Friday, November 16, 2012

Feast of Fools & Lord of Misrule by Rachel Caine

I think this review may actually be a first for the blog. I don't think I've ever done two books in the one review before. Feast of Fools and Lord of Misrule are the 4th and 5th volumes of Rachel Caine's Morganville Vampires series. Although they are two separate books and were published months apart they're really one continuing story. Feast of Fools ends on a major cliffhanger and I had to run to our library to pull out Lord of Misrule and start it right away (when I'm reading a series, I usually take a break in between books).

The 3rd book in the series (Midnight Alley) ended with new arrivals into the sleepy little vampire controlled town of Morganville, Texas. One were main character's Claire Danvers' protective parents moving into the town to keep an eye on their daughter and the other was an old, imperious vampire who went by the name of Bishop and claimed to be the father of Morganville's head vampire; Amelie.

I'm heading into SPOILERLAND here, so if you haven't read at least Feast of Fools and don't want to be spoiled you may want to quit right now. As it turned out Bishop actually is Amelie's father, both biologically and as a vampire, which is seriously icky.

Bishop wants control of the town, exactly why is never made clear, although it may be in later books. The vampires do have a good deal in Morganville, they own the town and the people in it, and they're protected. They are however suffering from a mysterious disease which seems to affect their sanity and they're not creating many new members. Claire's friend Michael Glass is the first newly created vampire in nearly 70 years, the one before that was his grandfather Sam.

Claire and her friends; Shane Collins and Eve Rosser, along with Michael aren't about to let their town go without a fight, and a fight of huge proportions in what ensues throughout the two books. Lord of Misrule never lets up for a second, that one is all action, all the time.

Claire's parents moving in (clueless as they are) creates two problems for Claire. One is that they want her to move in with them, and while they're in town she has no reason not to, the other is that they give Claire's enemies leverage against her. Although it looks like Claire is protected and favoured by Amelie, she can turn depending on what the situation demands and if she requires the lives of Claire's parents to bend Claire to her will then so be it.

It's a fast moving, engaging series with heroes to cheer for and villains to hiss at. It also has shades of grey characters. Amelie is one. Myrnin is another. Myrnin is a fan favourite, because of how quirky he is. Rachel Caine said she likes writing him too, because he's unpredictable, but this unpredictability makes him dangerous. He's very old, even by vampire terms, he has a fairly tenuous grip on sanity, and he does often regard humans as 'pets'.

Lord of Misrule also introduced another character I grew to like; former marine and current mechanic Hannah Moses. I hope we see more of her.

While mean girl Monica Morrell is hateful, I do admit to feeling sorry for her for the way she was treated in Lord of Misrule. She deserved most of it, but it was brutal. Rachel Caine writes the teenage bullying scenes so well that it makes me wonder if she herself wasn't the victim of it growing up. They do serve to remind that there are things in this world more dangerous than vampires, largely because they're real and they do exist.

I've really come to like Monica's brother Richard. He's a genuine good guy, not sure how he managed it growing up in that family, but there you have it. I'm conflicted about Shane. He has issues with Michael being a vampire, and still a friend. It's understandable, but it's becoming a bit tedious and we don't need to be battered over the head with it in every book.

While Lord of Misrule doesn't end on the same sort of cliffhanger as Feast of Fools it does also lead into the next book; Carpe Corpus. I'm going to make some inroads on the ever growing TBR pile, but as soon as I have I'll be pulling Carpe Corpus off the shelf and heading back to Morganville.

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