** spoiler alert **
I was initially horrified with the premise of this book – as part of the Vampire Chronicles I expected that it would be another tale of vampirism, or of Lestat, but instead it focuses mainly on the story of Creation and the great misunderstanding between God and the Devil which leads to the Devil ruling over Hell as related by Memnoch (the aforementioned Devil) to Lestat in a journey of earth, Heaven and Hell. I wouldn’t normally choose a book that focuses so much on religion (unless as an argument against it, which in retrospect this seems to be) and was a little put off by this as I seem to find it far harder to suspend my disbelief for religion than for vampires, but soon found myself sucked in despite myself.
Incredibly well-written (as usual) and compelling, I found the telling of this tale to be extremely imaginative and surprisingly plausible (surprising to me anyway, as a staunchly stubborn atheist). Memnoch was a hugely sympathetic character and whilst I could understand a little of God’s reasoning around the time of the crucifixion, I couldn’t help but agree wholeheartedly with Memnoch’s point of view and thought that God seemed less a benevolent, all-knowing and wonderful creator than a petty asshole for most of the time, struggling to justify himself for all of the suffering that abounds on earth and pretending like that was part of the plan all along. I realize that this might be due to bias as it’s Memnoch’s telling rather than God’s, but I don’t think I’d have thought any differently had it been the other way around.
Come the end, I turned out to be heartbroken about Armand (I don’t think I’d realised how much I liked him up until that point!), and with Mael about to suffer the same fate I was just as angry as Lestat at Memnoch and God for how he’d been used.
As Lestat signs off, he can rest assured that he still keeps that place in my dreams that he hopes for from his reader, as a fabulous and classic character that I’m sure will stick in my memory for many, many years to come.