Monday, 16 January 2017

Book Review: The Power of The Dark

The Power of Dark

Hi readers,

Today I'm reviewing the last book I read in December and the final one of 2016. My mum was given this book by a friend who likes to send her interesting novels. She gave it to me knowing that I was a fan of the author. Robin Jarvis wrote my favorite trilogy - Tales From The Wyrd Museum, which is about three sisters who own a museum of historical objects and some of them have supernatural powers. I've not read anything by Jarvis in awhile so I was excited to read his latest and first in a new series novel.   

The Power Of Dark is a children's book but it's similar to Darren Shan novels in that teens and adults will enjoy it too. The plot is a simple one of good verses evil, but aren't all the best stories themed around that? The story is set in the seaside town of Whitby which is one of my favorite places and famous for being the setting of Bram Stoker's Dracula. There's a lot more to Whitby then just that though. It's the home of the very well known Whitby Abbey, the only place to find Whitby jet stone and one of the oldest fishing and whaling industries in England. There's also a lot of myths and legends involving Whitby. So, it does seem the perfect setting for a book centered around the supernatural.    

The two main characters, Lil and Verne, are best friends growing up in Whitby. Lil's parents own a goth themed shop and Lil makes things to be bought in the shop. Lil's parents believe they are witches, However, Lil doesn't believe that, but she still goes along with it. Verne's parents are into Steampunk and are busy making costumes for the up and coming Goth Weekend. I was nicely surprised and pleased that steampunk got a look in here and actually fits in nicely with the finally events at the end of the book. Also, the Goth Weekend is a real event held in Whitby every year. 

One of the other main characters is actually a witch. Her name is Cherry and she the guardian witch of Whitby, of which there has been a long line of. The witch's job has always been to protect and guard the town and people from the myths and legends that surround Whitby, including the plot one of the novel.

This legend involved another witch called Scaur Annie who fell in love Melchior Pike. Tragically though they couldn't be happy together as Pike was working on magical device called the Nimius which needed the tears of a magical creature which Annie knew about. Annie breaks her witch agreement to get Pike the tears and thus comes to realise that Pike never loved her in the first place. Though it turns out they were both set up by Pike's male servant called Dark who wanted the Nimius for himself.

 Now though, they have all come back in ghost form to complete their missions as the Nimius has been found and they all want it. However, it means that Whitby is about to be torn apart by the supernatural forces and Lil, Verne and Cherry must help to stop it. Which of course they do as most good verse evil stories end.

I really enjoyed the plot and the characters, finding it easy to get into the story. The pacing and dialogue was good too, making you want to read on to the end. My favorite part of the story was when a really bad storm hits Whitby and the cliff top graveyard is torn part and comes crashing down into Lil's house. A skeleton flies into her bedroom and seems to attack her. This is actually Annie trying to posses Lil. It's wonderfully described and though it's scary, it's the kind of moment kids really enjoy reading.

Overall, this is a good book for young people and adults a like. The plot and characters are enjoyable and the supernatural elements have a refreshing edge to them. I'm looking forward to reading the next in the series now.

Thanks for reading and see you all next week! 

  

(Image from Goodreads)

Monday, 9 January 2017

Book Review: Hauntings; True Stories Of Unquiet Spirit

Hauntings

Hi readers, 

I'm kicking off this year's book reviews with a non-fiction book. I don't think this is a first for me, but this year, I want to expand my reading and try some different books out. Also, I'm trying to read 50 books this year! I read 20 last year of which this true ghost stories book was the second to last. 50 books might not be a big ask of some people, but for me it is a challenge due to being dyslexic, but I'm hopefully I can achieve it. 

I do enjoy reading non-fiction supernatural books and have read a few of them now. There's something interesting about this mysterious 'other world' of unnatural happens. Some books do set out to convince you it's all real which can sometimes make it hard going, this book does have a bit of angle towards that, but it's let down by bad writing. That's the main reason why I choose to review this book! 

At first, Hauntings comes across as a factual book, listing the different kinds of ghosts and paranormal activity that has been record over the years. This is okay, but for someone who's read a few ghost books, they'll know most of this information. There's no added details or sense of new information about these ghosts. Then there's the true stories of hauntings and ghosts which come from across the world and different people, but these accounts are not well written.     

The chapters are divided up into the different kinds of ghosts and paranormal activity; Haunted Homes, Highways To Hell, Poltergeists. This does work though you get a bit of over lapping. There's introduction from the author about his experiences with ghosts then the first chapter lists the different kinds of ghosts and an explanation about what ghosts actually are. 

The second chapter focus totally on the city of Edinburgh which is claimed to be the most haunted city in the world. The stories listed here though are about well known haunted places and ghosts. There is an interview from a local ghost tour guide about the experiences he and visitors have had. This is interesting and does show that ghost tours can be more then just historical walks around. 
        
Then in the other chapters, we get a lot of 'true stories' about different ghosts. Some of these are just like a paragraph or two of eye witness accounts of supernatural sightings. Others include quotes from people and some of the stories are complete accounts. This mixture of writing is a bit jarring and there's no flow. Also, the bulk of the stories/accounts just suddenly stop; there's no ending/conclusion, which makes the writing worse. I realise in some cases there might not be a solid ending, but it would be easy enough to round up the story. 

I found some of the longer ghost stories to be a bit dull. There is one which is taken from a diary but we only get the main activity of the ghost and it's very broken up. Also, there are some interviews which feel like they go on for too long. I get that some of the stories are not to going to be exciting like fiction can make them, but if the writing of these accounts was better written then the stories might come across more interesting. I guess that's the downside to using so many quotes accounts though.    

The other issue with this book is it's size. It's a tall thin book, over A4 size. I think that is because it's a very photograph heavy book and the author/designer/editor decided to give us full page photographs. There is also large photos or collections of smaller photos on every page or next. Whilst this is great for really showing what ghosts and paranormal activity looks like, most of these photographs are not of real ghosts. There's maybe only a handful which are real and those photos are ones that are well-known to be of real spirits because they can't be disproved in anyway. There's also a few drawings which have been either taken from the accounts of people or drawn to go along side them. Even though it's good to have a visual interpretation, I feel this photos help to mask the bad and thinly detailed writing of the ghost stories.      
    
Overall, there are better books of this nature out there. 

Thanks for reading and see you next week. In the meantime, please check out my goodreads book list and my other blog where I write a short story everyday. 

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/7400715-hayley-hardman

https://thestoryfiles.wordpress.com/


(Image from Goodreads)

Monday, 2 January 2017

January Life Update: Welcome 2017!



Hi readers and welcome to my first post of 2017! 

I hope everyone had a good time celebrating the first day of the new year and all the best to everyone. I plan to keep this post short and once again I have no photos, so that should help! I had a quiet night in with my family and my boyfriend. We played board games, watched a few movies and then the fireworks in London on the TV. They always look really good and whilst I do wonder what it would be like to be there one year, I just think it's easier seeing them on TV! 

Beside from that I've had a chilled last few weeks and I've not been doing much really. Though I've read three and a bit books, wrote some short stories, spent time with my family and watched lots of movies. Now though, its back to normal. I was in work today even though it was a bank holiday. The youth centre never closes! It was quiet though, just people ringing to see if we were open and asking to pass on messages. I read my book, wrote some stories, did some colouring, watched You Tube videos and listen to music (I had permission from my supervisor, of course!) I also made a dream catcher, which I'm running as a craft activity tomorrow. They are not that hard to make, though mine didn't turn out right- made a few mistakes, but it turned out okay. I think the kids will like them. 

It was a bit boring just sat there in a building that was empty but for me and one or two other people. But hey, I got paid and I could do what I wanted, so I can't argue with that. Though it didn't help with my sleep problem! For the last three nights, I've been in the living room on airbeds and sofas as we don't have a third double bed in my family home. So, I've not had much sleep and I've been going to bed late too! I'm hoping for a better night tonight! 

So, like everyone else I guess, I've been deciding my New Year resolutions. Though I like to see them as more of goals for the year then just giving up bad habits and other stuff. The typical one of lose weight is on there. I was actually doing okay with that last year, but then ill health, October and December holidays haven't helped, so I'm going to give it a short again. I'm still a member of the gym and I plan to go swimming and to the gym with my mum three times a week. I also want to take my dog out more for longer walks and reduce sugar in my food. All that should help. I've found going on diets, following rules and cutting out foods doesn't work for me. I get cravings for things and I can't fight it easily. Also, due to my ill health, things can be effect by not eating enough or eating too much of certain foods. During last summer it did actually work, so I just need to try harder to stick to it now.   

I've also decided not to buy any books this year beside from ones by J .R. Ward - my favourite author who's got two new books coming out this year- and a manga series called Assassination Classroom. That's because I need those books and I know I'd just break my goal for them. The reason I've decided to try and not buy any books is because I have too many to read and I don't have space any more. Yes, I do have a kindle and a laptop now, but I spend most of my time looking at screens as it is and I like physical books far better. I've added a side rule to this that books people give me or are free are okay to have. In 2015, I went 6 months without buying a book. This year, I hope to go the whole 12! 

That goal fits in with my third one; save more money! I so need to do this if I'm to get my main goal of getting a car this year. I want to make sure I can afford one and though I probably can do, I really want to make sure of it. So, I need to get better at saving money. I plan to try and set a minimum of £100 a month, but to try and set more aside. This means I'll have to work more hours, but that doesn't seem bad if it's worth it. 

So, that's four goals now. I think that's enough to be getting on with. Of course, there are things like write a novel, get the short story collections sorted, look for another part time job or a full one, move out of my family home and into my own place, work on my relationships, spend more time with my friends and travel a bit more too. 

I found lots of different resolutions and goal settings online. I picked out three that I wanted to try myself as they look really good. Here they are;     

This is the first one I found. It's a list of 12 single words that you use to complete sentences with which allow you to create simple or complex goals. For example; give more to the homeless or visit Germany.  http://www.artbarblog.com/create/this-year-resolutions/  

The second is a list of resolutions ideas which is good if you are stuck for ideas, or you want to achieve something different. For example, 'try meatless Mondays' and 'volunteer more.'  
http://easycollegecoupons.com/the-ultimate-list-of-2017-new-years-resolution-ideas/

The third is this monthly guide which has a different goal every month but they are all really useful for. I like this idea because it helps create good habits and since the time line is short things can easily be tried out and achieved more. So for example; in July try drinking more water and in March get organised. http://www.cleverpedia.com/new-you-for-the-new-year-challenge/ 

What are you new year resolutions? 

Happy New Year and next Monday it'll be the first book review of the year. See you there!



Monday, 26 December 2016

December Life update Part 2: Last post of the year!



Hi readers!

Well this is the last post of 2016 I'll be writing for this blog as next Monday is the second day of 2017! I hope everyone had a great Christmas. I did and I wanted to write a post about the changing of traditions, but to be honest I'm super tired and I've work tomorrow night. Hopefully, work will not be too bad, but you never know.

On another note, it's not snowed here. Manchester, UK has had gale force winds, heavy down pours of rain and minutes of hailstones, but so far it still doesn't feel like winter. In fact it's raining right now!

Also, unlike last time, I've no photos to post up. Not had a chance to really take any.

I have reached my book reading goal of this year though! I only had to read 30 books, but it was a starting block because I plan to raise it up ever year now. So in 2017, I'm aiming for 50 books. Though I should easily make that as I have two series to read, including one manga series that's got about 21 books in it. Of course, I won't be reviewing all of that series book by book! The second series is the True Blood one and I'll have to decided about reviewing all of those there's about 12, I think. Then I've about 10 books on my to-read list. So that's like 43 books, so finding a few more will be fine. Here's my Goodreads link; https://www.goodreads.com/user/year_in_books/2016/7400715

Christmas for me has been really good this year. Last year, I spent it away from home for the first time and for me I can't believe the difference being home for Christmas does make. I think it has to do with a number of connecting things like; being with my parents, the traditions we have, my family coming together, the food we have and just that sense of like belonging and things being right. It really makes me not want to spend another Christmas away from home, but it's nice to have a bit of a shake up and try new things.

So, what are my plans for next year then? Well, still doing this blog in the same way as well as my short story one. Though I'd like to find more people to submit stories to my blog, would be helpful to me and also grow my followers. I'd like to read more books as I just said. I'd love to get a car too and spend more time with the new man in my life. I'd like to have more days/weekends out to places and hopefully to become more stable in my new receptionist job. Lose some more weight is also on there again and maybe look at moving out. I need 2017 to be better then 2016 as this year has been rough for me and I'd like to start a new chapter now.

What are your plans for 2017? Have you set goals yet? Feel free to let me know. As for now enjoy the rest of 2016 and I'll see you in the new year!

Thanks for reading, Hayley.




Photo from; https://pixabay.com/en/new-year-s-eve-new-year-s-day-1877407/

Monday, 19 December 2016

December Life update Part 1: Christmas Is Nearly Here!



Hi readers! 

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and all that to everyone! Christmas is now only six days away and I, like everyone else in the world, have been super busy. So, today's blog is very photo heavy, but I've so much to share. Actually, this Monday I'm pressed for time as I've to go to work later and I still have today's story to write and it's half past two all ready! Let's make a start then.

The Christmas decorations have gone up and the above is a photo of my tree. It's not great because it's stuck in a dark corner of the living room like it normally is, but there's no other space to put it. We had to move my dog's bed and she was totally not happy about that. The house looks okay, but it doesn't seem we've put up many decorations this year. Still though, it feels Christmas-y enough. 

Secondly, back in November though I've waited till now to write about it, I adopted a polar bear with the WWF. I've always said that as soon as I get a good income I'd give back to a charity and since I all ready give back to one that works with children (I work, volunteer and donate items to the youth center) I decided to pick an animal. I guess I went with the WWF because its one of the most well known ones and in return for adopting an animal you receive good things. Below is the welcome pack I got. It had stickers, bookmarks, a soft toy and books covering all kinds of things.  


My cute little polar bear doesn't have a name yet, but she's been living on my desk and keeping me company. I've been sticking with the polar bear theme now and been buying a few different things, including this huge and awesome mug from Asda! It's great for hot chocolate and the spice teas I've been drinking. It's too big to use at work though, but that's okay. I'll have to find another mug for that. 


Over the last few Decembers, I've taken to hand making presents for friends and family. It's great as it saves money, everyone gets something that is more special and it gives me something to do with my spare time. This year, I decided to makes some awesome Christmas soaps for everyone. Sadly, the photos I took have gone missing. I thought I saved them to my computer, but it doesn't look like I did and I deleted everything off my camera's memory card because it was almost full. They were very pretty and didn't take long to make. 

I used all ready made soap that you melted in a microwave and poured into moulds. I added some scent oil and food dye before I did that and then I also added glitter. I made snowflakes, snowmen, pine trees and Santa. I've all ready decided to make them again next year and try some different things with them. So, hopefully photos then! 

I also made lip scrubs which are so easy as they are just honey and brown sugar. I've been knitting scarfs too. I didn't want to spoil it for people I've given them too who might read my blog, so the below photo is of the scarf I made for myself. It's totally different from the ones I made for my friends and mum because I wanted mine chunky. It was really cheap to make as it was buy 2 get 3rd ball of wool free. It took 6 balls to make this and the balls were only £1 each, so it cost me £4 and a few hours to make this scarf.  


I also made these cute felt trees. The pattern came from a craft mag and I also made them with the kids at the youth center. They are not hard to make, but it took me awhile to get the pattern size right. I've got like two still to make, but I don't think I'll have time now. 


For about three or four years now, my mum has switched out the chocolate advent calendars we always had as kids to these present advent bags. You get a small present every day and I'm sure I've written about these before. I do think they are a good idea. I made mum one again this year. This photo is of the things I've gotten so far. I know there's two things missing; a little purple bear and another candle, but I think there's more. I got a lot of usable items this time; like socks, lip balms, snacks and the note book at the back. 


Another thing that is now happening as that my mum gives up wrapping some of my presents and just leaves them on my desk for me. On Sunday, I came down to these four coloring books, packet of Twizzlers and fragrance oil. I've given the spiced apple one ago and it's really nice, but I put too much in and I've had move my burner to the other side of the room! The house now smells like sweet apples, which isn't that bad. 


Before I move on to the main part of this post, I wanted to share this plant with everyone. It's a Christmas cacti and anyone who's been a reader of this blog for awhile knows I love cacti and have a collection of them. This has to be my second favorite because it really goes to town on flowering! Plus, it only flowers this time of year which is great when every other plant is looking bleak. I have two of these plants, as the offspring of this one ended up in my jasmine plant pot. It doesn't actually live on my bookcase like that, but in the kitchen on a vase beside the sink. The other one is on the opposite side. I had to take the photo here though because it was a lot better.  


This December life update wouldn't be complete without talking about my trip to the Manchester Christmas Markets. I go every year twice- ish; the first with friends and the second with family. This year though, I had a meet up with my old uni housemates and friends. It was great because I'd not since some people since we left uni 6 years ago! I don't know why we waited so long, because we are awesome together. I hope we can all meet again next year now. 

I always enjoy the market and it makes me feel like Christmas is nearly here. It's always a highlight, even if I don't buy anything. I took a lot of photos, but I picked only the best ones to put here; 


This fudge stall is one of my favorites. Look at all those different kinds of fudge!


This huge Santa always sits above the doorway to the town hall. 



This Christmas tree looked really cool. 


A row of stalls at the town hall square. 


Cool Father Christmas figures. 


These wicker like things are cute. 



If you buy enough of these wooden houses you could make a village scene!


Nativity wind mill.


I really like these beech trees. 



Really cool big Merry Go Round. I didn't get to go on it though. 


My new boyfriend and I with a giant polar bear statue.

That's done and now I've got three things left to share. So really quick. I know I've said this before, but the Jingle Bugs book is my favorite Christmas book. It's always meant the Christmas tree is going up and it's almost time to celebrate. 


My favorite Christmas movie is The Grinch. It's great fun, but serious and for me it just holds the true meaning of Christmas within it. I do watch it every year, mostly on Christmas Eve.  


Lastly and I know it's more Halloween then Christmas. My mum and I got this pumpkin jumper for my dog. She's been cold lately and we thought it'd help. I'm not a fan of dressing her up, but she's really taken to this jumper. We've brought a Christmas one for her, but that's being kept for Christmas day! 

I hope everyone has a great time and I'll see you all next Monday for my final post of the year! Thanks for reading! 



Monday, 12 December 2016

Book Review; Prince Lestat and The Realms Of Atlantis by Anne Rice




Hi readers, 

As promised here's my review of Anne Rice's latest book! Though I do have to confess that I've not finished it. It's a long, hefty book and since I so wanted to read it and not wait for it to come out in paperback, I've not been able to take it places with me as I'd normally do if I wanted to read a book quickly. 

So, this post is going to be a lot short then it should be! But I wasn't going to write too much about the plot anyway, as I don't want to spoil it for people. As normal I'll say to go and read my last two posts about Interview With The Vampire and The Vampire Lestat, but also the post I wrote about Prince Lestat, which is here; 
http://hailscrazyblog.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/book-review-prince-lestat-by-anne-rice.html  

I also just noticed that this post was my first book review of this year and now Lestat and Atlantis, as I like to shorten it too, is going to be my last! How weird is that? (This is because I've decided to do two life update posts on either side of Christmas). 

The first thing I noticed about this novel is that Rice has given us a very brief summary of the other Vampire Chronicle books and four pages of terminology at the front of the book. At the end of the novel are two appendixes; a list of vampires and places followed by all the Vampire Chronicle books and a blur about them. These are useful, but to me pointless for her long time readers and fans of Lestat. It's nice to be reminded of these things, but I felt it wasn't needed.

On a side note, I'd so not recommended reading this book if you've not read Prince Lestat. The characters are all mostly the same and there's a lot of them again! I'm not sure if you could get away with reading just this two books out of the whole of the Chronicles either. Rice has written a rich history of vampires over the years and all her past novels really have made it easier for her to write these new ones. The background of each vampire is also important to understand them better and their place within the plot of the novel. 

Sticking with characters; Lestat did not come across as his normal daring, bratty self. I think that having the core - the true source of vampire creation- who is called Amel, within him has altered his attitude. If anything happens to him a lot of vampires would die. I did feel caught up in his view of the story though, even after all these Rice is still able to give him a good voice. 

The other main vampires felt a little too in the background for me, beside from Louis. He comes back to help Lestat and even after everything they have been through together, the love is still there between them, which was nice to see. Claudia's name gets brought up and there's references to Interview and Lestat, which I thought was a nice tie in and good to remind reader's who've not read the books in awhile. I do like all the vampires coming together and it's nice to see them like that, but it just means there are too many characters to try to keep tabs on. 

There are some other background vampires, some of which have appeared in other books. My mind really struggled to remember though, but I'm sure die hard fans with great memories won't have a problem. 

The new characters which are the four immortals from Atlantis are interesting and I enjoyed hearing their stories. It was nice to have the history of something else for a change, because really there's not much left Rice can write about the history of vampires! I like also how the legend of Atlantis was weaved into the history of the vampires. These characters come across well and keep a good air of mystery. 

The narrative of this novel took me awhile to get into. It's written in both first person and third person, with different characters telling different points of view. Lestat is the main voice that comes, through there is a also the vampire scientist, Fareed and the vampire Roshamandes who is the antagonist. The Atlanteans; Garekyn and Derek also have chapters. This switching around narrative does work, but I think it effects the overall flow of the novel. Rice has been clever with it and I don't think many other writers would be able to pull it off as she has. I remember Prince Lestat being written in this way too. 

Actually speaking of chapters - these are too long for me. It seems to be a thing that Rice really likes to do in the style of her novels. I guess most people wouldn't find anything wrong with this and I don't mind it as I'm use to her books being like this, but I've found shorter chapters help me to read a faster and it means my brain can have more breaks. 

As I wrote in my review of Prince Lestat, Rice's writing has changed over the years. In compared to Interview and Lestat, the descriptions of people, clothes, places, rooms and objects has lost some richness. Yes, we still get lengthy descriptions of all these things, but they don't feel as deep as they did before to me. I guess a part of this is because Lestat and Atlantis is set in 2016 and as we are currently living it there's less of a need for Rice to describe things for us whilst with the first Chronicle novels there was a need because they were set in the 1800's and 1900's.  

I do like the plot of the story though and it's nice to bring something new and mysterious into the vampire world, which no vampire actually understands. It works well and I'm super interested to find out what's going to happen. So far, some of the vampires have seen images of a city, often described with glass towers being on fire and falling into the sea. This city seems to be the long lost Atlantis which even the vampires believe is a legend. However, Amel is somehow connected to all of this and four immortals are trying to find him. 

The immortals have been split up for years though, each not sure if the others are alive. The first of these, Derek is being held prisoner by Roshamandes, who is still mad at Lestat for things that happened in the last book. Roshamandes wants Derek to explain what he is to help Rosh decided what to do with him. Meanwhile, Garekyn, is on the run after tracking down the vampires at Trinity Gate and killing a vampire close to there. The vampires are hunting him down. The last two immortals are actually together; Kapetria and Welf, they have heard the news of Garekyn and are looking for him. 

My thoughts are that all the immortals and vampires will get together and everything will be cleared up. The story of Atlantis and what happened there will come through and things will be decided upon. 

Overall so far, I am enjoying reading this novel. I still think it has the problems that Prince Lestat had though, but it's great to see Anne Rice bring Lestat back to us. I can't help but wonder when she will decided to stop writing the Vampire Chronicles though, how much more can be said about these vampires? I'll be sad to see her stop, but everything must. I'd say if you were an Anne Rice fan and like the Vampire Chronicles then this is worth reading because it carries on the story in a different way and brings us new mysterious to solve.      

Thanks for reading and if you want to share your thoughts then please do. See you all next week! 


Monday, 5 December 2016

Book Review: The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice

Hi readers,

So I know it's been two weeks since I last posted. I've been ill have a bad cold which seemed more like a chest infection, but it wasn't and I'm way better now. Also, my jobs at the youth center has been keeping me busy and tiring me out!

I'm pleased to say that I'm finally writing this review! Also, I brought Prince Lestat and The Realms of Atlantis last week and finished The Beast by J .R. Ward on the same day. So there's two more books to review. I can't actually believe it's December now. This year has gone so fast and it's been tough for me, but it's ending on a high now.

Anyway, I'd so recommend reading my previous post which was about Interview With The Vampire. It's become one of my topped view posts now and I guess that's due to the new Lestat novel. As for this novel, let me just say this was my second time reading it and I do remember enjoying it. This time I round though I just couldn't get though it. Maybe, it's because I now have years of studying different books and I've read lots more vampire novels, but and I hate admitting this, I did get a bored of Lestat because it drags too much.

It's great that straight after IWTV we get to hear Lestat's story and of course he mocks Louis and says he story is incorrect. Lestat claims he had to be like he was due to his past and as we learn more and more about this infamous vampire we discover why he behaved the way he did in the first novel and how this was possibly misinterpreted by Louis. What we don't get is a re-telling of IWTV. Yes there are some scenes that get told from Lestat's point of view, but they are quickly gotten through.

Oh, I should add that there might be spoils about this novel and the history/stories of certain vampires in the series today. Normally, I try to be good about that, but I feel it'll be too difficult today as I'm getting all the thoughts out of my head. Plus, I don't want to be writing a lot because I so could go on forever about this novel, so I'm going to rein stuff in a bit.

The novel has two different time periods; the present and the past and is told in first person to us by Lestat. (In IWTV, Louis was taking to a journalist) It does follow on from where Louis left Lestat in IWTV though it is a like a few years later. Lestat has been a sleep and he is woken up by a band playing music. He then decides this is interesting enough to investigate further. Thus, Lestat becomes a rock star and what gets woven into this plot line is the story of how he become a vampire.

Lestat gives us a very detailed history of himself, starting off when he was a human and his family life in France. He is a noble man, but being the youngest son and having a lot of brothers means he gets very little money etc. He is well known for his hunting ability and one scene has him fight off a pack of wolves, which other characters bring up at different points in the novel. He wants to run off to Paris with his best friend Nick who is a violin player. This of course does happen. They both become involved in the theater which has been Least dream for a long time.

However, Lestat is then kidnapped by a vampire named Magnus, who then turned Lestat into a vampire. Magnus then kills himself and Lestat is then left to look after himself. Lestat tries hard to life a secret life and doesn't talk to any of his family or friends. He does though use a human to deal with things and send letters and gifts on to people. Lestat learns about his new powers and drinking blood. Then though, his mother becomes ill and he has to go and see her. Lestat makes her a vampire. And she turns out very different from himself, wanting to stay more in the shadows and away from humans. Whilst Lestat loved humans and wants to be close to them.

Of course, Nick also becomes a vampire, but it doesn't end well. That is another great aspect of Rice's vampires; they are all totally different and have their own unique problems to deal with, I also the endings for some vampires are violent. Remember what happened to Claudia? I do feel sorry for Nick because he just becomes so mentally insane that if Armand doesn't kill him then he'd have just exposed vampires and killed so many people too. Saying that Lestat exposes vampire kind through his songs and books!

One of the downsides of The Vampire Lestat and the reason it's so long is that it's not just Lestat's story. You also hear about Armand and Marius, who do have their own novels in which their stories are expend upon. Yes, they do fit in with Lestat and you do need to hear Marius story to then make better sense of Queen Of The Damned, which follows straight on from Lestat's story and carries on telling it in the present.

One of the things I do love and often forget about is that Lestat owns the Theatre Des Vampires and actually when you read the trail of Louis and Claudia from his point of view, that moment in IWTV makes more sense. Also of course we learn that Lestat didn't want Claudia's death but due to his state he couldn't do much to stop the theatre vampires.

I do also like the back story of the first two vampires, Akasha and Enkil which is then further looked at in the other novels. That's also the other reason why Marius's story ends up being told because we need the information he has to make better sense of vampire history. Lestat also needs this information to tie in with his story and interactions with other vampires.

I do love the detailed descriptions of places, people, clothes and furniture, it helps to make the image clearer in your mind. However, Rice does get a bit bogged down with this. I don't mind though and it's one of the reasons why I started reading her novels. And of course Lestat, he's just such an interesting character.

Even though this novel ended on a cliffhanger, I've decided not to read Queen Of The Damned. I've read it before, though I've not reviewed it here. I really wanted to read The Beast and now I'm currently reading Lestat and Atlantis. Which I shall be reviewing next week even though I won't have finished it. It's too long and detailed for me to read big chunks of. My brain needs more time to sort it out. But hopefully, I'll have read enough of it to review.

Overall, The Vampire Lestat is a good novel and it's great to hear Lestat's side of things. It's possible to read this without reading IWTV. Though, not reading that does seem pointless to me. I'd always say out of all of Anne Rice's books to read that one. It's just the start of everything really. I'm also hoping to read her werewolf series at some point and I do own the witch ones, but I've not read them. I've got far to many other books I want to read.

Thanks for reading this and I'll be back next Monday with my thoughts on Rice's latest novel.