An excellent read the second time through. Anne Rice lushly draws the world of southern Louisiana - both plantation life and New Orleans. I was a little bored with the very slow pace at the beginning, but also because of the characterization of Louis - very morose. And knowing that the author's daughter died at a young age, shortly before writing this, really impacted my take on the young vampire, Claudia. I loved the last quarter of the book, as Louis explores the vampire world, and essentially grows into being a vampire.