Review: Ghost Town by Rachel Caine

Review: Ghost Town by Rachel CaineGhost Town by Rachel Caine
Series: Morganville Vampires #9
Published by Allison & Busby
Pages: 479
Genres: Paranormal YA, Young Adult
Source: Purchased myself
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Also in this series: Glass Houses, The Dead Girls' Dance, Midnight Alley, Kiss of Death, Bite Club

While developing a new system to maintain Morganville's defenses, student Claire Danvers discovers a way to amplify vampire mental powers. Through this, she's able to re-establish the field around this vampire-infested Texas college town that protects it from outsiders.

But the new upgrades have an unexpected consequence: people inside the town begin to slowly forget who they are-even the vampires. Soon, the town's little memory problem has turned into a full-on epidemic. Now Claire needs to figure out a way to pull the plug on her experiment- before she forgets how to save Morganville...

Thoughts: I really cannot believe I am writing a non-glowing-verging-on-negative review for a Morganville book. This series has consistently been one of my favourite reads – I thought that there could be no such thing as a bad Morganville book. But after reading Ghost Town, I remembered the problems I had with the first book in the series (Glass House). Namely, it just didn’t make me care about the characters.

Claire and the gang are, as usual, in the midst of another action-packed drama – this time centred around Claire and Mrynin’s experimental new machine. Now, that should make my knees turn to jelly, because a) I am head-over-heels in love with Myrnin, and b) I absolutely adore the Claire/Myrnin relationship. And yet their dynamic in this book is pretty much centred around Ada – which was just one of those characters I wish Caine would drop already. Seeing Myrnin – of all people – so love-crazy (instead of regular crazy) just annoyed me. There were a few scenes between them at the start of the book that I loved, but then it was all downhill.
Same goes for Amelie and Oliver – usually two kick-ass characters who seemed to spend this book going on and on about their unbelievable emotional angst. Not to mention the fact that they have been having the same argument about Morganville for nine books. Every time they brought it up, my eyes would start to glaze over. I get it already! Geez.

As for the Glass House residents, I have been growing less and less attached to them with each book. Shane/Claire used to make my heart pitter-patter, and now I feel like skipping through all their lovey-dovey business. I guess they’ve reached that point in their relationship where the camera would usually fade to black and display a “happily ever after” banner. It’s great for them, but not so interesting for us readers. Not that I want angst, per say, but some kind of development would be nice.

Bottom line? Depressing installment to a great series. I remain a fan, but have lost my faith in the series.

Review: Betrayals by Lili St. Crow

Review: Betrayals by Lili St. CrowBetrayals by Lilith St. Crow
Series: Strange Angels #2
Published by Quercus Books, Razorbill
Pages: 308
Genres: Paranormal YA, Young Adult
Source: Purchased myself
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Also in this series: Strange Angels

Poor Dru Anderson. Her parents are long gone, her best friend is a werewolf, and she’s just learned that the blood flowing through her veins isn’t entirely human. (So what else is new?)

Now Dru is stuck at a secret New England School for other teens like her, and there’s a big problem— she’s the only girl in the place. A school full of cute boys wouldn’t be so bad, but Dru’s killer instinct says that one of them wants her dead. And with all eyes on her, discovering a traitor within the Order could mean a lot more than social suicide. . .

Can Dru survive long enough to find out who has betrayed her trust — and maybe even her heart?

Thoughts: I have such mixed feelings about the Strange Angels series. Don’t get me wrong, I love the books. Dru is probably the most depressing teenager ever, but her stubbornness and strength are really inspiring. I love how she is still grieving her father’s death from the first book – and her mother’s death as a child. I love the universe, filled with werewolves, dhampirs and vampires constantly at each other’s throats.

St. Crow’s universe is violent and gothic, and utterly immersive. I read this book in a single day – I just couldn’t put it down.  We learn so much more about the dangers Dru is facing – from enemies she didn’t even know she had. We also find out a lot more about her troubling new powers, how Graves is dealing with his new transformation and we get a bit of Christophe’s fascinating background.

But I have some trouble with the love triangle. When it comes to the whole Graves/Dru/Christophe thing, I have a feeling that I’m on the losing side of the love triangle a.k.a. the “I don’t want to see Dru with either of them” side.

Okay, sure, if I had to choose: Team Christophe all the way. But that’s because I find him hot – seriously hot – and not because I think he is right for Dru. As for Graves, I really have trouble seeing him as anything more than just a friend. A totally awesome friend, but just a friend.

Unfortunately the non-epic romance and the shortage of Christophe meant Betrayals lost the edge that Strange Angels had. Nevertheless, I can’t wait to read Jealousy (which has an epically terrible cover) and hope to get some bloody answers in it!

Bottom line? Filled with supernatural violence, a grieving teen, and a serious ammount of political intrigue – Betrayals is a great book. And hopefully you’ll find yourself choosing sides in the romance – I’m sure the book is more enjoyable when you aren’t trying to fasten a chastity belt onto the heroine.

Review: Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow

Review: Strange Angels by Lili St. CrowStrange Angels by Lilith St. Crow
Series: Strange Angels #1
Published by Quercus Books, Razorbill
Pages: 293
Genres: Paranormal YA, Young Adult
Source: Gifted from someone with/without taste, Purchased myself
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Also in this series: Betrayals

Dru knows that The Real World - peopled with ghosts, suckers and zombies - is a frightening place. She's ready to kill first and ask questions later, so it's going to take her a while to work out just who she can trust.

Dru Anderson has been 'strange' for as long as she can remember, travelling from town to town with her father to hunt down things that go bump in the night. It's a weird life, but a good one - until in an icy, broken-down town, a hungry zombie bursts through her kitchen door. Dru is going to have to use every inch of her wit and training. Can she stay alive long enough to fall for one - or both - of the guys hungry for her affections?

The summary above sucks. It is the least spoilery one I could find (most give away the first half of the book). But it paints Dru in completely the wrong light. I mean, sure, she is capable of kicking ass – but she is not kick-ass. They made Dru sound like Rose from Vampire Academy – and she is so NOT ROSE.

A better summary? You know the show Supernatural? Well, imagine a less-cocky, teenage, girl!Dean – without the baby brother – hunting evil around the US with his Dad. There you have (at least the start) of Strange Angels.

Thoughts: Strange Angels is a really great addition to the YA Paranormal scene. Lili St. Crow paints a much more realistic picture of a teen living in an unreal world. Although absent, Dru’s parents play a big role in her life – and both they (and her safety) trump whatever guy she is supposed to mooning after. Strange Angels is violent, tragic, and really enjoyable – although it does go downhill towards the end.

I loved the first half of this book.  But in it, Dru is miserable – I mean, I’m-almost-an-alcoholic-teenager!miserable – and her world thoroughly sucks. Despite the temptation to just curl up and die, she is trying desperately to plough through the misery. It was amazing to read, even though it was utterly tragic. Really made me appreciate her strength. I also loved her inner Dad!voice. She would constantly think of what her Dad would say or do in a particular situation (which often involved killing things).  It made me love the guy without ever spending that much time with him.

Graves, the first boy she meets in this book – well, he’s ok. I haven’t quite worked out if I really like him, but I do appreciate how much he helps Dru. Graves has had a really hard-knock life – hell, the guy is practically homeless – but has amazingly managed to keep his head above water. I’d like to find out even more about his background in Betrayals.

Mid-way through the book, we are introduced to Christophe. He is tough, scary and not-so-human… and yeah, I really liked him! But as soon as Christophe came into the picture, Dru started to edge into the too-stupid-to-live category. There was one particular scene where Dru refused to do something for no apparent reason. I mean, it shouldn’t even have been an issue, but Dru decides it is the perfect reason to pitch a fit – and it completely blows up in her face. It was really frustrating, and I wanted to just reach through the book and shake her! (Although Graves I wanted to smack, as he agreed with her insanity.)

The last half? – maybe 3 stars. But the first half was just so great (well, actually it was miserable, but a great read) that I had to keep the rating up. I am looking forward to Betrayals and have a feeling Dru will straighten her head out a bit in that book… I am also looking forward to more Christophe!

Bottom Line? A great addition to the YA Paranormal Scene.  If you are a fan of the Morganville series then this will be up your alley!

I read this for the Battle Royale New Author Mini-ChallengeTeam Deadline Dames!

Review – Fade Out (Morganville Vampires, Book 7) by Rachel Caine

Fade Out (The Morganville Vampires, Book 7) by Rachel Caine
Bookdepository / Amazon UK / Amazon US
Librarything / Goodreads

Rating: 4 stars
Pages: 348

Summary: Without the evil vampire Bishop ruling over the town of Morganville, the resident vampires have made major concessions to the human population. With their newfound freedoms, Claire Danvers and her friends are almost starting to feel comfortable again…

Now Claire can actually concentrate on her studies, and her friend Eve joins the local theatre company. But when one of Eve’s castmates goes missing after starting work on a short documentary, Eve suspects the worst. Claire and Eve soon realize that this film project, whose subject is the vampires themselves, is a whole lot bigger—and way more dangerous—than anyone suspected.

Thoughts: I had been saving Fade Out because it was my last MV book until Kiss of Death comes out – I finally cracked and read it in a single go! Best 4 hours I’ve had in quite a while!

The book picks up a few months after the chaos of Carpe Corpus – and Morganville is living in relative peace. In fact, this book has less action than is typical for a Morganville book – which is still an awful lot! Caine’s books always pack a punch, and Fade Out is no exception.

A new girl throws all the group dynamics off balance, and it was great to watch how the characters dealt with a less violent disruption to their status quo. Especially Shane and Claire (bless them – I love these two) who are both desperately trying to be grown ups for each other – and not always succeeding. We also got some amazing insight into Myrinn, his relationship with Ada, and the mostly!platonic love between him and Claire. The Myrinn/Claire dynamic is probably my favourite in the series, and Caine really pushes it to its limits. We get a much clearer picture about how Myrinn feels about Claire – and up to what point Claire will have his back. I’ll stop there, because I don’t want to give anything away. Let’s just say that I love their interaction, and there is plenty of it in Fade Out!

Bottom line? Yet another amazing installation in the Morganville Series. A definite must!

Review – Carpe Corpus (Morganville Vampires, Book 6) by Rachel Caine

Carpe Corpus (Morganville Vampires, Book 6) by Rachel Caine
Bookdepository / Amazon UK / Amazon US
Librarything / Goodreads

Rating: 4 stars
Pages: 384

Summary: In the small college town of Morganville, vampires and humans lived in (relative) peace – until all the rules got rewritten when the evil vampire Bishop arrived, looking for the lost book of vampire secrets. He’s kept a death grip on the town ever since. Now an underground resistance is brewing, and in order to contain it, Bishop must go to even greater lengths.

He vows to obliterate the town and all its inhabitants – the living and the undead. Claire Danvers and her friends are the only ones who stand in his way. But even if they defeat Bishop, will the vampires ever be content to go back to the old rules, after having such a taste of power?

Thoughts: Claire and co. are thrown through the wringer – again – in Carpe Corpus. This is Morganville as we have never seen it before – everything that was once only very dangerous becomes terrifyingly so. It seems even worse for poor Claire, as her parents decide that this book will be the perfect opportunity for them to visit their daughter! I loved seeing Claire deal with her parents on top of all the chaos – which makes me sound rather sadistic… hmm.

Carpe Corpus is probably the darkest of the Morganville books so far. There were a lot of game-changing events that will have long reaching consequences for both humans an vampires. It was also the first book where the group dynamics have not been solid. Because of the events in Lord of Misrule, Claire is all on her own at the start of the book – and this time it is not simply The Glass House vs. The World.

Bottom line? Yet again, you NEED to read this series. It is an action packed roller coaster ride of pure genius. Not to mention it is one of the few YA books out there totally dominated by the romance!

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