Sunday, January 22, 2017

Review: Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis by Anne Rice

Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis (Vampire Chronicles, Book #12)
by Anne Rice
Release Date: November 29th 2016
2016 Knopf
Ebook Edition; 496 Pages
ISBN: 978-0385353793
Genre: Fiction / Fantasy / Paranormal
Source: Review copy from publisher

2.5 / 5 Stars

At the novel's center: the vampire Lestat de Lioncourt, hero, leader, inspirer, irresistible force, irrepressible spirit, battling (and ultimately reconciling with) a strange otherworldly form that has somehow taken possession of Lestat's undead body and soul. This ancient and mysterious power and unearthly spirit of vampire lore has all the force, history, and insidious reach of the unknowable Universe.

It is through this spirit, previously considered benign for thousands of vampire years and throughout the Vampire Chronicles, that we come to be told the hypnotic tale of a great sea power of ancient times; a mysterious heaven on earth situated on a boundless continent--and of how and why, and in what manner and with what far-reaching purpose, this force came to build and rule the great legendary empire of centuries ago that thrived in the Atlantic Ocean.

And as we learn of the mighty, far-reaching powers and perfections of this lost kingdom of Atalantaya, the lost realms of Atlantis, we come to understand its secrets, and how and why the vampire Lestat, indeed all the vampires, must reckon so many millennia later with the terrifying force of this ageless, all-powerful Atalantaya spirit.

My Thoughts
I have always been a huge fan of the Vampire Chronicles, particularly the earlier books, as I love the atmosphere, the excitement, and the unpredictability of the events of those books.  While I have continued to faithfully follow the series, I have found that a lot of the excitement has sort of disappeared into this kind of settled atmosphere where events are rather more predictable and shall I say it, rather boring.  Bringing other elements into the stories hasn't really helped as I prefer the vampire stories and want to learn more about their lives and their evil-doings.  I'm afraid to say that this one stretched things a bit too far for me; there is only so far one can suspend one's sense of belief before going, 'Enough already!'

First of all, it wasn't the introduction of the alien element that bothered me as I found that rather interesting, and I was curious as to what Ms. Rice would do with that thread.  And it opened up a series of possibilities for future books, but I still craved the vampire element that she became known for in her books, something that was hinted at, at times, but didn't fully develop.  Lestat will always be one of my favourites, as well as Louis and Marius, but I felt like Marius had changed so much that I almost didn't recognize him.  As for Gabrielle, well, she will always be Gabrielle.  It was nice to see so many of the beloved vampires in one book, but there was such a brief glimpse of them as the story revolved around Lestat and his fight against the strictures placed upon him as prince.  I was looking forward to him breaking a rule or two just to see what would happen as in the old days, but I was left disappointed in that as well.  When did he develop such a mature angle to his personality?  Where is the old devil who tested the boundaries and found against the rules?  I miss him.

The angle of the aliens was kind of interesting, and I liked the story that developed, but I just couldn't believe in the description of Atalantya and that's where things took a total downturn for me.  I could accept an Atalantya that was over 12 000 years old, but I just couldn't accept one that had technology similar to our modern era, and I couldn't buy into it.  I'm glad to see that the author decided to do something a bit different, and I definitely liked the philosophical and spiritual themes running through the novel, but I wonder if she could have done things a bit differently.  I'm not against the science-fiction vibe running through this novel as everything connects to Amel, but I just feel like so much of the mysterious vampire world had been lost because of it.  And it was that world that was interesting.

Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis is one of those books over which I have very mixed feelings and I am not sure if I will actually continue reading this series.  I liked reading these books because the relationships between the vampires were so engrossing and compelling, and the atmosphere just drew you in, whether you wanted it or not.  Overall, the book wasn't a complete disaster, and if you are starting with this one, you might feel a bit differently, but the engaging interactions between the characters, the atmospheric tensions, the unpredictability were all missing and these are the elements we have come to expect from a good vampire novel from this author.     


  1. Admittedly I've never gone for those books, probably more because I don't go for the genre in general.

    1. I actually don't read a lot of vampire novels, but I took a real liking to these ones a long time ago. Lately, they haven't been the same.