Anne Rice is the author of thirty-seven books, including the Vampire Chronicles, the Lives of the Mayfair Witches, and the Wolf Gift book series. Rice was born in New Orleans in 1941 and grew up there and in Texas. She lived in San Francisco with her husband, the poet and painter, Stan Rice until 1988, when they returned to New Orleans to live with their son, Christopher. In 2006, Rice moved to Rancho Mirage, California. She died in 2021.
In this fifth book in the series, Rice brings the Vampire Lestat face to face with both God and the Devil. What can she possibly do for an encore? Rice is usually published in the fall to coincide with Halloween, but the publisher has just bumped this title to July in order to tap the huge summer reading crowd.
Rice has made a career out of humanizing creatures of supernatural horror, and in this fifth book of her Vampire Chronicles she requests sympathy for the Devil. Having survived his near-fatal reacquaintance with human mortality in The Tale of the Body Thief (1992), the world-weary vampire Lestat is recruited by the biblical Devil, Memnoch, to help fight a cruel and negligent God. The bulk of the novel is a retelling of the Creation story from the point of view of the fallen angel, who blames his damnation on his refusal to accept human suffering as part of God's divine plan. Rice grapples valiantly with weighty questions regarding the justification of God's ways to man, but their vast scope overwhelms the novel's human dimensions. God and the Devil periodically put on the flesh of mortals, and too often end up sounding like arguing philosophy majors. Meanwhile, the ever-fascinating Lestat, whose poignant personal crisis of faith is mirrored in Memnoch's travails, becomes a passive observer, dragged along on trips to Heaven and Hell before being returned to Earth to relate what he has witnessed. Though Rice boldly probes the significance of death, belief in the afterlife and other spiritual matters, one wishes that she had found a way to address them through the experiences of human and near-human characters, as she has done so brilliantly in the past. One million first printing; BOMC and QPB main selections. (July)
"[MEMNOCH] is one of Rice's most intriguing and sympathetic characters to date. . . . Rice ups the ante, taking Lestat where few writers have ventured: into heaven and hell itself. She carries it off in top form".
-- The Seattle Times