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Sunday, 2 August 2015

Feast of Fools by Rachel Caine (Morganville Vampires, #4) - Book Review

5/5 Stars

It was hard to imagine how Claire's day could get any worse...

And then the vampires holding her hostage wanted breakfast...

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Edition: Paperback
Pages: 317
Chapters: 13 (Plus an introduction.)
Publisher: Allison & Busby

Book Links: Goodreads
                      Amazon
                      Author's Website

Review

I tried, I really did. I did my best to take a break, jump over to a crime thriller series I'd started.

And I just couldn't...

The Morganville Vampires series is beyond addictive; it's enticing to the highest level. It's something I've no doubt said in reference to this entry's predecessors, and it's something I hope to be saying about future instalments.

Feast of Fools raises its stakes, and proves to be the best book so far, and by far. There's a massive story that has you racing in mad circles in search of the truth and a compelling cast with new and thrilling characters in to mix with the old.

If you're not sold on the first three entries, then, please, persevere.

SPOILER WARNING

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

Claire's life is being twisted in the worst way possible.
Just as she inches closer to the internal workings of the vampire-run town of Morganville, the stakes are raised.
Her mother and father are lured to town...
But before the issue can even be considered, there's another demanding precedence.
Amelie's own family reunion: Her father, the illustrious Mr Bishop.
Who follows no rules bar his own...

Plot - 5/5 Stars

The. Plot. Is. Awesome!

From the ambiguously thrilling start to the action-packed end.

I really like the addition of Claire's parents, and the way it brings in a new dimension of worry and danger. It plays with already great tension. It is sad, though, that they're more... token, in a way. Here's hoping that they're more thoroughly utilised in later entries. But it's not just a family reunion for Claire, Amelie's father, Mr Bishop, is also introduced, at the same time. 

And I love him. Well, in a he's-incredibly-dangerous-and-creepy kind of way.

His impact on Morganville is evident. Despite the town being a hub for death, there are rules that even the craziest follow; Mr Bishop, however, isn't of the town, and has no discernible obligation to be fair. It's this unpredictability that makes him a far greater threat than any previous menace, and it's a quality that upholds the suspenseful elements of the story, and the reactions he causes.

Factor in the stunning twists Caine seems to be able to pull off, and you're on to a winner. Some of the shock moments actually had me gasping, putting the book down and trying to process what I'd read. 

Continuity, however, is stretched a little in Feast of Fools, especially where house protections are concerned. If I missed something, then I apologise and please correct me, but, is it just me, or did everyone just seem to be coming and going? Some of the iffy parts are explained, but there are a few times - like when Jason grabs Claire when he's human, and should, in fact, be unable to cross the doorway of the house - that don't stack up.

It's not a big deal really. The majority of the novel is fine-tuned and tight. 

We have a real heartwarming moment near the end, when the town bands together, even those that are enemies with one another, to face off the clear and undeniably powerful threat. Then, of course, action ensues!

And, OH! MY! GOD! The twist with Jason and Amelie? Ms Caine, I thank you, my heart doesn't, but I do.

Pace - 5/5 Stars

Simply: The beginning moves at a lightning-quick speed; the middle slows down quite a bit (but the plot is so rich you barely notice); and the latter parts of the novel pick it all up again.

All in all, it's a decently paced novel with mounds to give.

Characters - 5/5 Stars

There doesn't seem to be much progression, character-wise, in this entry, especially with our main four, but their current states are perfect for the story being told. Their earlier developments and histories give them a detailed and layered presence. 

Claire is still the sort of mediator. Far too kind and willing to do anything she can to help people, even when those people would love nothing more than to drain her dry and dump her body... She's tough, though, and mostly handles herself with quiet strength and resilience. Claire finally lets loose a little of her anger and fiery nature in Feast of Fools. Her scenes with Bishop's lackeys, the house and the final battle are badass!

Shane continues to be the good-natured bad boy. He hates vampires and that causes some friction, epecially with Michael, but he's still unflinchingly loyal in times of stress. His respect towards Claire is a highlight, and I commend Caine on the way she writes their relationship. Shane is very mindful of Claire's age, even when she isn't, and even when she's trying to sexually manipulate him. 

Eve, still goth and hilarious. She's hyper-emotional, in the sense that, when she feels something, she feels it 100% and expresses it 100%. In this entry we get more on her family life, outside of her brother Jason. It's something we've only had glimpses of, and while not a main focus, it's still nice to see.

Michael's trying to adapt to his new form as a vampire. He's still very much the adult: Mature, controlled and the leader. His conflicting natures are at war. His good, compassionate side is in direct opposition to his animalistic, vampire side. 

Amelie and Myrnin, predictably, remain favourites, with both's outer shells slowly coming apart. We're learning more and more, and by far, despite the limited progression, these two change the most.

The relationships within this series, from platonic to family to significant other, work. It all meshes so well. They compliment and complete not only each other, but the novel as a whole.

Writing - 5/5 Stars

There's not much that I haven't said before, so I'll keep it simple (don't I always):

Sarcastic, without ever mishandling the more serious aspects; structured perfectly to keep the reader's attention; has a great way of setting the scene without overloading your mind.

Overall, pretty good.

Overall - 5/5 Stars

To quit repeating myself in every review any more than I already have:

Give me the next book!


Previous Instalment: Midnight Alley
Next Instalment: Lord of Misrule


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