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Fade Out (Morganville Vampires, Book 7) by Rachel Caine
Review by Drew Bittner
Signet Mass Market Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780451228666
Date: 03 November 2009 List Price $6.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

It should have been the start of a really great time for Morganville--but Claire Danvers knows that nothing is ever that easy. A fragile truce between vampires and humans is endangered by the disappearance of a documentary filmmaker, who's friends with Claire's friend Eve.

Needless to say, this is not a problem Claire or the vampires need right now...

Claire thought the nightmare was over when Bishop, a genuine monster among vampires, was killed and his rein of terror in Morganville ended. The very worst might be over, but there are still problems whenever humans and vampires co-exist. In Fade Out, Claire has to cope with a new status quo as well as the tenuous nature of this interspecies truce.

Claire works with vampires, in particular the erratic genius Myrnin. He's an inventor, whose bio-computer Ada harbors enormous resentment toward Claire; even worse, his bouts of madness often make his devices as dangerous to Claire as to his enemies. And to make things more challenging, Myrnin's enemies (including the vampiric "witchfinders" Oliver and Pennywell) have no trouble targeting Claire to get to the inventor.

Claire is also mystically tied to the vampire leader Amelie. One night, a crisis through that link leaves Claire near death, requiring Amelie's intervention--along with some harsh words between Amelie and Claire's Goth friend and housemate Eve. Things don't go all that well, even though Claire survives.

When Eve lands a role in A Streetcar Named Desire, all seems fine. Then her castmate Kim turns up missing...and it comes to light that Kim is working on a documentary about the vampires. But there's a lot more to Kim than meets the eye.

Could anything else go wrong? Sure! A renegade vampire faction is making trouble for Amelie, Claire is threatened by attacks coming out of left field, and Myrnin seems more unstable than ever.

The truce may be reaching its breaking point--and Claire and her friends stand to lose everything if they can't figure this out in time.

Volume 7 of The Morganville Vampires doesn't raise the stakes so much as change the game. Rachel Caine offers new challenges and complications for her wide and varied cast, creating a situation somewhat like the US after the Berlin Wall fell. The "good guys" won the war--so now what? Turns out the peace is even more troublesome than the conflict.

Claire, her boyfriend (and former vampire hunter) Shane, Eve and Myrnin continue to grow and develop. They have an odd chemistry, sparked by intense personality clashes--lots of fighting and making up going on here--with the added kicker that Claire cannot really trust Myrnin's sanity moment to moment. His state of mind is one of the biggest problems she faces, as she needs him sane to help solve these problems, one of which he directly created. As characters, they function very well; as drivers of the plot, there's plenty of conflict to keep things hopping.

This novel is NOT the place to begin reading this story, but for Caine's many readers, this is a terrific new installment in this series.

Recommended.

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