Confession time: I love Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. Have done ever since I read Interview With the Vampire back in the early ‘90s. Since then I have read and re-read the entire series. The prospect of a new addition, in graphic novel form no less, had me excited. Claudia’s Story tells a familiar tale from a new perspective. If you’ve read Interview With the Vampire you will already know what is going to happen, but the illustrations and different viewpoint make it special.
It starts from Claudia’s mortal death, as Lestat turns her into a vampire, a pretty pet to keep Louis at his side. She begins a new life with her fathers. Lestat takes charge of her vampire nature, teaching her how to hunt and kill. Louis loves and cherishes her. She learns of beauty from Lestat, for ‘eternal life is useless to us if we do not see the beauty around us’. Art, music, theatre – all the finer things in life are hers for the taking. But, as the years flow by she feels increasingly empty. The realisation that she is forever trapped in a child’s body overwhelms her, and she looks for ways to erase the void inside of her. Her doll-like beauty is a curse. The gaps in Lestat’s knowledge of their kind are exposed, gaps Claudia is desperate to fill.
This book is a beautiful thing to me. I loved reading the story through Claudia’s eyes; scenes I’ve known for years were brought to life in a new way. People who know the film rather than the book won’t be disappointed either; the graphics give a cinematic quality that sit well alongside the movie. The colours are gorgeous, all sepia tinged with the occasional shock of red. Without being gloomy it conjures up the twilight world in which the vampires live. And the darkness used to show Claudia’s re-birth at the beginning is echoed later to moving effect. I hope there are more planned, there are so many characters with interesting stories in the series that I would love to see brought to life like this.