This review may well, and probably does, contain spoilers for books in the Morganville series up to 8.
Author: Rachel Caine
Series: The Morganville Vampires #8
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Age Group: Young Adult
Publisher: Allison & Busby
Source: Personal copy
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First sentence:The way the Glass House worked, on a practical level, was that there was a schedule for the stuff that had to be done – cooking, cleaning, fixing things, laundry.
Claire Danvers has a few things on her mind. First of all there is the laundry, which is now an unfortunate shade of pink. Then there is her boyfriend, Shane, who is never too far from her thoughts. Finally there is her best friend Eve’s relationship problems. As if life as a student wasn’t complicated enough, Claire just happens to be studying in Morganville. A town run by vampires.
Trouble seems to follow Claire and her friends like a shadow and tonight is no exception to the rule. They must find the most difficult documents for a vampire to acquire; people passes that will allow ‘bad ass’ Morley and his friends to leave Morganville. But it’s proving incredibly difficult, and with the odds seemingly stacked against them, the biggest question of all is…Will they survive?
Kiss of Death starts off with Morganville’s usual light-hearted, silly fun. This time, Claire’s managed to turn the whites pink. The horror! This may well be the only series that doesn’t have me yawning over talk of chores and eating because they give the series such a nice grounded sense of normality. Of course, the idea that love can flourish so well, as evidenced by Shane and Claire, Michael and Eve, also provides the series with some humanity and it is so very sweet. I love following Shane and Claire’s developing relationship.
I found that Kiss of Death wasn’t quite as good as Fade Out but it was definitely better than Carpe Corpus. Though saying that, Kiss of Death follows a slightly different pattern to what we’ve come to expect, even as imaginative as Morganville is, and it is rather refreshing. This time around, the group are given passes to temporarily leave Morganville to go to Dallas for Michael to record a demo. The catch? They must with an escort. Oliver. The road trip they all looked forward to for so long swiftly goes downhill as they get into trouble and have no idea what Oliver is upto and yet again we are flung into this fast-paced story in which they get into all kinds of trouble and what seems like a hopeless situation, which only goes to further develop Claire’s character as a tough little heroine who is also pretty dangerous.
Eve is beginning to irritate me a little bit in Kiss of Death. Don’t get me wrong, I love her and she lightens up almost any catastrophe thrown their way, but she also has a sharp tongue and isn’t afraid to give people the finger, which are equally blessings to the atmosphere of the series and also a curse, and while in Morganville her attitude kind of works, it’s a weird place after all and besides from grating on a few of her enemies, nobody really questions it but out in the world, it’s not the done thing and she obviously doesn’t know how to act having never been out there before. And it really rubbed me the wrong way when she pushed Claire aside for Kim.. very uncool.
Still, Kiss of Death was a thoroughly enjoyable read as I’ve come to expect from Morganville installments and I loved how it ended giving even more of a sense of ambiguity to Oliver’s already questionable character.
And a quote I simply had to include:
Shane looked down at the staked vamp at his feet. “Claire?”
“You staked a vampire with a number two pencil.”
“I didn’t actually check the number.”
The Morganville Vampires series:
1. Glass Houses
2. The Dead Girls’ Dance
3. Midnight Alley
4. Feast of Fools
5. Lord of Misrule
6. Carpe Corpus
7. Fade Out
8. Kiss Of Death
9. Ghost Town
10. Bite Club
11. Last Breath
12. Black Dawn
13. Bitter Blood
14. Fall of Night