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Category Archives: Vampires

Daylighters by Rachel Caine Book Review

DaylightersBook: Daylighters (The Morganville Vampires Book #15) by Rachel Caine, NAL review copy via Netgalley, HC 368 pages, on sale now

Rating: 4 / 5 Stars

More Info: Goodreads | Amazon | The Morganville Vampires official site

Official Summary:

While Morganville, Texas, is often a troubled town, Claire Danvers and her friends are looking forward to coming home. But the Morganville they return to isn’t the one they know; it’s become a different place—a deadly one…

Something drastic has happened in Morganville while Claire and her friends were away. The town looks cleaner and happier than they’ve ever seen it before, but when their incoming group is arrested and separated—vampires from humans—they realize that the changes definitely aren’t for the better.

It seems that an organization called the Daylight Foundation has offered the population of Morganville something they’ve never had: hope of a vampire-free future. And while it sounds like salvation—even for the vampires themselves—the truth is far more sinister and deadly.

Now, Claire, Shane and Eve need to find a way to break their friends out of Daylighter custody, before the vampires of Morganville meet their untimely end…

It’s finally time to say farewell to the Morganville Vampires series. After 15 books the series never wore out it’s welcome and I’m glad to see Rachel Caine’s vampire series go out on a high note. I’ve enjoyed all the adventures in Morganville and I’m glad the books are around if I ever want to return to Morganville. The final book is a satisfying conclusion – I don’t feel short changed at all. The finale felt true to the series, we get some closure and feel good about where we are leaving the gang.

Brief synopsis of the series: In the town of Morganville, Texas, humans and vampires co-exist, and once you’re in you can’t get out. We follow a core group of four, Morganville’s own Scooby gang, as they navigate the dangers of the town. Claire is one of the liaisons between the vampires and humans, and has allied herself with the mad genius vampire Myrnin, and the vampire high queen Amelie. Her boyfriend is Shane, and they live with another couple, Michael and Eve, in the Glass House, a house with some unique powers. And basically they are just trying to stay alive in this scary town they find themselves in. There are some interesting side characters that pop up throughout the series, plenty of action and surprises, and a little bit of romance.

In the last few books we’ve started to see a power struggle in Morganville, with the vampires beginning to lose control, and that all comes to a head in the finale. Would Morganville be better off without the vampires, or is there something even more dangerous coming to replace them?

The characters give this series heart, and I like that so many favorite characters show up in the final installment. I was even happy to see mean girl Monica Morrell! My favorite scenes, as always, are the ones with the bi-polar Myrnin and smart and sensible Claire. I’ve loved their friendship, and Myrnin’s zany ways.

In this final installment, there’s trouble for everyone, not just the vampires, and all the twists and turns kept me turning pages late in the night. I like that Caine always goes someplace unexpected, and it’s hard to surprise after 15 books. There is danger and new threats to the all the characters we know and love. Since it’s the finale, I was on edge waiting to see who would make it out alive/undead.

There’s not much more I can say about the plot without getting into spoilers. If you haven’t visited Morganville yet, you have 15 awesome books waiting for you. I think they are appropriate for any age, and whether you like vampires or not. These books are fun and fast-paced with characters to love and love-to-hate.

I’ll miss all the fun with the gang from Morganville, and I’m sure I’ll read through the books again sometime. I have my Common Grounds coffee mug and vampire bunny slippers as fun reminders for now. Plus, there’s the web series to look forward to, and Caine’s new book Prince of Shadows.

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The Lair by Emily McKay Blog Tour

Did Halloween get you in the mood for some spooky reading? The Farm series is about the vampire apocalypse and is one you’ll want to read with the lights on. The Lair is book two in the series and provides more scares, non-stop action, and twists. There’s spoilers for book one The Farm below, so if you haven’t read that book may want to read my review of The Farm instead.

About The Lair:

the lair emily mckay

In the battle against the vampiric Ticks, humanity was slowly but certainly headed for extinction. For months, twin sisters Lily and Mel had been “quarantined” with thousands of other young people being harvested for their blood—food for the Ticks. Finally escaping with a few friends, the twins are separated—and must continue the fight on their own . . .

After making it to a resistance base camp in Utah, Lily learned to survive at all costs. But when a Tick attack decimates the fighters, Lily and her pregnant friend, McKenna, decide to make the hard trek north to Canada—and safety.

Meanwhile, Mel is being taught how to survive by the very vampire that turned her. Living without her sister is hard, but dealing with the fact that her autism was cured by the vampire bite is an even bigger challenge.

But when a monstrous betrayal places Lily in mortal danger, Mel must set out to find her, save her, and begin to unravel the empire of destruction that the Ticks have built.

On Sale Nov. 5: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

Emily McKay’s The Farm series is a gritty and intense look at the world after monster vampires (Ticks) take over. The human rebellion is struggling to survive the Ticks, but they are clearly outnumbered. In The Lair the stakes are higher, the sisters Lily and Mel are on different paths, and you can’t trust anyone.

It had been a while since I read the first book, The Farm, but I quickly got up to speed. This book has alternating pov with Lily, Mel, and Carter. There is so much going on in the book, and the characters are split in different locations, so the multi pov definitely helps put things in perspective.

Lily’s sister Mel was one of my favorite characters in The Farm, and she is like a different character in The Lair. In The Farm, autistic Mel spoke in nursery rhyme and her chapters were kind of out there. I wanted to see more from her in the sequel, and we definitely get more, but it’s a different “cured” Mel since her transformation. (I kind of miss old Mel!) Lily has always protected Mel and now they get a little role reversal.

As the leader of the human rebellion, Lily’s boyfriend Carter has a lot on his plate. Lily is smart and tough and wants to be in on the action, but when Lily’s in trouble, Carter can’t focus on anything but her. Carter respects Lily’s strength and skills but can’t help but want to protect her, and that’s something they need to work through.

McKay writes an exciting sequel that doesn’t have middle book syndrome. There’s plenty of action and horror that kept my attention late into the night. The story is balanced with some lighter moments and popular culture nods too, like comparing the head of the vampires to a member of One Direction. McKay puts some surprising twists into The Lair, and with things left unresolved, I hope there’s a date for the sequel soon.

If you liked The Farm, you won’t want to miss The Lair, a sequel that I think outshines the first book.

Go to the official Escape the Farm website for behind the scenes info.

The Lair hits shelves tomorrow! Follow the next stops on the blog tour for release day fun @ The Irish Banana and Gone With The Words.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown Audiobook Review

the coldest girl in coldtown audiobookBook: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black, Hachette Audio, September 3, 2013

Book Info: YA Paranormal, Audiobook received for review from Hachette Audio. Running time: 12 hrs, 6 mins. Read by: Christine Lakin. Also available in hardcover, 432 pages from Little, Brown.

Rating: 3.5 / 5 Stars

More Info: Goodreads | Audible | Amazon

Publisher’s Summary:

Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from best-selling and acclaimed author Holly Black.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is my first Holly Black book, and even though I don’t read a lot of vampire books anymore, I always hope to find one that makes me fall in love with them again. I liked Anne Rice books back in the day, and I read Holly Black is a fan of the Vampire Chronicles too. Black has written a rich vampire story you can sink your teeth into, so to speak. It’s dark and scary and puts you on edge; set in a world that fears yet glamorizes the Cold Ones.

The book starts off with a bang as the main character Tana wakes up after a party and finds almost all the partygoers dead.  The two survivors are her ex-boyfriend Aiden, now infected by the vampire virus, and the chained, mysterious vampire Gavriel. The trio sets off to Coldtown, the safe place to go when you’re infected, even though you might not ever get out. Once you’re bitten, you can halt the virus if you don’t bite another human for 80 days, a challenge for these bloodthirsty “newborns”!

Tana has a personal family history with vampires, and teaming up with Gavriel and Aiden is a huge risk. I connected with Tana and found her to be an awesome heroine. She fights her own battles, taking on a vampire or two, and is a devoted friend. And I did ship her with Gavriel- loved their chemistry.

Gavriel is a live wire, and reminded me a little of The Morganville Vampires Myrnin. He’s of course beautiful and sexy, though a dangerous and vicious creature. We get to know his back-story through flashbacks, and why he is the way he is. There are some romantic moments in their way, but this isn’t that sort of vampire book.

I liked the colorful characters in this book, the humans and the vampires, though Tana and Gavriel were by far my favorites. Sometimes I got a little lost in the details of the story- there’s a lot going on to keep track of. I did like the language Black uses and though I listened to the audiobook, I wouldn’t have minded reading her words in print as well. I appreciate that she sets out to tell a darker vampire story with more gore and less romance. Some of my favorite details were the beginning of chapter quotes about death.

I listened to the audiobook, read by Christine Lakin. I had heard a sample of her narration before the book came out and knew I wanted to experience the audiobook. I believe this is Lakin’s first audiobook, and she really sells the story and takes you to Coldtown. I liked the tone of her voice for the book, and she sounds age and character appropriate. Pacing, voices, emotion all come together perfectly for Lakin as though she was an audiobook veteran. Another thing that’s cool about this audiobook is the use of scary music to set the mood- it made me jump at times! I highly recommend the audiobook for an even more chilling book experience.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is good and scary to kick off fall reading. Though I prefer realistic fiction to paranormal, this was a nice change of pace. I’m even more interested in diving into Black’s back catalog with the Curse Workers series.

Fall Of Night by Rachel Caine Book Review

Fall of Night Book: Fall Of Night (The Morganville Vampires Book #14) by Rachel Caine, NAL Hardcover received for review, 338 pages, on sale May 7, 2013

Rating: 4 / 5 Stars

More Info: Goodreads | Amazon | The Morganville Vampires official site

Official Summary:

When Claire Danvers gets accepted into the graduate program at MIT, she can’t pass up the opportunity. Enrolled in a special advanced study program with former Morganville native Professor Irene Anderson, Claire is able to work on her machine, designed to cancel the mental abilities of vampires. But when she begins testing her machine on live subjects, things quickly spiral out of control, and Claire begins to wonder if leaving Morganville will be the last mistake she’ll ever make…

I don’t usually include the publisher’s summary, but since this is the 14th book in the Morganville Vampires series I’m scared to attempt to summarize on my own!

We’ve reached the penultimate installment of the MV series and I still feel giddy when I get a new book in my hands.  I don’t even read a lot of paranormal anymore, but I’m so attached to these characters I can’t stop reading. This is rare nowadays, and I commend Rachel Caine for keeping this series fresh.

This installment is a little different in that it takes place outside of Morganville as Claire ventures off to MIT. Claire wasn’t sure what to think of that, and neither was I. I was unsettled and felt like the new locale was a dangerous unknown entity. I missed the group dynamic but agree it had to happen. There are all these sketchy new characters around and Claire doesn’t have the backup she usually does. It’s a good chance for her to show what she’s made of though, and maybe even appreciate what she left behind in Morganville.

Claire and Shane have alternating POV in this installment. Their relationship was a little rocky in the last book so it’s interesting to see where their heads are. And of course, they each have lots of excitement going on around them and the alternating perspective provides some additional insight. Not to fret though, many of the series regulars appear in this book, along with some new blood. And, some of the old favorites appear in a whole new light, which is pretty exciting. It’s a little ominous that some of the characters from Morganville are not heard from in this book though, and they were missed.

I read this book during the 24-hour readathon. Series books are great for read-a-thons, especially action packed ones like Daylightersthese. It’s easy to settle in with favorite characters and let the pages fly. If you haven’t started this series yet, and you’re intimidated by the fact that there’s 14 books to catch up on, don’t be. These books are addictive and very fast reads. Each book usually ends on a big cliffhanger, so you’ll just want to binge on the whole series at once. And the last book of the series is out in the fall, so it’s a perfect time to give them a go.

Rachel Caine does a great job with character development and introducing new conflicts. As always, she surprises with another game changing ending to set up this falls series finale, Daylighters. I can’t imagine how Caine will resolve this newest wrinkle, but I have faith the series will go out with a bang.

Look for Fall of Night in stores on May 7, followed by Daylighters Nov. 5.

Blood Awakening by Jamie Manning Blog Tour- Exclusive Excerpt

Blood Awakening blog tour banner

Welcome to my stop on the Blood Awakening blog tour, book two of the Blood Prophecy trilogy. The tour is winding down, but I have an exciting excerpt to share and also it’s your last chance to enter an awesome giveaway.

About Blood Awakening:

Blood Awakening by Jamie ManningAva’s life went from bad to worse the night Chance became a vampire.

He won’t have anything to do with her. Ava understands why—because he blames her—but it doesn’t mean she likes it.

And it doesn’t help that she’s starting to feel something for Erik, the boy who once wanted her dead. Especially when Chance decides that he does still love her, and wants her to be with him for eternity.

Now she has a choice: Humanity…or forever as a vampire with Chance.

But Ava wants nothing more than to be human again. At least, she thought that was all she wanted.

Thankfully her best friend Kayla has a plan to distract Ava from her boy troubles, and they go in search of Kayla’s missing dad. A great idea, but one that brings Sebastian back into Ava’s life. Along with another, more sinister former member of his coven.

Sebastian and Zyris face off against Ava and her friends, resulting in Ava making yet another choice that changes the course of everyone’s lives, and leaves her wondering if being human again is really worth losing everything.

Blood Awakening is on sale April 23 and is available for preorder now at Amazon & Barnes & Noble, and you can add it to your Goodreads shelf. For a special treat, Jamie Manning is sharing a sample from the book for you today.

BLOOD AWAKENING—Exclusive Sneak Peek!
Here’s a scene between Ava and Erik that was really fun to write—hope you enjoy!

Being in a new city, and being a blood-sucking monster (okay half, but still), I was nervous about being surrounded by so many people. Sure, back in Wellesley there were people—and at times those people were plenty—but a city like Boston was teeming with them. I was unsure how all the scents would affect my bloodlust, how well I would handle the constant craving that always seemed to lurk just beneath the surface. Unfortunately we hit the city kind of late, the evening sun sinking below the horizon and casting an eerie glow across the towering skyscrapers of downtown Boston, so the abundance of fresh veins was at its peak. I did my best to ignore the heady mixtures of blood and sweat and fear and confidence that bombarded my senses even through the walls of the car, focusing instead on Kayla and her dad and doing my best to reunite them. I managed to keep most of the aromas at bay, but did catch the scents of several really cute college-aged guys loitering on the sidewalk in front of a bar as we passed by. I quickly held my breath until we cleared them. Once we were safely in the hotel room and away from the throng of people, I was finally able to relax.

“I’m exhausted,” Kayla said, plopping face-first onto one of two beds—the one she and I would have to share. Erik claimed the other one, gently placing his suitcase on the bright orange bedding and unzipping it. I watched quietly from the chair in the corner as Kayla fell right to sleep and Erik hung clothes on the rack by the sink in the back of the room. I was so thankful that these two people were in my life, that they had been willing to die for me just a few weeks ago. The feeling was overwhelming. So much so, that I suddenly felt claustrophobic.

“I need some air,” I said, standing from the chair and opening the door. The cold northern wind instantly filled my nostrils and helped clear my head. I quietly closed the door behind me so as not to wake Kayla, and leaned over the dark green railing of the balcony. Even though the hotel wasn’t what you would consider five-star, it was rather nice: Very clean exterior and interior, and the view of downtown Boston was beautiful—especially at night. The skyscrapers broke through the darkness with their illuminated squares, housing businesspeople and cleaning crews and homes full of loving families and sophisticated urbanites. The tallest one—impressive even from this distance—cleared the others by a long shot. Kayla had told me the name, but having Swiss cheese for a memory bank, I’d lost it. Either way, I was taken aback by the scale of the city, impressed with the beauty and tranquility of it all. I must have gotten fixated on the calming peacefulness I was feeling, because Erik managed to sneak up on me for the second time, going a step further by placing his hand in the small of my back.

“Stop doing that!” I said, a bit too loudly as I spun around to face him. That wicked little grin was plastered on his face again, and all I could think about was knocking it off…or biting his bottom lip. Geez.

“You like it,” he threw back, flirting. He clearly knew how he got to me, and he exploited that every chance he could. It infuriated me that he seemed so unaffected by the events that had led us to this place in our lives, while I was a stumbling ball of nerves and emotion, always on the verge of breaking down. It also infuriated me that he was able to crawl beneath my skin like no one else—not even Chance. But at the same time, that was one of the things I liked most about him.

“What are you doing out here?”

“I wanted some air, too.”

“Well, go get some air down there,” I said, pointing to the farthest end of the landing. Erik peeked over his shoulder before looking back at me and laughing.

“Why do I make you so uncomfortable, Ava?”

“I don’t know.” The words came out before I knew it. I had fully intended on lying through my teeth and telling him he didn’t make me uncomfortable, not in the least. Now the truth was out there, hanging in the air between us like the thick fog rolling across the city.

“So I do make you nervous. Interesting.” He took a couple of steps toward me. I should have backed away, I knew it; but I couldn’t. Something unseen was holding my legs in place. I was positive it was fear. Or nerves. Or want. Ugh. I could only stare as his flawless face inched closer, the glow of the moon illuminating his features, making him appear more godlike than human. “I think I know why I bother you so much.”

I fought to not look away, to hold my ground with him. “Do you?” I asked, praying only I could hear the squeak in my voice.

“I do.” His eyes never left mine.

“Enlighten me.” I was being snarky, hoping that somehow my cold tone would push him away—at least far enough away that I couldn’t see the delicious-looking vein throbbing down the side of his neck.

“Because you like me,” he said, leaning in so close I could hear his heart beating through his chest. “Don’t you?” I so wanted to tell him yes, to get it out in the open so I wouldn’t have to fight so hard to hide it anymore. But I couldn’t give in to temptation. I had to remain strong for Chance—the one guy in the world I loved more than anything. The same guy who couldn’t care less if I was alive or dead.

“Don’t be so sure of yourself.” I took the plunge and put my hand on the exposed skin of his chest nestled in the V of his black T-shirt. (When did he lose the button-down? Not that I was complaining.) Heat thrummed through my hand, tinged with a pulse of energy. I fought the urge to wrap my other arm around his neck and draw him closer, instead pushing firmly on his chest. He backed away, smiling.

“Okay, okay. I get it.” He kept smiling as he spoke, somehow making him even more sinfully irresistible.

“No, you don’t.”

“You’re in love with Chance.” I could hear pain behind his words. I looked away from him, afraid of the truth in my eyes. Of course I was in love with Chance. I always would be.

“And you hate vampires.” I stared at the glow of the city, praying for a tornado or aliens to come sweep me away from this awkward-yet-wanted moment.

“I don’t hate you.” I looked at him again. The crystal-clear blue of his eyes bore into me. “No way I could.”

“But you don’t love me, either.” I wished he would turn and walk away, leave me to be embarrassed in private. “You barely know me.”

“I know I like being around you. I know I don’t want to be away from you.” Two tiny steps, and the space between us was filled with his overbearing magnetism. “And I know you feel the same.” He dropped his fingers onto my wrist, slowly dragging them up my arm, leaving a trail of heat in their wake. I opened my mouth to speak—to tell him to either a) back off, or b) keep going. “Don’t waste your breath,” he interjected. “I know you love him, not me.”

“Then you know why you have to stop this.” And he did. I didn’t look at him as I spoke; I couldn’t. My mind was too focused on the skin his fingers had just caressed, the fire his touch created. I wanted them back, desperately. “And besides, I thought you couldn’t stand me?” I again focused on the twinkling lights of the city, my heart beating so loudly it was nearly drowning out the beat of his. Erik moved slowly, turning his back to the railing and leaning against it. His muscular arm was inches from me, his skin prickling with goose bumps from the brisk night air—I hoped. He didn’t say anything at first, just stood there staring at the wall of the hotel behind us. I didn’t speak, either. I knew my words affected him, I could see it. He was silent because he wanted more from me. I was silent because I think I did, too. So the two of us just stood there, quiet and motionless, together but alone.

“Things change,” he finally said, the decibel of his voice piercing the silence; I actually jumped at the sound. I turned to look at him, but his eyes remained fixed on the wall. What did that mean? Did that mean that now he did like me? That me being half vampire didn’t matter anymore? Or did he mean that I should give in to the inevitable change happening right in front of me and just kiss him or something? My mind pulsed painfully with questions.

“I’m going to bed,” I said softly, pressing my fingers into my pounding temples. I looked at Erik again, but he didn’t look back—didn’t even acknowledge I was there—as I brushed past him and walked to the door of our room.

“One more thing,” he said after my back was to him. I stopped but didn’t turn around, fearful that if I did, I might just give in to the overpowering feeling in the pit of my stomach.

“What?” I heard rustling and felt him ease in behind me, his large hand once again resting on the exposed skin of my arm. He leaned down, putting his mouth next to my ear, his breath warm and inviting on my neck, the scent of his blood seizure-inducing.

“You didn’t say no to my question.” A tiny laugh escaped his throat as his hand left my arm, slid along my side (more sweet fire trails) and opened the door. I was frozen, totally unable to move or speak, as he sidestepped around me and went inside.

He was right, I didn’t say no.
And I had no idea why.

Thanks to author Jamie Manning for sharing that tantalizing scene! I hope that piqued your interest in the Blood Prophecy series.

Be sure to try your luck and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway here for your chance to win all kinds of cool stuff like a $50 bookstore gift card, signed copies of the Blood Prophecy books, swag and more.

Thanks to Once Upon a Twilight for hosting this tour. You can find a list of all the tour stops here.

blood awakening blog tour

The Farm by Emily McKay Blog Tour and Giveaway

I’m thrilled to share a little about The Farm, Emily McKay’s post-apocalyptic vampire novel, on my stop on the Escape is Only the Beginning blog tour. It’s been ages since I’ve read about the dark and scary type of vampires but I figured I better brush up on my end of the world prep and this is as good a place to start as any! I have a review, exclusive Q&A, and a zombie apocalypse survival kit giveaway opportunity to help you in these dark times as well!

About The Farm:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

The Farm by Emily McKay book coverLife was different in the Before: before vampires began devouring humans in a swarm across America; before the surviving young people were rounded up and quarantined. These days, we know what those quarantines are—holding pens where human blood is turned into more food for the undead monsters, known as Ticks. Surrounded by electrical fences, most kids try to survive the Farms by turning on each other…

And when trust is a thing of the past, escape is nearly impossible.

Lily and her twin sister Mel have a plan. Though Mel can barely communicate, her autism helps her notice things no one else notices—like the portion of electrical fence that gets turned off every night. Getting across won’t be easy, but as Lily gathers what they need to escape, a familiar face appears out of nowhere, offering to help…

Carter was a schoolmate of Lily’s in the Before. Managing to evade capture until now, he has valuable knowledge of the outside world. But like everyone on the Farm, Carter has his own agenda, and he knows that behind the Ticks is an even more dangerous threat to the human race…

I was a little apprehensive to pick up The Farm. The vampire apocalypse is a little out of my comfort zone, but sometimes it’s fun to be scared and try something new. The Farm is also about the bond between sisters and features multiple POV, so that’s a plus in my book. The book starts off with a bang and the tension doesn’t let up throughout. McKay sets up the story well and slowly feeds information about the post-apocalyptic world and it’s inhabitants. There are lots of secrets and surprises in store.

Lily and her autistic younger sister Mel are twins and take turns with the narration, along with Lily’s crush from “before”, Carter. Lily’s POV is the dominant one, and is interspersed with short chapters from Mel and Carter. Mel likes to speak in nursery rhyme, and music, rhythm and tempo are very important to her making sense of the world. Her chapters are a trip and I liked getting inside her mind. Lily is very protective of Mel, especially since they are the only family they have left. The book is very strong on characterization and that made me feel more of a connection to them.

Lily wants to escape the farm with Mel before their 18th birthday. When you turn 18, you are supposed to be set free, but Lily suspects they really will be Tick food instead. Lily has an escape plan all worked out, but with Carter’s arrival the plans evolve into something bigger.

On the journey there’s romance, reveals, shocks and gore. There are some very clever twists in the book too that make me relieved there is a sequel. The pacing is great and I was entertained throughout. I liked the pop culture references in the dialogue poking fun of Twilight vampires and Vampire Diaries as well. I was pleasantly surprised with The Farm, and the strong characterization and fresh take on vampires won me over.

Go to the official Escape the Farm website for behind the scenes info & to earn points to win cool prizes.

Exclusive Q&A with Emily McKay!

Is Carter based on anyone in your life, or are his characteristics designed exclusively for the purposes of the book?

Emily McKay: Carter is based on my vision of the many good men I’ve known in my life.  I truly believe that they all have the ability to do amazing, protective, wonderful things to save the world, only they don’t have the opportunity (because mutated humans that drink blood haven’t attacked civilization as we know it).  Carter has that opportunity and he totally steps up and saves Lily and the world as she knows it (with a little help from her, of course).

Check out the next stop on the tour Dec. 10 for more exclusive content @ Young Adult Book Reviews.

Congrats to Sunny who won a copy of The Farm and a zombie apocalypse survival kit!

Bitter Blood: Morganville Vampires Book 13 by Rachel Caine Book Review

Book: Bitter Blood (The Morganville Vampires Book #13) by Rachel Caine, NAL, Nov 6, 2012

Format/pages/source: Hardcover, 404 pages, received from the publisher

Rating: 4 / 5 Stars

More Info: Goodreads | Amazon | IndieBound | The Morganville Vampires official site

We’ve come to lucky #13 with Rachel Caine’s Morganville Vampires series. I feel like with each new book I’m bracing myself for the inevitable heartache and game changers that face Claire and her friends.  And this installment is no different – the whole book has an ominous feeling to it. The scene in Morganville is even more unsettled than usual and felt more than ever like no one was safe. And now with only two more books to go Caine is going all out with the shocks.

In Bitter Blood, the vampires are now more bold and fearless than ever, and not willing to cut the humans any breaks. Eve and Michael’s relationship is causing all kinds of trouble for the residents of the Glass House. And Morganville is getting in on the election year fun by holding mayoral elections of their own.  And besides all that a TV ghost hunting crew is in town looking for material – uh, they will probably get more than they bargained for.

The book is written in multiple POV again, with Claire’s POV covering the lion’s share of the book. And this is the first time that everyone’s favorite mad genius, Myrnin, gets to narrate. He shares tidbits of his past too so it’s quite a treat. Amelie, Oliver, Shane, and Michael also share their perspectives. Since this is such a long-running series it’s fun to have a narration change of pace and learn more about different characters.

It’s always a pleasure returning back to Morganville, like visiting old friends. The first half of the book had me tied up in knots waiting for something to happen. I liked catching up with all the characters but must admit the book wasn’t capturing my full attention at first. It was like the calm before the storm I guess. But then things got good and I couldn’t put it down. Caine was really playing games with my heart with these romantic entanglements too! She has me questioning my alliances at this point.

Claire has shown tremendous growth throughout the series, and I was proud of the way she took charge and handled some of the challenges in this book. She’d be my mayoral candidate for sure, though I don’t know why anyone would want that job.

As always, the book ends with a big twist- and I can’t imagine what the next book will look like but I have faith that Caine will work her magic with it. The penultimate installment, Fall of Night, will be out May 7th.  I already miss this series.


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