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Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Midnight Alley by Rachel Caine (Morganville Vampires, #3) - Book Review

4.5/5 Stars

Morganville's such a nice place to live...

And die.

If you don't mind that sort of thing...

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Edition: Paperback
Pages: 365
Chapters: 13
Publisher: Allison & Busby

Book Links: Goodreads
                      Amazon
                      Author's Website

Review

Midnight Alley continues the thrilling trend that this series has in spades: It's addictive, packed full and so bloody easy to read.

This entry takes the best bits from both the first and second books. It delves deep into histories and builds up an already engrossing world, while also having fun. The only drawback I find throughout is that, sometimes there's just too much for the reader to fully absorb. While everything remains pretty interesting, information is thrown at you from every possible angle.

Mostly, and thankfully, it all pulls together in a somewhat cohesive bundle.

SPOILER WARNING

Synopsis (Not a copy from the book, but I always keep my interpretations close.)

Claire Danvers thought she was slowly coming to understand the vampire-run town of Morganville.
Following her choice to sign on as the slave of an old and powerful vampire: She's about to find out she's wrong.
Claire finds herself in the centre of something so secret and hidden, if she dies, and it's likely, no one will know where to look.
Factor in a very human serial killer, Eve's brother Jason, and Morganville becomes even more dangerous.
If that's even possible...

Plot - 4.5/5 Stars

Midnight Alley's plot seems to be in perpetual motion; always moving with some new twist or turn. The ramifications of Claire's choice to be Amelie's charge are explored, and the book does a great job of balancing its two main stories: Claire's tutorship under Myrnin, and the threat posed by Eve's psycho brother. The former line of plot is very mysterious and full of information regarding vampires and Morganville as a whole; while the latter is more horror orientated and completely chilling.

It's the massive amount we learn in this entry that acts as both a plus and minus. A tantalising load of history is given to the reader. We learn about vampires, why they're in Morganville, and what their real goals are. 

Which is, to save themselves from a disease that will claim every vampire.

If it's possible this adds a new level of immediacy to the story, and poor Claire is dragged into the middle.

The minus part of all the history is its volume and the rate the reader is fed. It can sometimes be a little much, and slows down one of the things I love about the series: Its flow. It's not drastically detrimental, but it is a little hard not to notice.

Pace - 4.5/5 Stars

Apart from what I said above, the pace is fine. Midnight Alley manages to replicate the fun, fast flow of its predecessors. It's a little hampered, but otherwise still completely enjoyable.

There are some truly tense scenes, twists and turns, action-packed scuffles; so, all in all, awesome.

Characters - 5/5 Stars

For Glass Houses and The Dead Girls' Dance, I more or less focused solely on our four mains. I'm going to continue that, but for this entry, I'm going to expand it by two, because I just absolutely love them. 

Starting off with Claire. She's being dragged deeper and deeper into the inner workings of Morganville, especially when Amelie pairs her with Myrnin, and she finds out a whole host of stuff that ensures she ain't leaving Morganville any time soon. And the main cause of all this is Claire's kindness! Her good nature could end up ending her! On the flip side, she's definitely grown from her time in the town. She's far more resilient and tough. Desensitised even.

Eve is still pretty hilarious. She's not much of a focus in this entry, despite her being around a lot, and what saddens me about the plot is that, even with Jason, her brother, being a large part of it, the effects of his inclusion seem more tailored to Claire than to Eve. 

Michael and Shane's development are closely tied together in Midnight Alley. Their relationship with one another is under strain due to Michael's new vocation as a vampire. Shane hates them, but I feel like the majority of tension comes from his guilt; mainly, because Michael's decision to become a vampire, while it had some more personal aspects to it, was heavily influenced by Shane's impending death. Shane irks me throughout, thanks to his narrow-mindedness. 

And for extra character number one, I give you: Amelie! Yep, it's the super-old founder of Morganville. A vampire badass, who now owns Claire! Yay! I love Amelie because of just how ambiguous she is. Is she good? Bad? Caring? Emotionless? You just don't know...

Then we have Myrnin, and I've noticed he's a lot of people's favourite so far, and I'm not surprised. He's quirky, deceptive and insane. The disease affecting vampires has progressed pretty far in him, and the consequences have your entire attention. Entire scenes with him are tense. 

As individuals and a collective, the cast of The Morganville Vampires series is awesome.

Writing - 5/5 Stars

Quick, informative writing. That's really all I've got for this one. The story comes across well and each scene hits what it's aiming for. The characters come across as familiar and funny. The overall feel of the text is one of sarcasm and seriousness, which, surprisingly, works extremely well.

Overall - 4.5/5 Stars

Can we just take a second to wrap our minds around the ending?

Claire's mother and father arrive, intent on moving to town - as if Claire doesn't have enough things to worry about - and Amelie's father, yes, Amelie's father shows up, suitably creepy, and unnervingly deadly.

Talk about an awkward family reunion...

Next book please!


Previous Instalment: The Dead Girls' Dance
Next Instalment: Feast of Fools


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