Book review: Fade Out by Rachel Caine

Last year I read the first six books in the Morganville Vampires series back to back, and this caused me to avoid reading book 7, Fade Out, for quite some time. Why? Because I got nothing else done during that six day period. I was even forgetting to eat. I wanted to hold off on reading the next until I had some free time and I was sure I didn’t have any other obligations. These precautions were perhaps a bit too overzealous because Fade Out is the first book in the series with some breathing room built in. This is not to say that nothing happens, but compared to the previous books, the pace here is practically a mosey.

After the conclusion of the war, the town is slowly recovering and rebuilding. Amalie is still in mourning, and she’s letting some vampires and humans get away with serious violations of the town’s rules without doing anything about it. Claire and Myrnin are being increasingly attacked by the computer Ada, but Myrnin is in denial about how far corrupted Ada’s personality is, and keeps assuring Claire that the situation is under control. This is a shared theme with both Amalie and Myrnin, as neither seems willing to admit they’re letting things slide that maybe they shouldn’t.

Meanwhile, Claire feels she’s losing her connection to her best friend Eve because Eve’s got a goth crush on a “new” girl, Kim. Kim is a big deal around town, but has never been mentioned before. She’s apparently the only other goth in town, so now Eve has someone to share fashion tips with, and Claire is feeling forgotten in the wake of Eve’s new crush.

It comes out that Kim is very ambitious, and she has a plan that could expose the vampires to the outside world. She’s also got inside help, and I was able to piece together who her accomplice was long before the reveal thanks to some easy clues early on.

Add to this another subplot with a group of vampires wanting to leave town, and they hope to use Claire and her friends as a bargaining chip. Taken in total, it’s a pretty busy episode in the series, but it still has enough quiet times to give the characters room for development. There’s no cliffhanger ending this time, and an amusing line in the book is Claire saying she doesn’t like cliffhangers, which is funny considering how often they’ve been a part of the first books.

All in all, it’s a good book, and I’m very much looking forward to the next in the series, Kiss of Death. I give Fade Out 4 stars, and would recommend the series to all fans of vampires or dark fantasy.