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Kiss of Death Cover Picture

Kiss of Death

Rachel Caine

Published 2010      348 pages

Summary (from the book jacket)

Claire Danvers has a few things on her mind. First of all there is the laundry, which is now an unfortunate shade of pink. Then there is her boyfriend, Shane, who is never too far from her thoughts. Finally there is her best friend Eve's relationship problems. As if life as a student wasn't complicated enough, Claire just happens to be studying in Morganville. A town run by vampires.

Trouble seems to follow Claire and her friends like a shadow and tonight is no exception to the rule. They must find the most difficult documents for a vampire to acquire; people passes that will allow 'bad ass' Morley and his friends to leave Morganville. But it's proving incredibly difficult, and with the odds seemingly stacked against them, the biggest question of all is...

Will they survive?

The Review

Kiss of Death is the eighth book in Rachel Caine’s Morganville Vampires series. Aimed at the Young Adult market, the Morganville Vampires books follow the adventures of seventeen year old Claire Danvers, a studious book-loving brianiac who came to Morganville for a university education and stayed in Morganville because the town is run by vampires and they won’t let her leave…

Eight books into the series and there is a lot of back story to catch-up on, so readers new to the series would do best to read the books in order, starting with Glass Houses, rather than jumping into the story here. Although Kiss of Death is something of an oddity within the Morganville Vampires series in so far as the events in the novel have little to do with the events that happened in Fade Out, the previous book in the series. Kiss of Death appears to go off at something of a story-arc tangent and is more of a self-contained story as a result.

The opening pages of the book see Claire and her friends living their usual Morganville style lives – dodging bullies and vampires while getting on with their daily business. Excitement is provided in the form of permission passes to leave Morganville for a short trip to Dallas so that Michael Glass, Claire’s housemate and vampire friend, can go to record a demo CD of his music. The only down-side is that they are to be escorted to Dallas by Oliver, the unfathomable vampire who everyone loves to hate. Needless to say, nothing goes according to plan and it isn’t long before the happy holiday travellers find themselves up to their necks in vampires and danger.

The tourist board for with the job of promoting rural Texas as a nice place to visit will despair at the depiction of the small towns that Claire and friends travel through. The first small town is plagued by red-necks and the second town is infested with zombie-like killer vampires. Oh well, who visits rural Texas anyway?

Kiss of Death has everything that Morganville Vampires fans have come to expect from the series – fast paced plotting, high octane action and dangerous vampires, interspersed with witty banner and occasional laughs. The only thing missing is Myrnin. It’s fair to say that Myrnin’s mad scientist vampire character is my favourite character in the series. One minute he’s sweet, the next he’s homicidally dangerous – certainly there’s never a dull moment when he’s around. Sadly in Kiss of Death he isn’t around and the story seemed to have a Myrnin shaped hole in it as a result.

Still the story hardly lacks for vampire villains, Morley and Oliver provide replacement undead creepiness and the zombie-like vampires that the group encounters on their travels certainly provide an abundance of blood-lust driven danger.

There isn’t really anything new in Kiss of Death but this fun, action-packed adventure shouldn’t fail to please series fans.

LoveVampires Review Rating:

Review Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

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