In my defense, I read this book when I was young, before I had a chance to sample any book from the vampire sub-genre or any other otherworldly creature sub-genre, and Rice's prose really impressed my impressionable, open-to-new-experiences mind. The star rating still stands, even though I think it should more like 3. The descriptive, decadent prose really did capture my attention and held it for a long time. It wasn't until I got to the fourth book that I realized... these aren't good... at all. They're alluring and an experience in self-indulging escapism, and they rely too much on decadence to move the story forward.