Bitter Blood by Rachel Caine

Just finished reading Bitter Blood, the 13th instalment of the Morganville Vampire series written by Rachel Cain.  The series is based in the fictional town of Morganville where vampires and humans live together, usually in a less than amicable fashion.

The last book saw the elimination of the one remaining threat to the vampires – the Draug.  And even though the humans had to help massively in order to succeed it seems that the vampires gratitude has been short lived as it finally dawns on them that they really are now at the top of the food chain.  They no longer have anything to fear and their vicious and predatory nature is being given much more of a free rein.

It seems like the inhabitants of the Glass House are once again in the middle of the tensions.  The vampires are angry with Michael for marrying Eve and the humans in town are angry with Eve for marrying a vampire.  It seems like an open season has been declared on the four with Captain Obvious riling up the town to acts of violence whilst simultaneously Amelie has withdrawn her protection.

I liked this instalment – it seemed to return in feel to the earlier books in the series.  Although the author is still using the multiple POV style of writing adopted in the latter books.  I like this approach and think it gives a more rounded view of events than always just using Claire as the main vehicle for telling the story.  But, whilst I enjoyed this I did think it had a fairly slow start and took a good while to really pick up in terms of action.  I don’t really mind that particularly however this book did feel as though it dragged a little and it felt like it took longer to read.  Not really sure why as I did think the storyline was well thought out.  It always amazes me how Rachel Caine manages to come up with a new self contained plot for each successive book.  She never fails to come up with something unique and she manages to sustain a certain level of tension.  Sometimes I think that maybe she’s going to give Eve, Michael, Shane and Claire a bit of a break but she’s just relentless.

Miranda returns in this book – as a ghost in the Glass House, in a similar fashion to Michael at the start of the book.  She’s a strange and sad character really and her untimely demise and resurrection into the spirit world has removed her ability to foresee the future and she really misses the insight that provided her with.  The ghosts of Morganville seem to take a much more active stance in this edition and it will be interesting to see if that continues.

Myrnin, as usual, plays an invaluable role.  He’s my favourite character of the series and the one who I worry about. I hope RC doesn’t have anything bad in mind for him! (Pretty please!!)

In terms of criticisms I did have a couple.  It would be easy to get all preachy about the fact that Amelie is made into a bit of a puppet in this book and to get all naffed off about her losing some of her power to Oliver – but, Oliver was, after all, being controlled himself.   So, no, I didn’t really have a problem with that.  I think my main criticism came after Michael’s jaw dropping scene at the hospital (and that’s the only way I can write that without giving away spoilers) – and it wasn’t really a criticism about Michael because, again, you could see the reasoning behind it.  It was Shane, and Eve’s, reaction to events – which was to be annoyed with Claire.  It just really bugged me.  I mean, even Claire felt bad about what happened and yet she’d been powerless in the string of events.  I suppose there is a little bit of Claire that feels guilty, especially over her mixed feelings for Myrnin, but even so, I was a bit pissed off with Shane and Eve.  Also, Miranda even asked Claire if ‘it’ was true or not – well she should know, after all, she spends half the time floating invisibly around the house and indiscriminately eves dropping so she is definitely well placed to see if any of the friends are getting up to anything?  No??

Also, I wasn’t overly in love with the whole ghost tv crew side story and couldn’t really see the point of it other than to bring in a new person with psychic abilities.

Other than that I thought this was a good read and it ends on a very interesting proposition.  I won’t spoil it but it will be interesting to see where the next books goes and I’m thinking that we’ll have two alternative story lines to look forward to.  That being said Rachel Caine usually manages to surprise me so I dare say I’ll be wrong in my thinking of what direction she’s taking us in!




4 Responses to “Bitter Blood by Rachel Caine”

  1. Carl V.

    I haven’t read any of Rachel Caine’s books but her Weather Warden series catches my eye often when I’m in the bookstore because I really like the covers for them. And they sound like a lot of fun.

    • lynnsbooks

      I must confess that the Morganville Vampires are very much like a guilty fun type of read. I don’t think they’re ever going to become classics but they’re enjoyable, lighthearted – put me in mind of Buffy. And, I’m sort of invested in the characters now. Think there’s only two more left now so I’m definitely going to continue and see what happens. I’ve found my next series now with Jim Butcher. Just read Summer Knight and I’m amazed that these books just keep on getting better and better. I was sat on the bus today and the guy next to me was reading the latest one – I was totally rubber necking to see what book he had – he probably thought I was some sort of maniac. What I really liked was that he was having a proper little chuckle to himself. Makes me want to read it – got about 10 books to catch up first though!
      Lynn 😀

  2. TBM

    She can still surprise you after so many. That’s awesome!

    • lynnsbooks

      Yeah, overall, I’ve enjoyed this series – they’re not mind blowing or the most fabulously written but I think RC has managed to maintain new story lines.
      Lynn 😀

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