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The Dangers are not just at Midnight in Morganville
Morganville Vampires: Midnight Alley - Rachel Caine
Member Name: cha97mw
Morganville Vampires: Midnight Alley - Rachel Caine
Advantages: fast paced, lots of drama, very enjoyable fiction
Disadvantages: A bit juvenile at points, but for a young adult novel, it got the meat just about right.
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.
Summary: A well plotted story that moves with some pace, but manages to be fairly light fiction still.
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