Monday, December 19, 2011

Vampire Kisses: Cryptic Cravings by Ellen Schreiber

Now that Sebastian and Alexander have seemingly made their peace with each other, Raven sort of expects him to move on. But instead of moving, Sebastian decides to stay on- because he has spent so much of his life being a vagabond, he finds it unusual to stay in one place. Even Luna, Alexander's ex-fiancée, has decided to stick around. Indeed, she decides to try a romance with Sebastian, but he's only willing to be caught for a short time- he's not sure he wants to settle down forever, and Luna seems to be fine with that.

But they aren't the only ones sticking around, so is the entire crew of the Coffin Club, which includes Jagger, the owner of the Coffin Club. At first, they won't say why, exactly, but Raven and Alexander do some snooping, and discover that jagger wants to replicate his success in Hipsterville here in Dullsville- he's decided that Dullsville needs a club of its own where the High School kids can hang out. Sort of like the Coffin Club, but with only an apartment in the basement for himself and the other Coffin Club regulars.

Raven is all for the club idea- The teens of Dullsville have always needed a place to hang out, a place to dance that doesn't serve alcoholic drinks, but Alexander is convinced that something is up with Jagger and his crew. At least, they are hanging out at the school so that Raven and her friend Beth encounter them on a pretty much daily basis. But how can they find out what is really going on? So Raven and Beth decide to offer their help in decorating the Club, which lets Raven get a look at the architectural plans for the Club- everything looks up and up, except for a place in the basement labelled as "The Crypt".

And Alexander tells Jagger that a Club for humans is fine- but Dullsville isn't like Hipsterville- it's small and parochial and if Jagger tries to open a vampire club here as well as a club for humans, the vampires are going to stick out like sore thumbs, and that could lead to vampires being outed, not just here in Dullsville, but all over the globe. Jagger reluctantly agrees with this line of reasoning, but when the crop circles that are how vampires communicate with each other go up in the fields around Dullsville advertising the club, they have also included the symbol for "all vampires welcome" Jagger claims it was a simple mistake, but Alexander finds himself not believing it, even though the symbol is x-ed out the next day, other vampires have seen it and will come.

Meanwhile, Raven finds herself coming under fire from her old enemy, Trevor, who is dating a vampire girl from the coffin club, and he keeps telling Raven about how he has an "in" on the creation of the new club- his father owned the old factory that the Club is being constructed in and he sold it to the new owner, and therefore, Trevor assumes that he will be BMOC there, not knowing that Raven is helping decorate it, and knows a lot more about the true nature of the club than he does, but she doesn't enlighten him as to the true nature of events, pretending to be in the dark.

But there are still things that trouble her and Alexander. For instance, Becky has been taking pictures in the club and around town and is beyond puzzled when Alex doesn't show up in her pictures. Could it be possible that she could find out about the existence of vampires, when more are coming out of the woodwork thanks to the problem with the crop circles? And what is really going on in the Crypt? Is it going to be a real Coffin Club, like in Hipsterville, or does Jagger have something else planned? And what plans is he making with Luna for the Crypt? And for that matter, can Raven make her Coffin Club friends see what a downer Trevor is before something really bad happens in the Club?

This book was somewhat of a departure for the series- Alexander has sort of made his peace with Sebastian, and now that he's officially broken off his engagement to Luna, he doesn't have to worry about her relatives showing up to try to cause trouble for him and Raven-but now his problems come from other vampires and what they might do to Dullsville if Jagger's new Club attracts them, which Jagger is being very two-faced about- he says one thing and then goes and does another. So it's hard for anyone to believe what he says- he talks a good game, but what are his real intentions?

It's still a threat to Raven and Alexander- but in quite a different way than they are used to, and it comes from people that Raven considers friends, which makes her at least a bit conflicted about going up against people that she considers friends, but in the end, it's really no contest. While she doesn't want to lose her Hipsterville Vampire friends, they and she both know that her relationship with Alexander is going to come first in her heart.

I also liked the reveal at the ending, and the way that Alexander and Sebastian went back to being friends again- even though they are both vampires, it was very Guy-esque and true to the way guys act. I loved this book and I loved this series, and the actions of Jagger in this book will have repercussions in books to come, and let it happen, because conflict is what drives this series... Highly recommended.

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