Let me start by saying I love Anne Rice. I was a fan of the witch books, several of her stand-alone novels, and I've greatly enjoyed all the vampire books - until this one.
This book begins with 35 pages of Rice showing us what flowery, beautiful prose she can write. Quite frankly, I don't care. When I read I want a good story. To me, that's the bottom line. But in this book Rice makes the reader wade through 35 pages of purple (or at the very least deep violet) prose that has no real bearing whatsoever on the story. By the time I trudged through this, I was so completely bored with the book, that I'm not sure I can give the rest of it a fair review.
Then when you get to the story itself, it's full of exposition, and written more like a personal note than like a story. It's distracting and aggravating to try to read. This personal memoir style has worked for her on several occasions in the past, but in this one it falls flat.
Perhaps it's time to try a new direction. Only hardcore Anne Rice fans need to bother with this one.
I've been a fan of Rice's for a while now, and I was really looking forward to her newest effort "The Vampire Armand". After reading Pandora, though, I think I'll wait for it in paperback.