Continuing with my read through of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles the next book on my list after Vittorio was Merrick. Another novel that is part of “The New Tales of the Vampires" category and one that I have read only once way back during my days as a High School student.
My memory of reading this book in High School goes as followed: I remember skipping through as much of it as I could because I was only interested in reading about Louis de Pointe du Lac and finding out what was going on with him. He’s one of my favorite characters and I was thrilled that this book seemed to feature a lot of him. But… I remember disliking the majority of the rest of it and being annoyed by the end.
But why did I dislike the rest of the book? Why was I annoyed with the ending? I couldn’t quite remember until I sat down and read through Merrick for the second time in my life.
The book, despite its thickness, only covers a few events. Its thickness comes from the character David recalling his relationship with the character Merrick. Now, I didn’t like Merrick while I was in High School and I never was able to remember why I disliked her. I enjoyed her character a little more, at the very least, reading the book now. I even enjoyed her life story a little more.
Merrick, a beautiful woman with a little bit of a drinking habit, can converse with spirits and is skilled in the art of voodoo. I know as a teenager I wasn’t very knowledgeable about that subject but now I understood it a little more (by no means am I a know it all with voodoo, just so you understand) and therefore enjoyed the concept of her life story.
But still, my heart was completely devoted to Louis. God, I love his character so much. Even if he is kind of a wet blanket I loved him the very moment I read Interview with the Vampire at the ripe old age of 12. I like to nurture… or at the very least a lot of people say I mother them… Louis is the kind of character who, in my mind, needs to be nurtured. He also is calm and happy to just be left alone to read- my type of guy. He’s filled with emotions just like me so maybe, I see myself in him, if only a little.
Although Louis has made brief appearances in the previous Vampire Chronicle books he was never present very much since Interview with the Vampire, which is his life story. Now it’s the present day and we’re returning to Louis and his heartbreak over so much that has happened in his life. I find him fascinating and was eager in High School, just as I was reading it presently, to see how he reacted to the ghost of his immortal daughter being brought forth. His downfall and resurrection is just… something exciting for me. Most of the book is backstory of who Merrick is and I found myself not really caring. I got it, she’s a force to be reckoned with, she knows how to speak to spirits, but I wanted to hear what was going on with Louis.
Finally we stop hearing about Merrick’s past and the story moves along with Merrick working alongside the vampires to bring forth the immortal child Claudia’s ghost to earth so that Louis may converse with her. Suddenly, all of this action is taking place and the story is moving along. It only took more than half of the book to get to this point- and that is what annoys me about Merrick.
What also annoys me is that there are all of these looming possibilities for plot at the end of the book. A secret order known as the Talamasca (if you have read The Vampire Chronicles before then you likely know what I’m talking about) has decided to rise up against the vampires of New Orleans. They’ve decided they’ve had enough. And then… then the book ends. That’s it. Just this big temptation then nothing more and it annoys me greatly.
So, I suppose if you are a fan of the characters David, Louis, or Merrick it’s worth the read. If you enjoy reading a series straight through, then you should read this book because some important stuff does happen to the characters, but otherwise I just find it annoying that so little happens in this book.