Hello, Spongey here.
It’s safe to say Vampires are the most popular supernatural creature. Oh, they aren’t the most seen, but they are the most popular. Even before. Twilight came out, they were insanely popular with books, shows, movies and more.
From Dracula to even the count, there are more vampires than you can shake a stick at. Why you would shake a stick at a vampire is anyone’s guess.
After Twilight, vampires were even more popular. Now, I know that’s…not a good thing for some. But I say it’s a good thing, as it has made people try to bring real vampires back, which is really starting to work.
Hell, now we have a woman who reviews vampire media! Oddly specific, but it’s awesome!
And while I do prefer werewolves, as they have never sparkled, I do love a good vampire, and i’m happy they are popular.
Zombies have started to replace Vampires, and the market it now flooded with zombie media, but Vampires are still popular to an extent.
Which brings us to this criminally underrated recent book series.
One day I was in the library at my school, and on their “new” shelf I saw a book of this series. Bored, I looked at the first one cuz, eh, maybe it’ll be okay. From page 2, I was hooked…for reasons i’ll explain in a second.
This, is A Tribute to the Morganville Vampires
Written By Rachel Caine) in 2006 this is a series of young adult urban fantasy/vampire novels . Now, let me address the young adult part.
Young Adult, in literature terms, means …well young adult. . But it has come to mean something different. As in “”older teen” or simple “Teen.
Teen works today are not really for teens. They are for pre-teens who THINK they are teens. You know what I mean. Saved by the bell. High school musical. Disney sitcoms. The works that don’t show what teens really do.
Infact, works for ADULTS show real teens, while “teen” works show pre-teen stuff.
So does that mean baby works are about fetuses? Whatever. One big culprit, is Twilight. Hell, I made a point of it in my review of the Fear street book “The sleepwalker”. A so-called teen series rarely features teens acting like teens.
What I’m getting it, is that only adults can take what teens do, while teens like to think they are “Safer” then that. A smart person can analyze this, but back to my point. What if there was a REAL teen series?
A series that was actually made for teens, had teen stuff, but is fitting for adults and is mostly made for teenagers. A series…like this.
Yes, I’m praising a vampire series for…that. That’s what struck me about it when I first read book 1, as it has swearing, death, and even a bit of sex, and all without feeling forced.
But enough of that, you want to know what it’s about, yes? Well, let’s discuss the basic plot. Ahem..
Claire Danvers is 16, but is exceptionally intelligent for her age, which means she’s off to college. But due to some troubles, her parents ship her off a college in the small Texas town of Morganville. Things get off to a shaky start thanks to Monica the alpha bitch.
When Claire heads off campus, the imposing old house where she finds a room may not be much better. Her new roommates, Michael, Eve, and Shane, don’t show many signs of life. But they’ll have Claire’s back when the town’s deepest secrets come crawling out, hungry for fresh blood.
By that, I mean the town is run by vampires. They run the whole town, and every aspect of it, and humans who truly live there must make sure to stay out of their way. Humans who are only there for a quick stop, or a school session, normally don’t even notice the vampires thanks to magicy- stuff…and a force that makes people who leave the town forget about it.
Before I get to the characters, I must discuss the town itself. They could have taken a normal small town, fill it with vampires, and call it a day. But no, Caine went all out for Morganville. As you can tell from the above, it acts like a Vampire hub where Vampires clearly rule, and humans might as well be a minor inconvenience. As the series goes on, they become equal, than lesser, and currently, somewhere in the middle. Well, book 14 changed it but that’s a spoiler.
But even at the start, the vampire/human thing was odd. Humans were clearly treated badly, but the vampires never wanted them out fully. We learn exactly why later, but early on, we could infer it was cuz killing anyone who enters is a bit more suspicious than just making sure ones who leave don’t remember.
And the way they keep human/vampire peace with the ones who stay is interesting. Some vampires can be protectors for humans, and humans who wear a Protector bracelet cannot be touched by the lower class vampires..
However, its clear most humans hate vampires, and vice versa. No matter how much the founder (I’ll get to her in a second) tries to get humans and vampires on equal, or at least, peaceful terms, there was always be a strong anti-vampire resistance in Morganville. It’s complicated, but it’s interesting,.
And thankfully, it never feels like some sort of allegory. You are always reminded this is about vampires and vampires only. You can analyze it all you want, but Caine’s writing makes it so it’s all vampire.
Speaking of which, the vampires in this series are true vampires. They suck blood, stakes kill them, sun hurts them etc etc. Well , okay, Garlic does nothing and Vampires are actually pretty strong despite all this. Infact, a stake must be in there for a while to actually kill them. So really, they act like vampires realistically would. Not over the top stereotypes, but not …sparkl-y.
The town is fascinating in that way, but we’ll talk about that as we go on. I will say that this is a classic case of the town being an actual character. .
Let’s talk about the characters. First up, our heroine Claire. Seeing as she is super smart, you’d think she’s a mary sue. But nope,. She’s incredibly awesome.
First off, she’s a likable nerd who isn’t…that much of a nerd. As in, she flat out loves reading, doesn’t hate tests, and all that jazz. But at the same time, she doesn’t wear glasses, doesn’t play dumb fantasy games, or cry at the red wedding.
AREN’T I SO TOPICAL!?
She’s very much like a normal smart person, only…well super smart. Which makes it adorkable when she goes geeky over certain things. Wow, I rarely say that word, but here I am. She’s mostly just an introvert: Rarely going outside her comfort zone. But she’s willing to do if she has to.
That’s not to say she’s the bravest person ever. She’s pretty vulnerable and when shit goes down…SHIT. GOES. DOWN. I won’t spoil anything, but when things happen to here, you feel like she truly is going through it, and she has either no way out, or little chance of getting out.
And it all feels natural. She just doesn’t become a pussy cuz the plot says so, her character is built like that. She starts off as a sort of why bookworm, but by this point in the series, she is a badass book worm who knows tons about vampires, and in a way is the leader of the group when the others are down.
But even then, she’s still Claire deep down, so again, when shit goes down, you feel bad for her. I won’t say she’s all that complex, but when she is awesome…she is awesome. Also, she swears a lot, and how many nerds swear?
Next up, Michael. He’s the leader, more or less. By all accounts, he should be the dull one. And at times, he is. But most of the time, he’s pretty cool. Now, I have to spoil the first 3 books here, but I think it’s pretty basic info to talk about.
Claire finds out Michael is …half dead. He had a scuffle with a vampire in his house, and died…kind of. It’s hard to explain, but his little family house thingy has the power of his whole family, and the house is like…alive?
Not like, Smart house alive (It’s much less creepy) but magic and living and stuff. The magic thingy keeps Michael alive…at night.
It’s explained much better in the book.
During the day, he’s a ghost and he can never leave the house. So to solve that problem, he gets bitten and becomes a vampire.
Clearly the logical conclusion.
But seriously, he dies, becomes a ghost, then becomes a vampire. How badass is that?! Early on, you know he has some troubles deep down but during his vampire days, it gets worse. For one, Shane, the next guy we’ll discuss…hates vampires. I smell a sitcom!
Before this, they were the best of besties, and now Shane feels a bit betrayed. He doesn’t blindly hate him and then goes back to him randomly, he feels conflicted. Michael is his friend, but he’s also now a filthy bloodsucker. It takes a while for Shane to really get used to. We’ll talk about that later, but it’s awesome, trust me.
Oh, and Michael has a romance thing with Eve. Oh fuck a vampire romance…and it works. Yay! It’s not that complex, cuz it’s small, but it works. Michael does feel that he vampire-ism could get in the way, though it usually doesn’t. Yeah…there’s a really great scene that shows more complex aspects to this, but I can’t get it out well.
I’m not as good a writer a Caine, but trust me, the scene itself is so much deeper than it sounds. Anyway, the romance isn’t focused on a lot, at least not until much later. That helps since I like the rare moments where there is focus.
Anyway, to sum it up, Micheal could have been dull but he ends up being interesting where it counts. Next up is Eve, the perkiest of goths. Most of the characters are snarky, but she may be the snarkiest. She takes pride in the fact that she is goth and snarky.
She has quite the upbeat attitude, but in the darkest and snarkiest of ways. She certainly dresses like a goth/vampire/thing which most parents would faint at. Thankfully, Micheal’s parents don’t show up often.
She also has a big mouth, which means she has pissed off every vampire and town and thus has been the biggest help in the vampire battle along with Shane. She also happens to have a troubled past, including with her brother Jason.
Jason…is weird. He’s sort of a bad guy, but then he turns good, then bad again. NOW, he’s sort of the middle. This series seems to like characters like that , and he’s a weird example. They can’t really decide if he’s good or bad, but he is usually put in the “Bad” until he has a few sympathetic moments.
Oh, and Eve also has a rocky thing with her parents, but trust me, it’s nothing compared to another Dad we’ll see in a second. Anyway, there’s plenty to Eve that I can’t even mention (spoilers) but she is quite snarky, badass, and even complex at times.
And now to round our main group with Shane Collins. He is hotheaded with a penchant for getting in trouble, often by his own doing. Regardless, he ends up being trustworthy ,and also over protective at times.
He’s pretty fascinating in that way. Also, like I said, he hates vampires. Why? Well, see his sister was killed in a fire (We’ll get to that later) so Shane and his parents left Morganville, hoping to escape the reminder of Alyssa’s death. Shane’s family quickly began to fall apart
His mother’s memory block began to fail, allowing her to remember Morganville and the vampires. She went a bit insane before being killed, by unknown vampires. They imply who it is but we’ll get to her in a second.
Shane and his father believe that the vampires killed her for remembering Morganville, leading them on a vengeful path to destroy the vampires So yeah,…heavy stuff. I’m glad they just didn’t have it be the cliché straightforward reason, there are layers to this.
Shane’s vampire hatred makes plenty of sense, but it doesn’t come across as dumb, cliché or whatever. He’s pretty stubborn about it, especially after the Michael vampire thing. We all know Micheal is cool, but we see why Shane wouldn’t trust him.
Of course he is able to remember that no matter what, they are best friends. But even after all that clams down, it still stays in his mind. I won’t spoil much, but in “Bite Club” someone manipulates him to start thinking of this again, and his vampire hatred comes back, thanks to his hot headed-ness and this person’s hand.
He isn’t 100 percent stable, and that’s why he’s so interesting. He’s always at war with himself, especially in the later books. And yes, he ends up with Claire. And they uh…well…um…make whoopie. It’s fairly tasteful so don’t worry there.
Like with eve/Micheal, it’s hard to make it sound good but it is well done. It’s paced fine and there are a lot of really good heartfelt scenes. Plus, they are like, tots adorbs. And don’t ask about…Claire’s 16 thing, as she eventually turns 17 and that’s when it becomes legal there.
I don’t know about laws and shit in Texas, but it’s well written, and that’s all that counts. Infact, there’s a scene regarding them in Last Breathe that’s um…DAMN. No spoilers, of course.
Oh, I suppose it’s important to mention Shane’s dad.
His anti-vampire agenda is even bigger. Infact, he has a gang of vampire hunters and he’s also an asshole to Shane and everyone. Before Alyssa died, he was still kind of a douche and an alcoholic. But once that happened, and they left, he becomes an evil bigger, abusive, alcoholic douche. After Shane headed back to Morganville, Dad pops up to cause more trouble. They have a strained relationship, to say the least.
While Frank Colins here is mostly a douche, there are a few…humanity moments with it. I won’t spoil it but something happens that’s really interesting….and then a book later it gets WORSE. And also heartbreaking, but again, no spoilers.
His nature just adds to how fascinating Shane is as a character.
Now for the other characters. There’s Monica Morrell, the alpha bitch who is the reason Claire even had to live in the Glass house to start with. Her brother is a cop, and her Dad is the mayor so that means she has plenty of power.
Now, when it comes “bitch” characters, whether they be a high school movie style Alpha Bitch or just some bitch-y kid, they certainty get mixed responses There’s a small trend these days of some getting hate for all the wrong reasons.
I mean, some people have bashed Suzy from “Phineas and Ferb” or Pacfica Northwest from “Gravity Falls” like they were supposed to be actual likable characters or something. And I don’t mean they annoy them, like how I didn’t enjoy that chick in Bratz. It’s hard to explain, but it seems like they dislike for weird unknown reasons.
Though in most cases it’s “DIE FOR OUR SHIP” which makes a sad sort of sense. Now where am I going with this? Well, to a small extent…Monica is the closest you’ll get to it for me.
Now, she is 1000000 times better than most of the Alpha Bitches people bash. She is not woobie-ified or anything like that. For the most part, she is plenty enjoyable. She is bitch-y to the max being generally awful in the best possible way.
But then there are a few things she does that make me slap my head when there is even a hint at making her respected. Not that she ever changes, or anything. She does stop being as bothersome when they decide that they enjoy hating each other, and just hate each other in silence (like girls do). That ties into this but that’s fine I guess.
It’s hard to sum up (especially without spoilers) but there’s a point where Monica kind of ends up on their side, but kind of not. It happens much later, but even before then, they seemed to avoid giving Monica what she deserved. Even though a couple of things she does made it impossible for that to work.
What are those things? Well, let me set one example up. Monica was hot for Shane, and they went out for a short time. Long story short, Shane said lolno and broke it off.
So Monica, being Monica, did the logical thing and burned down his house….which killed his sister. …
This is brought up a lot, but Monica clearly doesn’t regret that the sister accidentally died. She denies doing this though she isn’t exactly trying to stop him from assuming. I am making it seem like less of a deal oddly, but the way it is written, it feels like Monica is too much of a Complete Monster to really just her actions go.
Saying that she was Easily forgiven would not be right as she wasn’t quite ‘forgiven”. I’m going way too long but …i don’t know. Her entire mindset is explained later though she is not woobie-ified. They do walk that line but they never try to make her a good guy which I have to applaud.
But what they do seems contrast with HOW bad what she does is. Thankfully, Monica gets the butt monkey treatment enough that I can sit with this. Besides, she can very enjoyable at points.
TLDR VERSION: Fun bitch but close to being too much given what happens.
Let’s bounce back with Amelie, the founder of Morganville and head honcho. She is really fascinating because she is a chess master. I mean, her Dad is named Bishop for Pete’s sake. But he’s a spoiler, so back to Amelie.
She is ultra-powerful and her appearance demands respect. Everything she does has some reason behind it, and she seems unmoving and unemotional. Of course she’s not just a vampire in god mod. She has flaws and in the last few books, she’s been having some trouble and is even getting more extreme. But again, spoilers.
It’s hard to explain but Amelie proves to be awesome. She has many crowning moments and she is really cool. Not everything she goes can be seen as …good, as she does what benefits her and the town. She even can be seen as villainous at times. But that is eclipsed by the fact that she has a reason for doing everything.
Which is why the last few books have been awesome She Is getting into situations that pretty much destroy all that. I can’t spoil it but many is it fascinating. She is on the side of our heroes but she crosses the line between good and not so good. Oh, she’s mostly “Good” but…yeah it gets interesting.
Next is her right hand man, Oliver. He is not a fan of Amelie and how accepting she is of humans. He’s another character who is not good or bad. He can easily be seen as bad but he’s usually fighting on the heroes side even though he isn’t good.
It’s another hard to describe thing, but that’s the genius of it. He’s not 100 percent bad as he later does show respect for Amelie and even our heroes. But he can quite bad when he wants to be and he doesn’t like to be seen as a good guy.
I always do love morally ambiguous characters and he’s just one example of how this series loves them. Thankfully, it’s not overdone and they have just as many clear cut heroes and villains. Oh, and did I mention it was Oliver who um, made Michael a ghost in the first place?
There are a couple minor characters I’d like to gloss over before we get to my favorite. There’s Hannah Moses, the most competent cop in town who is an absolute badass but even gets some interesting bits later on.
There’s Monica’s brother, the cop. He’s pretty cool, and serves as a good ally to our heroes. …Yes, he is actually Monica’s brother. He recognizes how…monica she is, but he’s not willing to let bad shit happen to her. Her dad doesn’t too much but be like you’d think an alpha bitch dad would be.
There’s Miranda, a “friend” of Eve’s who is all skinny and shy. Also, she’s a physic but the sadly vague kind. I’m not sure how that works but whatever. Also, she’s the kind of woobie where you pretty much want to hug her, and the in book characters very much agree. It’s why they let her stick around even though most people would not be so kind.
Those people include Monica’s two goons. One of them is ax crazy and possibly worse than Monica as far as attitude goes. Yes, it is possible to be worse. It’s weird.
I think that’s it for most of the ones I can mention without spoilers. So that brings us to my favorite character… Myrnin. He’s introduced in book 3. He lives in his basement lab thingy that’s under a house in a dark alley.
He’s starting to sound like a peach, right? Anyway, he’s a scientist of sorts, and Ameliehas Claire become his apprentice. Except he’s insane. And not the usual cloud cuckoolander insane. No, when he first shows up he is CRAZY.
See, he’s pretty unhinged and has killed off his previous assistants. We find out about a disease effecting vampires, and it’s hit the already crazy Myrnin pretty hard. He changes between normal funny crazy and …ax crazy.
He’s really hard to explain. At least in his introductory form. However, Claire works hard to calm him down so he can properly train her. She finds out he is very smart, energetic and knowledge. He opens the door for Claire to many possibilities she never considered and he truly tests her brain at points.
Saying more would sum up the entirety of that book’s plot. It involves a drug that calms down the vampire diseases and even heightens senses. Yey when Myrnin crashes, he crashes hard.
His depiction is that book alone makes him great. But once he sobers up and acts like his usual self, he stays awesome. He’s weird. He dresses like a madmen who gave up halfway through dressing. He does odd thing and clearly doesn’t give a single fuck about anything.,’
Yet in the end he still a vampire being. We see he does care about Claire and he ends up being a great mentor in helps her grow as a person and as a student. Claire also teaches Myrnin some stuff, and well, they do say the teacher can become the student.
Though they never said the teacher is a crazy vampire. They must have skipped that class.
Anyway, that’s not to say Myrin’s character and his stuff with Claire is all drama. Hell, a lot of it very funny in how Myrnin acts and reacts to various situations. He can apathetic to the human/vampire thing, and he can also pick a side. That side being Myrin’s side.
It’s awesome how deep his development gets, yet he’s also hilarious. I love how his craziness becomes normal by the later books, and his stuff becomes funny quirks that people mock. He’s fully in the gang and he is 100 percent reliable, and more than just a crazy vampire.
I also love how Eve, the others snark at him and how Myrnin acts towards him. By the way, Shane also has a rocky thing with Myrnin since Claire trusts this crazy guy and Myrnin is quite odd. There’s one odd bit whee Shane thins Myrnin may uh…want her.
It’s not true of course, but it’s a thought that makes me shiver. After all, Claire if 17 for most of the series and Myrnin is….well above that. Pedophilia AND Necrophilia!
Though that doesn’t stop the fandom from shipping it. I know I shouldn’t be surprised but….come on!
So uh…anyway,Myrninis just awesome. He’s just really funny in how crazy he is, but he also develops really well and has a great teacher/student with Claire that becomes a true friendship. AND NOTHING MORE, WEIRDOS.
Now, this next bit is sort of a spoiler, but if I avoid saying WHAT happens at the end it is not. See, Morganville is all magic-y but something kind of science-y has to control it. Well, see Myrnin has hooked up a BRAIN to this machine so that person can help control bits of Morganville and also keeps the doorways moving.
Oh, yeah, this town also has portals. Did I mention that? Anyway, describe this part is hard but the whole “dead guy controlling” the town thing makes sense in context. Who is controlling it when we find this out? Myrnin’s old lover Ada, who had killed and put her brain in his machine to make up for it.
Needless to say, she does finally go Pat on their asses. It is awesome and it’s one of the most interesting books for that reason. I can’t tell you who else ends up with their brain in the machine cuz it’s a spoiler….but also the best thing ever.
Anyway, back to Myrnin. Like I’ve been saying, He’s both complex and funny. He has so much more to him than just being crazy, and you get to know him like everyone else. He’s my favorite character cuz he’s so complex and hilarious.
And that’s about it for the characters. There’s a lot to them that I didn’t say….mostly cuz I can’t sum up the spoilers very well. If you can’t tell by now, I sum up some complex things better than others.
The characters are simply great. They do fit certain archetypes, but they grow beyond that. Claire is not just a bookworm. Shane isn’t just a brooding pretty boy. Micheal isn’t just the leader. Eve isn’t just the goth. They all have a lot to them.
But mostly, I love their insane camaraderie. Their snarky dialogue feels very natural, and I got to known them really well. They argue quite a bit and have major differences, but they work together as one. They are pretty much a perfect team of heroes to follow. All flawed, but all great.
It’s a case where the characters feel like what an actual group of friends in this town would be: At each others throats in the best possible way. And did I mention I love their dialogue? Cuz I do.
These books strike a good balance. We have lots of story, lots of humor, lots of character, and lots of world building. It’s obviously more the story direction for most of the series, but it also has lots of funny moments.
It all blends very well. It helps make these books FUN to read, even with the heavy stuff. It helps us roll with the character’s, and get to know them so when they really grow due to the story, it hits even harder.
This series gets into heavy territory , and it works very well. Every twist, turn, and plot point just makes me want to read more. The breezy way it’s planned out plus the heavy hitting story just makes this a riveting read.
I’m making this sound all “heavy” and “boring” with my choice of words. But really, it’s exciting. There’s plenty of action, at least when it comes to the events. The plot turns feel natural every time and no matter how “predictable” some bits are, they ALWAYS hit hard and at full force.
A Critic quote I see on these books is “Caine deals out plot twists as if she’s dealing cards’. That’s very true, as the story keeps on charging, and Caine never runs of ideas, even by book 13.
Which brings to my next point about the story. Some of the early ones and even a couple in the middle can meander at times. Not in a bad way at all. But it does take awhile for the main plot to roll, even if story bits still show up early. For example, in “The Dead Girl’s dance” the titular dance doesn’t happen til halfway through, and that’s where the bulk of the plot stems from.
I’m not saying this as a critismsa. Actually, I barely noticed that this could be an issue until I really thought about. The story still happens and we spend plenty of time getting to know these characters. It just works in a different way.
Anyway, the first 5 or so books from an arc. Well, the first 3 or so center around introducing us the main characters, the supporting characters and also a couple minor arc bits, like this old book that I won’t go on too much about.,
Then Book 3 ends with Amile’s Dad showing up. This isn’t a spoiler, as I said nothing about WHAT actually happens with the story and plot devolpments. I’ll just say books 4-6 focus on what happens with Bishop and how he…well I won’t spoil it.
It’s a badass arc with a lot going on. This is where the series grows the beard and gets truly awesome. I thought this would be the kind of series that has a predetermined ending and stops at 5 or 6. But there were more after that.
With what happens, I wondered how it could go on. Well, 7-8 (and maybe 9) are a bit more on the stand alone side compared to the first 6. Oh, they aren’t filled by any means. Except maybe “Kiss of Death” but even that is a tad important.
Book 7 introduced a character I can’t spoil who is seemingly one shot, as important as she is. Also, I think the Ada thing is resolved here. It’s pretty impoirtant to the characters but it’s not b building on one long arc anymore.
Now it was kind of like an episodic TV show where every episode is still vital to the overall story. This is made it kind of odd for me, as I’m used to book series either going on as long as it can due to just being simple stories (too many examples to name) or a series with an obvious end with about 5-7 books. (Harry potter, percy jackson, etc).
This is an odd point to mention, but I must bring it up. It works pretty well when it’s going on, as standalone complex stories are just as good as an ongoing arc. Then starting with book 9, things ramp up again.
Oh, it’s not a big of an arc as the bishop thing, but “Ghost Town” and “Bite Club” were the most awesome things to come out of the series since that arc ended. Then starting with Book 11, we had an Arc again.
Saying what it Is about is a huge spoiler, sorry. But books 11 and 12 are huge in scale and like I said, among the series best. With Book 13, the main issue from the previous one was solved….but it carries over to here and it’s a a giant deal.
So 13 is slightly episodic but is too connected to be so. Thus, 11-13 are an arc. But, book 13 has a cliffhanger that was the first time in any series that I went “WHAT” at. In a great way, of course.
So of course book 14 picks where that left off, though it’s mostly contained from where book 13 left off than part the arc that the others were about. And book 14 has an even BIGGER cliffhanger that was awesome.
Why am I going on about this? Cuz I like that it’s been going for awhile but always seems to have the books connected. It goes from semi connected, to an arc, to episodic, to arc, to a combo of both. Yet every single book is important in some way,
I’m sure this has been done in many works, but I’ve rarely gotten into any series (book or otherwise) that operates like this. This is new. I’ve never gotten so connected with characters like this in a story written in this style.
Hence why I am even doing this blog in the way I am. So it was awesome getting passionte over the ending to a story like I did here. Well, I do have that reaction with Breaking Bad, as it’s the only show of that style I’ve seen most of. So consider that the OTHER only series with arcs like that that I care about.
The point is, the structure of this story is awesome. It helped me get sucked in to the story, world and characters. And what a world this is. Almost all of the action is around Morganville,as only 2 books take place outside of it.
So you have to make this town ALIVE. I’ve gone into this earlier, but this needs to be stated again. This is the best town you never want to live in. Like I said before, it has own set of customs and stuff when it comes to humans.
As the series goes on, you grow to completely understand this odd town and how it operates. I’ve said before that the town feels like a character, and that’s very true. The town gets as involved in the plot as the characters. Through the many books set in this area, we learn tons of things about it.
Not just the basic customs and how it was made, but also simply how it is. I’m pretty sure there’s a fan map of the place with the main locations we’ve visited in this small town. Like any small town, it has basic small areas every visitor knows.
We even have small characters that help make this town feel more important. Not that many, infact there could be more background characters. What I mean is that the small details that few people care about when reading a series like this helps make one of it’s biggest strengths.
The way they build the world is great. The two times we leave this town show how different it is but we also see how good it has come to be for our heroes. They love to bitch about how evil it is but in the end, they wouldn’t live anywhere else.
Even when that’s a possible choice. So my point is that we get to know this city like a real character. It’s a great small town setting that feels so large in scope when shit goes down. It’s the best setting for story, and it’s great when we found out why they picked a setting so prone to sunlight.
Like I said before, This is the best town you never want to live in
So…what else can I say? I praised the story, I praised the mythology, I praised the complex and funny characters, and I even went into the damn setting. That’s as deep as I ever go in these tributes.
But there are a things to address. The first is the main reason I’m posting this at the time I am. See, this week say the realse of book 15, Daylighters. It’s….the last book for now.
That’s right, the series has come to close. Racheal Caine says it’s cuz she thought it was a good time and she had a great way to end. Plus, she has other projects in the works to focus. It’s odd for a series to end about a year after I first find it.
But I’m too heartbroken, so i’m surprised it went on after book 6 or so anyway. Thus, I think it’s a great stopping point. Book 14 was pretty damn good, considering it had one minor element with Shane I was mixed on at first.
It had a great cliffhanger what made go “oh shit”. It was awesome. So I see exactly how they could wrap things up from there. The early buzz is really positive, and I hear it ends on a GREAT note.
Sadly, my school library will end up taking awhile to get a hold of it. They only book 14 a couple weeks ago. Granted, it came out may, cllose to end the school year ended so maybe they will get this one faster.
Either way, I’ll try to get a hold of it some other way if I have to wait awhile. I think it’s a good place to end the series, and I hope it ends with a bang.
Oh, but it’s not fully over yet. See, I called the series underrated but that’s only cuz it’s not as huge as Harry potter or Twilight. It has tons of critical love, and a VERY passionate fanbase. …
Yes, Claire/Myrin is popular.
With that decent popularity, a TV or film version was inveisteble. Well, we are going to a TV show of the series….online.
Yep, Caine went to good ol’ Kickstarter to get backing for an online web show of the series. And she got thaT backing, and production is going on as we speak.
Rachael Caine is writing the first season of episodes, with each ep being 10 minutes each., The first season or so will directly follow the plot line of there first 2 books but of course changes will be made for budget reasons.
But even better..
“But you know what? YOU WILL ALSO SEE MYRNIN, even though he doesn’t technically show up until the third book. (We knew you Myrnin fans would ask.) “
This is great, and I hope they use him well instead of just being there cuz he’s popular. So this sounds great, and it will likely come out sometime next year. They are doing casting soon, but already have an Amelie : Amber Benson. I belive she was in Buffy, cuz they HAD to do ironic casting at some point.
As far as casting goes, they can cast any fairly good actors for Claire, Micheal and Shane, but you NEED the right people for characters like Eve and Myrnin. But we’ll see what happens.
I’ve always thought that one hour type format would wortk best for each book, but they are confident this style, I can live with it. It’s a simple series at hear, so they don’t need any specific requirements as far as looks go.
With Caine writing, this sure to be a great series. I’m looking forward to it, big time.
So…that’s it. I thought there was more to discuss, but there isn’t.. I discussed why I like the series and many other tihngs. I could go into the making and what it means for the YA genre, but that’s for real literuature critics to discuss.
I will say that it’s cleaning up the mess Twilight started. It treats vampires seriously, but it’s not super typical and it has strong female characters. The romance is handled well with a good balance of love-y dove-y stuff and actual character/story development.
It doesn’t have many flaws, both personally and as an entry in it’s genre. It just gets better and better, and I hope most ‘teen’ books follow it’s example instead of Twilgiht.
The stories are complex and have tons of twists, the characters have layers and are likable, and the mythology is very fascinating and the location is used well very. The dialogue is often quite funny and the characters have great interactions , on the funny and drama scenes.
Caine clearly knows how to write and also appeal to every demographic possible. It’s not just for teens, it’s for everyone …above 12 cuz I doubt an 8 year old can read it. I follow her on twitter and I’ve read some interviews, and she’s obviously smart and knows how this works and encourages anything that tries to actually have strong characters instead of what we’re used to.
She’s written plenty of other works, and I hear they are equally awesome. If this series is anything to go be, I fully support anything she does.
I came across this series by accident, and I ended up getting more attached to it then I thought possible. It’s simply wonderful in every way, and while it has small trouble bumps, it makes up for it with….well everything else.
This is series where when you get to book 15, you will be so shocked at how things have changed with the characters, and how organic it feels. It’s great.
I don’t know if this blog went on longer than necessary or not. I expected to ramble for hours about how amazing this series is. I expected it feel a bit more fanboy-ish than it already is. But it went a bit shorter than I thought and since this is a long post, that’s saying something.
In the read, this is a reat YA vampire series that has everything I didn’t expect from it. Story, characters, depth. It’s all great and every time I read a book in the series, I am reminded of how charming it truly is.
Here’s to Rachael Caine, and I hope the web series goes well, and her future works are equally amazing. If I get my hands book 15, I may do a separate review of it, or just tweet about.
There, now I can go back to snarking on children’s horror books written by a 70 year old man.