The whole series was disappointing. Maybe it was because the author was English and I just didn't get it.
I remember reading this series as a young teen and being blown away by the imagery and language of Lee's work. In my opinion, this is some of her best work, at once darkly decadent and sweetly poetic, this is one of the best vampire series to read. I hope that there will be further books of the Scarabae.
My first impression upon finishing this book was that the story was lovely, sprawling and dark, and had some intriguing tie-ins with the Bible and the mythology of Ancient Egypt. It also had a huge cast of characters, all of whom were more interesting than Rachaela - who had a relatively small role in this book - which was a nice change. Rachaela DID, however, finally decided to DO something at one point. She didn't accomplish much on her own, but it was refreshing to see a switch from the usual sitting around, not liking anything that was offered, but not actually doing anything about it.
My second impression was, what the HECK was up with the storylines that didn't go anywhere? The stories of Malach and Althene, while not actually ending, did have some kind of resolution. At least three others didn't, and one ended so abruptly that I was left with the feeling of, "Yikes! Well FINE, be that way." Why spend so much loving detail on characters who's stories will either peter out with no explanation, or just stop?
I get the idea that I'd be less irritated with the loose ends if I knew that we'd get more explanation in a fourth book. I'm not holding my breath on that one though. "Darkness, I" came out in 1996, and I remember reading at least one mention of "the as-yet unfinished fourth book in the Blood Opera Sequence" back in 2005. It's now 2011, with no sign of a sequel. Pity, I was curious about what happened next.