Review: Feast of Fools (Morganville Vampires #4) by Rachel Caine

UK paperback book cover of Feast of Fools, by Rachel Caine, Morganville Vampires #4

So last month I finally got round to reading the third Morganville Vampires book, Midnight Alley, after a break of about a year. You know what? I really, really liked it and couldn’t believe it’d taken me so long to pick it up. But then, THEN! Then I read Feast of Fools, and it completely and utterly blew the previous book out of the water. It’s so amazing I texted Hannah at 2am to inform her just how awesome it is. Which she already knew. But hey ho 🙂

Plot summary – In
the town of Morganville, vampires and humans have learnt to live in
relative peace. Still, Claire Danvers knows that after dark, her
homework can take a backseat to staying alive. But this tenuous harmony
is turned on its head with the arrival of Mr Bishop.

Bad to the
bone, the ancient old-school vampire cares nothing about keeping the
peace; staying at the top of the food chain is enough. What he wants
from the town’s living and dead is unthinkably sinister. It’s only at a
formal ball attended by vampires and their human dates that Claire
realises Bishop’s plan—and the elaborately evil trap he’s set for the
warm-blooded souls of Morganville…

This is not your average teen vampire series. Trust me, I’m as stalled with the whole concept as much as you are, but the Morganville Vampire books barely count. Feast of Fools opens when an ancient vampire, Mr. Bishop, arrives, hell-bent on taking control of the measly little town. As employee/protogee/slave to the current ruler, Claire is left in a very dangerous position – is it safe to pick sides, or can she get by with keeping her head down? Fast forward through an action-packed plot and you’re left with one of the most dazzling and stupendous endings to ever grace the pages of teen fiction.

There’s a recap page! Is that not the best idea ever? I know I commented in my Midnight Alley review that I could catch up to a reasonable extent, even after the gap of a full year, but this page and a half of memory jogging makes all the difference. It’s not really a complicated plot, but a little reminder of who the characters are doesn’t go amiss.

I also complained a fair bit about how the last book ended – it wasn’t a terrible finish exactly, but it led the story in a direction I didn’t think I’d like. As it happens, I do. Hannah told me it all worked out, but I wasn’t so sure – that’ll teach me to doubt her judgement! All I’m saying is that even when you think Rachel Caine has made a huge mistake… keep calm and get the next book.  

However, I do have a couple of criticisms. First off, and I said this last time – CLAIRE IS NOT TWELVE. Say it with me – NOT. TWELVE. Every single person treats her like she’s just wandered out of the nursery with a tea cosy on her head, and she’s a year and a half younger than they are. I swear if people talked to/about me the way they do her, they wouldn’t live to see their next birthday. She gets told off by her housemate for almost saying ‘bitch,’ for God’s sake.

Secondly, and this isn’t so much of a criticsm, but why are they so dependant on vampires all of a sudden? The first couple of books were all about how they could survive on their own and fight-the-system-y. Now the first sign of trouble and they run off to Amelie/Oliver. I understand that certain circumstances require vampire input, but there’s never even a consideration or thought process behind it.

Speaking of the vampires, I love Miffin Myrnin. He’s definitely the most interesting character, despite his craziness and general bitey-ness. I’m not sure why, but I also really like Amelie, although that might just be because she looks like my aunt in my head…

Right, so this is easily the best vampire book, the best in this series and one of the best teenage books full stop. It just feels a lot more powerful, more important, more dramatic than the others. The Morganville books are all a little short – quite frequently you get the feeling that they could have been condensed into fewer books, but this one… no. Not this one.

Read Hannah’s review here, or read my review of Midnight Alley.


  1. Ellie says:

    I'm not going to read this review too closely just yet, because I haven't read #3 yet – BUT THANK YOU FOR MAKING ME WANT TO READ IT! I read #1 and I was like 'Oooooh!', #2 and I was like 'Hmmmmm'… then I stopped even though I have loads more on my shelves.

    Now I'm thinking #3 would be an excellent summer-reading-in-the-shop material, possibly followed swiftly by one or two more. Any light, gripping reading is a bloody godsend once those schools kick their brats out for the summer, I tells ya! *bows in thanks and sweeps away to panic about Hannah's graduation tomorrow instead*

    1. Hanna says:

      Oh do read them! They take like five minutes to get through but they pack a lot into that time! They'd definitely be good for shop-reading – they're easily pick-up-and-put-down-able.

      I got the first eight on the 3 for £5 offer at The Works and I'm only just carrying on with them.

      Oh yay! Her graduation is early, isn't it? Mine wasn't until November!

  2. Lol I was just about to say, "Shit, my graduation?! Why was I not informed!!" xD

    Told you! This is the book that really made me love Myrnin! And and and and the ending bit. ENDING BIT! My god. Love it. The next couple aren't quite as good as this one but they're still good reads and then the series picks back up again really well.

    1. Hanna says:

      Didn't you get the letter? You're graduating from The School of Awesomeness. Hurry up, don't want to be late – you did get a First Class Degree after all!

      Miffin 🙂 THE ENDING BIT. I REALLY want to read the fifth now, but I have review books.

    2. Haha, you are adorable, I swear. 🙂

      I KNOW! And now that you have read book four I don't need to bully you into it. *nods* I understand that feeling.. though my review books are awesome. Itching to read them!

  3. Ugh – now this means that I have to start re-reading these just so that I can see what happens in book 4. I read the first and then wandered off and forgot about it. I think I got a bit grumpy about Claire moaning about being smart and skipping a year and therefore not having friends…and I feel as though I've written this somewhere on your blog (or mine?!) already but I'm going to write it again because I'm original: the title "Dead Girls' Dance" puts me off for some reason. I can totally overcome that, though!

    There are so many books that I want to read – WHY can't there be more time for reading?! Jobs are stupid and over-rated. Are you sure you want to start having to read legislation and cases in your spare time instead of fun books again? Are you?! (Even though I'm excited for you about getting to that very thing in September…I'm so confused!)

    1. Hanna says:

      Yeah, I remember this conversation! I think. She was kind of annoying, but she gets better. Instead it's EVERYONE ELSE that's annoying. Did I mention how distinctly NOT twelve years old she is? :/

      Do read it though! It's not like they take hours and hours to get through at least. And this one really is good.

      Oh god, I know. I don't work and yet I somehow STILL don't have enough time to read. It makes no sense! I'm not sure though. I mean, yes, I definitely WANT to do that, but I'm not sure if I should wait another year to make sure I'm well enough, but… argh. It would mean another year of lazing around and I don't think I can cope with that, but we can only afford to pay for it once – if I start the year and have to drop out then that's that.

      Heh. This wasn't really what you were expecting as an appropriate response to your clearly not rant-inducing comment, was it? 🙂 Sorry.

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