Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Road Tripping

Review: Kiss of Death by Rachel Caine

In a Glance: Road tripping, with a typically Morganville twist

Title: Kiss of Death
Author: Rachel Caine
Publisher: Allison and Busby
Format: My own tatty paperback
Pages: 348 pages
ISBN #: 9780749007843
Authors WebsiteGoodreadsBuy This
Caine's back with a bang after the lacklustre performance as our favourite Morganville residents go on a road trip with a twist to Dallas. Of course, this being Morganville, things don't go exactly to plan, especially when Oliver escorts them and insists on a series of short stops that result in disaster and near death experiences for all involved. When they stumble upon the little town of Blacke, it appears there's a minor mystery to be solved as well. Put quite simply, it appears that wherever the Glass House residents go, death, danger and wanton destruction follows right behind them.

I quite enjoy this book, as it feels like everything is back to normal, well, Morganville normal, even if only for a couple of chapters. There's something that makes it enjoyable, even though the action doesn't really get started until the last half of the book. That could be a downside, but Caine writes a lot of comedy into the first half that is not only natural, but incredibly enjoyable to read, meaning that the book flows pretty quickly.

One thing I really enjoy about this book is the different side to Oliver that we see. Usually he's all big bad boss man but in this he reveals a softer and somewhat funnier side, and I think Caine writes him incredibly well. He's never been my favourite character, but in this book he really is something else, and it's very refreshing to see a somewhat minor character getting some back story and detail written in. When this is added to the usual camaraderie of the Glass House residents, it brings a new and very fresh feel to the way the story is told. This, to me at least, helps keep the series alive and shows that it still has all the potential witnessed in 'Glass Houses'.

I feel the plot and creativity of Caine needs special mention in this book. Plot hasn't always been her strongest feature, but in this book she carries the reader on a wonderful magical mystery tour and weaves in both old and new elements that make the story feel complete. The snippets of discussions between the characters and also the description of Claire's thoughts helps keep all the recent events in Morganville fresh in your mind, but Caine very cleverly also adds lots of well hidden tit bits of what is to come. Of course, if you haven't already read the series you may struggle to find those, but it's very well put together.

Perhaps the best thing about this book though, to me, is that even though it should, by rights, be pure filler as nothing major happens to move the story forward, it's a very enjoyable little piece of writing. I belly laughed, I cried, I worried, I went through a whole range of emotions whilst wondering what on Earth our Glass House residents had done to deserve all this bad luck! Honestly, I have rarely read a series of books that consistently delivers great characterisation, plot twists and general 'freshness' in such a way. But hold onto your hats because all this filler is leading somewhere, I promise. I know the last couple of books have really slowed the pace, but in the next few books Caine is going to knock you for six and leave you with a reading hangover like you've never had before! So just keep sucking it up and you shall be rewarded, I promise.

Michael switched on the radio and found a scratchy rock ‘n roll station, and although Oliver kept glaring, he turned it up, and before long they were all singing ‘Born to be Wild’, out of tune and at the top of their lungs. Oliver didn’t, but he didn’t pitch an ubervamp fit, either. Claire was almost certain that once or twice, she saw his lips moving with the lyrics.

4/5 – Still not up to the standard of some earlier books, but we’re getting there!

Plot : 18/20 – interesting variation on the standard Morganville action.
Characters: 18/20 – purely for the new side to Oliver.
Writing:  18/20 – the comedy is fantastic in this book!
Creativity: 18/20 – great twists and turns in the latter half.
Ending: 8/10 – a bit lack lustre after the final chapters, but it’s ‘ok’.
Cover: 8/10 – same old, they’re nice but not amazing.

If you like this, you would like:

Caleo (Leech Book 1) by James Crawford is something I have just been given for review and after a quick skim of the first few chapters it looks fantastic. A twist on your standard paranaormal/fantasy fiction what is well worth a read.

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