Saturday, May 31, 2008

"Midnight Alley" by Rachel Caine

The third book in Caine's Morganville Vampires series is a marked improvement over the second book. The action slows down just a bit, and there's a lot more crucial information imparted to the reader, both about the town of Morganville and about young Claire Danvers herself. If you haven't been keeping up with this young adult series, I would recommend reading the first two books. Caine does a fairly good job of bringing new readers up to speed, but it never hurts to start at the beginning. Also, being YA titles, none of the books is very long, so they're easy, quick reads.

In this installment, Claire is under Amelie's protection; this move by Claire was supposed to bring safety to her and those living in the Glass House. However, it would seem that not even the founder of Morganville has quite that much power. In addition, Claire now has different college courses to take thanks to Amelie, very interesting classes in history and science. She also has a special assignment, one that means working with a very old, and very insane, vampire. There's a secret about Morganville that Amelie is working hard to protect, a secret that she would very much like to change, too.

As for Claire's roommates, well, there's a bit of friction there. Michael and Shane, best friends for years, are now at each other's throats quite often. This might be due to Michael's new "lifestyle choice", the one he made in the second book. Eve is worried about her brother, and she should be. There's a very good chance that he's been killing human girls around Morganville, and he wouldn't lose any sleep over Eve's death. And then there's Monica Morrell, Claire's arch nemesis from the first two books; she suddenly wants to be the best of friends with Claire.

As I said, there's a bit of action in this book, but not nearly as much as book two, and certainly not at the breakneck speed of that work. I found myself quite interested in Claire's new "work" with the old vampire, and I loved that she sees now that everything is not quite so black and white. I'm hoping the fourth book will continue in this vein and not rely on the action sequences so much.

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