After having read (and been disappointed by) the sixth book in the House of Night series, it's nice to pick up the seventh book in the Morganville Vampires series and find that not only is the quality good, it's improving! My review is below:
How wrong is it that I stretched a 220+ page book out for five days because I didn't want to see it end? Hopefully not too wrong, because once I was back in Morganville, I didn't want to leave. Fade Out is book # 7 in Rachel Caine's Morganville Vampire series, coming after the drama with evil Bishop has ended and things are supposedly "back to normal" (or as normal as it can be when the town is run by vampires). Main character Claire Danvers is back in class at Texas Prairie University, still with boyfriend Shane, and again working with slightly off-center vampire Myrnin. Michael's adjusting to life as a vampire, and Goth girl Eve has earned a part in the town's new play. The problem comes when castmate Kim suddenly shows up and inserts herself between not only Claire and Eve, but Claire and Shane. Something's just not quite right about Kim, but Claire starts to feel as though she's the only one who sees the problem...until Kim goes missing and her dirty little secret comes to light.
Love, love, love the characters in this tremendous series, and I love that our vampire friends are showing more range in emotion and fallibility. Amelie, the vampire who founded Morganville, is still mourning the loss of lover Sam; Oliver, Eve's former boss and Amelie's next in command, is showing signs of irritation over the way things are being run; and Myrnin, dear, odd, funny Myrnin, is in denial about computer Ada's intentions. Sides are being drawn once again between those vampires in charge and those who have gone rogue, and Claire and her friends are finding themselves caught firmly in the middle.
It's a testament to Ms. Caine's imagination that this series is improving instead of becoming stale, and the fact that both brains and loyalties are being tested shows that she's not willing to settle for the obvious. There is lots of action but also lots of humor in this novel; it's Myrnin's antics that made me laugh and long for my own set of vampire bunny slippers. Claire's dedication to doing what's right, even when it doesn't necessarily feel right, moves the book subtly along, and the growing relationship between Shane and Claire also is well done. The book ends on a cliffhanger (sigh), so naturally I'll be waiting restlessly for the next installment. Here's hoping it's a bit longer so I won't feel the need to ration myself while reading in order to stay in Morganville.