Thursday, December 17, 2009 By: Suzanne

My Favorite Reads: The Queen of the Damned

My Favorite Reads is hosted by Alyce on her blog At Home With Books. The idea is to take a book you read before you started blogging and tell your readers about it.

Just like high school girls are today, I was a teenaged vampire fanatic. The only difference is my vampires were what vampires should be: dangerous and exciting not broody and pathetic. Oh, yeah I loved the whole Angel/Buffy thing and he was broody but he was never pathetic. And of course, that was before Spike came along. Spike is what vampires should be. However, before there was Buffy the Vampire Slayer, there was the Vampire Chonicles by Anne Rice. No one does vampires like Anne Rice did. Too bad she found Jesus. (Literally: Christ the Lord)

Like all teenagers, I thought everything I discovered was new. No one had ever seen it before I laid eyes on it. Because of this I didn't know that Queen of the Damned was part of a series. I picked it up because it looked like something I would fall in love with. And it was. It happens to be the third book in the Vampire Chronicles, following Interview with the Vampire and The Vampire Lestat.

I now know that seeing the book in the first place was probably not an accident. Considering it was originally published in 1988 and I read it in 1993, it was probably part of some marketing strategy. I read it about a year before the movie Interview with the Vampire was released. There was most likely some big display in the store featuring the books. Though why I chose that book and not Interview is lost in the pages of my history. The title probably sounded much more interesting. And, I was also going through a phase of the bigger the book the better. Since Interview has 352 pages and Queen has 512, I'm thinking that might be the reason. I clearly remember once in high school, an adult commenting on the thickness of my book (I think it might have been Scarlett: 832 pages). She seemed shocked that I'd be willing to read something that long. I felt at once contemptuous of her and proud of myself. It was clear she didn't think it worth her time to read something that long, therefore I was better than her. Isn't teen-think wonderful?

The thing is, Queen of the Damned IS the better book. Not just because it's bigger, but because the story is so much more complex and the characters more defined. In Interview the characters are very one dimensional. It's a good book, but people do things because they are good or evil in Interview. They are not either good or evil in Queen, even Akasha.

I will say now, that I have never seen the movie. I saw the previews and that was enough for me. I don't believe they did Akasha right and I don't want to see her portrayed that way. It was never supposed to get the big release it did anyway. It was supposed to be one of those straight-t0-video movies but when the actress/singer playing Akasha died, it got all that attention. I can't even remember right now who that was. Sad, huh?


Alyce said...

It took me a minute to recall the plot from Queen of the Damned. I read the series in college on the recommendation of a friend. It was really a departure for me because I just don't read vampire novels. Which I guess shows how good her writing is because I was hooked after reading the first book.

On another topic - sorry my post wasn't up earlier today. I lost track of time this week, but it's up now.

Tonya said...

No problem! I've forgotten several times on my Friday 56 that I needed to post until readers reminded me. Sometimes it's hard being the host! hehehe