Friday, June 21, 2013

New arrivals, New Tensions, All Leading to Deadly Consequences.

Review: Feast of Fools by Rachel Caine

IN A GLANCE: New arrivals, new tensions, all leading to deadly consequences.

Title: Feast of Fools
Author: Rachel Caine
Publisher: Allison and Busby
Format: Much loved paperback
Pages: 367 pages
ISBN #: 978-0-7490-7969-6

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Once again, Morganville is more deadly than bathing in a sea full of sharks when you've got a papercut! At the end of 'Midnight Alley', Amelie's crazy vampire father arrived (there's something about crazy dad's in this series!) and started to make himself comfy at the Glass House, and that is exactly where 'Feast of Fools' kicks off, with Bishop (and his two cronies) demanding breakfast. The book then follows the lead up to the grand feast Amelie is throwing to mark the arrival of 'Elder Bishop', but it's a feast where danger faces all who attend. In a relatively normal week in Morganville, the feast draws ever nearer, both Shane and Claire, and Michael and Eve, face relationship problems as a result of the chaos Bishop has brought to town. Finish with a collection of 'mini' cliff hangers throughout the final chapters as well as a fantastic final conundrum and you have your classic Morganville, except someone knocked the drama up a notch!

For the length of the book, it's surprising how much is fitted into this story. It flows on directly from the last book so well that it's hard to realise that you've actually switched books. They're so easy to read that I find myself reading them quicker and quicker the further through the series I get, and I have to admit, I get a tad jealous of how Caine weaves this world together in so many different ways whilst still keeping it interesting. However, a nice new addition to this book is the 'Story So Far' page, which summarises the events of Morganville for any new readers or older readers who need a refresh, which, believe me, is quite necessary when you devour the books like a vampire who's not drank in a week.

The story is fantastic, it's fast paced, thoroughly enjoyable and crammed with our favourite characters, as well as those we love to hate. Bishop is one of those characters. Repulsive and anything but human, he is different even among the vampire community. He's scary and oozes pure evil from the pages, and his cronies Ysandre and Francois are equally scary in their own ways. I have a deep rooted desire to stake Ysandre throughout the whole book thanks to her devilish attentions towards Shane. These three, not unlike Monica and her hangers on, cause chaos and destruction wherever they go, except unlike Monica, these three are truly deadly.

The dark undertones of danger are fantastically written in this book; I've read it so many times and know what is going to happen, but I still have a heart in mouth reaction to the majority of the action. This is something Caine does fantastically, as realistically, the 'old' characters should be becoming a little boring by now, and the basic plot foundations should be becoming a little tiresome, but then she throws in these totally wicked curveballs and knocks you for six! I've never read a series of books that consistently ups their game and gets better with each and every new addition. 'Feast of Fools' is simply exquisite in that although it is, essentially, a build up to the next book in the series, it is still a fantastic book all on its own; detailed, exciting and dangerous from start to finish. It's fresh and utterly wonderful, addictive and quite simply a fantastic read.

To finish, Caine delivers another wonderful plot twist that leaves the reader reeling. I won't spoil it but it is something that is purely unthinkable, in fact, the last 40 or so pages are so full of twists and turns I think even a TomTom would get excited. Caine never, throughout all of the series so far, fails to disappoint with her endings, which is a major advantage of this series. In this book, however, she excels, with a series of body blows delivered with perfect panache and timing that deserves the highest praise. Just when you think it's all over, it isn't and she throws another twist into the mix, just to keep us on our toes. On this occasion, it was so brilliantly written I actually though I was there in the Glass House awaiting my orders.

Overall, what can I say? I've run out of superlatives and I've got another 10 books to go! Great follow on, fantastic flow and a wonderful web has been set for what promises to be the best book yet. If you don't believe me, then give the book a read, and if you don't like it, see Amelie after dark!

“Everyone in the room was still. Shane moved up next to Claire, and she was aware of Eve and Michael just behind her. But Amelie was staring right at her. ‘What will you sacrifice, Claire?’ she asked. ‘To win?’ ‘It’s not a game,’ Claire said. Amelie inclined her head. ‘True. It is war. And now we have to fight for all of our lives.’

One of the best so far, even though there’s a fair bit of filler!

Plot : 20/20 – Fantastic twists to keep you on your toes!
Characters: 20/20 – New and old work in fantastic synthesis together.
Writing:  19/20 – Brilliantly delivered, as per usual.
Creativity: 19/20 – Great twists, especially at the end!
Ending: 10/10 – Infallible, Caine is an incredible tease.
Cover: 8/10 – Same as the others, it’s a good cover, but not amazing.

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