Fade Out by Rachel Caine Reviewed by Jo Stapley

348 pages
Published January 4th 2010 by Allison & Busby

Without the evil vampire Bishop ruling over the town of Morganville, the resident vampires have made major concessions to the human population. With their newfound freedom, Claire Danvers and her friends are almost starting to feel comfortable again...

Now Claire can actually concentrate on her studies, and her friend Eve joins the local theatre company. But when one of Eve's castmates goes missing after starting work on a short documentary, Eve suspects the worst. Claire and Eve soon realise that this film project, featuring the vampires themselves, is a whole lot bigger - and way more dangerous - than anyone suspected.

I can’t believe the genius that is Rachel Caine. How it is possible to have so many unique storylines for the same series that will always hook you in, leave you guessing right to the very last page, and never get old, or disappoint in any way, is beyond me. Rachel Caine is simply amazing, and with Fade Out, she’s done it again!

So, with Carpe Corpus, the sixth book in the series, we had the end of the six book long story arc. Knowing how awesome Rachel Caine is, I knew Fade Out would be good, but I had absolutely no idea where she could possibly take the characters of Morganville now. Amelie had given humans equality with vampires, Bishop was dead, everything is just dandy now, surely? What else could possibly happen? Well, I’ve already said Rachel is a genius. I would say Fade Out is the first book of the Morganville Vampires series 2. There is more that can happen, and it’s going to span over more books!

As I said, it feels like two separate series to me, but there is enough of a connection between Carpe Corpus and Fade Out that it’s pretty seamless. It annoys me, but I am unable to talk about this connection – which is not all the characters we’ve come to love and hate, who still show up in Fade Out - without spoiling the story, so you’re just going to have to take my word for it.

Fade Out has the all the action we expect from a Morganville Vampire novel, but most of it doesn’t come along until much later in the book. There are a few incidents here and there in the first half, which are big in their own way, but they don’t result in the rollercoaster of action, fighting, fear and danger we’re used to. But this was actually really nice; Claire and her housemates have been through so much in the last six books, it was great to see them going about their lives in a completely normal way – well, as normal as you can get for Morganville. Claire is studying, Eve is acting, Shane is working, and Michael is strumming – all is relatively good. Then Kim shows up, and disrupts Claire’s normalcy, but as a bit of an annoyance, lower than Monica in the list of problems in the grand scheme of things. It was great to have things going well.

But, of course, this is Morganville; the air is never going to smell of daisies forever. Some new characters turn up with less than peace on their mind, Amelie is grieving over Sam’s death, and Kim becomes more than just a minor annoyance. And then everything starts kicking off, and we have our rollercoaster of action, fighting, fear and danger that I mentioned before. I could see how many pages were left in the book, I knew there was going to be more books after this one, but I literally could not see a way out of the situation Claire finds herself in, and I was preparing myself for the worst.

This story is resolved, there is an end. I would say it is possible to read Fade Out as a standalone novel after the first six, but there are a few things in Fade Out that lead you to make guesses about where “series two” will take you. If my inklings are correct, and Rachel’s genius is anything to go by, we’re in for some amazing Morganville goings on! I SO cannot wait for Kiss of Death, the next instalment!

You must know by now how much I adore Myrnin, so I will end this review with something from him.

‘It’s only a hunting spider,’ he said. ‘It won’t hurt you.’
‘So not the point!’
‘Oh, pish. It’s just another living creature,’ Myrnin said, and put his hand out. The spider waved it’s front legs uncertainly, then carefully stepped up to his pale fingers. ‘Nothing to be frightened of, if handled properly.’ He lightly stroked the furry back of the thing, and Claire nearly passed out. ‘I think I’ll call him Bob. Bob the spider.’
(Fade Out by Rachel Caine, p23)

The dude is awesome, right?

Jo Stapley - Once Upon a Bookcase - YA Book Reviews:

First Reviewed: 5 January 2010


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