“Ever since the draug – mysterious creatures that prey on vampires – took over Morganville, the lives of Claire Danvers and her friends have been thrown into turmoil. Most of the residents have evacuated, but Claire, Shane, Eve, and Michael have chosen to stay and fight.
By using the town’s water system to spread, the draug have rapidly multiplied. Things in Morganville look grim, especially since vampire Amelie – the town founder – has been infected by the master draug’s bite.
If Claire and her friends don’t figure out how to cure Amelie and defeat the draug, it looks as though Morganville will become little more than a ghost town…”
Twelve books into the Morganville Vampires series and I still love Claire and Shane, Myrnin, and Rachel Caine’s ability to up the ante at nearly every turn. While those appeals (along with lightning quick pacing) are holding strong, the series has, regrettably, begun to fray. (For me, I should add; other readers, going by their reviews, are not experiencing a decline in enjoyment.)
It is nearly impossible – or so I’ve found – to include salient plot points in any written discussion of the individual books because the series is rather like a house: each book is a brick that supports the one set on top of it. Stripping away the metaphor, while you may not be spoiling the book you’re actually recording your thoughts on, the likelihood of ruining a minor or key event from a previous one is highly probable. So, that’s my long-winded way of saying that I’m going to skip talking about the story itself. Though, really, I could sum it up by saying that nothing is ever going to go right or easy in Morganville for anyone.
Why is the series beginning to fray for me? It’s highly subjective, but…One reason is the recent inclusion of multiple points of view. While experiencing things through the eyes of other characters is nice and all, I find it…discombobulating? Because why these additional POV’s are written in first person while Claire is still being told through third is just…odd to me.* Not jarring, per se, because the transition is smooth. And then there’s whose voice gets added to the mix and the regularity with which they’re given the stage. Shane, Eve, Michael, Oliver (very briefl), Naomi (very briefly) – and if there’s anyone else, I can’t recall – get a chapter or two, but not, for instance, Myrnin. Naomi is relatively new to the scene, and, honestly, I’m not invested enough in her character to revel in having her first person perspective. Basically? I’m not sure why they’re necessary now. Why not have done it from the beginning? Annnnd I’m just rambling on here, so I’m going to be quiet, but I’d be happy to discuss in the comments!
Additionally, while plausability was never a factor with these books, recent events – or non-events, actually – have begun to really strain credibility. Other readers have expressed frustration with the fact that the core four refuse to leave Morganville no matter what awful things befall them. Which leaves one to wonder why. Is it some odd form of Stockholm Syndrome? Blind, likely-to-get-them-killed-violently stubbornness? It’s not out-and-out stupidity because Claire, at least, is a very smart girl who knows what it’s like to live outside Morganville, and therefore has tasted a life devoid of vampires who would as soon betray her as pat her on the back for helping them out in a pinch. There was once a point in the series when the characters addressed this more directly, but it’s become something of a moot point recently, and…if there’s been an explanation, it wasn’t one that stuck with me.
So. After all that, I will continue with the next book and see how it goes. I might even, if Caine throws us a bone and gives Myrnin** a chapter or two, end up loving it.
*I’ve admittedly not visited Caine’s web site to search for an explanation – if there’s one to be found – behind the who and why. Even if I did, it wouldn’t change the fact that the inclusion of these new POVs only works marginally well for me.
**Myrnin, next to Shane, is the only character I would be interested in reading a first person POV from. Myrnin makes everything okay – even the inclusion of new POVs after nine or so books. (And I’m going to stop writing ‘POVs’ now because, wow, is it getting annoying.)