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Kiss of Death (Morganville Vampires, Book 8) by Rachel Caine
Review by Drew Bittner
Signet Mass Market Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780451229731
Date: 27 April 2010 List Price $6.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Michael Glass has a terrific girlfriend (Eve), a musical career on the rise, and all the time in the world to enjoy it—because he’s a vampire. In Kiss of Death, however, the latest of the Morganville Vampires novels by Rachel Caine, Michael learns that you have to be very careful when you ask for your dreams to come true.

Claire, the series' foremost heroine to date, starts off dealing with laundry day at her shared household, but the mundane tasks of home quickly give way to stranger challenges. Basically, she is required to escort Michael to Dallas, where he will record his first album for a bigshot producer. Nothing can go wrong, right?

If it were anywhere other than Morganville, sanctuary-town of the Earth's vampire population, you might be right. Unfortunately…

They hit trouble right off the bat, when they’re greeted by anti-vampire prejudice (and hate-crime level violence) on the road. Not only that, but when one of their assailants turns up dead, the group is under suspicion for murder.

If that wasn't bad enough, there's a group of vampires with plans of their own. Plans that might cost the lives of Claire's friends, unless the little group can stage a daring rescue--in broad daylight--and overcome a pack of psychotic vampires on their own.

Caine delivers another powerhouse installment of this series, taking the action on the road and providing entirely new and novel challenges for her characters. The relative safety of Morganville behind them, the characters have to step up in ways they haven't before; Claire has been heroic but these problems bring out new aspects to her, including how far she's willing to go, and to risk her friends, in order to stop the bad guys.

The supporting cast is great as ever, and the villains (particularly Morley, the leader of the enemy vampires) are all solid, with schemes that are both plausible and unsettling. Caine has a great knack for establishing the relationships between characters with dialogue shorthand, relaxing in scenes that call for downtime and ramping up the adrenaline when the moment calls for it. She’s getting better with every novel.

Fans of dynamic, fast-paced storytelling with lots of great characterization and a sense of adventure will enjoy this book--but start at the beginning of the series. You won’t want to miss how our heroes came to be who they are today.

Recommended.

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