Shadow Rites

Courtesy of Amazon.comSo I was off for two weeks, first a vacation to New Orleans and then recovering from said vacation. ūüėČ But while on the trip (or more to the point on the way¬†to Nola), I decided that what could be more fitting that reading the latest Jane Yellowrock novel since it takes place in the French Quarter? Be warned, this book is fresh off the presses so there will be SPOILERS here!

Jane has the Everhart-Truebloods down (Molly et al) down for the witch conclave. It’s very important that this meeting happens because having the witches on the side of the vampires may mean the difference between war or survival when the European vamps come over.

Scene opens with Jane getting woken up by a witchy scan, something that doesn’t anticipate reacting with Jane’s skinwalker magic. She bolts after a couple witches trying to spy on her house but they get away. Thinking that they’ve seen the last of them for a while, Jane and her partner Eli head over to vamp HQ to report the incident to Master of the City, Leo Pellesier.

Unfortunately, the witch magic lingers somehow and triggers Gee DiMercy into attacking Jane. She’s nearly dies, surviving thanks to vamp Edward and Leo giving her blood. Somehow this translates into Leo giving Edward to Jane. Not sure what Leo’s end game in¬†that is but it should be interesting to see. I like Edward.

Angie, Molly’s daughter, inadvertently (or possibly advertently) makes a vow with said vampire, which freaks her parents and Jane right the fuck out. Which is understandable because Angie’s all of about 6. Edward is knowledgeable enough to realize that he couldn’t and shouldn’t act on the words of a child, but when she reaches adulthood…well I assume we’ll see what this means.

In the midst of all of this, a very old vampire named Ming of the former Mearkanis clan has been found after being assumed true dead in the very first novel, Skinwalker. Someone has been feeding on her blood, keeping her barely alive and pliant enough through magic. Leading to the conclusion that they’re going to hit the witch conclave but who and for what purpose.

This book wraps up some things that have been niggling around since the very first book. I have a feeling that we’re nearing the end of this excellent series and I both really want to see where this goes and dread it ending.

As always, this is wonderfully written. You get tense when it’s tense, you relax when it’s relaxing. And as an added bonus, you get a nice little culinary guide to New Orleans! Check out the Stanley on Jackson Square especially. Best food experience I had on my recent trip.¬†Rating: A+

Venom

51hysbk6ehlAs I’m still on my Elemental Assassin kick, I’m going to move on to book 3,¬†Venom. This book starts out with Jennifer Estep having the crap kicked out of Gin Blanco by Elliott Slater, Mab Monroe’s enforcer. Why? Because Jonah McAllister (rightly) believes that she has something to do with his son’s death.

When beating the crap out of her doesn’t get the response he’s looking for (read: a confession), Mab orders a stop to it. See, she assumes that no assassin would willingly allow themselves to get beaten to a pulp. They’d kill their attacker first.

Ordinarily, they would be right. Gin would be all over that shit. But since she’s smarter than the average bear (or mafioso), and more patient, she does just that. She’s beaten almost to death but a campus cop assuming that he found another dead body (imagine¬†that job. Ugh), calls it in and the police realize that she’s alive despite the strong resemblance to ground chuck.

After Finn brings her to Jo-Jo and gets her set back to rights, Gin decides enough is enough. She is going to go after Mab and her people personally, starting with Elliott Slater. It’s not entirely revenge on Gin’s part. Elliott has recently formed an unhealthy obsession with one of Gin’s associates, Rosalyn Phillips, and everyone is fairly certain she’s headed for an early grave if Gin doesn’t do something.

Not only that, but Gin’s recently rediscovered little sister, whom she thought was dead, has come to Ashland. As the detective taking Donovan Caine’s old place. And Mab Monroe wants her dead with a passion.

Gin has to save her sister, save the girl and take care of the Elliott Slater all without getting dead herself or alerting Mab Monroe to the fact that Gin Blanco is the assassin she’s looking for.

Again, these books are great. We see some real development here of the relationship between Gin and Owen, who knows what she does and doesn’t give her grief about it like a certain police detective. Again, I’m not saying that Caine should have turned a blind eye, but if you knowingly hop in bed with an assassin, you shouldn’t use the fact that they’re an assassin as the reason you need to break up with them.

This book kicks off what we’ve all sort of been expecting since book one, Gin going after Mab fully.¬†It’s a good book, well written and made me jump right into the next book.¬†Rating: A.

Crescent City Fae

Courtesy of Deannachase.comI love New Orleans. It’s an awesome city with tons of interesting history. Also, beignets. Mmmm. So when I see a book set in Nola, I tend to give it a chance. I’m rather disappointed that I gave¬†Influential Magic¬†by Deanna Chase a chance.

This series revolves around a faerie named Willow Rhoswen (already with the really? feeling). She owns a cupcake shop in New Orleans. A magic cupcake shop. Literally because she weaves potions into her cupcakes. Some of which are dangerous enough to require a government license to purchase. It reminded me a little bit of what Professor Snape says in HP 1 about brewing glory and stoppering death.

At any rate, Willow is apparently allergic to vampires, which are rife in New Orleans. So naturally, she’s totally in love with one. To be fair, he wasn’t a vamp when they started dating. This guy was essentially ordered to date her, get close to her, because apparently her brother was some sort of fae big wig or something. That’s really unclear.

In fact, there was a surprising amount of this story that I felt just didn’t make sense. I’m assuming that this was the author’s first book because it was¬†super Scooby-doo. Or maybe super Adam West Batman. I felt like the author tried to do plot twists but instead of being “oh wow, I didn’t see that coming” it was more of a “why did you do that?”.

I had to force myself to finish this book. Right away, the female lead wasn’t a character I enjoyed. She was trying to be the¬†I can handle myself type and turned into the save me Prince Charming type. I really hate when that happens. It seems that a lot of books with strong female leads always end up with them falling all over themselves for one (or more) men.

I think what really, really bothered me about¬†this one in particular is that it was clear that the man she was having feelings for had lied to her and manipulated her and yet she was¬†still going oh but I still love him so! Am I the only person out there that would toss a guy (or gal if that’s your thing) out on their ass for being a lying bastard? Ugh.

It was an extremely disappointing book and I’m glad that the trilogy (I really should have just bought the first book *sigh*) was only three bucks on Amazon at the time I got it. And I was using a Christmas gift card.

Seriously, skip this series. If you want good urban fantasy or fantasy set in New Orleans, go for Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles and Mayfair Witches or Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock series. Crescent City Fae…not so much.¬†Rating: D.

Kiss of Steel

Courtesy of goodreads.comBecause so many of my usual authors don’t have any new releases at the moment and I’ve ploughed through the ones that are new, I have been searching for new books to read and I stumbled upon a “steampunk” vampire novel called¬†Kiss of Steel by Bec McMaster.

At first, I was favorable to this story. It features a young woman, Honoria Todd, faced with the murder of her father (mother is…dead? I guess? Never mentioned so I assume childbirth after the youngest kid) leaving her and her younger brother and sister destitute. She tries to keep up appearances by getting a job teaching young ladies some sort of finishing school (I guess? Again, not really clear) while living in the Whitechapel area of London. History fans will note that this is where Jack the Ripper prowled in Victorian times. It’s a favorite go-to place of writers wanting to put their characters in dangerous situations (read: trope-tastic).

This Whitechapel, however is protected by what McMaster calls “blue-bloods” after the very old belief that nobility had that their blood was blue in color (peasants blood was red) and therefore they were more distinguished etc, etc, etc. And indeed only nobles and the king (Albert, I think?) are blue-bloods. Blue-bloods are vamps of a sort. They drink blood, are stronger, the usual vamp characteristics. However, in this world, vampires are what blue-bloods become after the virus that creates them completely overwhelms them¬†(they even have viral counts to see how close they are-anyone seeing the not-so-subtle allusion to HIV?).

In particular, one blue-blood named Blade runs Whitechapel. He was accidentally turned into a blue-blood by one of the nobles after months of torture. The very same blue-blood that murdered Honoria’s father (duh-duh-DUUUUUUUUUUUUH!), though neither realize that until the end.

Honoria starts out promisingly strong in the face of what she has to deal with (a fairly useless sister and an infected brother). Then about halfway through we get the sex. And after that, it’s almost nothing but. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, I don’t mind sex scenes in books. Quite the opposite. But you don’t need to spend half the book having sex. The second half of the book had almost no plot, it was just porn. If that’s what you want, advertise it as erotica and not steampunk.

And speaking of steampunk, this was supposed to be and it failed. There are a handful of brief mentions of little toys the brother has that hit some steampunk buzz words but you get none of the fantastic imaginings of most steampunk authors. I haven’t been able to make a dent in Cherie Priest’s work but she does steampunk tech well. So does Gail Carriger and numerable others. Steampunk is Victorian sci-fi. There was no sci-fi in this book, just Victorian.

Honoria quickly backs out of all her ideals that she held so dear at the beginning of the book. She’s a damsel in distress waiting for the big, bad vamp to rescue her. And at some point, her father gave her some sort of vaccine against the virus that makes blue-bloods that makes her special? I have a question mark here because while the vaccine was mentioned a few times as the reason that her father was murdered, this little tid-bit of a working vaccine wasn’t mentioned until suddenly some half-brother was like “oh yeah, she was totally vaccinated”. What the actual fuck? That’s a HUGE plot point. You wouldn’t think to mention that earlier? Or at all?

I paid something like three-four bucks for this book. It was too much. I actually want my money back. It’s poorly thought out and has some massive plot holes. I only finished it because I hate to leave things half done, especially when it comes to books. Luckily, thanks to my favorite author, I’ve moved on to a triology by one of his favorites that is much, much more promising.

Bottom line, if you like steampunk, skip this. If you’re looking for a cheesy erotica story, have at it but that isn’t what I was looking for. I don’t like giving bad ratings or reviews if I can avoid it but I did not like this book.¬†Rating: D.

And if anyone knows of some good steampunk, please, please, please let me know. I’m not into Cherie Priest and I’ve already read all of Gail Carriger’s books and¬†Whitechapel Gods (did not really enjoy. Took a lot to finish that too).

This Broken World

Courtesy of Amazon.comI don’t think I’ve reviewed any of the Damian Vesik books by Eric R. Asher yet, but¬†This Broken World is the fourth and latest in that series. Damian Vesik is a necromancer and in this world necromancers are treated with a certain amount of suspicion but they aren’t necessarily outright evil. Damian is one of the good guys.

He owns an occult shop somewhere in Missouri (can’t remember the name of the town but I think it’s somewhere around St. Joseph’s?). His sister is a vampire (these vamps can be out in the daytime if they’re strong enough a la Dracula. No sparkling, thank god), his shop is home to a family of faeries (one of whom he considers as a surrogate mother. His own mother is alive and well but doesn’t really understand his world) and two cu siths (fae dogs).

In this book, he’s facing a war with a necromancer so old and powerful that he was considered a god at one point? Which god? Well that would be Anubis. I know you’re thinking that it should really be Osiris (okay, maybe that’s just me being my Ancient Egyptian mythology nerd) but Anubis is good enough a choice. Anubis is a slightly darker figure in Egyptian mythology, so it fits better with this bad guy than Osiris really would be.

Anubis issued a challenge to Vesik in the last book. Meet him and fight at Gettysburg or face the consequences. Damian has to rally his people and learn how to channel his growing powers while trying to dodge the commoners (humans who don’t know that the magical world exists) who are getting suspicious (news outlets and the like).

I enjoy these books and this one was no exception. Its very well written and you care about what happens to the characters. The only thing I don’t like is that Damian Vesik has to do all the heavy lifting (he’s expected to save the world after all) but the people who are supposed to be giving him the tools to do so (his mentor Zola and another ancient necromancer called alternately the Old Man or¬†Leviticus) kind of just give him bits and pieces at a time. He’s a mushroom and they’re feeding him just enough to make him grow the way they want. That frustrates the crap out of me (and Vesik).

At any rate, these books are definitely worth the read, especially if you’re fond of the Dresden Files or the Jane Yellowrock novels.¬†Rating: B+

Killing Pretty

Courtesy of goodreads.comI love the Sandman Slim novels. Richard Kadrey’s writing reminds me of a mix of Simon R. Green’s evocative descriptions and Jim Butcher’s snark peppered with a hint of the dystopian. A hint is all I need really, I’m not generally a person who reads full on dystopian books.

The latest Sandman Slim is¬†Killing Pretty.¬†This book picks up where the last one left off, pretty directly. Stark is resented by a lot of angels, his girlfriend Candy is ‘dead’ (she was ‘killed’ pretty spectacularly in front of a lot of cops but it was a fake out. A glamour making her a Japanese woman is all that keeps her safe these days) and he no longer has access to the room of 13 doors. This is the major bummer as that was his big trick, the one he relied on more than anything to help him figure out what was going on.

But the big thing is that someone has killed Death. Or rather, they managed to stuff the Angel of Death into a body and then kill that body. It didn’t take, so Death crawled out of where the body was and went to Stark for help. Because he’s working as a PI for a woman who used to be a marshal, she ends up working the case.

This is the big case, the name maker that will make sure that she and Stark remain in business. Because while Death is stuck in the body of a mortal, people aren’t dying. It’s a little Torchwood¬†Children of¬†Earth, honestly, but the mechanics of what’s going on at least make a little sense in this universe.

I highly recommend this whole series, and this is a pretty good one. You don’t need to read the whole series for this to make sense but there are a number of callbacks to prior novels that make more sense if you’ve read them. I do know that this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea so be warned there is a lot of cussing and graphic violence, as one would expect with Sandman Slim.¬†Rating: A

Jane Yellowrock: Dark Heir

Courtesy of goodreads.comOnce more, I’m going to have to put a SPOILERS warning on this. Since this book is the latest in the Jane Yellowrock series, it hasn’t been out too long.

Okay, so this is take two. I wrote out this whole thing and…it didn’t publish. *sigh* So,¬†Dark Heir is Faith Hunter’s latest Jane Yellowrock novel. We come into it with Jane and her partner, Eli and Alex Younger, prepping the New Orleans vamps for their upcoming (though when exactly is unknown) meeting with an entourage from the Europeans Mithrans (yeah, I don’t really like that term for vampires. Why gussy it up?). They’re doing pretty well, things are relaxed, which is naturally when things go to shit.

New Orlean Master of the City, Leo Pellisier, is keeping a secret in the basement. One that’s a bit of an open secret among the vamps and the reason the Europeans are sending an entourage. Chained in one of his sub basements (clearly enchanted to keep out water since New Orleans is below the water table) is¬†the original vamp. The son of Judas Iscariot (not the first time I’ve seen this sort of theme but not quite used enough to be trope-y either), Joses Bar-Judas is the progenitor and therefore the strongest with the strongest blood.

Leo keeps him chained and starved in the basement to feed off from. Joses is clearly gone round the twist at some point as evidenced by his killing of fifty-two people upon escaping his confinement (with help from some conspirators against Leo). He only fed on a few of them, the rest of them he just killed for the fun of it.

Jane (temporarily) resigns her commission as Leo’s enforcer to take a contract from the city and the state to hunt down Joses and bring back his heart. The trouble is, he’s not only the world’s strongest vamp (and getting stronger the more he consumes blood), he’s a vampire¬†witch. Jane calls on some locals for help and gets a surprise visit from her best friend Molly Trueblood (I think…Maybe it’s Everhart? Can’t remember and too lazy to open the book up again right now), a witch from the Tennessee area.

Since this book is relatively new, I won’t do a play-by-play. Suffice it to say, there’s thrills and chills (I just had to. It was right there), chases and near misses. The thing I really like is that even though Jane is in a somewhat steady relationship with honorio¬†George (better known as Bruiser), Faith Hunter hasn’t turned her into a damsel in distress. So many writers start out with strong female characters who “don’t need no man” but eventually get with a man and all of a sudden, they can’t do anything without said man. If they’re hurt, they need the man to care for them and get pissed if he doesn’t. If they were a no sex until marriage¬†type, they’re suddenly porn worthy in how much sex they’re having (I’m looking at you Anita Blake).

Jane has been and looks like she always will be (knock on wood), a kick ass woman. She saves herself, even when it looks like she’s about six inches from death. And then she ends up saving the city/state/world. ¬†Awe. Some. So do yourself a favor and pick up these books. You don’t¬†have to read the other books in order to get this one, but it certainly helps. Rating: A.

The Strain

Courtesy of booksamillion.comOkay, so this one is also a little out of my usual wheelhouse, but it was good. I got the idea to read this from following Wil Wheaton on Twitter. He really enjoyed it and as I am something of a geeky mind with him, I thought I’d give it a shot. Writer/director Guillermo del Toro¬†(Yes, the man who directed the Hell Boy movies and Pan’s Labyrinth) hooked up with author Chuck Hogan to bring both a book trilogy and a television series called¬†The Strain.

I’ve been a little disappointed with vampire themed books as late. I loved Anne Rice’s¬†Interview with the Vampire and¬†Queen of the Damned. Those were the books that got me into fantasy/urban fantasy novels. I’d had hopes for the Anita Blake books, but they just turned into pure porn and the main character went from a fierce and principled person to a bit of a damsel in distress. Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels also started strong and ended with a whimper, so I’m a little leery of starting new vamp related series.

That being said, I finished this almost six hundred page book in about three hours. Its good, though I’m still debating whether I want to read the rest of the series. The best description I can give is that this is¬†Outbreak meets Dracula. In this book, vampires are a parasite that transforms the host into a parastic, almost zombie-like really, feeding organism.

The main protagonist is an doctor with the CDC, Ephraim Goodweather. Goodweather is called in to JFK when a plane from Berlin just stops on a runway after landing. They made a perfectly safe, soft landing and then the plane went dark. When they finally get people on board, everyone is dead. Fearing some sort of bioterrorism, the CDC is called in.

And in a way, it¬†is bioterrorism, but not in the way they’re expecting. While Ephraim and his coworker Nora Martinez are trying to figure out what killed all those people before it starts to spread (and it will), super richie rich Eldritch Palmer (okay, del Toro, really?¬†Eldritch?) is actively working with the vampire master that was on the plane. He’s actively trying to spread this plague in return for immortality. Natch.

Meanwhile, the only one who knows what’s going on is an old Jewish gentleman who survived the extermination camps, a man by the name of Abraham Setrakian. Setrakian’s grandmother used to tell him stories of a monster named Sardu from her home town in the mountains of Eastern Europe. He himself saw the same monster while trying to survive the Nazis. He made it his life’s mission to be able to fight these things. At first, Ephraim doesn’t believe the raving old man, but when he can no longer deny it, he goes to the old man for help.

Anyway, I won’t go into too much detail but it was¬†really good. There are real human connections in this book. More than just “oh, you’re cute, let’s hop in bed”. Ephraim Goodweather is trying to be a good dad in the midst of a divorce. AI’ll have to check out the series, I think.¬†Rating: A.

Skinwalker: A Jane Yellowrock novel

Courtesy of Goodreads.comI’ve read all through the Jane Yellowrock series by Faith Hunter but I haven’t reviewed any of them yet, which is a shame because they’re really quite good books. The series starts out with¬†Skinwalker, which just happens to be what Jane is, though we don’t find that out right away. We’re introduced to our protagonist Jane Yellowrock as she rolls into New Orleans on her motorcycle, Bitsa. Bitsa is so named because she’s apparently made out of “bits of” other bikes. That tickled my fancy. ūüôā

At any rate, Jane is something of a mercenary/bounty hunter. She’s licensed to handle vamp problems, which include the right to kill them if necessary. Since vamps aren’t really citizens in this world, as yet, the US government isn’t terribly worried if you knock one off for bounty money. Vamps in this world are sort of considered foreign citizens and their compounds as foreign territory. The humans leave it up to them to police themselves because humans just can’t handle them for the most part.

And for their part, vamps police themselves very well. They¬†want to be accepted by human society. They want power that comes from being citizens, of holding property and earning money. So they don’t want to compromise that due to some nutso vamp going on some killing spree, which is what’s happening in New Orleans right now.

High powered vamp Katherine Fontanbleu has hired Jane to find a rogue vamp whose killing off not humans but other vamps. They don’t know who it is, don’t know how its killing the other vamps. They want it caught and they want it dead, which is where Jane comes in. Jane has specific requirements when she takes a job and Katherine readily agrees to them all with no argument, which rather puts Jane on edge.

Jane herself is Cherokee but with little memory of where she came from before the age of twelve when she was found wandering some woods. She was raised in an orphanage and that’s about what she knows. She knows, of course, that she’s a skinwalker and the last one to her knowledge but she keeps that from most everybody. She has few friends and no romantic entanglements and she likes it that way.

So naturally, within the course of a few days, she finds two hot guys in New Orleans that are her type and who light her fire but are also pretty suspicious fellows. She finds herself more than a little off balance with these two and the master of the city, Leo Pellisier, who is very interested in what she is. Somehow Jane has to tango around all three of these guys to get at what’s going on.

These books are a good combination of urban fantasy and engaging mystery. I liked the fact that I was kept guessing the whole time. There were some personality traits of Jane’s that I didn’t particularly care for but the world has been crafted well enough that I could see why those traits came about. I like the fact that the protagonist is a strong, independent female who is, for once, not a white girl with red hair as seems to be par for the course these days. Also, I adore New Orleans. ūüôā I highly recommend this whole series. Rating: A.

Interview with the Vampire

Well why don’t we start with the classics eh? When I was in junior high,¬†Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice was made into a movie. I had not read the book at this point but I wanted to see the movie so bad that my folks ended up renting it for me. On VHS. Man I’m old. ūüôā At any rate, I loved it so much that as soon as I finished it, I watched it again. And then I went out and found the book.

Oh man. What a book. This is probably the quintessential modern vampire book. This book has been the jumping off point for so many fans and writers and I’m just one of them. I always thought that the mark of a truly great writer is someone who, when you read their work, can make you picture what’s going on with such clarity that you feel like you are right there alongside their characters. Anne Rice has this gift as well as some of my other favorite authors like Simon R. Green, Jim Butcher and J.K. Rowling.

The first book in a series,¬†Interview with the Vampire focuses on Louis, a Louisiana plantation owner who lost a wife and baby in birth. It starts in modern San Francisco where Louis finders himself followed by a reporter and decides to speak with the boy. Instead of killing him since the boy seemed to notice something unusual about Louis, he decides to give the reporter his rather long life’s story.

We switch from modern era to colonial times. Depressed from the deaths of his wife and child, Louis tries his damnedest to get his himself killed either with drink or another vice that would lead to violence (gambling, prostitution etc). Lestat is the vampire who sees this and decides that he wants this man, this highly emotional man, as a companion through the centuries. Lestat changes him into a vampire. Louis does not deal well with this.

He tries to live his life as he had before but being unable to go out in the sun really puts a damper on things. The slaves become suspicious of the pair of them. Louis does noting to allay their fears and essentially ends up throwing away his life because of what I can only put as survivors’ guilt. He is still alive, will be for centuries, and his beloved wife and child will never have that chance. Seeing that his companion’s self destructive streak is far from over , Lestat essentially tries to bully him into killing humans. Louis has been feeding on animals up to this point. This plan backfires and makes Louis feel even guiltier, especially when he happens upon young Claudia.

Claudia’s mother dies in a plague that sweeps New Orleans. Louis finds Claudia with the body. Lestat comes upon them and fearing that Louis is set to leave him, turns Claudia into a vampire. Into their daughter. Louis is horrified but simply can’t leave Claudia in the hands of Lestat, despite the fact that she is almost a miniature version of him. She takes to killing appallingly easy.

After many years together however, Claudia comes to the realization that she will never be anything physically other than a six year old girl no matter how much she changes mentally. She figures out that Lestat changed her and it makes her mad. Mad enough to kill him. Well, attempt to at any rate. Lestat survives the initial attempt and comes back for revenge. Louis sets light to their apartments and escapes with Claudia. At this point, they believe Lestat to be truly dead. (spoiler: he isn’t)

The twosome travel to Europe looking for more of their kind as they never found them in America. Initially, they are disappointed because they find vampires that are little more than blood drinking zombies. Its in Paris that they find others much more like them, the Theatre de Vampires. These vampires are actors. They pretend to be humans who are pretending to be vampires and feed on humans in live plays. The humans who attend the plays to be frightened and entertained appear to be none the wiser as there are no pitchforks or torches.

The leader of the Theatre des Vampires is a quietly charming, auburn haired vampire named Armand. Armand is also looking for a companion with a bit more depth of character than his coven of actors. He is immediately attracted to Louis (not sexually really but intellectually). Armand is 400 years old and at this point in the series, he is the oldest vampire that Louis and Claudia have ever met.

Claudia, of course, sees that Louis and Armand get along like a house on fire (no pun intended). She believes, like Lestat once did, that Louis will leave her. She wants a companion of her own, someone to care for her, but she is unable to change someone. She’s either too young or too small to do so. So she forces Louis to change a woman she met, Madeleine, who lost a daughter some time ago, which he does under protest.

Here is where the book differs quite a bit from the movie. In the movie, Lestat does not come back at the end of the movie but here, with the Theatre des Vampires. He survived the fire and went to Armand, making accusations against Louis and Claudia. Armand himself doesn’t do anything but the other vampires abduct the newly minted threesome of vampires. They seal Louis in a coffin to starve for centuries and they set Madeleine and Claudia where they cannot escape the sun. Armand releases Louis the day after Claudia and Madeleine die and he is broken.

Louis takes his revenge by killing the Theatre des Vampires. Armand escapes with Louis and they travel for a while but Louis clearly resents him. They drift apart. From then until sometime in the 20th century, Louis survives on his own until he runs into the boy. Even after all this time, Louis is still hurting and wants to share with someone, anyone, that immortality is not what its cracked up to be. The boy, of course, doesn’t get this and begs to be made a vampire. Louis refuses, going to far as to try and scare the notion out of him with a show of how utterly inhuman vampires are. It doesn’t work and the boy (later we find out that his name is Daniel) tries to find Lestat. He eventually ends up with Armand but that is another story.

Wow, probably my longest review so far. I loved this book. It was the book that got me into fantasy books. If you haven’t, for some reason, read this book you really should. Like right now. Later books in the Vampire Diaries series kind of jump the shark but the first few are well worth the read. Rating:¬†A+