Ok, this review contains two big spoilers. So if you still want to read this book and do not want to be spoiled, navigate away from this page now, please! On the count of …..
Re-read. Lestat is turned back to human by swapping bodies, stupidly assuming that he can switch back after trying it out. Obviously, the other guy decides to keep Lestat’s body, powers and riches. D-oh. The rest of the book is Lestat trying to get his body back. No, that is not the main spoiler.
I read roughly 270 pages with some light skimming (a little under halfway, 45%). There were some scenes I remembered fondly, namely the part in the Gobi desert—which I had attributed to another part of the series. But overall, it felt dated and lacked tension. Knowing the plot wasn‘t helping, obviously. Too much detail, repetitive bla-bla and over exposition of almost everything. I skimmed quite a bit to get to the body swapping part, but was willing to plod on.
Then the rape happened—I had no recollection of that scene from previous reads. Or maybe I didn‘t understand and didn’t consider it rape before—it has been several decades since I read this last. That scene pretty much killed the book for me. I read on for a little bit, then put the book down with the plan to pick it up again at a later date. It‘s been sitting there for a month, looking at me and I feel absolutely no compunction to pick it up again.
Knowing that Lestat will end up turning David against his will, another sort of rape, didn‘t entice me to continue either. Lestat has no impulse control and no concept of what he is doing. I am not sure how intentional this presentation was from Rice. The rape of the waitress was pretty arbitrary and the point could have been driven home for Lestat without committing it. Or he could have actually felt and shown some guilt for what he clearly understood to have done. The callousness really bothered me.
Besides that, I was bored with the tone and endless navel-gazing and lost all interest in continuing. I can‘t even be bothered to skim my way to the end. I have the next two books of this on my shelf. I am not sure if I want to continue. At this point I am considering to dump them and call it for this series, I‘ll see.