Friday, October 29, 2010

Ghost Town by Rachel Caine

Title: Ghost Town
Author: Rachel Caine
Publisher: NAL Hardcover
Release Date: October 26, 2010
Pages: 338 pages (hardback)

While developing a new system to maintain the town's defenses, Claire discovers a way to use the vampires' powers to help keep outsiders from spreading news of Morganville's "unique" situation once they've crossed the city limits.

But the new system has an unexpected and possibly deadly consequence: People inside the town start forgetting who and what they are--even the vampires. And when Claire's boyfriend, Shane, and her best friend, Eve, start treating her like a perfect stranger, Claire realizes she has to figure out a way to pull the plug on her experiment--before she forgets how to save herself... and Morganville.


After the tumultuous events of Fade Out (book seven) and Kiss of Death (book eight), Claire and her insane(ly awesome) vampire boss Myrnin are hard at work, trying to come up with a new system that will keep people from leaving Morganville and wipe the memories of anyone who is lucky enough to be able to leave. Just as they get one working, it appears that it not only affects the people leaving town, but anyone living within Morganville's boundaries. The memory loss seems to strike at random and Claire must find a way to shut down the machine because she might be the next to forget and that will be the end.

This was one of my most anticipated books of the year because I love the Morganville Vampires series. It is suspenseful and amazing and everything someone could want from a vampire series. The vamps are even terrifying! I wasn't too happy that the book found its way to me later than it was supposed to, but I got it all the same, read it within the space of about five hours, and my reaction to this entire book can be summed up with this: OH MY GOD! (I would use more exclamation points for emphasis, but that's not my style. Just know I was loud in my exclamation. Ask my mother.)

A lot of things happened in this book and I mean a lot. Morganville practically falls apart at the seams and there is another major change in how it's run. Actually, there two big changes. One doesn't last for long, but the other seems like a lasting change. Despite these changes, the law of Morganville is still in place and even if they have more freedom, there are certain crimes that humans can't get away with, as Claire finds out early in the book.

A little more is revealed about the unusual relationship between Amelie and Oliver. Though not as jaw-dropping as what we'd been subjected to in Kiss of Death (well, I found it jaw-dropping; I don't know about anyone else), it's still something. I find the relationship quite interesting; I would love to read a little more about it in later books and I believe I will. The bigger, more confirming hints didn't start coming until later books, but the way Oliver would always support Amelie even when he didn't like what she was doing spoke volumes. Would that be accurate foreshadowing? Maybe.

The amnesia plot is one that has been well-used and that has almost become banal, but Rachel Caine takes it and make it her own. I never stopped to roll me eyes at almost everyone forgetting the last three years of their lives. It worked well instead of being boring or a cliche and I applaud the author for that.

Myrnin! Good God, Myrnin. He's one of my favorite characters in this series, along with one of my overall favorite fictional characters. I have a soft spot for the eccentric ones and if anyone is eccentric, it's him, Mr. Vampire Bunny Slippers (and yes, fans who might be reading; the slippers make a reappearance, much to Eve and my's delight). In this novel, the machine that causes the rest of the town to lose their memories also makes Myrnin lose his mind and he becomes--le gasp!--the antagonist! And he does such a good job of it! The evil, crazy Myrnin was just as utterly readable as the good, crazy Myrnin.

I swear, Mrs. Caine is trying to kill some of her "sensitive" fans with the ship tease between Myrnin and Claire. Even the densest fan could see that Myrnin and Claire care about each other, but in this book, it's shown just how much they care for one another. It's not romantic caring, but there are so many little things these two do (such as having Claire admit to herself that Myrnin is pretty hot at one point, but that's about as far as it gets on her end) that it's near-impossible not to notice. I haven't seen ship tease like this since Zuko and Katara in Avatar: The Last Airbender! I am well aware that Myrnin and Claire would never actually happen, but if there's a crack couple out there that actually has some ground, it's this one.

And the ending! That was where most of the "Oh-my-God" factor came from. I mean, come on! Once you get there and read it for yourself, you will probably react in a similar manner. The implications of that are huge, you hear me? HUGE! There's no chance of me revealing the ending and ruining the surprise, so go see someone else about that.

This book in the series was just as fantastic as all that came before it and may have even taken its place as one of the best entries. I certainly enjoyed it and couldn't put it down. I'm looking forward to Bite Club, which is the next book in the series. The aftermath of what happened can't just be swept under the rug this time and I want to see how the situation will be dealt with. I highly recommend the Morganville Vampires series to anyone who wants a good, suspenseful read. Start with the first book Glass Houses and work your way up to Ghost Town from there.

5 stars!