I’ve been reading Anne Rice novels off and on for years; well really since she came on the scene in 1985 with her first vampire novel “Interview With a Vampire”. As will all my fellow vampire groupies, Anne set the pace for everything that has followed in the wake of the immortal Lestat, as well as all thing vamperic.
Recently I came across her newest novel “The Wolf Gift” in which I found myself reading about a different species, with a much milder blend of the spicy prose she tends towards in her vampire and witch series. Though an enjoyable read (I never once found myself blushing), with agreeable characters and just enough intrigue to keep the pages turning, I wasn’t as swept away by the romantic morphkinder Rueben, or the merry men of the wolf, as I was with her earlier works.
The reason may be that I felt like there was lacking that certain element of danger and violence one expects from Ms. Rice. Or maybe I sense the influence of her twelve year hiatus (where she left the path of the macabre and traveled down a very different road), and thus found myself being drawn into a mixture of religion and philosophy I wasn’t really comfortable with. Whatever the reasons, I just didn’t experience the same sense of satisfaction I had when I closed the cover on “Memnoch the Devil” or “Blood and Gold”.
“Obsession led me to write. It’s been that way with every book I’ve ever written. I become completely consumed by a theme, by characters, by a desire to meet a challenge.” Anne Rice
In truth, there are certain books by Rice that I just can’t read. Call me a prude (I am), call me narrow minded (that too), but I don’t enjoy books where the characters are driven by sexual psychosis (I don’t even reading murder-mystery authors who enjoy dwelling on the sexually twisted minds of their killers). Yes I know that there is a great deal of border line erotica throughout all of her vampire books, but they still fly far enough under the radar that I don’t feel robbed of all life once I’m finished reading them.
To-date, my all time favorite Anne Rice book is Memnoch the Devil. I’m not sure whether its because I feel like Anne used her characters to try and bring satisfaction to her own questions about Lucifer and God, or that it is a less selfish side of Lestat than we usually find (which may give me pause on future judgments of things I find the least likable thing about him).
I lean towards the first; a exploration of the eternal question of, “What really happened between great Seraphim of heaven ( Lucifer) and the Almighty?” Like Ann, I am never satisfied with the status qua of religious euphemisms, and feel compelled to explore the “why”.
Additional books that Anne has written that I’ve read and written reviews on are her Song of the Seraphim series: Angel Time and Of Love and Evil.