Blackwood Farm (Vampire Chronicles #9) by Anne Rice

Blackwood Farm - Anne Rice

Quinn can see ghosts and has been haunted his whole life by a particular tenacious spirit. Now he has become a vampire, that spirit has turned violent and he turns to Lestat for guidance, after telling Lestat his life history. At length and in great great detail.

 

 

This book is labelled as a Vampire Chronicles novel. It has also been faintly labelled as a Mayfair Witchesnovel. I’ve heard it discussed as something of a cross over novel. Personally I’d call it a Mayfair Witchesnovel into which Lestat and Merrick have been crowbarred in with extreme force and zero elegance. If I were being less kind (yes, that was kind) I’d say it was a vast waffle of not very much with little hints of both series randomly thrown in but really not much about anything

 

Because like every single book in both series this book is rammed with a truly ridiculous amount of minutiae that is grossly unnecessary for anything resembling a plot. New vampire Quinn seeks to tell his story to Lestat. In that telling he covers his genealogy back 5 generations. No, really. He covers the genealogy of his servants back the same length of time as well. He even tells the genealogy of the vampires who made him who, almost immediately, decided to tell Quinn the same thing in ridiculous detail. He tells every last tiny detail about his life, so much of which is utterly irrelevant – Pops (his grandfather) having an illegitimate son? Meaningless. The bed and breakfast and the soprano he cries over that we were told about three separate times (ye gods why?) irrelevant. The fact he constantly shares a bed with elderly Black servants (ye gods why?) irrelevant. Every sexual encounter he’s ever had (why would you tell a stranger this? Why?) His first teacher and how very good she was? Really really really irrelevant. Why is this all here? 

 

Why is this story which should have been about the ghosts that were plaguing Quinn and, perhaps, the vampires that made him and maybe the people who can see Goblin (and Rebecca – though, again, Rebecca ghost was another storyline that did nothing, went absolutely nowhere and was resolved in pointless seconds) so clogged with this much completely and utterly random backstory? Why would Quinn tell Lestat so many utterly personal secrets about himself?

 

And can everyone stop falling in love! I’m not even talking about Quinn seeing Mona across a restaurant and moseying over to declare that he intends to marry her (but, really? He sees a 15 year old girl across the room and wanders over to make marriage plans? What the hell? Why? Who? Where’s the damn restraining order?!) But Lestat, after hearing Quinn’s horrendous monologue declares how much he is in love with Quinn. Of course. After meeting Merrick for 5 seconds Quinn decides he loves her. Merrick probably loves him, I forget because everyone loves everyone else. Quinn loves Arion, random Greek vampire who is just kind of there because why not. They use the word “love” so often it no longer has any real meaning. I know it’s a running joke with this series but it’s actually a problem – because all of this overwrought, appallingly purple, melodramatic declarations of emotion are meaningless. All his excessive adoration of Aunt Queen and Mona means nothing because he’d use exactly the same language to describe someone he happened to be passing in the street. All of the emotional connections in this book – in this series – fall apart because they mean nothing, there is nothing special about them. True love is described in the same terms as casual acquaintance.

 

 

The characterisation is also just awful. I grudgingly accepted the ridiculously flowery, anachronistic and pure dubious language that the vampires were using as some kind of nod to their age. I even accepted it with David though there was no damn excuse. Quinn is 22. 22. Why is he calling Merrick “precious darling?” (even if she wasn’t a complete stranger?). Why is his voice exactly the same as vampires who are centuries older than him? And that voice itself is terrible, archaic and ludicrous?

 

And not just his voice – he kneels and kisses his great-aunt’s foot. I… I… why? He insists that some of his elderly Black servants sleep with him (not sex, just sleep). His behaviour, his choices over and over make no sense at all. And he seems to live in a weird time warp – this book was written in the 21st century, it reads like it would be old in the 80s!

 

It’s not just Quinn – no-one behaves in a way that makes even the remotest sense for a person. The one who stands out most for me is Patsy – the worst woman in the world. Seriously, she’s so utterly awful that it defies any description. She loathes her son on a level that would make comic book villains gasp in shock. She is slut shamed mercilessly, seriously every character may as well have just screamed “HUSSSY!” and pointed at her every time she appeared (bonus anti-choice moments with her not being able to have any children because she’d got rid of so many her “womb was weak”). It also has an added bonus of some kind of weird class shaming her for asking for money for her music career (and they even admit she’s talented! So it’s not like she’s chasing some unimaginable dream. But her music is pop and country, not classical so she’s so beneath them) And this shaming happens while the whole family is so damn rich that Aunt Queen takes a stretch limo to the shops and collects jewelled cameos… wait..

 

…Interrupting for a rant about the thrice damned CAMEOS. Oh dear gods I don’t believe anyone in the world, anywhere even remotely cares this much about cameos. There back to where I as…

 

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Source: http://www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2014/09/blackwood-farm-vampire-chronicles-9-by.html