AWESOME-tober-fest 2016: The Mummy, or Ramses the Damned by Anne Rice (1989)
Anne Rice is known for her vampire books, but she’s written a slew of other supernatural books featuring other things like witches, werewolves and, more relevant to today’s article, a mummy.
Per Anne Rice’s bibliography, I was aware of the Vampire Chronicles as well as a few of her other erotic tales that she’d written. I had read Interview with the Vampire and tried to read The Vampire Lestat back in college but gave up after twenty pages or so. I hadn’t been aware of this mummy book until I started researching for AWESOME-tober-fest.
The premise is thusly; an archaeologist discovers a long lost tomb, presumably to Ramses the Great. He opens it up and begins cataloging everything and notices several weird details like lots of Roman and Greek influences as well as Latin inscribed on the tomb itself. However, before he can finish translating the tomb’s scrolls, the archaeologist is killed, seemingly by a curse on the tomb. And when the mummy and artifacts are brought to London to be displayed in the archaeologist’s home, strange things begin happening, not the least of which is that the mummy itself has risen from its sarcophagus.
That’s a quick, elevator pitch to what’s going on. I’ll say this, I liked the plot of the book. It was interesting. The titular character was interesting as well. In fact, Ramses himself seemed like a variation of Rice’s vampires. He’s immortal, he has a “thirst”, not for blood, but for satiating his physical senses with things like eating, smoking, drinking and sex. However, instead of existing only at night, Ramses is fueled by the sun. He’s like a “sun vampire”, if you will.
Anyway, like I said, I enjoyed the book’s overall plot but the page to page events were too exposition-y with a bit too much of the Harlequin melodrama. I don’t need to be hammered over the head with how evil cousin Henry is. Or how “in on it” Uncle Randolph is. I don’t need to hear how much the daughter is falling for the bad boy Ramses despite her feeble attempts to ignore her yearnings. You got a good plot, let it run, Anne, don’t bog it down. There are too many characters with too many less interesting stakes in what goes on and it bogs down what could be a nicely paced action yarn.
The action does pick up a bit in the last third, but honestly, by then, I was prepared to tap out. I didn’t really care for any of these characters and I was only mildly interested in the conclusion to the story.
Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.