The Vampire Chronicles
Blackwood Farm

Author: Anne Rice
Chatto & Windus
RRP 16.99
ISBN 0 701 17354 8
Available now

Blackwood Farm, with its grand Southern mansion, harbours a family of ghosts. Heir to them all is Quinn Blackwood, young, rash and beautiful, himself a tyro bloodhunter whom Lestat takes under his wing. But Quinn is in thrall not only to the past and his own appetites but, even more dangerously, to a companion spirit - a goblin succubus who could destroy him and others. Only the unearthly power of Lestat combined with the earthly powers of the ubiquitous Mayfair clan could hope to save Quinn from himself and his ghosts, or to rescue the doomed girl Quinn loves from her own mortality...

Blackwood Farm is the ninth volume of Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles series. After a number of her previous volumes have been given the Hollywood treatment (Interview with a Vampire and The Queen of the Damned) it almost seems that she has switched into 'writing for the movies' mode - every scene is so vivid that you can almost picture the boom mic accidentally appearing in shot.

While her work is as strong and calculated as it has always been, reading Blackwood Farm you can't help but think that Rice is now a one-trick-pony. While there is much more to her work than stories of bloodsucking fiends, I am getting to the point where I want more from her work - I have grown up on her books and she has failed to grow with me.

Blackwood Farm is exceptionally well written and it's great to see Rice on such good form. It's just that, for me, it's time she did something a little different to break away from the realm of the vampires.

If you are already bitten (no pun intended) by the Rice bug then this will be a welcome addition to the Chronicles series. Just don't expect too much from it or you will be a little disappointed.

Amber Leigh

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