Once again ensconced within the compact world of Caine's Morganville series, the eighth novel does something I have been desiring for many a novel: aOnce again ensconced within the compact world of Caine's Morganville series, the eighth novel does something I have been desiring for many a novel: a change of scenery. Finally, and not without her usual ulterior motives, Amelie grants Claire and the Misfits leave to actually, you know, leave her controlled little vampire town in Texas. Not only is the change of view different later in the game here, but the portals, a steadfast feature of the town/books for many of the volumes - and the jealous homicidal steampunk vampire computer that powered the shifting portals - are long gone. New tensions arise between previous harmonic couples and overall, Kiss of Death is a refreshing change in the midst of such a long - but always entertaining - series.
The book relocates to Dallas, with Claire, Shane, Eve, Michael and watchdog Oliver in tow. I liked both the mixup of locale, as I've said, and also the addition of Oliver to a more prominent role. Oliver is one of "sleeper" characters of this series: over the last few novels I've developed some kind of affection for the dangerous and wily Englishman. He certainly interests me more than the new chief antagonist of Amelie's, the vampire called Morley. The premier antagonist of both the last two novels, I find him bland and a not very interesting vampire character, especially contrasted to the more rounded characters of Amelie, Oliver, and Myrnin. Morley lacks Amelie's cold intelligence and small kindness; he's the lesser of Oliver's wit and knowledge; he has none of Myrnin's wild, dangerous charm. He's a shadow hidden amongst stronger personalities and a much weaker opponent.
Like I said, couples that have been rock solid are on shaky ground. I definitely < a href="http://bibliophileanonymous.blogspot.... my issues with Caine's sophomoric treatment of Claire and Shane's romantic relationship in the previous book and this time around, it's Michael and Eve with turbulence in the flight path of their love. Ha, corny. Anyway: I'm sick to death of the endless drama. Michael has been a vampire for nigh on six books already; either Eve can handle that or she can't. The endless back and forth does little but detrimentally affect how I view Eve as a character. I like Eve, or maybe at this point I want to like Eve. After her silly and stupid actions during Fade Out with Kim/Claire, I had hoped for some maturity from the diminutive Goth in the direct successor. I'm getting less and less enthused with Eve, but will not cut her off completely. There's still what, eight more books left in this series? So happily, Eve's got plenty of time and page to redeem herself and become again the intelligent spitfire from before, just please quit with the overwrought relationship melodrama.
Say what I will about Claire Danvers, her ragtag group of misfits and Morganville itself - this is an addicting series. So what if plots often seem vaSay what I will about Claire Danvers, her ragtag group of misfits and Morganville itself - this is an addicting series. So what if plots often seem vaguely reminiscent of a previous novel from earlier down the line, so what if the setting gets old because the characters never go anywhere, I cannot deny that reading The Morganville Vampire series is just plain fun and a nice opportunity for some vampire escapism. Fade Out is another fine addition to this high-action and oftentimes silly series: slower in pace than recent novels yet still with plenty of action, but just as easy and quick a read.
If I liked the easy feel to the novel, I hated Claire and Eve's interactions (or lack thereof....) for most of this novel. Usually in the first six books, the two are nearly inseparable besties, even when bickering, showing a normal, authentic teenage best-friendship (yeah, that's the word we're going with.) I was really bothered by Eve's attitude in Fade Out: her attraction to hang around Kim seems false and unnatural for such a stubborn character, one so devoted to her core group of Michael, Shane and Claire. I also just plain hated Kim: she's false and obvious from her first mention and what she does to the Misfits is just... disturbing, though not on the usual level (read: vampiric) for these novels. It's a pointed reminder that the human race often idealized by these four teens is often just as nasty and unpleasant as the suckers they so openly and often despise. I also liked the roving bands of violent humans targeting vampires or any of their "Renfields": at least it's just not the vampires as the bad guys anymore.
Claire managed to impress me with her maturity for once in Fade Out. Instead of just stubbornly arguing with her parents, compromises are reached, actual communication takes place and the world doesn't end. It's a miracle: I've only wanted Claire and her parents to do this for about three books now. Overdue, but I'll take what I can get. I just wish Claire's new-found maturity had extended to her problems with Eve in this novel. Kim's added attraction to Shane just reintroduced all the doubt Claire has had before and colored one of my favorite couples in this series. All their ensuing relationship drama because of Kim was just ridiculous (mostly because of Claire's immaturity to accept he had a life before he knew her...) and just annoyed me. It's seven books into a series (partly) revolving around Claire and her boyfriend: either their relationship is solid and beyond this silly high school stuff, or it isn't.
In the fourth book so far (out of a guaranteed 13 [!!!] novel series), there's a bit of a mix-up to the well-tread paths these stories all seem to takIn the fourth book so far (out of a guaranteed 13 [!!!] novel series), there's a bit of a mix-up to the well-tread paths these stories all seem to take: danger/uncertainty in Morganville, such trouble that only Claire and her rag-tag band of misfits can fix. In Feast of Fools an unforeseen and completely horrifying turn of events occurs: Claire's parents move to vampire-infested Morganville. Along with the unexpected arrival of Claire's controlling parents comes the appearance of Amelie's "father", Mr. Bishop, in town as well. Tensions are high between all the characters in such uncertain times. For Bishop isn't a civilized nor modern bloodsucker like previously seen in the small Texas town, but a complete horror from nightmares of the past. The tenuous truce Amelie and the humans have eked out in Morganville will feel the strain of his presence in their town. Mr. Bishop elevates the menace and danger in these novels from a 5 to an 11, and makes for an interesting, if repugnant, antagonist for Claire/Amelie.
This far into the series, it's kind of like a Sookie Stackhouse Situation - I'm going to trademark that! - with these books: in that we all know, pretThis far into the series, it's kind of like a Sookie Stackhouse Situation - I'm going to trademark that! - with these books: in that we all know, pretty generally, what is going to happen in the book: Claire and her friends will face some impossible danger, Claire will uncover new and unsettling revelations about Morganville/her friends/the vampires/etc., and in the end, everything will work out with some teenage humor and group can-do. This might sound snide but it's really not completely: I truly enjoy these novels. I just enjoy them for what they are: brain candy. Just something fun and easy to read when looking for entertainment and hot broody teenage males (heellllooooo Shane!) This is a series that's long-running but hardly takes a lot of time to read through.
While this fifth novel actually does manage to shakeup the Morganville formula a bit and is rather less predictable (thank you, Mr. Bishop/feudal warfare tactics of vampires), I found it to be a lot of flash and little action. This is certainly more of a plot-driven episode in the lives of our heroes than before. There is a frenetic, almost frenzied even, pace and feel to the novel - appropriate since technically Morganville is in the throes of a civil war during these events. More information about the city and vamps themselves are rolled out, such as Amelie's relative age (she causally mentions being around for the Great Fire - aka Rome in 64 AD!), and details about the alluring but dangerous vampire genius Myrnin. Furthermore, Myrnin, Sam, Michael and Amelie continue to be the only humane vampires in the town, especially with a rather rabid antagonist named Ysandre to pick up any slack that the villainous Mr. Bishop missed.
Sixth in a now-extended to 15 book series, Carpe Corpus delivers exactly what readers of her Morganville series want: compelling teen romances, vampirSixth in a now-extended to 15 book series, Carpe Corpus delivers exactly what readers of her Morganville series want: compelling teen romances, vampires, teenage romances with vampires. . . and a steampunk computer named Ada. Wait.. what? The last bit is a little out of character for the predictable but fun book, and in this series you have appreciate any innovation and newness where and when you can find it. Though not my favorite offering Ms. Caine has yet had for Claire and Company, like every other other novel before it, Carpe Corpus had me tearing through chapters in order to make sure all my favorites made it safe and sound to the end. Never to be labelled the most innovative or compelling reads, The Morganville Vampires series continues on its previous trend of easily readable, intensely fun young-adult books.
Another book, another drama-filled episode in the vampire-filled life of still sixteen year-old Claire Danvers. Though "used" to the relatively normalAnother book, another drama-filled episode in the vampire-filled life of still sixteen year-old Claire Danvers. Though "used" to the relatively normal danger of the town, Claire has new issues and problems to wrestle with; namely the fact she recently signed over her soul for protection from the local vampiremobboss leader, Amelie. Just like the first two Glass Houses and Dead Girls' Dance, it's ridiculously easy to get sucked into these books. They're far from perfect (why are all the victims in any and EVERY crime young females? Does Morganville have no old people for easy prey?) but they are pure vampire entertainment. Pitch-perfect in tone with the previous novels, Midnight Alley is a fun read from start to end. Claire, though not my favorite, serves as a reliably likable and smart protagonist. I certainly don't mind reading her usually, though I occasionally wish for a narrative change for these books. I think a rotating perspective would also do a lot to fill in the grey aspects of the setting/characters/atmosphere at present. I will I liked this the most out of the series thus far; neither side was painted as black and white as previous and much more detail was given about the vampires themselves.
Claire Danvers is back, with all her messy adventures and crazy friends in tow. Round number two in the dangerous, vampire-infested college town of MoClaire Danvers is back, with all her messy adventures and crazy friends in tow. Round number two in the dangerous, vampire-infested college town of Morganville has all the fun, escapades and narrow escapes as the first one. In this one, Claire and Eve are invited to a Zombie Party, but with nasty hidden intentions. Not relying on the familiar path to reemerge, the author happily does a bit of explaining in this second novel. New important information about (my personal favorite character) Shane emerges, as do key players from his sad past. Claire also rounds out her personality a bit, though her main focus seems to be Shane and school. I can't complain too much - I like far more about Claire than what irritates me about her.