Fall of Night by Rachel Caine (No.14 of the Morganville Vampires)

Fall of Night is the 14th instalment in the Morganville Vampires series – I think No.15 is the final book but I’ve been known to be wrong so don’t quote me.  Fall of Night continues with the battle to stay alive as Claire finally leaves Morganville when she’s accepted into MIT.  Of course this is a dream come true but is bitter sweet as she’ll be leaving behind her friends, her boyfriend and Myrnin.  Before I go any further with this review I will warn you that there could be spoilers for earlier books in the series contained below so if you haven’t already read up to this point – BEWARE!  (You were warned).  Also, I think these books should be read as a series – I dare say you could pick up one of these and quickly grasp the story and run with it – but I think it would be better to have a bit of background to the characters not to mention the trials and tribulations they’ve been through already – it gives a bit more meaning to the betrayals and guilt in this particular instalment.

Anyway.  Off Claire sets with her spotted hanky.  Once again she’s staying off campus and is sharing with an old school friend (who’s name I seem to have forgotten at breakneck speed! Think it was Liz???).  However, when she arrives things pretty quickly go off kilter.  At first you could be forgiven for thinking that finally Claire looks set to live her dream.  She’s more confident in this instalment, easily making friends.  She’s introduced to Professor Anderson who she will be working with in a very impressive lab.  She has a place to stay and whilst she’s going to miss everyone (almost everyone) back at Morganville it feels as though she’s going to make friends here very easily.  Of course, as you’ll know if you’ve read previous MV stories nothing is ever that simple.  A would-be stalker seems to be taking up permanent residence outside of her new apartment – and he’s intensely creepy.  On top of that Shane doesn’t seem to quite grasp the concept of this whole break thing/giving Claire some space and has basically followed her to town where he’s found himself a job and residence and is casually keeping an eye on her – no, he’s not the creepy stalker.  And, lastly, Claire’s invention, that she’s brought to MIT to continue working on with the Prof seems to be getting a lot of unwanted attention.  Men in dark suits also seem to be tailing Claire, checking out her apartment (without an invitation), watching her movements (this is like a book of stalkers!)

Basically, the invention that Claire was working on to try and temper vampire emotions has come to the attention of a secret organisation.  They want to get their hands on VLAD (Claire’s invention) and they’re not overly fussy about taking prisoners.  As history will teach us, great inventions can usually be turned around to suit a different purpose for that which they were originally intended and Claire’s invention is no exception.

That’s about all I’m going to say here in terms of plot so you’ll just have to go and read the book if you want to know more.

The story takes on a fairly sinister feel quite quickly with abductions and the like and the tension is ramped up for the grand finale.

As in the latter books the POV in this novel extends to take on board Shane’s voice and I really quite welcome this addition as it expands the story for readers.

In terms of criticisms – well, if you’re hoping for all the usual characters to be playing their regular roles then you may be disappointed.  Eve and Shane only become involved in the story in the last third of the book – as does Myrnin and Oliver – although this isn’t really a surprise.  It would be a bit odd if we had a full Morganville cast involved now that Claire has moved away!  I can’t say I ever really ‘got along’ with the new cast and a few of the characters felt thrown in there for very little purpose.

On the whole I thought this was another enjoyable instalment by RC.  She never fails to come up with a new theme which always amazes me and in spite of the fact that this is No.14 she keeps things fairly fresh – I think what helps with this is that the time period covered in each book is relatively short (I don’t think this instalment can have covered much more than a fortnight period in total from start to end – although, again, I could be wrong so don’t beat me over the head with a verbal stick please.

If you’re looking for somethings suave and sophisticated then this might not fit the bill but if you’d enjoy a series where plenty goes on, there’s a bit of fun and snark in spite of the constant life threatening situations and a cast of characters that you can’t fail to like at least some of (my favourite being Myrnin) then give this a go.  In terms of some of the similar series that are around I think this one compares very well.  Plus – Myrnin and his vampire bunny slippers!  I’m intrigued to know how Ms Caine is going to wrap this up.  Will it be possible to have a happy ending?  It’s a tricky one and given the cliff hanger ending it’s going to feel like a long 6 months before I get to read the conclusion .

Patience is a virtue…

Last Breath by Rachel Caine No.11 in the Morganville Vampire Series

Just finished reading Last Breath by Rachel Caine.  I read that there will be 15 books in total in the Morganville Vampire series with this being the 11th installment (not 12 like I originally thought).  I did wonder whether RC would manage to come up with a new story or whether the series would start to tail off but I’m pleased to say that RC has put together another gripping installment.  This is quite an emotional ride and I found myself quite literally gobsmacked about half way through.  Yes, mouth dropped open, scratching my head, saying ‘what just happened?’  If you haven’t read the other books this review may contain spoilers.

Last Breath continues on from where Bite Club left off but in this story Morganville is going to come under attack from a new and terrible foe.  An enemy that preys on vampires!  This poses a much greater threat than Bishop ever did and could prove catastrophic not only to the vampires but the human inhabitants as well.  A new stranger is in town, his name is Magnus – he’s not human, in fact it’s difficult to say what he is but he’s stalking around town and vampires are starting to disappear.  Claire and her gang are about to have a few questions finally answered – like why vampires, who don’t like sunlight, decided to set up house in the middle of a bright and sunny desert.

What I particularly like about this episode is that RC continues with the style she adopted in the last book of allowing other participants in the story to take part in the narration.  I really like this style as it allows you to see other parts of the story that are restricted by having only one storyteller and it allows us to experience the thoughts and emotions of some of the others which we havent really had an insight into previously.  For example, Amelie provides some of the narration and it’s really good to hear her thoughts and understand some of her reasonings, I think it also helped to show that she’s not quite as cold as she always seems.

I think that the new threat written into this story is really well imagined with a good backdrop that slowly unfolds as the story develops – so we don’t get to learn everything right away, we’re kept in the dark about events just as Claire and her gang are.  Again we are in a race against time situation where the clock is ticking ever faster as we race to the action packed finale and the final show down.

And, of course, my favourite character Myrnin is ever present in his bunny slippers and we get to see a little more into his true feelings for Claire.

I do enjoy this series and have mixed feelings, partly I don’t want it to finish but partly I can’t wait to see how it will end.  Only four more books before we find out what will happen to the gang (and I’m including vamps in that – obviously we have Michael and Myrnin, but also Oliver has sort of grown on me as have a few of the others) how can you have an ending that satisfies everyone?  It won’t be easy.

I thought this was much more of an emotional instalment and it ends on a cliffhanger I’m afraid with a bit of a wait before the next book comes out to satisfy the curiosity.

Rating: -A

Last Breath

Last Breath

Bite Club by Rachel Caine (No.10 Morganville Vampires)

Just finished reading Bite Club, the 10th book in the Morganville Vampire Series.  This review may contain spoilers.

Bite Club is quite a dark addition to the series and also gives a few hints that maybe the series is going to come to an end (not sure if it’s true but I understand No.12 will be the final story?) and I am absolutely fascinated as to how RC will manage to end it all!  The thing is I’ve become attached to these characters (some more than others) and I can’t see a way out where everybody is spared, at the end of the day the human and vampires in Amelie’s little experiment are not learning to get along as she wished and she is becoming weary with it.

At the start of the story one of Claire’s classmates gets into the worst kind of trouble and in a seemingly unrelated incident Shane joins a new martial arts club – being run by a vampire – where something more sinsiter lurks in the shadows.  On top of that we have Glorianna sashaying around and glamming people and vampires and Amelie and Myrnin quite literally at each other’s throats over a difference in opinion over something very sinister.

I don’t really want to give too much away although as it says on the jacket ‘there’s a new extreme sport being broadcast over the Internet, bare-knuckle fights pitting captured vampires against one another – or, worse, against humans’.  This is a little similar to one of the previous stories where one of Eve’s friends went around town placing cameras everywhere and making secret films of all the vampire activity to broadcast outside of Morganville.  Bite/Fight Club is a similar idea with people paying to log into the broadcast and then paying to bet on the winner/loser.  Very lucrative and of course nobody watching really believes the vampires exist! Or do they.

As we know from previous novels Amelie will go to any length to protect the secrecy of Morganville and so with Oliver at her side she is determined to stamp this out and she doesn’t intend to take prisoners.

I enjoyed this installment and am totally amazed at how RC keeps coming up with more stories for the town.  In this story we are given short excerpts from Shane’s point of view and I found this really refreshing – also, I think without this it would be very easy to dislike Shane after some of his actions – at least this way we are given a bit of an explanation about what is happening.  And we had plenty of Myrnin in this book which will never fail to please!  He is undoubtedly my favourite character, sarcastic, eccentric, scary, brilliant, mad, zany – what is not to like – okay he occasionally bites!

I really enjoy reading the exploits of our little four and I shouldn’t have long to wait for the next addition which I think is due out in November – will there really only be another one after that.  Slighly difficult to believe and I have mixed feelings – in one respect I could just carry on reading these stories – they’re light, fun, always have a new plot and are quite original and yet I’m now also really intrigued to see how things will conclude.

Rating -A

Bite Club

Bite Club

Kiss of Death (Morganville Vampires) by Rachel Caine

Okay – first – if you haven’t read Nos.1-7 (why not) and also this will contain SPOILERS

Just finished reading book 8 of the Morganville Vampires series.  I’m a bit behind and need to catch up – Ghost Town is just sat looking at me and waiting to be read!

Book 8 is a bit of a different tack than the other books.  The book picks up from Fade Out with Claire and her friends owing a debt to Morley, one of the less than pleasant vampires (if there is such a thing as a pleasant vampire!) who wants Claire to obtain for him passes out of town.  This task is not as easy as it sounds and the threat of what will happen if Claire fails looms over the four.  Surprisingly, when the passes finally arrive all is not as it should be – the passes are actually, four ‘get out of town’ passes for Claire, Eve, Shane and Michael to go to Dallas and take part in a record demo for Michael.  Whilst this presents a very welcome opportunity for them to get out of Morganville and away from the nasty Morley Vampire it also comes with the unexpected downside of Oliver accompanying them as chaperone.

Of course, as expected, nothing ever goes as well as you would wish with our gang of four and their little road trip quickly spirals into a bit of a disaster going from bad to worse and Oliver’s hidden agenda is doing nothing to help.  I’m not going to give the plot away though!

Ironically being away from the crazy vampire town is no less fraught with danger in fact the humans they encounter along the way are quite scary in their own way and make you wish for them to be ‘home’!  And, then the town they end up in is a total no go zone.

I think Claire has really started to come into her own in this book and become almost buffyesqu.  You also start to see a different side to Oliver which was a surprise – in a good way (although whether that continues remains to be seen).

I guess I missed Morganville a little and there was obviously a gigantic gap left by the absence of Myrnin but, after a slowish start, this book manages to pull out a few shocks and quickly becomes the action packed adventure that you come to expect from RC.

Again, I really enjoyed this book and I look forward to reading No.10 soon.

You have to hand it to Rachel Caine, I did wonder if she would be able to pull another story out of the bag but she’s succeeded once again and managed to give us a new and refreshing ‘road trip’ story not to mention a few LOL moments.  I particularly liked when the four were yet again facing a fight or flight situation and Eve asks Michael “what’s the plan”, Michael’s reply “don’t lose” – and Shane then jumps in with “It’s simple, yet effective.  I like it”. (brilliant)

Rating -A

 

Kiss of Death

Kiss of Death

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