Early Review: Bitter Blood by Rachel Caine

, by Kt Clapsadl

Bitter Blood by Rachel Caine
Morganville Vampires #13

For years, the human and vampire residents of Morganville, Texas, have managed to co-exist in peace. But now that the threat to the vampires has been defeated, the human residents are learning that the gravest danger they face is the enemy within…

Thanks to the eradication of the parasitic creatures known as the draug, the vampires of Morganville have been freed of their usual constraints. With the vampires indulging their every whim, the town’s human population is determined to hold on to their lives by taking up arms. But college student Claire Danvers isn’t about to take sides, considering she has ties to both the humans and the vampires.

To make matters worse, a television show comes to Morganville looking for ghosts, just as vampire and human politics collide. Now, Claire and her friends have to figure out how to keep the peace without ending up on the nightly news… or worse.

Now that the largest threat to vampires has been defeated, the vamps in Morganville no longer have anything to fear and it's showing. They no longer feel the need to be constrained by societies rule and have opened a new hunting season. No one, not even the "protected" ones are safe, causing the humans in the town to take up arms. Claire Danvers finds herself stuck in the middle as both sides seem prepared to tear the town apart one piece at a time.

As much as I love this series, I can't help feeling a little frustrated with the repeating pattern that things seems to be stuck in. Claire and company will do something amazing/brave/stupid to save the town/vampires/humans and then the vamps show some sort of gratitude and say they will change things for the better. But, by the time the next book rolls around, the vamps have all but forgotten the promises they made, and the gratitude towards Claire, etc is all gone. It wasn't much more than a mild annoyance at this point because each book more than held its own by distracting me with the new big and bad threat. However, after coming down from the insanity of the Draugs and just how much Claire and her friends did for the vamps, you would have though there would have been at least a small grace period. I realize that the series wouldn't be so enthralling if the vamps don't seem like strong threats anymore, but there has to be some other way than making them so incredibly ungrateful. I guess I'm just frustrated because I cannot count the number of times Claire has saved their royally screwed butts, and I want the poor girl to get some sort of credit.

Aside from the vamps acting like idiots, the theme of this book seemed to center more around the personal relationships. Don't get me wrong, there was still plenty of action, it's just that this time around there was more going than just trying to survive the latest threat. There's all these different interwoven character relationships and dynamics that play such a large role, yet are sometimes glossed over by the intense action, that it was really nice to see things come to the forefront. In particular, I'm talking about the dynamics between Michael and Eve, Claire and Shane, and Claire and Myrnin, although that last one won't be discussed here to avoid spoilers. As far as the others, I may be in the minority, but I'm not really a supporter of Michael and Eve. I kinda agree with the town that they shouldn't be mixing as it looks to only be leading to heartache or death. Although unlike the town, I don't want them to split up, but that Eve become a Vamp herself. I just don't quite get that one, or what the real hang up is, but I guess tension is really the key to a good book so I can't complain too much. As far as Claire and Shane, well Shane screws up yet again, but this time Claire isn't so quick to forgive him, and that make me rather proud of her. Don't get me wrong I'm still in firmly in the Claire/Shane camp, it's just that I want the boy to finally have to start taking some responsibility for his screw ups.

As much as it pains me to do it considering how much I enjoyed this book, I'm going to have to dock my rating by one star due to the series redundancy.  It almost feels wrong to "penalize" this book since my problem is more with the series trend as a whole. However, since my frustration came to a head in Bitter Blood, I can't really overlook it any more. That being said, strangely I do have hope for that cycle to be lessened, if not broken in the next book based on the way things ended. Of course, I could be wrong, but I'll still be holding out hope. Don't get me wrong, things won't be all wrapped up in a pretty bow or be all like roses, it's just that the ending points to a new direction that I wasn't really expecting. I'm both anxious and nervous to see where things lead, but at the very least it should make for a change of pace, which is exactly what this series needs. So, putting my repetition woes aside, I have to say that Bitter Blood was a really solid installment in the fabulous Morganville Vampires series. There's action, romance, and drama galore, making for one heck of an entertaining read that you won't want to miss!

(Received a copy from the publisher)



Other Reviews:

Previous Books
  1. Glass Houses
  2. Dead Girls Dance
  3. Midnight Alley
  4. Feast of Fools
  5. Lord of Misrule
  6. Carpe Corpus
  7. Fade Out
  8. Kiss of Death
  9. Ghost Town
  10. Bite Club 
  11. Last Breath 
  12. Black Dawn

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