Saturday, August 21, 2010

Kiss of Death by Rachel Caine (how some series' lose their steam after a while)

Now, before I begin this review, I'd like to point out this little tumblr thing inspired by everyone else's tumblr things (most notably Awesome Person Robin Benway), titled "Song a Day", which is pretty obvious. I love me some music and I love talking about it, so if you've ever wondered what it is I, your dear and respected leader, listens to each and every day you can go ahead and check it out here.

Title: Kiss of Death

Author: Rachel Caine

Pages: 241

Received from: um...shit, it was just kind of sitting at the bottom of one of my crates...I do know, however, that I am not being paid for this review. Suck on that, FCC!


Vampire musician Michael Glass has attracted the attention of a big- time producer who wants to cut a demo and play some gigs-which means Michael will have to enter the human world. For this, he's been assigned escorts that include both a dangerous immortal as well as Michael's all-too-human friends. And with that mix of personalities, this is going to be a road trip from hell...

Saw 3D is coming out soon. It is set to be the final installment of the decade-long running Saw franchise. But, really, this boat should have sunk a long, long time ago. Shit, why are they even making it, but for the purpose of drilling someone's eye out in Our Beloved 3D? Is there anything left of the once thought provoking and genuinely chilling piece of modern US cinema we knew way back in 2000?

No, no there isn't. And the same can be said for the Morganville Vampires series.

What I mean is, this offering in the overzealous vampire culture began beautifully. Combining the cruelty of college life with a new spin on the undead, along with some shitting awesome characters, Morganville promised to be an intrigueing series to eat up between exams. And it continued to be...until it kept going. And going.

In eight books, Caine has shoved together more plots and subplots then an entire years worth of All My Children. Evil brothers! Psycho dads! Vamp angst! Suicide attempts! Overlords! Mental Illness! Sexy times! It was cute at first, but the coolness of the plot-overload died out around book four. But I sullied onward, hoping and praying that the cold intimacy of the Glass House and Morganville itself, or even the apocolyptic feel of Carpe Corpus would rear it's lovely head and remind me why I fell in love with these people. Sadly, this was not the case. In fact, it was the opposite; every single character, even Awesomesauce Mrynin, inspired such hatred in me I made little voodoo dolls in their likeness out of scrap paper and stabbed them with a pen. (Would be pictured, but my phone ran out of battery.)

As I said above, Saw is most likely going 3D just because someone felt like doing a 3D movie without actually creating something original. And that's why, other then this thing I like to call Nuking the Fridge:

Michael, Shane, Eve and Claire embark on a roadtrip. Out of Morganville. No, they're not making a break for it. They are allowed access out. And not like Shane and his family was that time ago after Monica Morrell burned down their house and killed their youngest daughter, either. Because Michael (you know, vampire Michael) was given the chance to record a goddamn motherhumping demo.

What. The. Fuck.

Brushing aside the sheer ridiculousness of an immortal vampire seeking out a public music figure ("Mr. Glass, it has been speculated that you, well, do not age. Care to share with Rolling Stone readers your thoughts on this?"), why the fuck would Amelie suddenly be like, oh sure, you and your human friends run along and play a bit of music--rules don't apply these days? My theory: Rachel Caine just always wanted to write a Vampire-y road trip novel but, alas, her deadline was approaching--waaaait. Lotsa fail.

Added to this is the fact that every character have morphed into thin caricatures of themselves, wondering around and doing things expected of them by myself, the reader, with no real goal other then to be as sassy and stereotypical as possible. Eve's gothiness (where she has an orgasm over a goddamn hearsch) stopped being cute at page three. This whole Michael/Shane "guys-guy" thing got old, albeit, in book two. And Claire? I used to like her. A fifteen year old in college, lost and alone in the world but for her new friends in the Glass House. Smart and capable. Now? Dripping for Shane and not much else. She doesn't offer one intelligent thought in the entire 200-something saga of the Glass Kids' Totally Tubular Field Trip.

I am also disturbed. I am sentimental, for times gone by, for when fictional universes made some mofoing sense. But most of all, I am dissapointed. I am dissapointed that I will no longer be able to muster up the energy in continuing one of my favorite book series since seventh grade. I am dissapointed that Rachel Caine couldn't have the decency to just end the thing. I am dissapointed that I had to forgo a stack of review copies to read this thing. I am dissapointed that I had to go through an entire two hours of Myrin withdrawl. I am just...dissapointed, Ms. Caine. I say this with all the respect in the world. But you fucked up with this one.

You need not worry, I will probably still buy everything else you write until I'm thirty. But not this. Never again.

Rating: 1 out of 10 (hey, my first one!)


alana said...

This is EXACTLY how I feel about the Anita Blake series. I hate myself for continuing to read them, but I keep holding out hope that the series will magically revert into something worthwhile. (I own like 15 books from the series, so suddenly refusing to buy another book should be a loud message.)

I haven't even started this series yet. Do you think it is worth jumping into? Maybe just the first four books?

D Swizzle said...

For sure, even CARPE CORPUS wasn't that bad. Fade Out is when it just got stupid. I'd try it out.

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