Friday, June 14, 2013

Are You Tired of Drama? Not When It Comes To Morganville

Review: Midnight Alley by Rachel Caine

In a Glance: Same old Morganville, just a new kind of crazy; does nobody get tired of drama in this town?

Title: Midnight Alley
Author: Rachel Caine
Publisher: Allison and Busby
Format: Paperback (used and abused)
Pages: 365 pages
ISBN #: 978-0-7490-7922-2

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As always, the residents of Morganville never cease to entertain, they never get a quiet moment to themselves either, but that's life in Morganville for you! In the third book of the series things go from bad to worse for our little family of social misfits. Despite turning vampire, Michael is more of a misfit than ever, Shane is, well Shane, and Eve gets even more trouble from her crazy brother and the fact she's now a 'fang banger'. Whilst quiet little Claire isn't really all that quiet now, she's grown into somewhat of a Morganville native, despite only living there for a few months. She's thrown head first into a world of vampire secrets and danger, becoming the first human to be entrusted with something that could bring chaos to Morganville. Throw in some crazy parties, violence, near death experiences and an unexpected visitor and you have your average foray into the crazy world of Morganville.

As with the other books, Midnight Alley picks up pretty much where we left off, the Glass House residents are becoming a fractured group, mainly because of Shane's difficulty to accept Michael's choice to turn vampire. Understandable when you consider Shane's history, not so acceptable when you're living with the Founder's 'pet' as a girlfriend and your best mate's just become the newest vamp in town! Throughout this series, I've always loved the dynamic and relationships between the characters, and although it wasn't a delight to read the arguments, Caine does a brilliant job of making believable and drawing you into their conflicts. It's a major positive of the books that the characters stay fresh and exciting to read, even after nearly a thousand pages. The introduction of new characters into the mix, such as Jason and Myrnin, is great, and the fact we learn more about the older characters like Amelie is also fantastic, as it all weaves together into a very realistic and believable little tale.

Myrnin. I feel, if you've read these books before, that one word says it all. He is by far my favourite character in this series, and that's mostly due to his introduction. He is as mad as a hatter, completely bonkers, but so exciting to read. You honestly never know what is going to happen next when he's around, and it makes for such exciting reading that you don't mind if it's putting others in danger or if it's way past your bedtime, you just have to find out what that crazy vamp is going to do next. He is amazing. Honestly, just trust me on this one! I can't say more, because it'll spoil things, but if you do nothing else, just look for some of his quotes, he is amazing.

Funnily enough, if you hadn't already guessed, there are a lot of things I love about this book. In fact, it's probably one of my favourites in the series as a whole, and most definitely of the series so far. The plot in this book is much more developed and feasible than in the earlier books. It seems to flow better, develop the over arching ideas of the earlier books, but also introduces ideas that you know will be major parts in future books. In short, Caine has finally woven the story together, keeping it current, but showing snippets of the past and future to keep the reader fully engaged in her story. It's a great skill, and it works because finally everything is pulled together. You still have plenty of scope for imagination and daydreaming about the plot holes, but they're much smaller and a lot less gaping than in Glass Houses! The holes in this book just give the reader a bit more freedom to search for their own answers and a bit of time to form their own opinions about the issues raised.

And as if all of the drama wasn't enough (out of control parties, street fights, dead bodies all over town, just to name a few 'issues'), Caine ends on what has to be one of the most brilliant and fantastic cliff hangers I have ever read. I won't spoil it but it was so huge, I have to reread the section over and over again. You think you've reached the biggest problem that is possible, but then she just throws another curve ball at you and it's a classic jaw to the floor moment. I appreciate that this sounds incredibly vague and is most unhelpful with anything except infuriating you because you can't reach the end quick enough (no sneaky peeks!), but it is a wonderful, simplistic piece of writing that delivers a massive body blow.

All in all, A fantastic read, much better than the others in the series so far, and if you're still reading my waffles you must be crazy, there's the next book waiting for you to decipher that cliff hanger, and if I were you I'd clear the schedule and get reading these books as quick as you can because it's all downhill on a runaway train from here! Buckle up for a vamptastic ride!

“He let his voice return to normal levels. Not afraid of being overheard, not here. ‘I thought it was time we had a talk. You signed an agreement with Amelie. That hurts me, Claire. I thought we had a special friendship, and after all, I did offer first.’ Oliver smiled at her, that cold and oddly kind smile that had suckered her in the first few times she’d met him. ‘You turned me down. So why, I wonder, did you decide that Amelie would be a better choice?’ He might know about Myrnin, but not what Myrnin did. Amelie had been pretty specific: he could never know that. ‘She smells better,’ Claire said. ‘And she made me cookies.’ Somehow, after the day she’d had, Oliver just didn’t seem all that terrifying anymore.”

Much improved and a fantastic read from start to finish!

Plot : 19/20 – Much better, less holes, but still not quite perfection
Characters: 20/20 – Myrnin. I’ll say no more but you’ll agree with me when you’ve read it ;)
Writing:  18/20 – Enticing, exciting and engaging, can’t ask for much more than that!
Creativity: 20/20 – I won’t spoil it but the phrase ‘curveball’ comes to mind!
Ending: 10/10 – Fantastic cliffhanger, the best ending so far!
Cover: 9/10 – Same as the others, it’s enticing but not that heart in mouth I need that now kind of feeling

 If you like this, you would like:

Frey (The Frey Saga) by Melissa Wright is something I’ve just downloaded (free, might I add) to my Kindle. It’s magical, persecution, teen drama sort of stuff, but it looks good!

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