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Morganville Vampires: Midnight Alley - Rachel Caine

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Genre: Junior Books / Author: Rachel Caine / Paperback / 384 Pages / Book is published 2008-09-05 by Allison & Busby

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      10.10.2012 22:29
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      A well plotted story that moves with some pace, but manages to be fairly light fiction still.

      I was introduced to the Morganville vampire series by Rachel Caine after reading reviews on dooyoo. I bought the first 6 books in the series when I saw an offer in the book people catalogue of 6 books for £3 which was too tempting, and subsequently paid around £4.50 per book for the next 5 books for my kindle when I got completely addicted to reading them on holiday in August. I am now re-reading the series a bit slower than my first read through, and still finding it just as entertaining as the first time.

      Midnight Alley is book three in this series set in the town of Morganville which is run by vampires. In books one and two we have been firmly introduced to the main characters in the book. The main female character is an extremely bright 16 year old, Claire Danvers who after going to University early has stumbled across the towns best kept secret. She lives with Eve, Shane, and Michael in the Glass House, and the 4 of them have already been through a lot, including Michael becoming a vampire, so I was interested to see where the plot would go in this installment.

      There are still familiar plots running in the background such as Claire's rivalry with another student, Monica Morrell. Claire feels pressured to swear her life to the Town's founder and Head Vampire, Amelie. She does this to protect her friends. However, Amelie has a task for Claire to do that is important for the survival of the Vampire species, but is also perhaps one of the most dangerous things that she has ever done. She is forced to study with Myrnin, someone who she fears and admires at the same time.

      Meanwhile in Morganville, Eve's psychotic brother has just been released from prison, dead bodies keep turning up near their house, and someone attempts to kill Michael outside their house. That is just about an average day for the residents of this strange town.

      For me, I found this quite a gripping read, as the pace of the story moves quickly and I kept wanting to keep reading and see what was next. I was reading a book in the series a day on holiday easily and desperate to get onto the next one as soon as one finished. I have grown quite attached to the characters, including the vampires, who are all well rounded individuals and not just caricatures of bad guys and good guys. All have faults has well as some good side to them. I also loved the science that Claire was studying, which was written simply enough for anyone to understand, but enough for someone with a background in science to appreciate. It really fleshed out the plot for me in my own head. I found the changing dynamic in the friendship group of the housemates really interesting.

      There is a bit more romance than in the earlier books, and although I think that the book is definitely written for the young adult market, it is a lot more meaty than other books I have read that I would put in this genre. For me, I don't think the writing itself is what makes this book. I would say it is quite simplistic in places and I got a little bit bored of people miming fangs in the neck, but the plot more than makes up for it. I noticed one small error in the book from an editorial point of view that has obviously not been picked up in proofreading. The author got the character names muddled up between Michael and Shane. One minute it is Michael being held up against a police car bonnet, and then in the next sentence he becomes Michael. When I was rushing I didn't even notice, but this read through it did annoy me as I am not fond of errors in printed work.

      Overall as a series, it is interesting and has a lot going for it. It is not an unusual concept in fiction, but it has been written around characters that are believable and well fleshed out. This book is just as good as the earlier books in the series, if not better for the introduction of more new characters and expanding the view of the town into a much larger area. We get to see a bit more of Eve's background, and get to know Claire's parents a little better, but most importantly, there is good continuity as this book picked up immediately after the end of book two, and has set up perfectly for another dramatic twist in book four to keep the reader engrossed.

      Books one and two finished with a short chapter which was in diary format from the perspective of Eve Rosser. This was absent in this novel, and I find that I missed it. A lot of the appeal of the main story is how the young and innocent character, Claire views things, and I found I enjoyed seeing the main events from Eve's older and more cynical view point. Perhaps as Claire got more assertive in this novel, the author felt it was not needed, but I would have liked it to continue, or perhaps even from the male perspective. Just a small touch that would have finished this book nicely for me.

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        25.10.2011 22:55

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        get it, read it, love it

        Another entry to the Morganville series that is both very entertaining and amazingly written, with Michael adapting to life as a vampire in Morganville and Claire adapting to being a protected citizen of Morganville both characters change a little from the previous books in the series as Amelie now has both of them firmly under her control. With Jason being a big threat throughout this book and a Morganville resident operating under the alias Captain Obvious telling people to go after the newest vampire in town- Michael the threat level for the main characters is considerably high, especially after Michaels grandfather Sam is staked and nearly killed. To make matters worse for the main characters Claire is assigned a job by Amelie that she cant tell the others about, she has to work with a mentally ill vampire named Myrnin on a cure for a disease that is slowly driving all the vampires in town insane. On the relationship side of things Michael and Eve are going strong despite Michaels lack of a pulse. Shane and Claire are still together despite the fact that Shane isnt comfortable with living in the same house as a vampire or that Claire is working for them, Claire even tells Shane she loves him toward the end of the book although Shane is unable to respond. Oliver plays a part in the book as being both a threat and at the same time being an ally. At the end of the book five people arrive in Morganville- three vampires and two humans, which sets the stage for the next book.

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        25.08.2011 13:59
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        A great third installment if you can look past the minor flaws

        Midnight Alley - Rachel Caine


        I have been a fantasy novel fan for many years and have read a wide range of books on this genre. One particular type of story I find myself drawn to is vampire novels, and so when looking for a new set of books to read, I came across The Morganville Saga by Rachel Caine which began with 'Glass Houses' which I have also reviewed. Before reading Glass Houses, I had not read or even heard of Rachel Caine, though she came with high recommendations by a friend and I was pleasantly surprised with the first book, and hooked in enough to race straight out and purchase all of the set out so far (which is ten in total!).

        Midnight Alley is the third installment to the Morganville Vampires series. The first two books are named 'Glass Houses' and 'The Dead Girls Dance'.

        I won't list the whole set here, though you are able to find the set titles and synopsis' on Rachel Caine's website.


        **********************************************
        MORGANVILLE'S SUCH A NICE PLACE TO LIVE...AND DIE
        **********************************************

        "And somewhere in heaven, Versace sheds a single, perfect tear"
        A/N: Midnight Alley is the third book in the Morganville Vampires collection.
        Morganville is a small town filled with unusual characters, and when the sun goes down, these characters emerge in force. There is an evil which lurks in every shadow, and soon, the inhabitants of Morganville realize that even the light of day will not protect them for long.

        When Claire Danvers learnt that her college town was run by vampires, she did what any other intelligent, self-preserving student would do: she applied for a transfer and stocked up on garlic! The transfer is no longer an option since she has pledged herself to the biggest, most powerful vampire in town, though the garlic may still come in handy!

        With Amelie's protection upon her wrist, Claire had hoped that she and her friends would be safe, though she soon realizes that her contract does little to reassure her friends. All of a sudden, people are turning up dead at her house putting her and her friends in the frame, a stalker returns to make their lives a living hell, and to top it all off, Amelie orders Claire to have private lessons with an ancient bloodsucker in his secluded home. Soon Claire is learning about alchemy whilst trying to stay alive and as far enough away from the insane vampire tutor so that she might live to see another day.

        As with the first two books of the series, the synopsis alone did nothing much to entice a new reader into the saga as in a lot of ways, it read very similar to other novels of this self same genre, though from the very beginning of the collection, I realized that there was so much more to this exciting tale than any of the book covers illustrated. Even when I am typing out the above brief description, I have to remind myself that there is so much more within this book than the write-up allows. I did not want to give too much away, especially if readers have not even picked up the first book yet (which is a must!), though I feel that I must mention that this book, like the first, is not like any other vampire series. True, there are many similarities to other fictional stories of this nature, though I feel that these books take on a whole new level. This book in particular begins to really branch out further from its predecessors and by this point any reader of this series would find themselves immersed in the story and Morganville with its strange and wonderful characters and the situations that constantly emerge from the pages. I even admit that I have had dreams about this book which is quite embarrassing really! This, though, goes to show just how much this book enters the mind! Although you could pick up this third book and start reading it without touching the first two, I would not advise it as a lot of the storylines depend upon you knowing the history of the first two books. Although near the beginning there are some small recaps, generally through Claire's memories, though this is not really enough to cover everything that you would need to know to fully appreciate what you are reading here. The other great aspect of reading the books right from the beginning is that the anticipation grows steadily through each page you turn in each book, and this coupled with the constant cliff hangers at the end of the last two books, I would seriously recommend starting right from the beginning. Let the excitement grow with the books!

        The first two books were extremely tame compared to many other books in this genre, though it has started to feel a little darker in places in this book. Although it is written for a young adult audience, this book in particular takes it to a much darker place and leads further to the more adult reader. The darkness within the pages is not only from the vampires as, although this is on the whole a novel about vampires, there is also many life lessons included within the book. Some issues to look out for are death and murder which also looks upon the stalking and kidnapping issues. Drugs and alcohol are also mentioned throughout the book in many ways, and this particular book writes these issues in a rather sensitive way which many readers may be able to relate. The issues of age appropriate sexual contact is also involved within this book and I feel that it is very well written in the main, though there are some annoyances with teenage hormones which is a little overused at times! Whilst we are on the subject of certain issues found within a book, I feel I should mention that the choice language does appear in this book as with the second one. It does not stand out in the ways of placing a word where a word need not be, though at some points, the language does get quite strong.

        This book continues not long after the second book ends, and unlike the previous book, it gently leads you back into the story, though do not be mistaken - the action soon runs onto the pages and from then on, it is all go! As soon as this happens, it get backs to the style I have grown used to with this author; a fast pace, full of action story with something happening on every single page. At times, you can barely breathe for all the trials and tribulations which occur one after the other, and occasionally I did feel consumed with all the information there to take in. This is not necessarily a bad thing in this book, though, as even the style of this author stands out well. In some books, this constant action would be too overwhelming though in this book, it is all very easy to follow even if it does take your breath away at times. It is partially due to this that these books are so difficult to put down. The flow was very relaxed and inviting (though still fast and exhilarating!) and the storyline was exciting and packed full of interesting and thrilling situations. Like with the first two books, the back cover has a review by SFX Magazine which relates this book to the Twilight series, though as with the previous books, and even more so with this one, I felt as though this book broke far away from the Twilight feel. In the first book, I found a number of small similarities; though this third one it has certainly taken on its own world and feel.

        Again, with this book there are some annoying grammar confusions which occasionally get in the way of the enjoyment of the book itself. The book is written from Claire's point of view, though not from her first person perspective (ie: not using the 'I did this' but rather 'Claire did this'). Many a time, though, I felt as though the author forgot exactly what style she was writing as it seemed to slip quite often into Claire's perspective as said from her own mouth. This became very off-putting, though from the previous books I was able to overlook this to a large degree. Unfortunately it did seem a lot worse in this book and I am hoping that it does not continue to get worse as the book progress as it is such a shame that this one aspect shadows the greatness of the story.

        This story is largely about vampires, and if this genre does not appeal to you, then I doubt that you would be interested, though there are also many other aspects within the pages such as different kinds of love and friendship, family issues and life in general. Do be aware of the teenage hormones kicking in throughout the book, though, and occasionally this does become rather annoying.

        The characters have grown so much from the first book, and this book takes them to a further level of understanding. Although we are still only getting some background information, we are learning more about each character through the events which are taking place in the book. With regards to some of the older vampires, more snippets are being released in this book and I even found myself loving the characters whom we should probably hate. Whether this is intentional or not, I do not know, though it certainly makes for a vaster and entertaining read.

        So what makes this book any different to other vampire novels?

        I am not entirely sure if I can really put my finger on just what makes this book, and the set (the three I have read so far) different to other vampire novels. Whilst the general concept is similar to many other novels, there are certainly new concepts hidden throughout the pages. The characters are enticing and the action is fluid and exhilarating from cover to cover. The fact that everything which happens in the book happens in this one town is also very similar to many other genre specific books, though the way that this situation occurs is very different and really pulls you into the story.

        One thing which I find very important in a book is the ending. A story can be written perfectly, though if the ending is wrong, then it gives me a really terrible feel to the whole book, almost as though I feel my time was wasted reading it, even if I did enjoy the rest of the story.

        So how does the ending of this book compare?

        The constant action, like the first two books, is very apparent in this third installment, though it does have a few more moments of stillness to catch your breath. I found that in this book, the action continued at a more steady pace and, instead of growing as it reached the end, it seemed to simmer off slightly. Although there is a large cliff hanger at the end of this book, I would not say that it has the great shocking effect as the other two books held. It was almost as though the story had ended a few pages before and then suddenly the author remembered that her style was to leave cliff hangers and so hurriedly added one in at short notice. This being said, though, it did round it off nicely and also manage to leave it open for the next book, it is just a shame that the ending differed so much from the previous two books endings as that is one thing I have absolutely loved in the last two books. Hopefully the author gets this aspect back in the next book!

        The story was 365 pages long, which seems average for these set of books, and so it did not take me long to read them. There was no surprising addition of a diary excerpt at the end here though, which in my opinion was no great loss.


        ************************
        FINAL WORDS
        ************************

        Midnight Alley was a fantastic third addition to what has already been such an exciting set of books with a lot of promise as to what is to come. In my opinion, the books in themselves are just getting better and better, and so far, this one has to be my favourite of the lot. Although the action is still intense, I did feel that I was able to grab a hold of my thoughts more often in this third book, though unfortunately this continued to the ending which was possibly the worst ending so far. It still left me with great anticipation for the next book, though, so it is certainly not all bad.

        The more adult influence in this third book was certainly welcomed and drove the story from young adult into more adult realms which was a great addition. The story became even more unique and the characters really found their footing in this book. Of course, the book is not without its flaws (of which have been mentioned above), though I feel I was able to overlook most of these and fall right into the great story with ease. I would certainly recommend this book to those who love this type of story. I have already bought the next lot of books in the set and am looking forward to seeing where this story will go as it ended with a lot of possibilities.

        Midnight Alley is, in the main, a tame horror fantasy book which is an international best seller. It is listed as a young adult read, though I personally found it very compelling a read and I have long since left my teen years!

        The RRP on this book is £6.99 which is an average and very reasonable price for such a great book, though as with many books these days (especially those which have been out a while!) there are many ways of getting your hands on a book for much less. If you have 'The Works' shop near you, each book of the series (except the second one as they seem to always be out) is priced at an amazing £1.99, and to place the cherry on the top, they have the deal of three for £5 which is really great, especially as there are so many books in this series. Amazon have this book there at the moment from £1.07 new or £0.01p used (not including postage and packaging) and I guarantee that if you like these sorts of books then you will certainly want to keep reading!

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          21.07.2011 07:15
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          A really good book by my newest favourite author.

          I have been lucky with the series of vampire books I am currently reading, lucky in the respect that my younger sister purchased the first book as a birthday gift for me in February, and has since purchased the rest of the books currently available, and lent them all to me!

          The book in question is - "Midnight alley by Rachel Caine".

          Since pledging herself to Amelie, the oldest and most powerful vampire in Morganville, Claire Danvers has been surprisingly pleased with her new set up.
          Not only is she now protected by the ice queen herself, which in turn means protection for her house mates Eve and Shane, but she gets to keep a close eye on her landlord and Morganville's newest vampire Michael, who just happens to live with the three of them(much to Shane's displeasure due to him being his best friend and being turned without consulting any of them!).

          Alls well until Amelie decides that she has a use for Claire after all, a use that may well get Claire killed, though why should she care, she is an expendable human after all........

          After reading the first two books and being impressed with them I couldn't wait for this one and it didn't disappoint!

          This vampire book is far from being in the same vein as Twilight and such books, but does seem to play on the whole "teenage angst" theme, with four main characters not only sharing a house, but also seem to have coupled up too, though the relationship between Shane and Claire is much more intense feeling due to Claire only being 16 (American!) and Shane being a slightly more advanced 18, so the feelings of their lust and at times sexual frustration is extremely tangible to the reader.

          The book at times makes you forget that the vampires are deadly creatures, as during the daylight hours everyone (who is human!) continues on their merry ways, but the night time scenes are much darker with the feeling of being on edge running through these parts, this does make for addictive if somewhat uncomfortable reading!

          Within this book is almost a storyline woven into the storyline, with there being a serial rapist and killer on the loose in Morganville, and you would be forgiven if you assume it is a vampire, but you are led to believe it may well be human, but with many of these books nothing is as it first appears!

          I really enjoyed this book, and (so far) have yet to be disappointed with the series, there is very little sexual content to speak of, though the language is definitely getting a bit fruitier as the books go on, so maybe suitable for the slightly older teenager, though not the younger!

          Price wise these books are available via www.amazon.co.uk for around the £4.99 mark.

          ISBN 978-0-7490-7922-2

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          28.06.2010 15:18
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          Each book is getting better and better

          Midnight Alley is the third book in The Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine.

          Here is what has happened so far.
          Claire Danvers moved to Morganville to go to college early at age 16. After a lot of hassle from popular Monica and her friends, including death threats, Claire moves into Glass House with Michael, Shane and Eve. Shane is now Claire's boyfriend, Eve is her best friend and Michael the musician was a ghost but is now a vampire (A lot can happen in two books). Shane's Dad came to town to take out all of the vampires which ended up landing Shane in jail and being sentences to death but Claire worked out a deal with Amelie to save everyone.

          Midnight Alley.
          After signing to Amelie, Claire must now do pretty much whatever she wants without question. What Amelie wants Claire to do is work with a crazy scientist vampire who is quite insane as well as take some advanced classes, which come complete with a scholarship. Myrnin, the scientist is crazy because he has a disease, one that will slowly infect all of the vampires in Morganville sooner or later. It is Claire's job to learn all that she can from Myrnin in order to find a cure before the disease can wipe out the vampires but Myrnin isn't helping matters by forgetting things and trying to bite Claire.

          There's also news that Eve's brother is out of jail and back in Morganville but as soon as this happens, dead girls start appearing and they don't seem to have been killed by vampires. Was it Jason? Claire, Shane and Eve are all trying to deal with the fact that Michael is now a vampire and they are unsure of how to live with him and how to act around him. Life in Morganville is never a walk in the park.

          What I thought.
          After knowing that Claire had signed herself over to Amelie, I was very curious to see what she would be getting her to do. The idea of sending Claire off to some vampire losing his mind to help with research into saving their race was very interesting. Amelie obviously knows that Claire wouldn't really want to save the vampires, should she have the chance but it seems as though Claire is the only one able to do the job, seeing as she is so clever, a quick learner and always wants a challenge.

          Claire seems to change a lot in this book compared to the previous two. Everyone is telling her not to trust Myrnin but she refuses to listen, doing whatever she thinks is best instead. She knows that Myrnin can be dangerous but is also able to see the good, which she does with a lot of people. What I love about Claire as a whole is that she is quite normal, apart from her intelligence. She has emotions and problems just like any other normal teenager but hers just involve vampires. There are a lot of people who try to tell her what is best for her and what she should/ shouldn't be doing but Claire is turning into a strong young woman who can think and act for herself. She's always ready to face the consequences for what she does but always believes in what she is doing.

          Myrnin is one of the best written characters in this whole series so far because he is so complex. He's a very old vampire with a lot of life experience and is extremely clever. He was anyway until he began to get sick and lose his mind. Myrnin is quite a funny character because he has been stuck inside for such a long time that he doesn't have any real sense of what is going on in the outside world and he is very much stuck in whatever time it was when he left the real world. Due to how much time Claire spends with Myrnin, her understanding of the vampires on a whole grows and she begins to show some signs of compassion for certain people. Claire's time with Myrnin also gives us a little more insight into the history of the vampires, Amelie especially.

          In the first two books in the series, the vampires have all been bad guys (as they should be really) but in Midnight Alley, things are beginning to change. A couple of vampires are beginning to show emotions and more of a human side than I thought was possible for those in Morganville. I'm glad it was only a couple of characters because one of the biggest things that I love about these books is that vampires are as bad as they're supposed to be. Also, even though the humans were shown as the good guys to begin with, slowly more and more are showing their true feelings about the vampires and living in Morganville. Having good guys on the bad guys side and vice versa spices up the story a bit, making me unsure of who is really on either side. I liked this aspect because it really kept me guessing about what was happening.

          While Michael and Eve's relationship progresses (well as much as it possibly can with him being a vampire now), Claire and Shane don't seem to be going anywhere. As I explained in my previous review of The Dead Girls' Dance, Shane refuses to have sex until Claire is 17, no matter what she does to try to tempt him. I was hoping that something different was going to happen with this aspect of the story but can completely understand why they are at a standstill. I guess I thought that Shane was going to give in and be weaker than he is.

          Overall, this has been the most interesting in the series so far, due to the background of the vampires more than anything else. There is, of course, a lot of action packed into the story which flows well with other events surround all four main characters. I felt like this was a more well rounded book compared to the others because of the mixing of action and complex plot instead of mostly being about the action. I read this in one sitting because I just couldn't put it down. Luckily work didn't get in the way of me reading this one.

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            09.01.2010 19:43
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            This is the third book in the Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine . The previous two books were Glass Houses and Dead Girls Dance, and with this being the third book in the series, I'll do a short recap of the events so far .

            Claire Danvers found herself on an advanced placement at university, living away from home for the first time in a dorm . However, she quickly managed to get on the wrong side of Queen Bitch Monica, and as Monicas bullying became increasingly more dangerous, she moved off campus into the Glass House, meeting goth-girl eve, gamer Shane, and the Michael, who mysteriously is never around during the day . It soon comes out that Michael is a ghost, only appearing at night and unable to leave the house. As Claire manages to anger the vampires who live in Morganville, she and her friends must find a way to stay safe - which led, in the second book, to Claire signing a contract with head Vamp Amelie, offering to do her bidding in for return for the powerful protection she offers.

            Well, I think I managed to do that without giving away too much plot . In this third book, Claire is working for Amelie , and part of this work involves helping vampire scientist Myrnin with his research into a disease - a disease that leads to him only being lucid and sane whilst on medication. This disease seems to be affecting all the vampires to varying degrees, and it's essential that they find a cure, but with Myrnin spending half his time insane and lusting after Claires blood, working together isn't at easy as it could be.

            Add to this that it looks like someone is murdering people and attempting to frame Claires boyfriend Shane, the fact that Michael the Ghost is now Michael the Vampire, and the ever annoying Monica situation, and life is far from easy - and it's only going to get worse.

            I've really enjoyed this series so far, and I think out of the three books in the series so far, this is the most interesting, mainly because of the introduction of several new characters - Myrnin, the mad (quite literally at times ) scientist is a brilliant character, especially in his less lucid moments. I also loved the way Myrnin, and other characters, could turn from friend to enemy in a matter of seconds.

            It's definitely a book (and a series) aimed at teens rather than adults, but nevertheless I still found the plot interesting and varied, with lots of little twists and turns that kept me interested, as well as a cliffhanger ending that ensured I'd be panting after the next in the series. No, they're not the most challenging or well written of books, but I have found them very enjoyable and I'm giving them 4 stars!

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