Book Review: The Tale of the Body Thief (The Vampire Chronicles Book 4) by Anne Rice

 
 
When Lestat, a centuries old vampire, gets an offer to temporarily exchange bodies with a human, he can't pass it up, regardless of his friends' warnings. But when the experience isn't quite what he thought it would be, he may need the help of those very same friends whose advice he refused to listen to.
 

 
Book Review: The Tale of the Body Thief (The Vampire Chronicles Book 4) by Anne Rice | reading, books, book reviews, paranormal/urban fantasy
Title: The Tale of the Body Thief
Author:
Publisher:
Book Number: Book 4
Pages: 443
My Book Rating:
More Info: Goodreads, Amazon, Publisher
 

Review:

I won’t even do lists this time because I had the same likes and dislikes. The plot was slow (really slow for a while in the beginning), the writing was a bit odd with the flashbacks and characters telling long stories to one another, but I’m invested in the characters, and that’s why I can’t stop reading this series.

This one was much more focused on Lestat though, whereas the other books had a lot about the other vampires as well. And, to be honest, I think I’m more invested in the others than I am in him. Lestat was his usual reckless, selfish, vain, dramatic self, and I’m finding it harder to feel sympathy for him. The sheer recklessness of his actions was astounding, honestly. He doesn’t think anything through, not even after hundreds of years of being alive and making mistakes. One thing in particular that threw me off a bit though was that he seemed to be getting back to his old self when the last book ended, laughing and having fun with Louis even. Then all the sudden in this book, he was despairing and wanted to die. I don’t even know how much time had passed, and so it seemed sudden. Then again, I don’t think he actually wanted to die. Afterward, even he didn’t think he had actually wanted to die. He had to have known the sun wouldn’t kill him. It was just another one of his dramatic flights of fancy. None of this is an insult to the writing though, it’s just Lestat’s character.

But anyway, things did pick up a bit once the story got to the body-switching part at least. It was especially interesting getting to see what being human again was like through the POV of such an inhuman vampire (although I do wonder how differently someone like Louis or Marius might have experienced it). Lestat just had one mess after another, he managed to get injured like five times within an hour. I almost felt bad for him, but I say almost because, again, it was his own fault he was in that situation. I liked the story most once David came back into it. I liked seeing the two of them work together, and the plot had much more tension during that time.

One last thing to note before I get to my spoiler-filled thoughts, trigger warning for *MILD SPOILER* on-page rape. *END SPOILER* This is something I plan to talk more in-depth about in a discussion on my blog soon.

My Thoughts on Everything Else (there might be *SPOILERS* in this section):

Honestly the little lover’s quarrel between Lestat and Louis around 26% was the best part of the book. Despite all the things I’ve said about their relationship being messed up, I kind of ship them now. Why can’t I just have a book about them actually being together? Because Interview was not that book. It glossed over all the feelings and the connection between them, and that relationship was unhealthy anyway. I mean, their relationship would still be unhealthy, but it would be a little more equal, at least, now that they understand each other better and now that Louis is not being purposely kept in ignorance by Lestat. And I don’t even care how unhealthy it would be, I just want to see them together, quarrels and all!

“Lestat, you can’t become human by simply taking over a human body! You weren’t human when you were alive! You were born a monster, and you know it. How the hell can you delude yourself like this.”

“I’m going to weep if you don’t stop.”

“Weep. I’d like to see you weep. I’ve read a great deal about your weeping in the pages of your books but I’ve never seen you weep with my own eyes.”

“Ah, that makes you out to be a perfect liar,” I said furiously. “You described my weeping in your miserable memoir in a scene which we both know did not take place!”

I think I could read a whole book just of the two of them bickering.

And speaking of things I could read a whole book about…

I should have switched bodies with the dog, I thought. And then the thought of Mojo inside my vampiric body started me to laughing.

I didn’t know I wanted that until it was suggested. But come on, imagine even just a short story about a dog running around in Lestat’s body. That would be hilarious.

On a more serious note, I liked that Lestat got a taste of his own medicine in this book. Throughout their time together in Interview, Lestat always thought he knew what was best for Louis, but in this book, when Louis decided he knew what was best for Lestat (refusing to turn him when he was stuck in the human body), when Louis had the upper hand, Lestat didn’t like that at all. Do I agree with Louis’s decision? I don’t know, but I think it was fitting for Lestat, even if he failed to see the comparison. Even if he burned down Louis’s house in anger and reverted back to his crappy treatment of Louis, threatening to kill him, holding it over him that he was his maker.

And it’s funny how he talks of being betrayed by a dear friend when he himself betrayed a dear friend very soon after by turning David into a vampire against his will. Then he had the audacity to feel miserable about it. This is why I can’t take his misery seriously or sympathize with him sometimes—he brings it upon himself, he hurts other people, then he wants to play the victim and get upset and makes it all about him instead of the people he hurt.

Overall Thoughts:

I enjoyed the book in the end, although I could’ve done without all the slowness at the beginning. And like I said, I’m too invested to let some odd writing choices stop me from continuing!

 
 
Book Blurb

In a gripping feat of storytelling, Anne Rice continues the extraordinary Vampire Chronicles that began with the now-classic Interview with the Vampire. For centuries, Lestat—vampire-hero, enchanter, seducer of mortals—has been a courted prince in the dark and flourishing universe of the living dead. Now he is alone. And in his overwhelming need to destroy his doubts and his loneliness, Lestat embarks on the most dangerous enterprise he has undertaken in all the years of his haunted existence.

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More Info (Possible Spoilers)

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Warnings

Sex:
Violence:
Strong Language:

 
 
 

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  1. Greg

    I’ve never read any Lestat books *sigh* or any Rice in general. Weird huh? It doesn’t sound like my thing but even so, I am curious because it’s such an iconic take on vamps? So I have that curiosity lol… and the idea of a vamp going BACK to being human- one as flawed as Lestat apparently is- is kinda compelling. Although yeah if you’ve been alive hundreds of years, you should be pretty calculating and not quite so impulsive, right?

    I sometimes feel bad for characters when their mistakes are their own fault, but sometimes not, depends how irritating they are I guess! :)

    Greg recently posted: The Black Island

    1. Kristen Burns

      It is iconic, but I get it if it’s just not your thing. With Lestat, it’s just that he never learns. You’d think he’d have learned by now to think things through a little better.

      I guess that’s true, it depends. But for it usually reaches a point where, after they make SO MANY awful decisions and constantly ignore good advice from everyone that finally I feel like they deserve it lol.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Ah, well, there’s actually like 15 books in the series so far lol. I read the first 13 or so (however many were out at the time) when I was in high school. I’m attempting to reread them now, either until I get caught up or until I get bored :-P Thanks!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, he is rather petulant at times. I’m also a Louis girl! But I still can’t help but keep reading the series, despite Lestat’s annoying attributes.

  2. Cee @ Dora Reads

    Is this the book where David ends up wrapping naked Lestat in a blanket or rug or whatever in his office/some other room? (I clearly remember this well – not.) Cos I openly admit to finding that scene super-hot! Lol. XD

    Ha, we’ve been through this – Lestat’s a drama Queen, Kristen! He’s like Loki without Thor around to stop him! (Cos let’s face it – Louis is no Thor!) I mean, it’s possible I’ve just been distracted by the hotness/sass (wouldn’t be the first time!) but then, I don’t really mind that either! (Lol!) I think Lestat tends to think/say what we *wish* we could say – like, if we didn’t care about the other person/their reaction. Which is quite freeing to read, no?

    (I realise I’m in a strange mood today. It’s Friday. I think my brain’s exploded! Lol.)

    Cee @ Dora Reads recently posted: Friday Fics Fix - Something Trashy

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, after getting a tan he goes to David’s and basically collapses on the floor to heal, and I think David brought him a blanket. This is also the one where, in his human form, Lestat keeps thinking dirty thoughts about wanting to have sex with David, and David, who can read minds, keeps blushing and telling him to focus on more important matters lol.

      I know we’ve been through this, but *I still don’t like him.* He does terrible things that hurt others and gets away with all of them with little to no consequence, and he never learns from them! I do in fact respect your love of Lestat, but I am honestly a lot more like Louis. I’d be the one telling Lestat to stop breaking all the rules and being so foolish.

      I’ve read your other comments, I think your brain might be a bit fried ? But I think you should always comment in this mood because it’s entertaining lol.

      1. Cee @ Dora Reads

        Ha, it might be entertaining, for me to comment in that mood, but it’s not all that safe! ;) (Let’s face it – I’m random enough at the best of times!)

        Yeah… I find Louis whiny, I have to admit – but other than that I’m probs more like him. Well, in that I’m practical and think about other people – but I do love being fabulous! (And I’m a Rebel, ofc!) XD

        Cee @ Dora Reads recently posted: Friday Fics Fix - Something Trashy

        1. Kristen Burns

          Lol. See, I actually find Lestat more whiny. But no, I don’t anyone would really describe Louis as fabulous, so you would indeed have to go with Lestat for that :-P

  3. AngelErin

    Sorry this one was slow, but at least it did eventually pick up some for you. I’ve only read the first book in the series, but I own the first three. I keep meaning to read them, but I’m just not sure I’m interested ENOUGH. If that makes sense? :P Great review though Kristen! :)

    AngelErin recently posted: Whisper By: Lynette Noni ARC Review

    1. Kristen Burns

      It does make sense. The other books are pretty different from the first though since they’ve got different POVs. So who knows, maybe you’d like them more? Thanks!

    1. Kristen Burns

      That is a little surprising, actually, since maybe you’d like her books? Well, the only books of hers I’ve read are the vampire ones. I don’t have a particularly high opinion of Lestat lol, but he’s a very beloved character for many people.

  4. Olivia Roach

    I remember your reviews for the previous ones in this series. I know what you mean, though. I think for me with the Mortal Instruments series it ended up that I was more invested in the secondary characters rather than the main characters themselves.

    I do feel bad for characters who bring their own fate upon themselves sometimes. Because choices are like that – we never know the consequences of our choices until they happen. So sometimes the characters are just unaware of the mess they are going to get into, regardless of prior warnings given.

    Olivia Roach recently posted: February Wrap Up! [2018]

    1. Kristen Burns

      I feel like I more often like side characters in books, which is kinda strange.

      I guess it depends on how understandable their decisions are (like if I can understand they did that) and how easy it was to predict how it’d turn out and also how they react afterward. But Lestat just never seems to learn or care about how his impulsive, selfish actions affect others.

  5. Lola

    It’s interesting how there are things you dislike this series, but you are also invested enough to keep going. That’s too bad this one focused more on Lestat while you are more invested in other characters. That can be an issue in multiple point of view books sometimes when you like some characters more than others.

    That does seem a bit weird he is so reckless even after all those years of living, but maybe that’s just his personality. A story about a dog being in a human or in this case vampire body does sound like it would make for a fun and unique story.

    Lestat doesn’t sound like a very likeable character with how the treats others, but it does sound interesting he got a taste of his own medicine in this book.

    Lola recently posted: Sunday Post #274

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, the good things are good enough that they outweigh the bad and make me want to continue. Unfortunately I think Lestat is the protag in most of the series, but I still want to keep up with what’s going with all the others lol. And I know there are some that are about other vampires.

      It’s definitely his personality, but still. You’d think he’d learn some. I really want to read about a dog in his crazy powerful vampire body lol.