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.