Farewell, Anne Rice: Interview with the Vampire, the Monster Within and Surviving Emotional Apocalypses

Plus, a Revisit to My Previous PostA Brief, Non-Exhaustive Tour Through My Favorite Romantic Vampire Media

Rest in peace, Anne Rice, 1941-2021.

As I note below in my vampire romance essay, my love of vampires didn’t start with Anne Rice. But my lifelong love affair with romantic vampires was brought into full bloom by her first book, Interview with the Vampire. I read Interview with the Vampire as soon as it came out in paperback when I was a teenager. I haven’t read all of her books, but I’ve read most of them, including some from each of the genres she wrote in. The vampires will always be my favorites, but I also love her witches, mummies, Servant of the Bones and Exit to Eden.

Perhaps due to the amount of suffering and loss she went through in her own life, Ms Rice has a way of expressing the emotional imperatives of her stories that are rivaled only by apocalypse and war stories. Her monsters, whether human or supernatural, are sympathetic because she knows that, no matter what our lives look like to others in the moment, many of us live our internal lives in an emotional apocalypse which requires the strengths and weaknesses of a monster to survive.

We are put through the emotional wringer in Rice’s introduction to her vampires – there is no mistaking what is most important to them, and it’s not blood. These vampires have deeply passionate feelings about everything, especially each other. The beauty and intensity of a vampire romance (or any monster romance) lies in admitting that we are the monster and can also love the monster in another, that opposite extremes exist in us at the same time and we can love, or at least accept, both ends of that spectrum.

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The Handmaid’s Tale: Every Recap in Order

Links to every Metawitches post related to Margaret Atwood and Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, in order, so y’all can skip the tag. I’ll add future seasons (and the rest of S3) as they arrive.

Season 1

Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale: Watch the New Trailer– Series description and trailer analysis.

HULU’s The Handmaid’s Tale Season 1 Analysis and Commentary– Review and in depth analysis.

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A Discovery of Witches Seasons 1-3: Every Recap in Order

Links to every Metawitches post about A Discovery of Witches, in order. I’ll add S3 as it airs.

Season 1

Book vs Screen Review: A Discovery of Witches Season 1 vs Book 1 – Review of the first installments of the saga, comparing and contrasting book and series.

A Discovery of Witches Season 1 Episode 1 Recap: In Which Diana Summons a Book and Meets a Vampire – Diana Bishop, a hereditary witch who shuns the use of magic, discovers an unusual book in a British library. Before long, she attracts the attention of witches, vampires and daemons, including Matthew de Clermont, an ancient French vampire.

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Book Review: A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World- A Novel by CA Fletcher

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This review is dedicated to my dog Max, who passed in November, 2019 at the age of 17, and to his lifelong companion, our 20 year old cat, Brody, who followed him a month later. I love you til the end of the world, guys.

Griz, the first person narrator and titular boy of A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World, lives in an empty world. Unlike our crowded world full of 8 billion people, Griz’s world went through a population collapse a few generations ago, reducing the global population to less than 10,000 people. The Baby Bust, as it was ironically known, happened over the course of one generation. No one is quite sure why, but almost everyone became infertile, worldwide, all at once and without warning.

Those who remained fertile were locked up for a time, theoretically for their own protection, in a sort of reverse witch hunt, then eventually allowed to leave. Most went into hiding in remote areas until the infertile population grew old and died off.

Now, everywhere is a remote area. Griz has only seen a few people outside of his family in his entire life, mostly the members of the family who live on a neighboring island off the coast of what used to be Scotland.

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Book Review: When I Was You by Minka Kent

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When I Was You, by Minka Kent, begins with the story of Brienne Dougray, a woman who is recovering from a brutal attack which has left her with severe migraines, memory loss and neurological issues. She is so disabled and traumatized that she almost never leaves the Queen Anne Victorian home she inherited from her wealthy grandparents. To compound her difficulties, she’s inexplicably lost all of her friends since her attack, leaving her with only her boarder, handsome and compassionate Dr Noah Emberlin, to depend on when she needs care.

Niall is a somewhat mysterious figure himself, an oncologist at the local hospital who also seems to have few friends and sends Brienne decidedly mixed signals about what he wants from her. Is he a friend who pities her and gets carried away sometimes, so his attentions are easily mistaken for romantic? Or does he have feelings for Brienne, but thinks he should hold back because of her health status?

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Book vs Screen Review: A Discovery of Witches Season 1 vs Book 1

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It begins with absence and desire.

It begins with blood and fear.

It begins with a discovery of witches.

Both the book and the TV series A Discovery of Witches begin with this short poem, the key to the mystery that the All Souls Trilogy, by Deborah Harkness, spends solving. A Discovery of Witches is the first book in the urban fantasy series, which has now expanded beyond the original trilogy to include a fourth book. According to Deborah Harkness, several more installments, focusing on other characters and mysteries, are on the way.

A Discovery of Witches tells the story of Diana Bishop, a witch from a family of powerful witches in a world where there are three types of humanoid magical creatures: witches, vampires and demons. The creatures live secretly among humans, blending into normal human society. Under normal circumstances, members of each species spend time only with others of their own species. Intermarriage is strictly forbidden and even interspecies friendships are severely frowned upon.

Diana Bishop has always had difficulty wielding her magic. She turned away from the magical world almost completely after her parents died tragically when she was a child. She was raised in upstate NY by her mother’s sister, Sarah, and Sarah’s partner, Em. As an adult, she’s become a historian who is on the faculty and studies alchemy in the US at Yale and in the UK at Oxford. She sees herself as a non-magical person, but it overflows out of her at times when something unexpected happens, even though she is untrained in its use.

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Book Review: The Names of the Dead by Kevin Wignall

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The Names of the Dead, by Kevin Wignall, is a road trip spy thriller in which everyone is hunting everyone else, everyone is a soldier or a spy, and the goals are revenge and silence. The point of view character, James Wesley, an ex-CIA agent known as Wes, begins the book in a French prison, where his government abandoned him after he took the fall for a deadly mission gone wrong several years earlier.

Wes has 2 years left on his sentence when he gets word that his ex-wife, Rachel, who was also a CIA agent, has died in a suicide bombing at a small cafe in Spain. This saddens him, but the shocking part of the message is that their son, Ethan, is missing. Rachel didn’t tell Wes that she was pregnant when he went to prison and has never contacted him since. Now he learns that he’ll be released early because of his bereavement, since he is his son’s next of kin.

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Book vs Screen Review: True Blood Season 1 vs Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

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But First, A Brief, Non-Exhaustive Tour Through My Favorite Romantic Vampire Media

Though I have been writing reviews on this blog for more than three years, I have been keeping a dark secret from you, dear readers. I haven’t really been keeping the secret on purpose, but a lie of omission is still a lie, so please, try to forgive me. I don’t think this reveal will come as much of a shock to my regular readers.

The truth is, I have a deep, lifelong love of vampire romance. I’m open minded, and can consider other supernatural romances as well, but werewolves are so packminded that I question their devotion to their beloved. Ghosts seem so thin and superficial. Zombies are interested in brains, but I want more than just a relationship of the mind. Angels and demons both have to leave their beloveds in the lurch when they get called into service by the higher- and lower- powers they serve. A shapeshifter is an inconstant lover in so many ways, how could we ever develop trust?

There are exceptions: Oz from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The medieval ghosts of Lynn Kurland’s paranormal romance novels. The sentient zombies of In the Flesh. The married angel-demon couple from Midnight, Texas, another Charlaine Harris story. And no one is more trustworthy than True Blood’s own shapeshifter, Sam Merlotte.

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The Testaments by Margaret Atwood: Spoilery Discussion

Power of the Pen

My non spoilery review of The Testaments is HERE. This post will comment on the book in detail and assumes readers have already finished reading it.

This is going to be a series of observations and analysis, in no particular order, rather than a straight review. I’d love to hear what everyone else thinks and if you agree or disagree with me. There are minor spoilers for the TV series The Handmaid’s Tale.

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Book Review- An Easy Death (Gunnie Rose Book 1) by Charlaine Harris

 

book cover of An Easy Death

The first thing Gunnie Rose does when she gets her own book series is get a makeover haircut, to show how her life is about to go through some drastic changes. Gunnie Rose, who is also known as Lizbeth, actually has multiple reasons for her new look. She’s a 19 year old woman who lives in what would be the southwestern US, if she lived in our world, and her work as an almost magical sharpshooter keeps her outdoors most of the time, so her long hair gets hot and sticky. Plus her hair grows in long ringlets, which her boyfriend paid more attention to than he did to the rest of her, so she figured it was time to remind him to pay more attention to the person underneath the hair. But probably most importantly of all, since she’s called Gunnie for a good reason, the ringlets are dragging down her job performance and her reputation. She’s NOT adorable, okay?

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