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Bitter Blood by Rachel Caine Book Review - "Ah, Morganville. Where dressing to hide bloodstains was just good daily planning." [SPF]

Title: Bitter Blood by Rachel Caine
Author Info: Bio | Website | Twitter
Publication: Nov 6th 2012 by NAL Penguin (US edition)
Morganville, Texas, isn’t like other towns...
Story Arc: Series, Book 13
Hardcover: 352 pages
Age Group: YA
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Excerpt(s): pg 220
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For years, the human and vampire residents of Morganville, Texas, have managed to co-exist in peace. But now that the threat to the vampires has been defeated, the human residents are learning that the gravest danger they face is the enemy within…

The vampires of Morganville have been freed of their usual constraints. With the vampires indulging their every whim, the town’s human population is determined to hold on to their lives by taking up arms. But college student Claire Danvers isn’t about to take sides, considering she has ties to both the humans and the vampires.

To make matters worse, a television show comes to Morganville looking for ghosts, just as vampire and human politics collide. Now, Claire and her friends have to figure out how to keep the peace without ending up on the nightly news… or worse.
Review: I don’t know any Morganville fan that is less than ridiculously excited for Bitter Blood by Rachel Caine. One thing I want to address straight off is that this series is alarmingly addictive, so that when I first started the series, I then made it my life’s mission to complete the eleven books (at the time) in the series. And I did. In less than a week. Because that’s how amazing they are. When she writes these books, it’s as if Caine knows exactly what we want to read, and blends the right amount of action, mystery, and sexytimes to keep each installment fresh and riveting. Add to that an incredible commitment to the characters because of how funny, kick butt, and connected they are, and it’s downright impossible to want to stop reading. I love that, I love that Caine has that power over me, that ability to call me back to each book every time, and that I never walk away from an installment bored or generally irritated. An accomplishment that remains unattainable for other authors, I might add. Caine is, quite simply, a genius.

This series for some can get stagnant (I’m not one of that some), but these last two or three books, I can safely say, have been a revitalization of the series. Because the tension and high stakes and near-death intensity has been reaching a point that can make even the most calm of readers twitchy and strained. I felt it so intensely by the end of Black Dawn that I couldn’t even love what was happening, though I liked the book. I don’t know what it is about Bitter Blood by Rachel Caine—maybe I agonizingly missed the gang, maybe this one felt slightly more refreshing—but I dug the events of this book. Caine never fails to remind us that characters are people, albeit fictional people, who never stop growing and changing, because people are always doing that. So the rate of character growth I’ve seen in this series should come as no surprise. However, in Bitter Blood by Rachel Caine, the author finds still more room for the characters to expand as people, and, what makes my heart ache a little bit, has written the kind of growth that slowly happens as the years pass, their ages shift. She shows us that the Glass House Gang can’t remain inseparable forever, that they each need to learn how to live without the others. Even knowing that it’s a painful realization and necessity that goes along with maturity and growing into adulthood, I can’t tell you how painful it is to make that realization for yourself when you’ve been so close to these characters for so long.

It’s been pretty bleak, plot-wise, since Last Breath, but I feel like Bitter Blood by Rachel Caine is the beginning step toward a recovery in a long-spanning resolution. Maybe that’s what made this book a little more bearable and less draining than the last two. Because though the intensity hasn’t faded, there’s a glimmer of hope for Morganville that’s been missing for some time. And speaking of intensity, though I love Michael and Eve, of course, Shane and Claire never fail to leave me in a puddle of goo, in a state of laughter, and near-miss with tears. They are, Myrnin (our resident crazy vampire with a penchant for wearing Bunnies With Fangs slippers) aside, a constant, and an inarguable highlight of the series. What happened to them by the end of Bitter Blood by Rachel Caine is both necessary and resolvable, and I can’t wait to see how Caine pushes them forward.

Caine also writes beautifully. It’s not so much the descriptions so much as the narrating that’s notable, as well as the dialogue. She has a very keen sense as to what the right thing to say is, and has the characters saying it in a beautiful way that doesn’t take away from the fact most of them are still-maturing teenagers. Through her, Claire possesses this admirable wisdom that doesn’t feel conjured and unsuitable to someone her age. And I live for those genius witticisms and instances of profound clarity. I tell you, if you want a vampire series that’s all heart, depth, heartbreak, and death, then cruise yourself toward Glass House and begin. This series is more than just vampire fighting badassness. As cheesesauce as this may sound, it’s about love, loyalty, and friendship, and you can’t say no to hearty messages like that, right?

Most Likely to Be Enjoyed By: Even readers tired, bored, or hateful of vampires can still find something to love in the Morganville books. Because even though vampire politics, attacks, and mysteries can be the core of the plot, they aren’t the whole deal. It’s about the four main characters Claire, Shane, Michael, and Eve and the bond they share, the battles they have to fight to stay together and to stay safe. And, for the record, these vampires aren’t Cullen Family Wannabes; they are ruthless, dangerous, and unrepentant, which adds an attractive edge and darkness to the series. If you’re a curious, and let’s face it distressingly anxious, fan I think you’ll find that Bitter Blood by Rachel Caine is another awesomely-written sinister, intense, and evolutionary installment that makes it easy to feel sadness and love for our favorite characters.

Content Warning: There are implications of sex and heavy make-out scenes in all the books, some profanity, murder, and death. I would recommend this series for older adolescents to adults only.

Blog Rating: Perfect Bed Partner
In the most inappropriate way you can imagine (or can't), PBP books are the books you want to tangle in the sheets with they're so bloody brilliant.

Goodreads Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Favorite Quotes/Scenes: Oh, Myrnin. Why don't we just makeout?

I looked down, and in the faintest possible sliver of light I saw my legs—bare below the knees, since I had perhaps unwisely worn a pair of ancient velvet knee britches, and as pale as I had ever seen my skin. It was the color of dirty snow, and wrinkled to boot. I lifted one foot from the brackish water, and the bunny slippers were soaked and drooped pathetically. Even the fangs seemed robbed of any charm.
“Don’t worry,” I told it. “Someone will pay for your suffering. Heavily. With screaming.”
I felt I should repeat it for the other slipper, in case there should be any bad feelings between the two. One should never create tension between one’s footwear.


  1. Morganville 1-12
  2. Drake Chronicles

Happy Release Day, Bitter Blood! Got something specific in mind? Dare I believe I might NOT have covered something you wish to know? If so, let me know down in the comments section. Also, are you a fang banger or a fang hater at heart?


Maja (The Nocturnal Library) said...

Oh, wow, that an eloquent review! I love this series so much, I can't seem to get enough. It's comforting to know that it still doesn't lose steam. I keep waiting for it, but Caine is far too skilled!

Princess Ash said...

Thank you, Maja! :D YES. ANOTHER FAN. I've discovered you at last. It seems like wherever I go someone's always telling me they have to catch up and stuff or that they're not interested in getting into such a long series. And I say BOLLOCKS to that. This series is just too good and you're right Caine is far too skilled for it to ever get sloppy, boring, or irritating. ^__^

Cassi said...

Glad that you liked it. Right now I'm reading Lord of Misrule and I really like it, so I'll be getting around to book 13 eventually :)

Alicia said...

I was the same way,
I started reading a little bit after Black Dawn came out, I actually won a copy
of it in a blog giveaway and I was so excited.
I figured I would start reading the series and I would eventually catch
up – I ended up finishing the first 11 books before Black Dawn arrived (and
then impatiently checking the mail for it) – and the blogger had shipped it out
right away . . . I didn’t get much work done that week.

I convinced a friend
to buy the first omnibus book, with the first two novels in it, at a library
sale – she texted me the next day showing that she was more than halfway
through it (so done with the first book).
She was also cursing at me because she had an exam she should have been
studying for ;).

I’m really glad you
said that it looks like there will be a long term resolution, I think sometimes
with these really long series there is this feeling of going over a never
ending cliff and I am always concerned that the author will never resolve the
story because they want the series to continue.

I cannot start
reading this until after Tuesday the 13th – I have a 15 page brief,
a copyright paper, an Inn of Court Presentation on that day, plus it is Diwali
day too. After that, I’m hoping to
squeeze it in before exams start.



Princess Ash said...

YES. That makes me insanely happy to hear because when never have enough fangirlism amongst the Morganville fan club.

Princess Ash said...

CHEESE AND RICE. How do you find time to read at all?! I AM SO HAPPY THAT WE UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER. That whole week I sat down to read all 11 is a blur. And then when I got Black Dawn, I ran through it faster than a track star. And I'm glad that, sans cursing, your friend is beginning her love affair with the series. YES YES YES, DON'T WORRY. I believe the end is being set-up and is near, even though that also makes me sad. I hope you get to read this one soon!

Princess Ash said...

*bumps hip* DAMN STRAIGHT.

Princess Ash said...

Don't miss this one. I hope you get to read it soon because it is KILLAH.

Alicia said...

Yeah - law school kinda sucks.

When I "discovered" the series I was working over the summer, plus my cable was temporarily cut off, so when I got home from work I could either watch TV on my computer or read, and after spending all day in the office, I didn't want the extra noise.

I kind of feel bad I got her the book right now since it is right before finals and she is in vet school.

The problem with these long series is that I don't know how to feel when they end, in a way I am glad they are still interesting and they will end on a high note, but then again, i don't want them to end.

I love that the relationships in these books are somewhat more realistic in that they are not really insta-love or just perfect once they start, but then start to turn sour as a plot device. All of the relationships in the Morganville Vampire series feel a bit more real.

Cheeky eve said...

Who could be a gang hater, fang banger all the way ;) <3