Monday, 12 July 2010
BOOKS: RACHEL CAINE'S MORGANVILLE VAMPIRE SERIES
We seem to be inundated with vampires at the moment. On tv we have the teen-orientated Vampire Diaries (which I rather like) and, very much for adults as it's packed with gore and explicit sex and I love it, True Blood. Both of which are based on a series of books. Look at the horror section in any decent bookshop and the shelves are packed with vampire series, plus assorted other series often featuring werewolves and often as romantic heroes/heroines. And we all know about the Twilight series and the movies which are reaching but not quite getting there Harry Potter heights. I did read the first of the Twilight books after being impressed by the author's adult SF novel but couldn't make the effort to face the second though it was pleasant enough.
I happened upon this series in a remainder bookshop and picked up the first two along with a crime novel for £5.00. I quickly read the first and immediately went back for the rest. To my mild annoyance they had 7 out of the 8 published to date so I had to order the third volume from Amazon for four quid which is still three less than the published price.
The setup is this: Claire, a precociously bright 16 year old girl, could go to Harvard early but her parents want her to try out academia by going to a mediocre college at a town in the middle of nowhere. This was not their best idea as it turns out the town is run by vampire. After being bullied by the town's rich bitch (think young Cordelia Chase from Buffy only without any redeeming features whatsoever), she ends up sharing a house with another girl and two boys who become the main characters next to our heroine. Over the course of the novel more layers and secrets about the main characters, vampire and human, are revealed. The first three books are pretty much standalone stories though they follow each other chronologically and the 8 books published to date cover less than a year. Vols 4-6, however, are one complete story.
All in all this series is a pleasant if hardly earth-shattering read but it is engaging and likeable enough as a time-passing diversion. And if that sounds like damning with faint praise there are a lot worse things to be.
At the top are US covers, underneath is one from the UK editions which are all in a similar format.