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Monday, September 30, 2013

Fade Out - Morganville Vampires (#7)



Without the evil vampire Bishop ruling over the town of Morganville, the resident vampires have made major concessions to the human population. With their newfound freedoms, Claire Danvers and her friends are almost starting to feel comfortable again…

Now Claire can actually concentrate on her studies, and her friend Eve joins the local theatre company. But when one of Eve’s castmates goes missing after starting work on a short documentary, Eve suspects the worst. Claire and Eve soon realize that this film project, whose subject is the vampires themselves, is a whole lot bigger — and way more dangerous — than anyone suspected.


Carpe corpus, the previous book in this series, saw the conclusion of a long running story arc which involved saving Morganville from falling into the hands of Bishop, an ancient vampire with a medieval attitude towards the town's human population. Along the way Claire managed to help find a cure for a debilitating (and ultimately fatal) vampire disease while dodging certain death at the hands of the town's less civilized undead inhabitants.

The opening pages of Fade Out see Claire enjoying a brief period of relative calm. The fate of Morganville doesn't rest on her shoulders and nobody is trying to kill her, so this is quite a change of pace. This is reflected in the change of pace for the plotline of Fade Out too. Rachel Caine's trademark break-neck-speed plot pacing is greatly reduced as she commences a new story arc and takes her time introducing new characters and nudging old ones into fresh positions within the story.

As a result Fade Out devotes more time to developing characters and their relationships than readers have seen since Glass Houses (MV book 1) and has less of the mindless action that plagued some of the books later in the series.

By far my favorite character in the Morganville Vampires books is Myrnin, the mad vampire alchemist. Mad yet intelligent, dangerous yet oddly sweet, caring but untrustworthy plus a snappy dresser - Myrnin is a delightful mixture of complexities. Myrnin's character is written with a light comic touch and Fade Out gives him even more of a chance to shine as he starts to lose control of Ada, his vampiric computer.

Ada, the difference engine with a taste for blood, requires an almost too great amount of suspended disbelief. While I can't pretend to understand how Ada could possibly work, the author doesn't try too hard to explain her either - so it's perhaps best to just accept it without giving it too much thought. Just think steampunk computer and move switftly on...

Thanks for listening to my opinion!

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