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Reaction to... Fall of Night by Rachel Caine

I’ve actually been digging the “Big Face” covers of Morganville in these latest few installments, mostly because Claire is looking so fierce. Her look says, “See my fist? I’m going to introduce it to your face if you look at me wrong. And see this fist? That’s Shane’s fist and it’s going to break your face if you look at me at all.” Well, maybe it doesn’t say ALL OF THAT, because, well, Shane doesn’t punch EVERYBODY. It just sounded funny to the ears when I wrote it.

SUMMARY: Thanks to its unique combination of human and vampire residents, Morganville, Texas, is a small college town with big-time problems. When student Claire Danvers gets the chance to experience life on the outside, she takes it. But Morganville isn’t the only town with vampire trouble...

Claire never thought she’d leave Morganville, but when she gets accepted into the graduate program at MIT, she can’t pass up the opportunity. Saying good-bye to her friends is bittersweet, especially since things are still raw and unsettled between Claire and her boyfriend, Shane.

Her new life at MIT is scary and exciting, but Morganville is never really far from Claire’s mind. Enrolled in a special advanced study program with Professor Irene Anderson, a former Morganville native, Claire is able to work on her machine, which is designed to cancel the mental abilities of vampires.

But when she begins testing her machine on live subjects, things quickly spiral out of control, and Claire starts to wonder whether leaving Morganville was the last mistake she’ll ever make...

It’s certainly not a secret passed between the gossipy cyberhands on Twitter that Morganville is my unequivocal favorite among 99% of all paranormal series I’ve read. The fact that Rachel Caine can consistently write up to fifteen books on the same set of characters and FAIL to make it boring speaks great things of this series in itself.

Some effed up shizz happened in Bitter Blood, the last time we were with my favorite foursome of ordinary-teens-gone-wrong. For the sake of not-too-spoilery updates, the vampires had just reclaimed Morganville after facing their toughest enemy yet with the help of the humans. Despite the truth of that, vampires had been superseding control and doing all the wrong things while drunk with their restored power. And when an unexpected enemy takes advantage of this freshly sparked tension between the humans and vampires, Shane, Claire, Eve, and Michael must suffer, if not worse, along with everybody else leading to a giant bruise on their friendship. To separate herself from all that noise, Claire Danvers is now on her way to MIT in attempt at true independence and maybe a little reflection. But, the answers she finds aren’t exactly the ones she expected to hear.

As always, the plot of FALL OF NIGHT doesn’t suffer in being yet another installment in the Morganville Vampires series, which is as normal as the sky being blue, the grass green, and whizzing in the toilet. It rides a steady pace then picks up, not too dramatically but a lot toward the latter half. It would seem that Morganville may not be the only place where everything goes sour and blood flies everywhere. And FALL OF NIGHT also shows us that Claire Danvers will never be without enemies, no matter where she goes.

Even though for about 7.5 eighths of the series we’ve been in Morganville, it’s a kind of home to me almost as much as it is to the main characters. I can never get comfortable in it because there’s always something new, but that’s the place I like to be. The backdrop of MIT and Boston were every bit as disorienting and decidedly un-fun as Claire finds them to be. Like walking into the men’s room, we—Claire and I—were both instantly aware we weren’t in the right place.

Which brings me to why this book, though another excellent addition to the series, was so hard to enjoy for more than half the book. Not only are we not in our familiar playground, but my other three favorite people, you know, Michael, Shane, and Eve, were not around. There was no waking up with Shane, hearing Eve jump in the shower, seeing Michael open the fridge for a bottle of… well, I can’t say without spoiling. But you get what I mean. You’re completely stripped of everything good and familiar and it’s really, really hard to adapt. No matter how cool Jesse, the Boston vamp, seems or her potential as a playmate for Myrnin. And that’s my cue to pick up with the DISTINCT LACK of Myrnin, another of my favorite characters. It’s supremely difficult to survive a Morganville book without Myrnin around for at least… ALL OF IT. But most times we have to settle for say, half of it. And WE DIDN’T EVEN HAVE THAT MUCH.

Not a quite a complaint, because I know where Caine took us was necessary but I couldn’t fully invest myself in FALL OF NIGHT because of all that. Even in spite of…

  1. Shane and Claire on Peter’s Unsuspecting Bed Linens
  2. Claire’s Rationalization for Her Departure
  3. The Reunion of Our Favorite Band of Misfits Who Fight Vampires
The Morganville Vampires, for me, is an untouchable series. No matter what anyone does or doesn’t say about it, my love for it WILL NEVER DIE, never be influenced by the hype or lack thereof. But, people, don’t be daunted by the amount of books in the series. Yeah, fourteen can sound like a hefty pile in your Amazon cart or your library checkout list but each installment breezes by and even if you don’t always remember every transgression against the citizens of Morganville leading to the dramalama in every plot of the series, THE CHARACTERS are what stay with you. Because it’s super rare that you find a truly tight, forgiving, loyal group of friends with a bond that has weathered so much. Each character within that closeknit circle is hilarious and witty, badass and independent, and clever in their own ways. And outside of them? The character development stays strong and brilliant and addictive. In short, I will give you two high-fives if you read this series. We can negotiate a fist-bump and maybe even a piece of cheesecake, we’ll see.

Hardback / 352 pgs / May 7th 2013 / NAL / Goodreads / $17.99

I received a copy from NAL Penguin unsolicited for review. THANK GOD.


Princess Ash said...

I have heard lots of good things about this series but the number of books puts me off! Last year I received #13 for review and last week I received #14... I was going to give them away but maybe I should hang on to them and start this series. I know you will say YES!!

Princess Ash said...

I know, I know, that's what I first said when Jen @ Makeshift Bookmark told me to give the series a whirl, but after the first few you can't help yourself. Plus the first handful are pretty short and they get longer and better done as you go along. But it's truly an awesomecake series with perfectly done characters.

OF COURSE I'M GOING TO SAY YES, MANDEE. What do you take me for? xP