Sunday, July 14, 2013

Danger, Disaster, and Death

Review: Lord of Misrule by Rachel Caine

In a Glance: Danger, disaster, death – and that’s just for breakfast!

Title: Lord of Misrule
Author: Rachel Caine
Publisher: Allison and Busby
Format: Tatty paperback
Pages: 348
ISBN #: 978-0-7490-0757-7

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Once again, the world of Morganville is full of drama and tension! The book continues straight on from where 'Feast of Fools' left off. Claire and the other residents of the Glass House, as well as a selection of loyal humans and vampires, are all about to head off to complete tasks set by Amelie to try and save the town from Bishop and his followers. As you'd expect in Morganville, this doesn't all go entirely to plan! In addition to fighting Bishop's evil bunch of vampires, there are humans becoming restless with the vampire rule, vampires going missing, surprise arrivals, natural disasters, betrayals and one final decision that really, Claire has no choice in - swear allegiance to Bishop or die.

In this book, Caine raises the bar a hundredfold. The drama (and action) is non stop, heart in mouth from start to finish as even in the 'quiet moments' the undertones of danger and death are never too far away. I can honestly say that this is an absolute must read, the pages turn themselves and you are drawn helplessly, rather like Claire, deeper and deeper into the battle between Amelie and Bishop, good and evil, human and vampire. In fact, I regularly read this book so fast that I can't actually remember exactly what is going on. Which, in a weird way, is brilliant because you remember the key parts, but then when you do return to the book to read it again you get some of that 'new book' feel which is so irresistible. The plot is incredibly fast paced, well developed and interwoven with great skill, a real pleasure to read and probably the best book of the series so far, potentially one of the best of the series full stop.

The characters are also fantastic in this book, but then aren't they always? Hannah Moses, a new addition, is a great character and one to watch. She's no nonsense, head in the game kind of material, and exactly what is needed in this crisis. Myrnin is on top form, completely off his rocker, but on top form all the same. He is truly incredible to read, he is possibly one of the greatest vampires ever written, in my humble opinion. Oliver, now we see a different side to him in this book. He's still mean and nasty, but there's something different too, I won't say what as that'll spoil it, but watch out for it! The other major players, such as the Glass House residents, the Morrell's and other minor characters remain pretty much unchanged in essence, however they all become much harder and colder towards the way things are. Caine manages this splendidly and does it in a very realistic and believable style, which, for me personally, is a huge thing when reading a book. You have an emotional investment in the majority of these characters, if not all (excluding Monica, I just can't gel with that psycho!) so that when they are threatened or in danger, it really does pull on the emotions and draw you even further into their worlds. A great way to engage the readers, and Caine does it so very well in every book.

Something else I feel really needs mentioning here is the atmosphere Caine creates in this book. It's almost as if you can feel the tension and drama pouring out of the pages to fill whatever space you're reading in (my bed usually!) and just engulfs you completely. The book makes you feel like, as you are reading it, you're actually there in Morganville. You're in the Glass House receiving orders, you're in the thick of it, you're in danger. It's strange for a book to have that kind of effect, and there are very few I've ever read that manage it well, but this is one of them. It feels like you are there, and that whilst you are reading that book nothing else matters because you just have to find out if your 'friends' are going to be ok, if your town will survive, if the vampires are really going to take over. It's powerful stuff but it's well written indeed!

And so, I guess that's the end of my waffle for another Morganville. Trust me, if you've got this far there's no turning back, and make sure you have the next 3 books to hand once you start 'Carpe Corpus' because it just keeps on getting better! And if you still haven't read a Morganville yet, honestly, go beg borrow or steal one (just kidding, don't steal folks!) because you really are missing out on what I think is one of the best vampire series ever written.

“Claire pulled in a deep breath. ‘Myrnin. Please.’ He looked annoyed. ‘Please what?’ ‘She’s not free range or anything. You can’t just munch her. Let go.’ He didn’t look convinced. ‘Seriously. Let go.’ ‘Fine.’ He opened his arms, and Monica retreated as she clapped both hands around her neck. She sat down on a nearby girder, breathing hard. ‘You know, in my youth, women lined up to grant me their favours. I believe I’m a bit offended.’ “

A fantastic and compulsive read, best so far. 

Plot : 20/20 – Great twists and relentless pace.
Characters: 20/20 – All on top form as always, especially my favourites!
Writing:  20/20 – Caine does well to keep a high pace throughout the book, without making it too hard to keep up.
Creativity: 18/20 – There are some repetitions of old themes in here, weaved together well but a little more originality wouldn’t go a miss.
Ending: 9/10 – Not as powerful as some of the previous endings, but still pretty good.
Cover: 8/10 – Nice but not breath taking.

If you like this, you would like:

A Cast of Stones (The Staff and The Sword #1) by Patrick W Carr is another fast paced book that draws you in. A different type of genre completely, but the writing styles are very similar. Definitely worth a try.

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