Claire Danvers has just turned seventeen, but her birthday is not a happy one. The town is still controlled by Bishop, the meanest, nastiest vampire around. No human is safe from him or his crew, all of whom consider humans to be less than worms and useful only as portable snack packs. Claire tries to be grateful for the dress and jewelry that she receives from her parents, but everyone in Morganville is living with massive amounts of uncertainty, and there is no guarantee that any human or any vampire is going to live until tomorrow.
Myrnin has introduced Claire to one of the most important parts of Morganville: Ada, Myrnin's former helper, who was somehow killed by Myrnin and became part of the system that allows gates to be opened to different areas of Morganville and which keeps up the barrier that wipes the memories of humans who leave the town. But unfortunately for Claire, Ada's mind, which was incorporated into the huge computer that Myrnin maintains underground, is still in love with Myrnin, and she is jealous of Claire's relationship with Myrnin, which means Ada now has it in for Claire. And considering how much of the town Ada controls and runs, that's a nightmare situation for Claire.
And Myrnin refuses to believe her when she tells him this. He thinks that all that is left of Ada is her ability to reason and to discern, not realizing how much of Ada has survived. But can Claire make him believe and help him do away with Ada before she decides to burn down the old order just to get rid of Claire? And Bishop is still out there, too, and Eve believes that Claire is willingly following him, not knowing about the massive whammy he put her under to get her to swear her allegiance to him. Eve also believes that Michael has become evil and is also working for Bishop, but in truth, it's a very clever setup to trick Bishop. Only everyone is playing their parts a little too well. And Shane is imprisoned along with his vampire-hating father, who returned to town to add to the chaos. But while he might have been able to fight Amelie when she was weak and confused, Shane's father has next to no chance against Bishop, as powerful as he is.
The question is, can all of Claire's friends come together and pull the burning fat out of the fire and find a way to rid the town and world of Bishop once and for all? And if they do, what will the cost be to Amelie and the rest of the town? And will it be one that everyone is glad or prepared to pay? Or will it break the town to pay it?
Can I say again how wonderful this series is without sounding like I am completely obsessed with the characters and setting? This series is everything I wanted in a vampire series: love, conflict, betrayal, friendship and the nature of vampires as both people and species. While they may look human on the outside, their wants and needs are no longer the same, and many vampires no longer remember what it was like to be human, or retain any of their finer human emotions. They consider humans, and many other vampires, as weak and lesser, and even those vampires who want the best for the humans under their care still see humans as children. Dangerous children, but no less children for all that.
For so long, the vampires of Morganville have been held back by the weakness that was killing them. But now, cured of that condition, will some of them revert to treating humans like Bishop and his followers do? Was it only the weakness that kept them from lording it over all the humans? As Bishop is finally brought down, these questions remain, and remain to be seen what will happen to the town after all the fuss and problems.
By the way, I loved this book much better than the others because Bishop is finally decisively dealt with, but new problems are arising for Morganville. How many problems are there still to deal with? Lots, and Ada is just one of them. But with Claire out of action at the end, can she keep Ada from killing her, or will Myrnin finally begin to believe her about what is going on with Ada? And what can be done about her? As Claire finally gets some well-deserved rest, with Myrnin healed of his derangement, let's hope there's some time to rest in her future.
This was an excellent book and comes to a perfect finish against Bishop and his vampires. His hold over the town and his influence over its citizens has waxed and waned, and he is finally brought down, which actually made me cheer when I read it. Claire and Shane's relationship continues to move forward, and Claire has negotiated a final peace with her parents. I am loving this and looking forward to even more. Highly recommended, this book and the entire series. Please pick up this entire series, even adults will love it, not just the teens its written for.