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Bite Club: The Morganville Vampires Paperback – Oct 4 2011
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'A first-class storyteller' Charlaine Harris Thrilling, sexy, and funny! These books are addictive. One of my very favourite vampire series.' Richelle Mead, author of the international bestselling Vampire Academy series.
About the Author
Rachel Caine is the author of more than twenty novels, including the "Weather Warden" series. She was born at White Sands Missile Range, which people who know her say explains a lot. She has been an accountant, a professional musician, and an insurance investigator, and still carries on a secret identity in the corporate world. She and her husband, fantasy artist R. Cat Conrad, live in Texas with their iguanas, Popeye and Darwin; a mali uromastyx named (appropriately) O’Malley; and a leopard tortoise named Shelley (for the poet, of course).
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
A new gym has opened up in Morganville and Shane, to say the least, is excited that there's now a place where he can learn to kick vampire butt. He soon starts acting strangely and despite Claire's attempts to find out what's wrong, Shane isn't talking. Through her own invesigation brought on by the death of a classmate and the long trail that leads her down, Claire discovers that one of Morganville's greatest threats is still alive--and he's escaped his prison. She then discovers a website that broadcasts fight between vampires and humans in Morganville, something that could expose vampires and Morganville's secret to the world. Amelie wants whoever is involved dead, which is a bad thing when Shane is a regular feature of the videos.
This series is one of my current favorites because of how... unputdownable the books are and Myrnin, most of all. I read this book from the moment I got home until about 7:45 and coming out of it, I'm not really impressed. It wasn't awful, but there were definite problems and it's got me worried.
From the beginning, I felt that something was wrong. The narrative voice felt... off, somehow. Little comments that were strange even for Morganville narration, which gets pretty different for third-person narration. That was soon fixed, but then came little discrepancies. Does anyone ever remember hearing a mention in the last nine books of how Eve used to fence competitively? I don't, but she apparently did. Ten books in, we're told about the glamour, which some female vampires have and can use to influence humans and vampires. This felt a bit like an asspull done to justify the plot. There is no doubt that the plot was only possible because of the newly introduced glamour power. Otherwise, it never would have worked.
I don't think the shifts into Shane's first-person point of view from the usual third-person limited narration worked very well. Most of his narrative segments added nothing to the book and even the ones that did could have been done without. Frankly, they felt like fluff in a series that didn't need it. The last series that pulled that trick is one I went from loving to loathing. It feels like this book needed more editing, some tweaking of story and grammar and such in a few places and cleanup of the sometimes clunky prose and many misplaced commas. Nothing knocks you out of a suspenseful, tense scene like "Harry closed his eyes and sweated, a lot (p. 283)."
Most of all, Claire and Shane acted pretty out-of-character (though much of Shane's behavior is excused by glamour/for the sake of plot). Claire had a bit of information to tell her roommates about her MIT invite and yet she never tells Shane in all the opportunities she had before his mood swings kicked in. So this girl, who could stay up for three days straight (wasn't that it?) when forced to, can't force herself to stay awake a few minutes to finish a conversation and tell her boyfriend about an invitation to MIT? She forgives Shane for all he does in this book far too easily. As he admitted, he came under such control of the glamour because there was something there to work with. She doesn't seem to realize that. Also, Shane learns about his father's fate. His reaction? Not talk to people for a week and then be fine. Something felt off about that reaction.
Despite the rocky road at the beginning that I just ranted about, Bite Club got into the Morganville groove by the half point of the book and became impossible to put down. If anything, this series is a master of suspense, how everything gets tense and the narration will quit fooling around and start flowing smoothly. You always know the main four will live and that Amelie, Oliver, and Myrnin will too, but everyone else is fair game. Despite this surety, there's always the desperate need to keep turning those pages and find out how it's all going to work out. Each time I got a new Morganville book, I finished reading it the day I got it because the book wouldn't let me go. Bite Club was no exception. Only one or two other series are like that for me, and I've read many series!
If you are a fellow Myrnin fan like me, rejoice because he is here and just as much fun as usual! Among other things, he nearly causes many traffic accidents and we find out that his picture ID on Claire's phone is a close-up photo of those famous vampire bunny slippers. When I got irritated, I flipped back to his entertaining moments and it made me feel better again. Bonus if you're a Myrnin/Claire fan: everyone and their mother thinks, 'There's something there...' I'm not a fan of it and even I could see it. Most of what makes me love Morganville is its supporting characters and they are out in spades here to entertain the reader.
This is definitely my least favorite book yet in the series and it makes me worry for the future of the series. I can see where holes are forming in the foundation, threatening to make the entire structure fall apart and become a bad series. However, the two events did not happen at once like multiple series I don't wish to name. With more careful writing, Morganville can be saved. Most Morganville fans will love or at least like Bite Club and anxiously await Last Breath for their next dose of Myrnin (oh, and some other characters, in case they don't like Myrnin).
Claire has her own problems - Bishop is back, MIT is calling, and she's still keeping the secret about Shane's father from Shane. Then, she gets a phone call from a strange female telling her Shane is hot and out of Claire's league. She comments she's "watching it again" and Claire gets suspicious. After a bit of investigating, it turns out the gym is running an online human vs. vamp "fight club" where paying viewers can place bets on the outcome of the fights, and Shane is a participant.
My Thoughts: Bite Club is definitely Shane's book. We get a lot of what's going on in his head, and it's angry and confused. We see his deepest hopes and doubts and watch as they morph into something unrecognizable. The vampires in Bite Club are badder than ever, more so because they don't seem all that bad... until it's too late. Aside from Shane's issues, Claire still has a lot going on. Some old "friends" from previous books come back and surprise me, and just when I think it's all over Ms. Caine throws another twist into the plot. I get enough Myrnin-time to keep me satisfied, and, just to tease us, there is some unfinished business between Eve, Michael, and Amelie. Bite Club is an action-packed, no-punches-pulled installment in the Morganville series!
(between Claire and Eve)
"I have no idea what that is, but yawn, anyway, just on principle. Eat up. Pancakes is brain food."
"Apparently not grammar food."
"Wow. You college girls are mean."
~Bite Club, page 116
"Follow me," Myrnin said. "And do stay together. And by the way, this is the last time I go anywhere with you people. You are all insane."
~Bite Club, page 318
I really enjoyed Bite Club; Claire is still as smart and loyal as ever and I loved the glimpses into Shane's head throughout the book.
In many ways, this installment felt like the middle of a trilogy or something. The main story line was basically resolved by the end, but it left open a lot of unanswered questions and possibilities. Some old villains resurface, including Gloriana from the short story Drama Queen's Last Dance, found in Eternal: More Love Stories with Bite. While the vampire-related dramas seem to come to some conclusion, the human dramas seem to be building up. Claire and Shane's relationship is strained by the end of the story, and Michael seems to be harboring doubts about Eve. I strongly suspect that in the next Morganville Vampires book, the main focus will be on the relationships, with vampire enemies falling second. I could be wrong, but that's how things felt to me at the end of Bite Club (Morganville Vampires, Book 10).
Overall, I enjoyed this book. The characters are very interesting and it's been nice seeing how they have developed over the course of the series. Claire, in particular, seems to really come into her own strength in this story, although at the cost of some of her innocence. Shane seems to find more of his inner demons, more than he is truly able to explore in this story. As I said, the ending of this story really leaves a lot of emotional issues unresolved--I hope that there is some closure in the next installment Last Breath: The Morganville Vampires due out in November 2011.
In this book a new gym has opened up where a vampire is training humans and vampires alike. One thing I must say is that it must be HUGE. We get all the standard gym setups for weights, cardio, etc. We have boxing areas, ratchet ball, karate mats and even a fencing room and more! I would love to have a gym like how this appears in my city (less the vampires). Shane is one of the first to check it out and gets really into the fighting there but when one fights under vampires, bad things can follow.
Claire is told some startling information but is heavily threatened to keep quite about it. Frank Collins is still being kept a secret, Shane is drifting away and even Eve and Micheal have a secret! All this adds up to lots of drama and home intrigue as a I wonder how it is all going to come out.
While this book is mostly focused on Claire (as all past books have been), we get something new that I loved. We get a first perspective look into Shane's thoughts! While they are very warped in this book due to other factors I won't give away, it was an interesting new aspect to the series I highly enjoyed and hope to see again in future books of the series.
One thing that is really being to annoy me are the idioms and text speak being used on a regular basis. I loved how the earlier books had a more mature aspect to how they spoke but now its getting annoying with the slang used. I used to love Eve but with how she was talking in this book, she is now the type of person I would avoid hanging out with. She is not 14-16 years old yet acting like one. It is annoying when a character changes like that and this in one change I do not like at all and cost a fair bit of enjoyment for reading this.
With all the tension from the secrets I was expecting some interesting scenarios later in the book but i felt a bit let down in the end. The grand show was lackluster, Claire didn't seem to learn anything and no one asked questions about things that did not add up, they all just went along with whatever was going on! Grr!
So overall, good story with fun potential. Some interesting character comebacks. Drama-filled but the last 20% of the book could have been better. Here's hoping the next book is better and Eve goes back to her old kick-but, goth self!
Basically the scenario in this book is pretty fierce, a fight club between vampires and humans-friends are put against friends. And who do you think gets recruited into this club?
After reading the tenth installment in this series, I feel this book is my least favorite. Not, just because Shane goes psycho and starts abusing everyone he cares for. It just doesn't have that pizzazz the prior books have.
Before we would see glimpses of kick-ass Claire making her way in this weird town, but in this book she was strangely lack luster and a bit short-sighted in regards to her future. I mean what happened to the wicked awesome Claire from Kiss of Death? I felt like Caine tried to showcase more of Eve in this book with her sudden fencing skills, but I'm so used to people always rushing to her aid, that her sudden ability to protect herself seemed odd. I mean she has a mouth on her, but she really couldn't do anything beside bedazzle her weapons. Now she's fighting against the founders of Morganville. Yeah, okay...
Bite Club was definitely about Shane though, and we even get to see some chapters in his point-of-view. I guess this is so we can see how his thoughts and temper quickly transform into something that is not usually himself-- so we don't hate him as much and see he is under the influence of someone else. It worked, I mean I don't hate him, but I don't love him either.
Don't get me wrong I still love this series, but this book was just blah. It just felt like a filler book. I assume if you've read this far into the series, you're in it for the long haul. I am. I'm still going to read the next book, and apparently the one after that. It's just that this one didn't shine, but at least this one didn't end on a cliff hanger either.
I'm really just in it for Myrnin.