Saturday, October 23, 2010

Midnight Alley: The Morganville Vampires, Book 2 by Rachel Caine

Claire Danvers has survived an attack on her by the girls at her dorm, and she has finally found a new place to live, with her friend Michael Glass in Glass House. But Michael has a little problem, while he's always in the house, he happens to be a ghost, and can't manifest during the day. She also has a cute boyfriend, Shane, who has problems of his own, like the fact that his father happens to be a crazed vampire hunter who is determined to kill all the vampires in town because they killed his wife and destroyed his family.

Shane was supposed to be his father's man on the inside, but he lost interest in actually killing vampires. Still, when it seemed like Claire might not survive, he called in his father and his father's followers to keep Claire and their other roommate, Eve, safe. Little did he know that Claire and Eve might be in more danger from his Dad than from the vampires he is determined to fight against. Shane and his father disagree about what must and should be done about the vampires of the town, and Shane can't seem to forgive his father for trying to kill Michael, who Shane's father believes is a vampire. He doesn't seem to know about ghosts.

But soon Shane's father sets to work, and starts killing the vampires of the town, His first victim is Brandon, an evil troller, but instead of his father, Shane is blamed for the crime and caged, which is the sentence for murderers in town. Shane is put in a cage and will soon be burned at the stake unless Claire and Eve can find evidence that Shane isn't the real murderer.

One day, she notices that Oliver, Eve's employer at the Coffee shop Common Grounds, in a deep conversation with Shane's father. Since Oliver is also a vampire (and to be honest, not a very nice one), Claire begins to wonder what is going on. She also decides to attend the local Halloween Party, the Dead Girl's Dance, to try and hook up with Michael's Grandfather, Sam Glass, who also happens to be a vampire. But since she is invited to attend by her enemy, Monica Morrell, the daughter of Morganville's mayor, and the one girl who wants Claire dead more than anything, Claire knows she has to be cautious. But little does she know that more than just Monica and her Monickettes are stalking her at the party...

And when Shane's Dad frees him from the cage, Michael decides he must be able to leave the house to protect his friends. But when he asks Amelie, the leader of the town's vampires, to finish the job that Oliver started by attacking him and leaving him in his ghost-like state, will Claire and Amelie be able to bring peace to the town, and at what cost to Claire and her friends? Will Claire ever be safe in Morganville? Or will she be stuck here until she dies?

Morganville is a small town in Texas, but it is also where most of the remaining world's vampires reside. Though we don't know why at this point, the town is run like a mafia town, where certain vampires provide "protection" to human residents, but require a toll of blood to continue the protection. The Glass House, where Claire is currently living, also seems to provide some protection to the people who live there, but why, other than "the Founder's protection" is unsure. Is Amelie (the protector) also protecting the descendants of Sam Glass, who she loves, for his sake, or is there some other reason why Glass House seems so different.

Claire herself has to deal with a lot of hate from Monica Morrell. Claire is very smart, and next to her, Monica, who is used to being the top in everything, feels insecure, which makes Monica hate Claire with a passion. And Monica's "Gang", the Monickettes, as Claire calls them, will pull stupid and deadly pranks on Claire that end with her getting moderate to severe injuries everytime they are around. She has many, many reasons to distrust these girls (I don't think she yet hates them), but they aren't her favorite group of people. And even then. Claire won't let Monica be hurt or injured like Monica wants to do to her. Claire might be a bit naive, but she's the better person by far.

The book ends with something of a detente, and I wondered how Monica is going to take the news. Will she now suck up to Claire as much as she hated her and tried to kill her before? Probably, but you just know that at some point Shane's father will be back to make more trouble. The question is, how much trouble will he make, and will Shane once more be on the hotseat for the troubles his father caused or causes? This is such a fascinating series and I love it so very much. Rachel Caine might normally be an adult writer, but she doesn't dumb down her writing for young adults, she just mutes some of the lovemaking and whatnot. Highly recommended.

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