Published 2007 365 pages
Summary (from the book jacket)
Morganville’s such a nice place to live… And die. If you don’t mind that sort of thing.
When Claire Danvers learnt that her college town was run by vampires, she did what any intelligent, self-preserving student would do: she applied for a transfer and stocked up on garlic. The transfer is no longer an option, but the garlic may come in handy.
Now Claire has pledged herself to Amelie, the most powerful vampire in town. The protection her contract secures does little to reassure her friends. All of a sudden people are turning up dead, a stalker resurfaces from Claire’s past, and an ancient bloodsucker extends a chilling invitation for private lessons in his secluded home.
Midnight Alley is the third novel in the Morganville Vampires series by fantasy author Rachel Caine. Written for the Young Adult market the Morganville Vampires books follow the adventures of a group of friends sharing a house in the vampire infested Texas town of Morganville. (For some reason Morganville always reminds me of Santa Carla from The Lost Boys movie but that could just be me!) Since these books follow a strong long-running story arc it necessary to read them in order, to get the most out of the series.
The previous novel in this series (The Dead Girls’ Dance) was my least favourite Rachel Caine novel and left me wondering whether to continue with the Morganville Vampires series - but whatever past irritations that book held there is no trace of them now in Midnight Alley.
Midnight Alley starts on the heels of where The Dead Girls’ Dance left off. Claire pledged herself to the service of Amelie, in order to win protection for herself and her friends, but Claire is possibly the only person in town who has ever found herself in more danger while protected than she was when she was without contract. It soon becomes clear that Amelie would sacrifice Claire in a heart beat to further her own goals.
Forced to study alchemy with a deranged vampire Claire is now privy to a secret that could cost her life, even if her teacher doesn’t succumb to his madness and eat her first. This secret affects the future of all vampires, her friend Michael included, so she is left with no option but to continue her studies.
Midnight Alley is enriched with complex characters – not all vampires are evil (although most are) and not all humans are kind or good either. A character who should just be an Evil Vampire can actually be deserving of compassion while a supposedly compassionate human can actually be quite evil. These contradictions keep the story from sliding into vampire monster movie cliché territory.
Like all of Rachel Caine’s novels, Midnight Alley rockets along at a frantic pace that should keep readers engrossed from the first pages right the way through to the story’s cliff-hanger ending. The action packed vampire fantasy plot ticks all the right boxes for its teen audience and has enough appeal to win over adult readers too.
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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.