The Tale of the Body Thief by Anne Rice

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In a new feat of hypnotic storytelling, Anne Rice elaborates on the extraordinary Vampire Chronicles that began with the now-class Interview with the Vampire and continued with The Vampire Lestat and The Queen of the Damned.

For centuries, Lestat—vampire-hero, enchanter, seducer of mortals—has been a courted prince in the dark and flourishing universe of the undead.  Now Lestat is alone.  And suddenly all of his vampire rationale—everything he has come to believe and feel safe with—is called into question.  In his overwhelming need to destroy his doubts and his loneliness, Lestat embarks on the most dangerous enterprise he has undertaken in all the danger-haunted years of his long existence…

The Tale of the Body Thief is the fourth book in Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, but by this book, it seems like her heart wasn’t really in to writing it.  While the premise of the novel is interesting enough and her descriptions are just as wonderful, it seems to lack the spirit and enthusiasm of the first three books.  It seems as if she was pressured into writing a fourth book to capitalize on her series’ fame and that’s the worst reason for any author to write a book.

Even though it feels like Anne Rice had to continue the series because of its immense popularity, Lestat is still as complex as ever and after being a vampire for so long, he struggles as a human.  It’s amazing to see him struggle over things that normal humans do every day, like eating and going to the bathroom.  Along the way he meets David Talbot, a former member of the supernatural secret society, the Talamasca.  Together they discover that the man Lestat switched bodies with has no intention of switching back and they hatch a plot to get Lestat back in his proper body.

I’ll add my usual warning: this is not a fast-paced novel.  Yes, it has an interesting plot, but no, it is not a fast plot because The Tale of the Body Thief is a character-driven novel.  Anne Rice has wonderfully sensual descriptions and a compelling writing style, but as with all of the books in the Vampire Chronicles, The Tale of the Body Thief contains explicit sex scenes and other mature content.  I would recommend it for ages 14 and up.

I give this book 3/5 stars.

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