Monday, November 20, 2017

Dual review: Ramses the Damned #1, #2 by Anne Rice and Christopher Rice

Series: Ramses the Damned #1
by Anne Rice
436 p.
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Published: 5/6/89 (first publishing)
Source: Own

Ramses the Great has reawakened in opulent Edwardian London. Having drunk the elixir of life, he is now Ramses the Damned, doomed forever to wander the earth, desperate to quell hungers that can never be satisfied. He becomes the close companion of a voluptuous heiress, Julie Stratford, but his cursed past again propels him toward disaster. He is tormented by searing memories of his last reawakening, at the behest of Cleopatra, his beloved queen of Egypt. And his intense longing for her, undiminished over the centuries, will force him to commit an act that will place everyone around him in the gravest danger.

My thoughts:

I decided to reread the book I read a million years ago (or so it seems) since I knew I wouldn't remember much. I actually read this series before I read any of the vampire series. Although I did have problems with Ramses in the beginning, he did win me over in the end. I felt that although Ramses grew throughout the years,  his "affliction" of immortality sometimes made him prone to selfishness and gluttony. While these were problems and he was infuriatingly dense when it came to true love, he did finally learn after one HUGE blunder after another. Now you might think that this would make me not like the book, but the journey in his fascination in the new age as well as the secondary characters within really pulled me along in the book for a second time. It also made you hunger for the next book with a open ending. So happy that finally happened.

I give this one 4 stars. It was a fun reread and helped me remember how I saw it the first time and how things changed for me this time around. While I would have given it 5 stars before, I would say that the main reasons I removed a star is that I would have liked more emphasis on him as a counsellor he was to Pharaohs in the past rather than the bumbling researcher he was in the first book. Still, I really liked who he became in the end.
πŸŒ…


Series: Ramses the Damned #2
by Anne Rice and Christopher Rice
416 p.
Publisher: Anchor
Published: 11/21/17
Source: From publisher and NetGalley for review

Ramses the Great, former pharaoh of Egypt, is reawakened by the elixir of life in Edwardian England. Now immortal with his bride-to-be, he is swept up in a fierce and deadly battle of wills and psyches against the once-great Queen Cleopatra. Ramses has reawakened Cleopatra with the same perilous elixir whose unworldly force brings the dead back to life. But as these ancient rulers defy one another in their quest to understand the powers of the strange elixir, they are haunted by a mysterious presence even older and more powerful than they, a figure drawn forth from the mists of history who possesses spectacular magical potions and tonics eight millennia old. This is a figure who ruled over an ancient kingdom stretching from the once-fertile earth of the Sahara to the far corners of the world, a queen with a supreme knowledge of the deepest origins of the elixir of life. She may be the only one who can make known to Ramses and Cleopatra the key to their immortality—and the secrets of the miraculous, unknowable, endless expanse of the universe.

My thoughts:

Finally! Finally got to find out what happened after the ending of the last book. I was afraid there would be great leaps in the time and we would have to catch up again to what is happening like it often happens when large amounts of time go between books in a series. Plus this one was supposed to continue, then not and now it has! You can be relieved to know that this book starts right after the first book ended and so flows easily after my reread.

The biggest difference I felt was the "feel" of the book. While it still felt like the same author wrote it, it also felt more mature and a much fuller experience. It could be because the author has changed in how she writes or because her son has now come aboard and co-wrote it with her. Whatever the cause, it did flow a bit better for me than the first.

The adventure was still very interesting and I really liked that the history of the elixir was finally told as well as more about the other day-walker immortals that also roamed the earth. We got glimpses of tales of day-walker immortals in the vampire books but no information. While there are still some lingering questions, it does feel like a much better explanation and a much fuller history in the book.

I also enjoyed that questions were unanswered for the immortals themselves with Cleopatra and how she was resurrected and what or who she is now. The uncertainty of her future opens up the series to more books but even if the series ended with this one, it would be enough answers we could let it end in a more satisfying way than the first book.

I give this book 4 stars and I think this is a better book than the first. I would still suggest reading them in order as a large number of characters are established in the first book.

🌞

47 comments:

  1. I kind of forgot which books by her I've read (other than the obvious Interview with the Vampire series - which I loved) but I *think* I read at least one of these.

    The author (as a person) has turned me off with her treatment of bloggers so I haven't read anything for several years now.



    For What It's Worth

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    1. Yea, that was a bad row, but I don't usually pay attention to all of that stuff and I've been waiting for this book for a long time. :)

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  2. You know she is one author I've never tried for whatever reason. I really should fix that. Glad you liked the second even more than the first!

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    1. Some stuff I love some stuff not as much but usually find something interesting. :)

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    1. Funny how I knew about the first before the vampire books. I don't know how that came about. :)

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  4. It's been forever since I've read one of hers!

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  5. I really enjoyed some of her books but I mainly did try her vampire series, not this one so I confess I'm intrigued to try

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    1. Most people read that first, I'm just strange. :)

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  6. OMG I haven't visited your blog since you changed the look a bit! Love the new header <3 I actually haven't read any Anne Rice book but so want to read Interview with a Vampire! And these sound so intriguing!! Great reviews!

    Uma@Books.Bags.Burgers.

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    1. Aw thanks! Oh I'd be curious to know what you think. I haven't finished all the vampire books in that series.

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  7. I've only read one book by her: The Witching Hour. It was good but dreadfully long. With this, did the second book really come out that many years after the first? Wow!
    Rebecca @ The Portsmouth Review

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    1. Yea, that book is a love it or it's okay book. I did like it but I also thought it was very long. These are much better in length and don't info dump.

      Yep... way too long of a wait. :)

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  8. I need to reread the series. I have this one and started it but I felt lost.

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    1. Yea, you really do need that first book to put things in context.

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  9. I have not read this, in fact the only book I've read by her was a wolf book. I know, I know!

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    1. Oh this and the vampire chronicles are better. Oh and Feast of All Saints. That one is so good. Not paranormal though. :)

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  10. I never read Anne Rice before, thought I own a few of the books >.< oops. I do have to say, this seems to be quiet the wait between the two books? Unless the first one is meant to be a standalone, but it sounds like it left you wanting to know what happened next in the end?
    Great reviews, glad you enjoyed them both

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    1. I know how that goes. The first was never meant to be a standalone and even had a note in the older books about another book forthcoming (I checked) and it really ended badly when you had no other conclusion to draw.... :P

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  11. I never read Anne Rice and only knew her of her vampire books, but these do sound so much fun as well so maybe I should give these a try first :)

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    1. These, the vampire chronicles and The Feast of All Saints (not a paranormal).

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  12. Interesting... I'd seen the new book out and was contemplating, but I didn't realize it was the second book in a series. I've actually never read Anne Rice.

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    1. noooooooooo.... you must not read these!! Read Lestat first

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    2. Yea, you really need to read that first book... first. Puts things in context and this one builds directly from the first one. It does begin where the other one ends.

      I say read Interview with a Vampire before Lestat though... (Lestat is book 2, I think... it has been too long. I do know that Interview with a Vampire is the first book in that series).

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  13. I haven't read any Ann Rice yet. Glad you enjoyed both of these! Great reviews!!

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    1. If you like paranormal and PNR then I think you'll enjoy this one and the vampire series.

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  14. I think I have some books of hers in my list, gotta check out and read soon since you enjoyed both of her books Melissa. Awesome reviews!

    xx
    Vanessa @ Blushing Geek

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  15. didn't enjoy Ramses as much as I did with other Anne Rice books. Gotta say glad you like it

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    1. It was my first try with the author and I did like it. The ending killed me until now though.

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  16. As you say it can be problematic when vast periods of time have passed between books.

    An author I feel I should read but somehow have never got around to. Would you recommend this series as a good place to start?

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    1. Yep... and this one was a LONG period between books. :)

      I think you may enjoy Feast of All Saints a bit more than the others. You may like the vampire series but know that there is a lot of adult themes in all her books.

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  17. Never heard of these books before, what!! :) But, I like the sound of these. I know how you feel, sometimes when time goes bye and I read the next book in a series I forget things and I need to reread the whole series again. Oh no! :)

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    1. Well, at least the whole series previous to this one was only one book. :D

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  18. I read Ramses the Damned year ago too. I haven't tried the new one. I guess I didn't realize it was a sequel. I saw it, but didn't pay much attention to it. The last two books I've tried to read by Anne Rice were DNF for me. Maybe I'll have to give this a try.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

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    1. Recent ones? I haven't really gotten into her more recent releases. This one is better.

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  19. I've never read this one but it sounds interesting.

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  20. I'm curious about these ones but I find Anne Rice's books hard going at times...

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    1. Yea, some of her series are hard to get into and some just flow. This one has a better flow to the series... so far.

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  21. I actually haven't heard of these, but they sound great! I love books like this.

    Do You Dog-ear?

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  22. Not rad these but have read a few Anne Rice and do enjoy her work, will need to check these out xxx

    Lainy http://www.alwaysreading.net

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    1. If you like her, then I think you'll really enjoy these books.

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  23. Rice has me with her interesting plotlines and characters, but when she starts with her philosophy and lectures I tune out and give up which is why I couldn't get past The Tale of the Body Thief in the Vampire Chronicles.

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    1. The philosophy doesn't bother me as a lot of it comes through, but her religious bent does come through as heavy handed a lot... so I understand. This one isn't like that and feels more like her older work.

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