I must admit that I had my doubts about this book when it arrived in my mailbox early last week. It's not that it's YA as I lurve me some YA. It's not that it's Paranormal, anyone who has ever read this blog or my posts from d&D knows that. What gave me pause was the whole Book Five thing. Now again, don't get me wrong, I love series, but I was leery about starting this one on the fifth book, especially in a series that so many friends of mine have already raved about. Crazy I know, I started Evanovich with TO THE NINES and I didn't come to Charlaine Harris until CLUB DEAD, of course I immediately ran out and bought the earlier books in those series and haven't missed one since, but I wasn't sure that could happen again, I mean, hello, did you read yesterdays posts, remember me? The newly cynical reader? But alas, it would seem that my bank account is going to be missing the exact dollar amount it would take to buy four books. Sigh. I think the publisher may be on to something - wanna sell lots of books? Give away one in the middle of a series, trust me if it's as good as this one, the rest of the books in the series will be bought up at lightening pace.
Lord of Misrule The Morganville Vampires-Book Five by Rachel Caine
MORGANVILLE TEXAS. JUST SOUTH OF NORMAL.
In the college town of Morganville, vampires and humans have coexisted in (relatively) bloodless harmony...until the arrival of Bishop, a master vampire who threatens to put the evil back in evil undead and smash the fragile peace. But Bishop isn't the only threat...
Violent black clouds promise a storm of devastating proportions. As student Claire Danvers and her friends prepare to defend Morganville against the elements- both natural and unnatural - the unexpected happens: Morganville's vampires begin to vanish one by one. Discovering why leads Claire to one last choice: Swear allegiance to Bishop ...or die.
Sounds good, right? Well, that would be because it is. Now, since the author is obviously a doll, there is a THE STORY SO FAR... chapter, which does a fairly good job of giving a quick rundown so that the "new to the series" reader (me) can follow along. Of course this pre-book rundown is only a couple of pages, so I was still lost on a bunch of points.
Basically, from what I could gather, there was a vampire that founded the town of Morganville, Amelie. Now, in Morganville vampires and humans co-exist. It's a safe haven sort of town for vampires, and some or most of the humans there pledge their allegiance to certain vampires and are then under their protection (? - if you've read the series and I'm botching this up but good let me know). Bishop, Amelie's dad has come to Morganville and now wants to take it over and make sure that vampires really do rule and only humans who are a walking vending machine (they actually use this term in the book) will be allowed.
Of course, Amelie is not going to go down easily, and Claire along with her best friends Eve and Michael, as well as her boyfriend Shane are all willing (if not so calmly) to help stop Bishop from taking over.
Also from what I can ascertain is that Claire, though in college, is actually only 16 or 17. It was also clear that Claire was vital to the vampires, but I was never really sure why they needed her alive and protected so badly. There is some sort of disease floating through the vampire community, and Claire seems to be helping to find the cure, and by her age and the fact that she's in college it's obvious she's extremely gifted. However, I also got the impression it was more than just her mind that had the vampires so keen to keep her around. It also seemed hinted at that her boyfriend Shane may have more to him than even Claire knows. Hence me gonna go buy the other books in the series.
Anyway, we follow Claire as she and her friends race against time to save Morganville from total destruction. But all Hell's breaking loose, some of the humans have decided they think it would be a good thing if the fighting vampires killed each other off, and they're more than happy to help speed that along any way they can, and a monster of a storm is heading right towards Morganville with more than enough power to destroy the town on its own. Before long it's clear that Claire can't really trust anyone, because friends could turn out to be enemies and enemies may very well turn into, if not friends, allies.
When storm meets war the end result is so terrifyingly fantastic, that I was sitting on the edge of my seat unable to tear myself away until the very end where I was left panting for more. Caine has crafted a universe that is so well built that while reading there is no doubt in your mind that this place and these people really do exists. Caine has found a new fan and cheerleader in this reader, and I look forward to catching up with this series and continuing to follow it until the end. I expect I'll also be buying Caine's other series, but I think I'll start that on Book 1 (unless of course, some one *hint, hint* wanted to send me, oh I don't know, and autographed complete set *BG*).
Go get the book if you're a fan of the series, I really think this is one book you'll not want to miss. For those of you who have yet to start the series, I really do suggest starting with Book 1 (Glass Houses) just so you don't have as many questions as I did/do. Plus, we can go on that particular reading journey together!
But just in case you have any doubts, let me share with you a small bit of one of my favorite scenes from the book:
Shane said, "Some of those same people killed your son."
Theo looked at him with calm, unflinching eyes. "And without forgiveness, there is never any peace. I tell you this from the distance of many centuries. My son gave his life. I won't reply to his gift with anger, not even for those who took him from me. Those same poor, sad people will wake up tomorrow grieving their own losses, I think, if they survive at all. How can hating them heal me?