Thursday, 17 June 2010

Fade Out by Rachel Caine

January 2010, Allison and Busby
352 pages, Paperback
Review Copy

Fantasy (Vampires)

Cushions: 5
Daggers: 2
Paperclips: 1
Smiles: 5
Tissues: 2
Nayuleska's recommended rating:♥♥♥♥♥+

Small spoilers quite possibly included

Summary from Allison and Busby

Life has changed dramatically in Morganville. The resident vampires have made major concessions to the human population and with their newfound freedoms, Claire Danveers and her friends are starting to feel comfortable again - almost. 

Claire can actually concentrate on her studies again, and Eve joins the local theatre company. Yet when one of Eve's castmates goes missing during work on a documentary, Eve suspects the worst. But Claire and Eve soon realise that this film project is a whole lot bigger - and way more dangerous - than anyone suspected. 

Somehow this book hid from me on the shelf, even though I looked on it several times. Ordinarily I'd say I wasn't looking properly. That I was looking at the right time of day. However, it  could have been Ada. The maniacal ghost in a computer. She has a few wires crossed in the wrong way in Fade Out. It's the seventh book of the Morganville Vampires Series, a series I have managed to be almost oblivious about. I'd heard about it - but only in name only.

Claire's voice (first person) has my kind of humour in it. As a human living among vampires, naturally her life gets put in danger. Her life include killer bracelets (as in the jewellery), an emo vampire (a character describes the vampire as emo. I think it fits her quite well), people who want to kill her, a vampire rock star, and her family.

Oops - nearly forgot to mention the bunny slippers. Correction, the vampire bunny slippers. Whenever I had to put the book down, I'd spend the day randomly thinking about the slippers. They made me laugh. The wearer is someone I wouldn't attach to such slippers. Whenever I think of Morganville, I think of bunny slippers. Personally I feel they should be on the front cover in future books.

Bunny slippers aside (notice they are bunny not rabbit. Bunny is way cooler), this installment in the Morganville saga, which I've never read before, has everything that I could want in a book. Claire is put in a fair amount of danger - and she puts herself into it as well. There's action scenes (one involving a limo), drama (both involving Claire's storyline, and also including day-to-day drama with her friends), mystery (what's really going on behind the scenes of the vampire hierarchy), love (Claire's boyfriend isn't one her family instantly love) and lots of humour.

I think the heart of this book isn't things with fangs, but relationships between people. The relationship between Claire and her friend Eve gets tested with a new girl on the scene. I feel that most readers can relate to this, being pushed to one side when someone new appears. It's hard hearing a friend gush about someone you aren't keen on. It's important to remember that at the end of the day, you are always there for them, especially if things go wrong.

There's the employer-employee relationship Claire has with her boss, who not so helpfully booby-traps his on lab. There's the relationship Claire has with her boyfriend, one that her family don't approve of. And her relationship (if it can be called that) with those who wish to see her harmed. There is danger and drama, but at the root of it all lies interactions between people (people including vampires, humans and others).

Rachel Caine proves, along with other authors, that although vampire stories are popular, they are not fading in the ideas department. If anything I think they are benefiting from having so many on the marker. The amount of events that happen to Claire, the twists in the story and suggestion of plots underlying the series as a whole (rather than just one book) are all new. I wasn't bored by the book. I'm eager to read more about Claire's life in the previous books, and I wonder what lies in store in the future.

Find out more about the Morganville Vampires, and Rachel Caine's other series (The Warden) on her website. It includes where you can buy the vampire bunny slippers!

Another great vampire series is Alyxandra Harvey's My Heart Lies Bleeding

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