During the long flights and airport delays, I was able to get through a couple more of the Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice.
The Vampire Armand – As the name suggests, this fills out the life of the character Armand, introduced in the previous books. As always, it was written in a style that made it very readable, but there were two things that put me off this book. First, there is little new to this story, it just adds more detail to events told in the previous book. It’s not until you read the last 150 pages that you get some good additions to the previous book. Second, the life of Armand is essentially a story of paedophilia. It’s flowered up to make it seem less shocking, but all the same, it’s just plain wrong! I don’t think it would be a crime to ignore the twisted “Mills and Boon” begining and just read the last 150 pages.
Blood and Gold – This book was 746 pages, and the majority of that was re-telling previous stories from the viewpoint of the vampire Marius. There were times where I was sure I had picked up “The Vampire Armand” by accident, such was the similarity. As most of these characters are interwoven, especially Marius and Armand, you expect some crossover, but it just seemed a bit lazy in this case. So much had been said about Marius and Armand in the previous books, there seemed little to justify whole book here. That said, it was very readable and the few additions to the characters were interesting. I guess if you took a break between reading these two books it wouldn’t seem so bad, but reading them back-to-back makes this weakness glaringly obvious.