My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Tale of the Body Thief is the fourth in Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. Most people would rate this book as the worst in the series (so far) and I would tend to agree.
Our main character, Lestat de Lioncourt, is now based in Florida. Since the last book, The Queen of the Damned, all the vampires, both old, and very old, have now gone their separate ways. Lestat is now alone again, and tiring of the life he is leading. As a result, he resolved to commit suicide by flying into the sun above the Gobi Desert.
Whilst other vampires would burn to nothing if they did the same thing, Lestat is not other vampires; he has drunk the blood from the first Vampire – Akasha – and is now more or less the most powerful of all the vampires alive. As a result, his attempt to kill himself, is a failure. Instead of dying, he gets a nice golden tan. Which, ironically, helps him to fit in with mortals.
Throughout the beginning of the book he is followed and accosted by a man who claims that he has the power to make Lestat human again. He explains that he is a body thief. In fact, the very body he is inhabiting has been stolen, and he is offering this body to Lestat as a trade.
Lestat’s incredible vampire enhanced powers, for a human body. Suffice to say, he can’t refuse. The deal is made, two full days where he and the body thief swap bodies. But, what will he do when the body thief lives up to his name and steals Lestat’s body?
That’s what the novel is about.
Whilst the book is well written, it meanders a lot. You find yourself wanting to skip through large chunks of the novel, not because you’re desperate to know what happens, but because it’s just, plain, boring.
If you’ve read the other vampire chronicles, you owe it to yourself to read this book, but don’t expect the same grandeur or plot that you’ve read in the previous three books in the series.