Ghost Town (A Morganville Vampires book)
By Rachel Caine
2010, NAL Hardcover, 352 pages
While developing a new system to maintain Morganville's defenses, student Claire Danvers discovers a way to amplify vampire mental powers. Through this, she's able to re-establish the field around this vampire-infested Texas college town that protects it from outsiders.
But the new upgrades have an unexpected consequence: people inside the town begin to slowly forget who they are-even the vampires. Soon, the town's little memory problem has turned into a full-on epidemic. Now Claire needs to figure out a way to pull the plug on her experiment—before she forgets how to save Morganville...
— Amazon.com description
When I first came across this series, I dismissed it as a serial. Meaning, I thought the books would be throwaways...that they'd all stand alone and not really contribute much.
But on a whim I downloaded the first book to my Kindle. Thank goodness I did, because once I finished the first I could download the second, and the third and so on. Because the Morganville Vampires books are like crack to me. Seriously.
I know what you're saying, doubters: "Vampires? I'm so over vampires." Okay, but you're not. You just think you are. Because, okay, yeah, I know the title even says "Vampires" but at the heart of these books is a lot of humor, suspense and friendship. These are character-driven books, and each entry really moves things forward in a meaningful way.
Ghost Town was a great example of that. SPOILER ALERT. At one point, several of the main characters lose their memory and revert back to who they were three years ago, before main character Claire moved to town and the series began. The way they each have grown emotionally over the years is absolutely clear in this moment.
You see this even in the most evil characters, like Oliver. Rachel Caine has a great way of highlighting the humanity in everyone in her stories. Don't get me wrong, her vampires are evil. And they keep doing HORRIBLE things to Claire and her friends. But she makes it a point to give you at least a momentary glimpse into their motivations.
Claire is such a strong lead. She values her friends and her family. She puts herself down on the line. She's got such a brain on her, too. Okay, so sometimes I want to shake her and yell, "Why don't you just use that über-genius mind of yours to escape Morganville!?" but you are always quickly reminded of her reasons for staying.
MOTIVATIONS. If you are going to invest in, or even just accept, a character in anything you read, understanding their motivations is essential. Again, this is where Rachel Caine really succeeds.
Also: Myrnin. If you have read the books, you know what I mean. He's one of my favorite characters ever...and that was before Jen at Makeshift Bookmark said she pictures him as Jame McAvoy and put that pleasant mental image into the mix.
All this being said: These books are humorous; they are campy. There are a lot of vampire stakings involved. If you can't have a sense of humor about that and the ridiculousness of it all...they're probably not for you. But for those of us who can dig it: Who else is addicted to the Morganville Vamps?