SUMMARY (from Goodreads): Once an aristocrat in the heady days of pre-revolutionary France, now Lestat is a rock star in the demonic, shimmering 1980s. He rushes through the centuries in search of others like him, seeking answers to the mystery of his terrifying existence. His story, the second volume in Anne Rice's best-selling Vampire Chronicles, is mesmerizing, passionate, and thrilling.
I read Interview With the Vampire ages ago. I liked it. I still remember the basic plot. But I do not remember it being as good as The Vampire Lestat. This book is SO good. I love it. Really. LOVE it.
Anne Rice knows the history very well. She combines it with several mythologies, which she adapts to her purpose without mangling them, only adding them an exquisite new layer.
Rice is an exceptional presenter. Places, characters and events become alive through her writing. More than that – reading this book takes the reader as close to the actual experience as it gets. The reader sees, hears, and especially feels everything Lestat does. Everything from horror and sadness to beauty and joy is all but tangible.
Lestat, the character introduced in Interview With the Vampire as the bad guy, became a character I cared about already in the first pages of the book. Rice shapes Lestat in full spectrum of emotions and enables the reader to feel each of them with Lestat, from fear, hatred, and despair to courage, joy and love.
The language in The Vampire Lestat is beautiful, fitting the places, characters, and times it represents. Additionally, Rice raises numerous philosophical issues, constantly provoking the reader to think about them. Her writing inspires a re-examination of someone’s beliefs; yet, it does so without imposing any answers.
There is much more about this book, I could go on and on. There are several intriguing subplots perfectly incorporated into the whole. There are exceptional minor – if they can be called minor – characters, both heroes and villains, which are intriguing to read about; I particularly liked Gabrielle and Marius. There is so much of everything from history and art to mythology and religion that I cannot possibly tackle it all in this already long review. You better just go and read the book.
Overall, this traditional take on vampires was to me a refreshing return back to basics in the midst of the newly-invented vampire craze. This book is a well-written, challenging and entirely absorbing page-turner I could not put down.
RECOMMENDATION: The Vampire Lestat is a book for everyone who likes an interesting plot, compelling characters and beautiful writing, especially if you are a fan of the genre. Naturally, it does not go without a warning about violent scenes and horror.