Bitter Blood by Rachel Caine (review copy) - WARNING! I cannot review this book without spoiling the others in the series. Read no further if you're planning on reading this series and don't want it spoilt for you.
Now that the threat to the vampires of Morganville has been defeated, the gravest danger to the human residents is the enemy within...
For years, the human and vampire residents of Morganville have managed to coexist in peace. But thanks to the eradication of the parasitic creatures known as the draug, the vampires of Morganville have now been freed of their usual constraints. With the vampires indulging their every whim, the town's human population is determined to hold on to their lives by taking up arms. College student Claire Danvers with ties to both humans and vampires, isn't about to take sides.
To make matters worse, a television show comes to Morganville searching for ghosts, just as vampire and human politics collide. Now, Claire and her friends have to figure out how to keep the peace without ending up on the nightly news or... worse. From the blurb.
With each book in the Morganville Vampires series, I find it more and more difficult to write reviews that get across exactly how much I love these books. I feel like I repeat myself about how good the series is, or how Rachel Caine is an amazing author, but I do it because it's true. Bitter Blood is the thirteenth book in the Morganville Vampires series, yet I am still blown away by each new book I read. This series is never predictable, always exciting, and each book brings something new and action packed. Thirteen books down the line in the series, and Caine has still got it.
The draug have been defeated, and the vampires of Morganville have nothing left to fear. No creatures alive pose a major threat to them, they are at the top of the food chain. The absence of fear has brought a change to the town. Amelie and Oliver have formed a relationship, and Amelie is partially listening to Oliver, who is wanting change. He wants vampires to be more like vampires, for humans to be seen as what they are - a source of food - and to not be given so much when they are so beneath them. Of course, Amelie is still queen of Morganville, and isn't giving Oliver all his way, but allowing vampires a free pass to hunt one human a year, what harm? The humans are livid and refuse to stand for it. There's a Captain Obvious, and he is rallying the humans into fighting back. And with a new mayor needing to be elected - one the humans want, but one the vampires will allow - tension is rising, and things are starting to look ugly. Amongst all the political turmoil, in rolls a film crew wanting to find ghosts. Filming in Morganville isn't good for anyone, and Claire is caught in the middle of it all.
There is so much wow going on in this book! So much! Unlike Black Dawn, which was quick and snappy as it was held over around two days, Bitter Blood has gone back to a similar timing as the previous books, over a span of a few days, a week or so. It feels a little slower, and getting to the real meat of this story takes a while, but there are so many other things going on - seemingly small, but never, ever small - that you're never bored and constantly intrigued. Things are getting so bad in Morganville between the vampires and the humans, the divide becoming much larger, that even Myrnin is thinking of leaving. Yes, Myrnin is scared of what's to come. This is not the town he came with Amelie to this part of Texas to build, and he can only see it's destruction in it's future. This has Claire worried, but she just can't see Amelie going so far, or the humans really going against the vamps.
There's also the grief the four members of the Glass House are getting. There's one thing the vampires and the humans can agree about; just how wrong Michael and Eve's relationship is. Since Michael and Eve's wedding, the four of them are under attack from both species. A walking food-bag should not be given the same status as a vampire, which is what happens when vampires marry, and Eve is sleeping with the enemy. There are death threats, there are physical attacks, there is nothing good. And with Amelie as she is at the moment, there is no help from that quarter.
What's fantastic is Caine has kept up with the multiple point of views. Claire is still the main narrator, but other characters get to speak too, and this is especially important for us. We find out what's going on much sooner than Claire and friends. While they have no clue, we know time is a-ticking. There is no better way for Caine to get us sitting on the edge of our seats, knowing the danger that's coming, but only being able to watch as it all unfolds. It's excruciating! But so exciting! It has you desperately turning the pages, urging the characters to move, or think, or open your bloody eyes! Oh my god, I was fit to burst with the stress and excitement of it all, and I just loved it!
There's not much more I can say without spoiling things. It's brilliant! And the ending... wow. Caine is contracted to write up to fifteen books in the series. From how this book ended, I think it's a possibility that book 15 may be the last. Relationships have changed, drastic actions are taken, trust is fragile, and people are hurting. It really feels like things are changing in a way that will lead to the end. Either way, there are at least two more books to go, and I believe I have some inkling as to what they will involve. There are some new things to explore, and I am so excited to see where on earth Caine will take the series next in Fall of Night, released on 7th May 2013. But if the ending of this book is to go by, I'm not sure it will be anywhere too happy. Bitter Blood is another incredible addition to a phenomenal series, and if I had my way, it would go on and on.
Thank you to Allison and Busby for the review copy.
Published: 6h November 2012
Publisher: Allison and Busby
Buy on Amazon US
Rachel Caine's Website
My other reviews from the series:
Glass Houses (Morganville Vampires Book 1)
The Dead Girls' Dance (Morganville Vampires Book 2)
Carpe Corpus (Morganville Vampires Book 6)
Fade Out (Morganville Vampires Book 7)
Kiss of Death (Morganville Vampires Book 8)
Ghost Town (Morganville Vampires Book 9)
Bite Club (Morganville Vampires Book 10)
Last Breath (Morganville Vampires Book 11)
Black Dawn (Morganville Vampires Book 12)