Sunday, October 24, 2010

Feast of Fools: The Morganville Vampires Book Four by Rachel Caine

Claire Danvers thought she understood what was really happening in the town of Morganville, but the arrival of Mr. Bishop, Amelie's parent in blood, has radically changed the town. Mr. Bishop doesn't approve of how Amelie is running the town, and he fights her for control, and wins. Now, Amelie's former opponent, Oliver, isn't happy with this turn of events, because even while he wanted Amelie ousted from power, he wanted to be the one in charge, and Bishop is too powerful and too extreme even for Oliver to countenance what he is doing.

At least Claire can be assured that her parents are safe, and that she can deal with the situation on her own- but when she realizes that her parents have moved to Morganville to be with her, Claire is heartbroken, and has to reveal to them what has been happening to her and what sort of town her parents have moved into. And why things have suddenly become so much worse for any humans in Morganville. Even people who were previously safe, like the Mayor and the Morell family, are now in danger because Bishop will recognize no prior agreements.

But what does he want from Morganville, and why has he returned? And why do he and his followers alone seem to be immune to the disease that afflicts the vampires in town? Can Claire keep Myrnin on a steady course as they attempt to find a cure to the disease, and can they find one in time to help Amelie and Oliver take back the town from Bishop? Because now Claire may have to do the hardest thing of all, side with the vampires she's been trying to keep the town safe from to end the threat of Bishop and his followers.

But Bishop is a bigger threat to Claire and her friends and family than she realizes, and when he invites the vampires in town to a ball, each of the vampires is to bring a human "date" as a partner. But what will Bishop demand of the vampires that inhabit the town, and will any of them give him what he wants?, And when the rebellion against Bishop finally breaks out, will the town and its people have any chance to survive?

Well, things keep going from bad to worse for Claire. First, all she had to worry about was herself, but now that her mother and father have moved to be with her, there is no escape, and Claire is even more desperate to try and keep her parents safe. And Claire is also starting to have feelings for her mentor, Myrnin. Not the kind of feelings that you'd think, but protective ones, and now that Bishop is in town, Myrnin seems to have changed and not for the better, either. Bishop's presence is turning Myrnin into a much darker figure that Claire is sure she doesn't like.

And things aren't good on any front. Her parents are in town, and they don't approve of her relationship with Shane at all, as he is years older than she is. They want Claire to move back in with them, but she wants to stay with her friends, and no one in town is safe. And none of Bishop's followers seem any nicer or more sane than he is. And all of them seem to have it in for Claire and her friends. How can Claire save everybody and is it even worth trying any more? Something is going to have to change, but Claire and her friends will have to be authors of that change if they want to have any say in saving the town.

This series continues to get better and better with every book, combining vampires that are good with those that thrive on sheer chaos as well as evil and indifference to humans. While there are some vampires that come down as strongly on the side of good as possible (Matthew and his grandfather, Sam), they are few and far between. As Morganville descends into chaos, can anyone survive the coming storm? I loved this book and this entire series. Highly recommended for both.

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