Monday, March 18, 2013
Carpe Corpus by Rachel Caine
Despite the fact that I find Rachel Caine's Morganville Vampires books a bit of a guilty pleasure and that Carpe Corpus follows on immediately from Feast of Fools & Lord of Misrule I took a while to get around to it, in a vain effort to whittle down the TBR pile, damn thing just keeps on expanding.
Even though I hadn't been back to Morganville for a few months this one was like slipping on a comfortable pair of jeans or a favourite t-shirt. The books are kind of like that; familiar.
If you haven't read at least up until Book 6 Carpe Corpus be warned that you are now entering spoiler country.
When we last left our heroes in Morganville things looked bad. The old and brutal vampire Bishop had taken over the town and ruled with an iron fist.
When the vampires under the rule of Amelie, Bishop's daughter, ruled the roost in Morganville, they took it fairly easily with the human inhabitants, and the university in the town; TPU, was largely off limits. Amelie's vampires, including her 2IC; Oliver, didn't take blood, they asked for it. Admittedly they asked quite forcefully and it was a form of tax or tribute, but people weren't just killed off hand in the way Bishop and his people did it.
As the story unfolds Claire and her allies who prove to be the slightly off centre Mrynin and recent vampire Michael Glass, have to find a way to fool Bishop and his cadre of like minded vampires to take their town back.
Bishop is chased from the town, but he isn't dead and I'm sure until he is completely killed off he will continue to be a threat to Morganville.
A few things were resolved in this. I think Claire has finally decided once and for all between Shane and Michael. She's with Shane, her best friend Eve is with Michael, despite his now undead status. Amelie is going to take the death of her boyfriend Michael's undead grandfather Sam hard. Myrnin seems to have found a cure for the affliction that the vampires suffer from, although he himself is still extremely quirky, I'm trying to decide whether he's been permanently affected by the disease or he puts a lot of it on for show.
Some problems remain. One is that Claire's parents live in Morganville now. I mentioned in the review of Feast for Fools and Lord of Misrule the problems this causes for Claire and how it gives enemies a lever to force her into things, but I think it also creates narrative issues. She's expected to live with them and they'll be mentioned regularly, it just kind of breaks up the story unnecessarily for mine. It would be okay if they'd always lived there, but they haven't, and the author having moved them in for the Bishop story arc, can't just move them out again. Monica Morrell and her Monicettes are still around and they'll always be looking for ways to put Claire off her game. Back to the narrative: for someone who has been shown as a survivor and meant to be pretty bright, Claire is remarkably clueless and naive at times. She almost veers into TSTL (too stupid to live) territory.
I liked the introduction of Myrnin's bloodsucking computer Ada, she definitely doesn't like Claire and this is going to make things difficult for the teenage genius in the future as well. Ada is however suitably quirky and it doesn't surprise that she was Myrnin's brainchild.
All said and done they are damn addictive books and I won't wait so long between installments next time.