Bitter Blood

If you’re a frequent visitor to this blog, you’ve seen this warning before, but PLEASE stop right now if you haven’t read the entire Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine.  Bitter Blood is the thirteenth book in the series (yes, you read that right), and I’m not even going to try to keep this post spoiler free.

If you’re still reading at this point and would like to start at the beginning of the Morganville Vampires series, here are all thirteen books (so far) in order:

So, I’m now officially on my winter break, and I can finally devote some time to Knight Reader (which has been sadly neglected since school started in August).  After the past few months, I really need this escape.  This afternoon, in celebration of my two-week vacation, I finally finished reading Bitter Blood, book #13 in Rachel Caine’s Morganville Vampires series.  It should go without saying that, after thirteen books, I’ve grown rather attached to the characters in this book.  So attached, in fact, that it took me over two weeks to finish this book because I didn’t want to face the bad stuff–even by Morganville standards–that was happening to Claire, Shane, Michael, Eve, and Myrnin (my personal favorite character).  Bitter Blood is a tense, action-packed book, much like its predecessors, but even I was unprepared for exactly how things would play out in this installment.

After defeating the terrifying draug–creatures even vampires feared–Morganville should be returning to normal, right?  (“Normal” here means an uneasy peace between vampires and the town’s human residents.)  Well, as is often the case, nothing is going according to plan in this strange town.  It seems that once vampires no longer have anything to fear, there’s not much to hold them back…especially when their very nature demands they prey on humans.  The Founder of Morganville, Amelie, seems to have made a complete about-face and now, along with her closest advisor and consort Oliver, views her town’s human residents as nothing more than a food source…even those like Claire and friends who helped to defeat vampires’ greatest enemy.

Claire, her boyfriend Shane, and newly married Michael (vampire) and Eve (human) know they have to do something to stop the massacre that is sure to come, but it soon becomes clear that they are targets on both sides.  Vampires are less than thrilled (to put it mildly) that one of their own has married a human.  Humans are equally disgusted by the relationship.  They’re not too fond of Claire either, since they see her as a loyal friend and ally to the blood-suckers.  How can these four friends–and their new ghostly housemate Miranda–battle two sides in a war that may not be winnable?  And what will Claire do when her boss and closest vampire friend, Myrnin, decides that it’s all too much and seems to disappear into thin air?

As if Morganville’s current troubles weren’t enough, a crew from a ghost-hunting reality show has arrived in town, and they’re stirring up more trouble than they ever prepared for.  Also, the mysterious Captain Obvious is back and is apparently more determined than ever to drive the vamps out of Morganville for good…by whatever means necessary.  While all of this is happening, it seems that Amelie is turning a blind eye to all of the trouble.  But what if Amelie isn’t the one calling the shots anymore?  What if she’s being manipulated along with everyone else?  Who would have so much power that they could control Morganville’s Founder?  And what could a few humans, a young vampire, a semi-sane (yet totally awesome) older vampire, and a ghost possibly do to turn the situation around?  What sacrifices–unintended or not–will be made to save their town?  Answers will be revealed in Bitter Blood, but they may not be the ones you ever expected…or wanted.

It would be an understatement to say that I enjoy this series.  I was hooked from the first book, and my obsession has only grown with each book.  With Bitter Blood, despite the ominous title and past experience, I kind of hoped for good things to happen to my favorite characters, and, in the end, not everything was bad.  But this book sent me on an emotional roller-coaster, and I’m still trying to recover.  There were moments of absolute anguish that nearly had me curled up in the fetal position.  And I don’t anticipate things getting much better with the next two books…

Book #14, Fall of Night, is due for a May 7th, 2013, release, and it follows Claire immediately after the events of Bitter Blood.  (You’ll realize the importance of this when you finish book #13).  Book #15, Daylighters, which is rumored to be the last book in the series, will be out next November.  I’m hoping for a bit of closure by this time next year, but, if Rachel Caine is true to form where Morganville is concerned, she’ll totally break my heart in the process.  I better start preparing myself now…

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