This post is dedicated to the books I’ve recently checked out from the library. I’ve become a somewhat regular library patron again, so I thought I would revive this series of blog posts again, too.
Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
This is the story of Louis, as told in his own words, of his journey through mortal and immortal life. Louis recounts how he became a vampire at the hands of the radiant and sinister Lestat and how he became indoctrinated, unwillingly, into the vampire way of life. His story ebbs and flows through the streets of New Orleans, defining crucial moments such as his discovery of the exquisite lost young child Claudia, wanting not to hurt but to comfort her with the last breaths of humanity he has inside. Yet, he makes Claudia a vampire, trapping her womanly passion, will, and intelligence inside the body of a small child. Louis and Claudia form a seemingly unbreakable alliance and even “settle down” for a while in the opulent French Quarter. Louis remembers Claudia’s struggle to understand herself and the hatred they both have for Lestat that sends them halfway across the world to seek others of their kind. Louis and Claudia are desperate to find somewhere they belong, to find others who understand, and someone who knows what and why they are.
Louis and Claudia travel Europe, eventually coming to Paris and the ragingly successful Theatre des Vampires–a theatre of vampires pretending to be mortals pretending to be vampires. Here they meet the magnetic and ethereal Armand, who brings them into a whole society of vampires. But Louis and Claudia find that finding others like themselves provides no easy answers and in fact presents dangers they scarcely imagined.
Originally begun as a short story, the book took off as Anne wrote it, spinning the tragic and triumphant life experiences of a soul. As well as the struggles of its characters, Interview captures the political and social changes of two continents. The novel also introduces Lestat, Anne’s most enduring character, a heady mixture of attraction and revulsion. The book, full of lush description, centers on the themes of immortality, change, loss, sexuality, and power.
I’m considering my reading of this novel to be a slight obligation, as a fan of vampiric stories and Gothic fiction. Plus, it’s the start of a series and I can hardly resist that.
Things They Lost by Okwiri Oduor
Ayosa is a wandering spirit-joyous, exuberant, filled to the brim with longing. Alone in her grandmother’s crumbling house at the edge of a small village, her only companions are the ghosts in the attic and the mocking, spiteful jolly annas in the garden. Unexpectedly, miraculously, one day Ayosa finds a friend. Yet Ayosa is always fixed on her beautiful mama, Nabumbo Promise, a mysterious and aloof photographer who comes and goes as she pleases, with no apology or warning.
As Mbiu, Ayosa’s new companion, introduces her to the life of the village, Ayosa calls up her mama’s story and the stories of the women who came before her—three generations of isolated women and their daughters, the subject of frequent gossip by the townspeople, with a complicated legacy that now belongs to twelve-year-old Ayosa. Torn between Mbiu and her mama, she is forced to reckon with what it means to grow up and what it means to be loved, and how she might start to make her own way in life. Set at the intersection of the spirit world and the human one, Things They Lost is a stunning and unforgettable novel that unfurls the dizzying dualities of love at its most intoxicating and all-encompassing.
This novel was featured on the shelves housing new releases (April 2022), and the synopsis captured me entirely. I’ve read the first couple of chapters, and have been equally captured by the author’s writing.
Mistborn: Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson
When family obligations forced Waxillium Ladrian to forsake the frontier lands and return to the metropolis of his birth to take his place as head of a noble house, he little imagined that the crimefighting skills he acquired during twenty years in the dusty plains would be just as applicable in the big city. He soon learned that there, too, just being a talented Twinborn—one who can use both Allomancy and Feruchemy, the dominant magical modes on Scadrial—would not suffice.
This bustling, optimistic, but still-shaky society now faces its first test by terrorism and assassination, crimes intended to stir up labor strife and religious conflict. Wax, his eccentric sidekick, Wayne, and brilliant Marasi, now officially part of the constabulary, must unravel the conspiracy before civil strife can stop Scadrial’s progress in its tracks.
Confession: I finished this book about an hour ago. I’m seriously considering going to the library today to pick up the next installment in this series, although I’ll try to reel that feeling in for the sake of reading the other two library books listed above…
Tell me about the book or books you have checked out from the library, or if you’re waiting on any holds to go through. And as always, feel free to leave your thoughts about the books I’ve mentioned here.