Rating: 4 of 5 stars.
Oh, Morganville, I shouldn't love you like I do.
Here's the thing, The Morganville Vampires series aren't particularly good books. I can think of at least one major continuity problem. Apparently getting shot in Morganville translates to a stab wound? Pretty major screw up. They're rollarcoasty and often end with a cliffhanger and in books 10 & 11, we get treated to alternating POV's, often a shift from third person limited to first person then back to third. Claire Danvers is a strong character, with no real physical attributes given to her. In 11 books, all I can tell you about Claire is that she's on the small side and has short hair, which is probably brown but also maybe red. Basically, she could be anybody anywhere, and maybe it's so we can slip her on like a pair of jeans. I don't know. Aside from Monica and her pack dogs, everyone mostly loves her unless it's crucial to the plot that they don't. She's insanely smart, pretty talented, and despite going on and on about how she's the biggest geek ever, she ends up with one of the hottest boys in town who is insanely in love with her. She's a little Mary Sue, is what I'm saying here. Not the Maryest Sue that ever did Sue, she's no Bella Swan, but she is on the scale. And maybe a 5.
But, God, all that said, I could not stop reading. It's like the best crackfic ever. Things are always happening in Morganville and Claire and the Glass House gang are always smack dab in the middle, getting the hell beat out of them. This we can get to Caine hands down. She has no qualms about putting her characters through the ringer. Even if their wounds change over the course of the books.
There was something refreshing about Morganville's vampires, something that we're just not seeing too much of in YA paranormal books these days. They're not romanticised, not completely. They're neither wholly good nor wholly bad. They don't run around sucking the blood out of neighborhood farm animals, but they're not running around hunting humans either. They're pretty much what you would expect for somewhat domesticated 100+ year old demon creatures of the night. Self-serving first, somewhat civilized second. Bad characters have redeeming qualities, good characters have bad ones, and there's a whole lot of gray and not much black and white. The whole idea of the town being founded by them, as a sort of experiment to see if they could co-exist with humans and cease running and hiding was intriguing. The way they kept their existence secret from the students who came to the town to go to college and the careful balance between the two species. It's a fun concept and damn it all, you come to grudging love the founder Amelie as the books progress.
OKAY. Can we talk about Myrnin now? Because I'm totally only writing this review to talk about Myrnin.
MYRNIN, I LOVE YOU SO MUCH.
Seriously. This vamp is everything, everything, fabulous is made of. He's the shit. He's crazy as shit. He's bipolar and a mad scientist with a fondness for steampunk inventions and you never know what he's up to and he's easily the best thing in the whole series. No really. Team Myrnin. Let's make t-shirts. Myrnin for president. OF LIFE. He's what kept me reading at times, when I rolled my eyes and thought, "Oh sweet Jesus, DOES ANYTHING NOT HAPPEN IN THIS TOWN?" My next thought would always be, "What's Myrnin going to do next? That crazy old coot!" He keeps brains in jars and hooks them up to computers. He has a pet spider! He wears fanged bunny slippers and Hawaiian shirts and old Victorian jackets. Everything awesome in life, that's Myrnin. Did I mention that he's crazy? Because he is. He's so crazy. Every book, at one point or another, I said out loud, "Oh, Myrnin, you so craaaaazy!" Running around in his Victorian clothes and flip-flops. Coming up with insane inventions that sometimes works but also sometimes wipes the memories of everyone in the town, including his own. Love that fanged man. I would have his crazy, fanged babies.