Lynn Viehl is an author I haven't read before, and coming fresh from the less than pleasing Claimed by Shadow by Karen Chance and craving someone whoLynn Viehl is an author I haven't read before, and coming fresh from the less than pleasing Claimed by Shadow by Karen Chance and craving someone who knew how vampire romance should be done and yet cast a new spin on it (as Anne Rice and JR Ward had done) I was not expecting this to be as good as it was.
It was, indeed, a pleasant surprise to read something as thick in vampire (or Darkyn) culture, to learn the vampires. Yes, I read it for the romance, initially, but I like reading vampire romance because of the vampires. Something I only realised once I finished this book. Viehl dedicated the book to Anne Rice and mentioned her vampire fiction in narration three times, and her admiration for aristocratic vampires is evident.
She has a much more clear and less padded, stream-of-conciousness way of writing. It's wonderful to see aristocratic vampires in such a clear light and be able to appreciate their culture through the pages. It's an easy read, a fin read, and I did at one plot twist, actually slam my head into the back of the couch with wide eyes and give a little prayer to whatever powers gave this woman the gift of the pen.
Viehl is of course a very skilled word-smith and her ability to pull together a plot and have it converge on several levels at the ending from several points of view needs to be commended. She wove an excellent story and I couldn't put it down so much that I read it in one day. Her characters are amusing and leave me excited to read more, especially if the series keeps it tinge of characters with a sense of humour.
I won't go so far as to say that it was slow going as much as it was perfectly paced and then Veihl kicked it up a notch. There is just a little something missing, however, in one of the last pivotal scenes that would have provided great character development between Cyprien and Alexandra. It is shown, but I honestly was disappointed and wanted to see more. It left the beginning of the end with a slight tinge of an unfinished flavour but I am hoping that such will be resolved in the next book.
Lovers of the old-school vampires will love this series, rather than the newer brand of Vampire Lite that's on the shelves in most young teen and paranormal romance bookshelves today. ...more
For all I adore this book and reread it whenever I feel down, underline some thought provoking passages and short phrases Anne Rice uses and admire heFor all I adore this book and reread it whenever I feel down, underline some thought provoking passages and short phrases Anne Rice uses and admire her writing style for it's uniqueness, I still believe that Anne Rice showed her crazy in the second half of The Vampire Armand about halfway through the book.
Armand is the Botticelli angel, as many call him, and he delights in it, I think, purely so Rice can start the book by having him rip a victims scalp off and stomp on it to spite David Talbot, who asks his to stop. He does indeed present a rather interesting character of the Chronicles. He is, perhaps, the personification of Rice's duality in religion. He was a child of Satan at one point, akin to the yezedi muslims who worship a Satan-like figure, knowing that without bad, there is no good, and that Satan tests all and thus works for God. He does horrible things. And yet he believes himself clear of conscience. Armand is quite mad. Becomes so as he ages into the New World.
The narration dissolves into religious raving at the oddest of times from then on. At some points Armand is pulled from his story to remark on things to David and it is...jarring. At this point, Rice had no editors, I believe, and it shows. Half-way through the quality drops considerably and I've found a few spelling errors. Sentences that make no sense and the like.
I believe that, over time, Rice has become as much of a character of these books as the author. It's hard to ignore the religious overtones with Armand, because religion played such a huge role in his life.
I do not recommend this book to those who are new to the series or wouldn't touch the previous book Memnoch the Devil with a ten foot pole. The Christian influence is thick within the third section of the book, but Armand and Marius' formative years in Rome are very much something I adore and would like to think of as dear to me and I hope to others. Theirs is such a strong bond, at that point in time, and it's clear that Anne enjoyed writing it. Her grasp on history and atmosphere is, as always, absolutely wonderful. She describes paintings, rooms, halls, people, with such an interesting way that it doesn't come of as fantasy-type scenery-porn at all.
For writers like myself, it's quite soothing to thumb through her pages and try to break down the book. The paragraphs and sentences. I could compare her prose to Stephen Kings, and yet she is somehow a little better paced than he is. It may also be the subject matter, but I still would ask if one likes the way Stephen King writes before recommending Rice for all she is, to me, an essential read to those wanting to know about the rise of vampire fiction.
As always I can read this book again and again, and feel the same heartache for Armand every time. ...more
Bujold has a wonderful taste and knack for pace and choosing her characters. Some I liked, some I hated and overall I was delighted with the reOh man.
Bujold has a wonderful taste and knack for pace and choosing her characters. Some I liked, some I hated and overall I was delighted with the religion she crafted for this book (and the books to come).
Caz was a wonderful narrator and so honestly humble it was sweet to be reminded by other characters that, no, he was wrong, people were actually talking about him and the like.
He deserved his peace in the end, and though his ending was the only moment where it felt like was handled...not quite right, and perhaps paced a little quickly with his love interest within the last few pages, I was very pleased with the ending and the set up for the next book. ...more