaning of what it is to exist, her main quest in this life. She is a woman who is betrayed, but that will not stop her. She embraces her induction into vampire hood, because this way, she can savor her love of life and feel it all the more.
This is an exceptional book. My only regret is that it ends too soon. I would have gladly lived with Pandora for a thousand more pages.