Title: The Queen of the Damned
Author: Anne Rice
Narrator: Frank Muller
Publication Date: 1988 (audiobook: 1994)
Length: approx. 23 hours and 45 minutes (audiobook)
I've read this book once before, but this was my first time listening to the audiobook. Something to note about that is that I don't seem to have overall very positive feelings about this whole audiobook thing. Sometimes I like it but often I really don't, and it makes me take forever to get through a book, as you may have noticed. So I fear that that might be impacting my reviews of these books, since I've been rating them lower this time than when I originally read the books.
The Queen of the Damned more or less picks up where The Vampire Lestat left off, with a little overlap, but like the first two books a good chunk of it is stories being told about the past. The overarching story is that people all over the world, both mortals and vampires, are having mysterious dreams about a pair of red-haired twins, who eat a heart and a brain and then are viciously attacked, one having her tongue cut out, and the other having her eyes plucked out. Meanwhile, Lestat has his rock concert, waking up the ancient vampire Akasha, who goes on a murderous rampage trying to "save" the world. These two threads intertwine to bring together a group of vampires, ranging from the oldest vampires in existence to ones only just made immortal.
I definitely preferred The Queen of the Damned over The Vampire Lestat. There were still lots of philosophical discussions, but they were of the "Men are nothing but trouble so why don't we just kill them all? Well, that's a good point, but it's still wrong." type rather than the "I'm so evil! But what IS evil?" type that made me want to punch Lestat during his autobiography. This book also has more of a variety of stories in it. You get a bit of background from a whole bunch of characters. I LOVE all the parts about the twins. I think their story is just so interesting, and of course I love the whole Great Family thing (I am a genealogist, after all).
This is slightly off-topic, but I actually love the Queen of the Damned movie. I know, it's blasphemous! It does not even remotely follow the book. Rereading the book, I realised I'd forgotten just how much it does not follow the book. But it's an entertaining movie, Aaliyah is amazing as Akasha, and the soundtrack rocks. Just don't watch it expecting to see Anne Rice's vision. :)
The audiobook was narrated by Frank Muller, just like the last two, so see my review of Interview With the Vampire for more about how awesome he is.
This book counts for the 2012 A-Z Book Challenge and the 2012 Anne Rice Challenge.