Title: Fade Out
Author: Rachel Caine
Where I Got It: store
Without the evil vampire Bishop ruling over the town of Morganville, the resident vampires have made major concessions to the human population. With their newfound freedoms, Claire Danvers and her friends are almost starting to feel comfortable again... Now Claire can actually concentrate on her studies, and her friend Eve joins the local theatre company. But when one of Eve's castmates goes missing after starting work on a short documentary, Eve suspects the worst. Claire and Eve soon realize that this film project, whose subject is the vampires themselves, is a whole lot bigger--and way more dangerous--than anyone suspected.
*note* may contain spoilers
Things have been pretty mellow in Morganville as of late. The Evil Vampire Overloard has been defeated, humans are no longer in line for slaughter, and Claire has finally gotten together with her Love Interest and Resident Hawtie, Shane. Her best friend Eve has even gotten the lead role in Morganville's annual play (A Streetcar Named Desire). Claire might even be happy. Except that Eve's new castmate/bff Kim is an old flame of Shane's/superbitch, Ada, the supercomputer that controls Morganville, is getting crazier and crazier and, oh yeah. Vampires.
If I had to give this series a one-word description, it would be fun. Pure, mindless, sexy fun.
It's obvious on the first page that Claire has grown up since her first week at Morganville. From a weak, homesick fifteen year old genius to a strong willed, scrappy non-virginal vampire employee. The change in prose is evident as she delivers mouthfuls of one-liners. And, let me tell you, I cannot welcome this change more. While she did have her own certain Little Girl appeal when the series began, it was just so annoying when she couldn't walk three inches with out Big Bad Shane/Michael/Oliver swooping to her rescue. Every second she would be cooked by a vamp or chased into a shadowed corner or *god* roofied. You'd think someone like that would, I don't know, stop wandering into dark places? Don't drink from open water bottles at a frat party? Lock yourself in a room? Well, little Claire decided to do none of these things, instead strapping on her female testicles and taking care of her own scrawny ass.
What I'm not grateful for, however, was the jealousy she had over Bitchy Kim. I mean, I get it. Your young, your in love, there's an old flame pushin' up on yo man. That's fine and all. But come on. These kids have known each other their entire lives, lived in the same small town, gone to the same school. They are not allowed to leave. Or course Shane's going to have hooked up with some floozy's that you might know! It happens! Just because he slept with her once does not mean he's going to run off with her (because...well, he can't). There is nothing I hate more then a jealous girlfriend. Is it not obvious that Shane has no interest in Kim? Does he not make it clear that she's a psycho bitch whom he would rather drill nails into his temple then fuck? Does he not spend every day and every night with you? WHAT DOES THE POOR SCHMUCK HAVE TO DO, YOU NINNY? WHAT?
Otherwise, all characters have generally remained their usual selves. There's a bit of friction between Michael and Eve because, apparently, Michael is acting like a "vampire"--which, to me, doesn't make a great amount of sense, seeing as a) he's not doing anything different, b) vampires are all generally different and c) so what? He is a vampire. I digress.
Shane is, as usual, cute and adorable, and I just wanted to give him a big hug because big bad Claire was making him feel guilty when he shouldn't. Seriously, you guys, Shane is my ideal boyfriend. He loves zombies, is lazy in a very non-lazy way, he knows his way around a can of whup-ass, he can kiss his pants off, and he's a protective fool. If only he had Michaels musical chops, I'd marry him right now.
I can't say I'm a fan of the official summary. It makes it sound like a small-town X-files style Monster-of-the-Week shtick. You know, taken the Maximum Ride route and dropped what if had started with in favor of an episodic Disney show approach. Fade Out, however, does stick to the previous canon pretty well, and even the Monster-of-the-Week is greatly related to the previous books in the series. A definete thumbs up to Rachel Caine, who could've ended the big plot with Carpe Corpus, but instead chose to expanded on some loose ends left over. I cannot tell you how annoyed I would of been if this turned into a Cartoon Network wacky aventure story.
Overall, good pacing and characters, and a whole heapload a' fun!
Rating: 7 out of 10
Also: Whose supposed to be on the cover? Eve? Kim?