Monday, October 25, 2010

Lord of Misrule: The Morganville Vampires- Book Five by Rachel Caine

Morganville is in Chaos. The Vampires under Bishop and the Vampires under Amelie are clashing, the town is in lockdown, and the blood bank is burning as Bishop tries to bring the vampires that make Morganville home to heel. But there are literal dark storm clouds hanging over the town and something supernatural is the reason why. And with Claire's parents now making their home in Morganville, it's more important to Claire than ever to protect the town and her friends from the chaos pervading it.

But now there are more than just two camps of vampires, or even three. In the past, there were those vampires who supported Amelie, those who supported Oliver, and those who supported Bishop. But now there are vampires who don't support anyone, who want to leave Morganville behind and say goodbye to Amelie's grand experiment. And now there is a huge twister on its way to Morganville, and the humans have been told to take shelter in the City Hall until it passes. But Bishop is in control of City Hall, and to do so might mean more people could die than might have been killed by the twister itself.

Worse, the humans who hate the vampires have seized this moment to rebel and try to push all the vampires out of town and take back their lives, making the whole situation even more chaotic and scary, especially when both sides need to work together to oust Bishop. For most of the book, Claire is on her own while she and her friends try to alleviate the situation. Claire and Myrnin may have found the ultimate solution to the disease that infects the Morganville Vampires, while Bishop and his followers seem to be immune to it. But why? And is the possible cure that Myrnin and Claire found an actual cure or just a stopgap, and how can they be sure?

Claire has her assignment, and her friends have theirs. Shane has to help at the Blood Bank. Michael is sent to protect the college students, and Eve has to find Oliver, Amelie's former opponent and now honorable opposition and Ally. Claire stays with Myrnin, and though he tries to protect her, it can't stop Bishop from grabbing Eve and using Eve as bait to reel in Claire. But what does he want from Claire, and why is he so desperate to get her to swear fealty to him? And is it a real oath when she's been whammied to make her swear it? As the fight continues, Claire is in a desperate situation, and it doesn't look like it is going to get better any time soon...

I love this series! It's such a joy and a pleasure to read, and even though lots of desperate things are happening to Claire and her friends, as soon as you move from one book to the next, you are drawn right back into the action just like no time has passed at all. Even though the characters are the same, so much happens that you are right on the edge of your seat, wondering how things can get worse, and how Claire will get herself out of the current fix she is in, even if getting out of one fix leads her into an even worse one.

Even as Claire and her friends try to keep the town safe, progress is made in their relationships. Claire and Shane are deeply in love- they want to become lovers, but Shane is almost 20, and Claire is only 16, and her parents do not approve of their relationship in any way. I know they want to protect their little girl, but that little girl is facing life and death practically every day now, so you can sympathize with both sides in this argument. They have her move back in with them, but can they really interfere in the course of true love?

It's not just the main characters who make the story here, it's all of them, from Claire and her friends, her parents, the vampires of the town like Myrnin, Oliver and Amelie and human characters like Monica Morell and her brother Richard, and the Doctor who is helping Claire and Myrnin replicate the formula to cure the vampires of the disease. Very few characters are either wholly good or wholly bad, but most exist in exquisite shades of gray, making you unsure of how much on Claire's side they are on at any given moment. Very much like real life, of course.

Be warned that this book ends on a very low note for Claire and her friends, but it's clear from the chapter included from the next book, Carpe Corpus, that things don't stay that low for long. Things are bound to look up, and I hope that Bishop finally gets the comeuppance he's been dearly begging for ever since book three when he first appeared to take over. This is a series to love and re-read over and over and over. Highly recommended, and not your typical vampire book or romance. Well worth the time to read.

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