Tag Archives: Midnight Alley

Book Reviews
November 2, 2009 posted by Nikki

Fade Out: A Morganville Vampires Novel – Rachel Caine

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.

With Bishop out of the picture, I bet you thought life in Morganville would take a bit of a dull turn, especially now that the humans in town seem to have a more equal footing than ever before. Well, you thought wrong. This is Morganville, after all, which is short for trouble, with a capital M.

A few things have changed, though. Shane has a job, for one. He’s bringing in the dosh and making his contribution to the crappy Morganville society, chopping and cooking meat at the local BBQ joint. The good folk of the Glass House are eating less chili and more BBQ these days, not that anyone is complaining.

Michael is settling into life as a vampire, embracing the big bad fangs (in a good, non-evil way) and learning to love the newly acquired powers that come with being an Undead American.

Eve landed a gig acting in the town play. With a combined cast of vampires and humans alike, it sounds like something Eve would run a mile from. Wait till you hear what they’re performing… the whacked out folk of Morganville are in for a real treat – a rendition of A Streetcar Named Desire with a twist. A goth-girl twist. Sounds perfect for Eve. Totally perfect.

And Claire… well Claire is plodding along, loving being super smart Claire with the super hot boyfriend. Until Kim comes along, that is. She’s the new player in town (or the old player, depending on your perspective), and she seems well acquainted with the Glass House members. Too acquainted, according to Claire. She’s got a bit of a history with a certain guy that Claire might be dating, and she’s not liking that one bit.

Morganville’s awesome foursome is back with the full-scaled witty banter that we all know and love them for. In this chapter, friendships will be tested, loyalties questioned, rules broken and new ones forged. One of our very fave Morganville couples will hit one hell of a bump in the road. The question is, will they be able to navigate their way to the other side? Hold your breath because only time will tell, my friends, only time will tell.

Fade Out is laced with all the usual humor we’ve come to expect from Rachel Caine’s dynamic characters. While it may seem that not a lot is happening, if you read between the lines, keep your eye out for all the tiny clues, you’ll see that, in fact, a whole lot is going on. With the conflict presented in the last six books pretty much resolved now, Fade Out sees Caine outstandingly carve up the beginnings of the next big drama, the next life-threatening challenge that Claire and her friends must face. Because let’s face it kids, this is Morganville, where the vampires bite and not a soul can be trusted.

Rachel Caine rocked my reading socks off with this one.

Rating:: ★★★★★

P.S – I reckon this one rates a special shout out to the cover artist. This is, in my opinion, the best cover to grace the Morganville series released so far.

Author Interview with Rachel Caine
Author Interviews
June 4, 2009 posted by Nikki

Author Interview with Rachel Caine

Rachel Caine is the author of the popular Morganville Vampire series. The sixth book, Carpe Corpus, was released this week. Being the huge supporters of the Morganville books that we are, yaReads couldn’t pass up an opportunity to sit down and pick Rachel’s brains… enjoy!

For those that might not understand, can you please explain the title ‘Carpe Corpus

Seize the Body?  ☺  Well, it refers to a couple of things … first, Bishop’s struggle to take over Morganville, and the fighting that goes on around it.  Second, the relationship between Claire and Shane.  And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

For Latin purists:  Yes, technically it should be Carpe Corpum.  But that just didn’t look nearly as cool.

The cover is spectacular – did you have any input into the design?

No, I didn’t, my wonderful publisher deserves all the credit!  I honestly wouldn’t have had any idea what kind of image to go with for this one.

Which Morganville cover is your fave?

In terms of the US covers, I’d have to say Feast of Fools, just because Michael looks so *gorgeous* on it.  In terms of British covers, the new, awesome design for Lord of Misrule is just spectacular and luscious.

This is book six in the Morganville series – do you feel like you know your characters a lot more these days? Do you have trouble (still) writing any of them?

Oddly enough, the Morganville books have never presented that much trouble for me.  The characters, town and situations seem very clear, and it’s a great experience writing them.  Certainly I’m delving deeper and deeper, both into the characters and into the town itself.  So it continues to be fun and fascinating work!

Do you have a fave Morganville character?

I always feel so guilty when I say this, but … Shane.  Yes.  It’s Shane.  Although I truly enjoy writing ALL of them, from Oliver to Eve to Amelie to Myrnin.  And Michael is just adorably fun, like the big brother I never had.

Have you always known exactly how the Morganville books are going to end, or are you writing it as it comes to you?

A mixture of both.  I knew my ending, but I didn’t know all the twists and turns it would take to get there.  The thing is, after book 6, I’m on my own.  No more roadmaps.  Although I think FADE OUT (the next book) really is a true stand-alone story.

What life lessons do you want your readers to take from Morganville (if any at all)?

I don’t know if I’m a “lesson” writer, but if I am, it’s all about friendship and sacrifice.  About keeping a good heart in the face of bad things.  I’m an optimist, and I think the stories reflect that, as dark as they get.

Why do you think teen vampire novels are so popular right now?

Vampires are, and always have been both cool and outside the mainstream … which is extraordinarily attractive when you’re a teen.  Party all night.  Sleep all day.  Never grow old.  It’s the Lost Boys mantra, and it completely describes what’s so great about the idea of being a vampire.  (The liquid diet part, not so much.)

Having said that, though … there’s a lot of variation in the way writers are approaching the theme, which is great!  There are relationship-driven vampire books.  There are dark suspense books.  There are adventure books (which is probably where mine fall).  Funny vampire books.  So there’s room for everything.

What was the last book you read?

I’m currently reading Lee Child’s ENEMY, which is a Jack Reacher novel.  I’m about to start CEMETERY DANCE by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child.  Prior to that, I read John Maddox Roberts’ SPQR book THE PRINCESS AND THE PIRATE.

*********SPOILERS AHEAD************

You’ve been teasing fans with Shane and Claire for four entire books now – how does it feel to finally give us what we want?

Honestly?  Terrifying.  I really felt the weight of responsibility in trying to make that moment seem real and right, but also have lasting impact and consequences to their lives.

You wrote the “Shane and Claire” scene perfectly. Did it come easily or did you write and rewrite it a lot before you were happy with it?

I am so relieved you think it came out well!  I worried a lot about it.  I think it came out as I wanted it on the first draft, and then I worried about whether or not what I wanted out of it was the right thing.  So … yes and no.  I fiddled with it a lot, but it was mainly just nerves rather than real rewriting.

Although one of my fabulous beta readers did point out that Shane’s been in prison for a long time.  He WILL want to take a shower.  And we WILL want o him to.

Are you worried about parental pushback about the sex issue in this instalment?

Yes, of course.  It was an issue that I really had to think about and talk over with my publisher, and we are prepared for some negative comments about it.  But I did take the step of asking for blind readers who self-identified as conservatives, with children, and sent them the book for pre-read to see whether or not they would find it appropriate.  9 out of 10 thought it was a positive approach, so I feel fairly confident that I was in the right place with it.

Are we going to be seeing more of Dean? Something tells me that we might…

You might.  ☺  And not in a good way.

The Morganville books are famous for their nail biting cliffhanger endings. Carpe Corpus does not have a cliffhanger. What made you decide to do this?

I really had planned to finish the series in Book 6 – that was my original contract length with the publisher.  So I had planned the story arc to finish there, which is why there isn’t a cliffhanger.

Also, I was tired of being pelted with tomatoes.  ☺  No, seriously, I never intended it to become such a thing … it just did.  And I was kind of relieved to stop doing it.

I was truly overjoyed that my publisher wanted to continue to explore Morganville for another 3 books!

Can you give us any hints about what is coming in Fade Out?

Sure!  You’ll find out that the town of Morganville puts on an annual play, and Eve gets a prominent role, which is a life-long dream for her.  She also becomes instafriends with a fellow Goth girl named Kim, who is kind of Morganville’s resident Rebel Without A Cause.  But Kim delivers loads of complications between our heroes … Claire can’t stand her, Shane might have had a history with her, Eve loves her, Michael just wishes it all would go away, which leads to all kinds of distress.  Oh, and there’s trouble from an unexpected quarter.  Of course!

Thank you so much for letting me talk to you today!  It’s been a treat!

Actually, Rachel, the treat was all ours!

Click here if you want to read our review of Carpe Corpus