I’m back with another book review, and this time I’m looking at “The Tale Of The Body Thief” by Anne Rice! I read the first three books before (“Interview With The Vampire,” “The Vampire Lestat” and “Queen of the Damned”) and found them all to be pretty interesting, so I’m excited to pick up this fourth book. Here’s a summary so we know what it’s about:
“For centuries, Lestat—vampire-hero, enchanter, seducer of mortals—has been a courted prince in the dark and flourishing universe of the living dead. Now he is alone. And in his overwhelming need to destroy his doubts and his loneliness, Lestat embarks on the most dangerous enterprise he has undertaken in all the years of his haunted existence.”
Continuity nod/plot clarification-related development: 4 out of 5
Good news: For those confused about what happened since the end of “Queen of the Damned,” the beginning of the book helps give the equivalent of a recap of what happened so far, as well as set up the background for the situation in this book: Lestat is lonely, he’s starting to really hate his vampiric nature (and it’s a huge contrast to how proud he was of it in “Interview With The Vampire”) and he suffers from nightmares of Claudia.
Plot development: 2 out of 5
The reason I rate the plot so low this time arouns is because this book centers more in rumination and pondering what it means to be human than in the actual plot itself. The overall main plotline was very slow, which did allow for some of that rumination and pondering from Lestat to be interesting (especially after he switches bodies and literally is mortal for the first time in forever).
I also thought the subplots of the nightmares of Claudia, friendship with David, and the romance with Gretchen could all be expanded on more to help supplement the main plot better. I felt that the rumination part of the plot took interest away from those three plotlines. If there were a bit more focus on these subplots, especially since they do play into the main plot (especially when it comes to Lestat and David’s friendship), it would have made the overall story much more enjoyable.
Character Development: 3 out of 5
I’ll be honest: This is mainly due to Lestat’s individual development. He goes from ruminating over his vampiric nature to becoming human and understanding what it feels like to be human—literally and emotionally, but especially literally with the two to three sex scenes he had, as well as his physical descriptions of the normal ‘human’ things he did like eating and so on. I also enjoyed seeing his return to enjoying his vampiric nature at the end of the book as well, but I wish that part came a lot sooner than it did. All of Lestat’s ruminations and thought processes were interesting, but it eventually lagged on too long by about two-thirds through the book.
I also thought that the character of Raglan James was a wasted opportunity. I was hoping for more interactions with him than what was in this book, especially given the whole concept of the body thief being associated with him in the first place, but the over-rumination of Lestat resulted in missing the opportunity to know more about Raglan other than being a tricky antagonist trying to have a vampire body.
Overall, I’m rating this book 3 out of 5 stars!