Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Midnight Alley by Rachel Caine

"Morganville is such a nice place to live...and die. If you don't mind that sort of thing. When Claire Danvers learnt that her college town was run by vampires, she did what any intelligent, self-preserving student would do: she applied for a transfer and stocked up on garlic. The transfer is no longer an option, but that garlic may come in handy. Now Claire has pledged herself to Amelie, the most powerful vampire in town. The protection her contract secures does little to reassure her friends. All of a sudden, people are turning up dead, a stalker resurfaces from Claire's past, and an ancient bloodsucker extends a chilling invitation for private lessons in his secluded home."

This is a series that is growing on me more with each book. Midnight Alley picks up where The Dead Girls' Dance left off, with Claire having just sworn herself to Amelie, and currently hiding it from her friends. There are many, many secrets in Morganville, kept by everyone and everyone else wants to know. But knowing can get people killed. Still, nothing seems to stay secret for long, not with Claire around.

Midnight Alley introduces a interesting, if scary, powerful vampire to the scene. Hidden away, brilliant and rapidly going crazy, is Myrnin, a favourite of Amelies', he's Claire's new mentor (of sorts) and through him she begins to learn a lot more of the darker side of Morganville than she'd like. As if that wasn't enough, her best friends' psycho brother, Jason, is stalking both Claire and Eve, making the daylight as unsafe as night time for them. Boyfriends Shane and Michael are around to try and keep the girls safe, but there is only so much they can do before someone gets hurt.

Claire, Eve and Shane are also having to deal with the consequences of Michael's actions in the previous book, and it's not something that is easy for any of them, Shane in particular. But it adds an interesting subplot to the books and the tension that comes with it is pretty gripping.

I really enjoyed this book, and I'm glad I already had book 4 waiting for me so that the cliffhanger ending wasn't the killer it could have been. The plot here is still pretty tight and gripping, although not the edgiest or deepest I've read. It's all pretty easy to read, but there is enough depth to keep you really interested. Just when you think things can't get worse for Claire and her friends, that's exactly what happens. Whether it's new vampires wanting to munch on her, or her parents trying to stop her from living with a couple of 18 year old guys, it's all got to be dealt with. Hopefully without anyone being killed.

I still think it's much more a teen series than a teen and adult one, but it's a very enjoyable one. There is some nice character development beginning to show, although it's slow to surface. The books follow on rapidly from one another, and cover very little time, so you can't expect there to be a whole lot. But Claire is a fast learner, and as fast as things change in Morganville, that's a very good thing.

Rating: 8/10

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