Published 2010 432 pages
Reviewed by Georgia
Summary (from the book jacket)
When Claire is ordered to repair the systems that protect Morganville, it’s not just cutting into her study time, it’s a life-threatening problem. If there’s one thing this vampire-infested town is serious about, it’s security.
But achieving the impossible only brings a whole new set of problems, and the upgrades have unexpected consequences: people inside the town are slowly beginning to forget who they are, even the vampires. Soon, the town’s little memory problem has turned into a full-on epidemic. Now Claire needs to figure out a way to pull the plug on her experiment – before she forgets how to save Morganville…
Let me preface this review by saying the following: if you are unfamiliar with the Morganville Vampires and Ghost Town somehow ended up in your hands, then gawk at the fancy cover, go through the pages, but don’t start reading the book. Instead buy Glass Houses (the first book) and start at the beginning. Why? Well this is the ninth book and believe me at some point you will feel the need to go back. Unlike other writers Rachel Caine includes little snippets of what has happened before as a commentary of something that is happening in the book, but that is not a summary nor is it extensive enough to make the book an independent read. If on the other hand you are familiar with the story, then Ghost Town rounds up the main story that started with Fade Out. It is set a few months after the events of Kiss of Death. Like all the books in the series this one is also narrated from a third point of view, but always as events unfold before Claire’s eyes.
As mentioned before, the habit of telling the main story in three books is followed here too. Nevertheless, if you read carefully there are hints throughout the book setting the foundation for whatever it is, that Claire and the gang will need to fix next.
This book is 432 pages, about a hundred pages and three chapters longer than the average book in the series. This length is essential, otherwise the story could not be told with such care and detail necessary for it to make sense. Additionally, this one is slower than previous books, but instead of making it boring, it makes the plot realistic. By the end of the book one understands why the sequence of events unravels languidly, yet at a ceaseless pace.
Character wise this book is richer in information, especially concerning the vampires. By using the trick of selective amnesia the author cleverly incorporates flashbacks in the story, thus highlighting not only various aspects of the characters personalities, but also the dynamic of past relationships that still cast long shadows in the lives of our heroes. As Claire learns more about her friends and her sometimes allies sometimes enemies, we – the readers – also learn more, draw conclusions and shift our beliefs about them as well. Claire’s character is very well portrayed in Ghost Town. There is so much depth and compassion for her person, that it is easily identifiable for the readers. Both sympathy and empathy can be felt for her as she struggles with new challenges. Moreover, the subject matter of memory loss is handled with dexterity. Some of the dialogues and descriptions of events are so touching, so realistic, that the overwhelming emotion of fear and confusion pours from the pages directly into the reader.
Plot wise, Ghost Town follows the well-trodden path of previous books, i.e. a steady narrative, meticulously organized and delivered. There is good grammar and a rich vocabulary and believe me it is important and it does give an edge to the story. There is also a rhythm, like a heart-beat, omnipresent throughout the book that slows down or spikes as the plot thickens. Even if the story is slower than usual, one is compelled to read on, page after page, because one simply must find out what is going to happen next. By the time the reader has read the last page one is simply fascinated by the story’s power. Ghost Town is truly one of the best books in the series.
Finally, as far as this edition goes there is an introduction, the complimentary track-list and a big bonus in the form of an exclusive short story set between Fade Out and Kiss of Death, titled Worth Living for. It features Shane and Michael. Fans will love it!
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Rachel Caine's website has information about all her novels and a link to her blog. Check out Rachel's site.