Monday, 28 December 2009

Fade Out by Rachel Caine

Spoiler warning! No specific ones for this, but there are some for the previous books.

"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 freedom, 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 realise that this film project, featuring the vampires themselves, is a whole lot bigger - and way more dangerous - than anyone suspected."

After 6 books that are all continuing plots, this 7th book is pretty much the start of a new plot arch in the Morganville world. Things have calmed down for the 4 teen housemates, to a certain extent, and things appear to be a little safer. But then some new vamps show up and things start getting messy again.

I finished this book days ago, and still can't figure out if I hate it, or if it's simply okay. On the good side, Claire is showing she's done some serious (and much needed) growing up. There is the introduction to Kim, a girl who rapidly becomes Eve's new BFF and leaves Claire wondering what's going on and very jealous, and jealous too of Shane's (her boyfriend) previous relationship with Kim. Both of which are realistic and I'm sure teens reading the book will easily relate to the feelings expressed. Another good side plot is Michael's torn loyalties to the vampires and his human friends, and the strain it puts his relationship with Eve under. All of these things had me interested and enjoying the book.

However, there are several plots here that really don't work. Amelie, Morganville's unapproachable and unrelenting founder, is a completely different character here. She spends most of the book upset and not her usual 'white marble' self, which is both disappointing and annoying. The plot revolving around Kim, could have been good I think, but the main focus of anger and upset ends up on certain aspects that whilst yes, give cause for the reactions, should not have become the sole focus as they did. Likewise, the characters reactions, Eve's in particular, to the betrayal from another character seemed very weak and far too forgiving.

The other main plot involves Ada, the computer/ghost/vampire that 'runs' Morganville unseen. The idea of something like that is, as a friend so aptly put it, 'a little out there, even for me'. But here, she becomes a bigger player and it gets tired in about 2 pages. That it drags on for the entire book is bad enough, but the conclusion it comes to was frustrating and disappointing. The whole ending in fact was a real let down. In many ways nothing happened, and a lot happened. That doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but it's true. Several little things happened to tie up threads, or leave new ones open for the next book, but nothing big happened. And after the build up through the book for something big, it was very anti climatic leaving me annoyed.

The book itself isn't that long a read, and it's pretty fast going. I was still pretty well hooked despite it's flaws and finished it in a couple days. But for me, it is a series very much aimed at teens rather than being a series that can be equally loved by adults. A little young at times, a little simple, but with good moments. A series I have to rate over Twilight simply because the characters don't annoy me as much as Bella and Edward do, but really, if you want a very good young adult vampire series, one with great characters and plots, you have to read Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series. There is no better in my view! Fade Out may be better than some Morganville Books, but it's not the best and the series is never going to be a favourite of mine.

Rating: 4/10

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