Review: Carpe Corpus (Morganville #6) by Rachel Caine

Review: Carpe Corpus (Morganville #6) by Rachel Caine
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In the small college town of Morganville, vampires and humans lived in (relative) peace—until all the rules got rewritten when the evil vampire Bishop arrived, looking for the lost book of vampire secrets. He’s kept a death grip on the town ever since. Now an underground resistance is brewing, and in order to contain it, Bishop must go to even greater lengths.
He vows to obliterate the town and all its inhabitants—the living and the undead. Claire Danvers and her friends are the only ones who stand in his way. But even if they defeat Bishop, will the vampires ever be content to go back to the old rules, after having such a taste of power?

I know these books are creepy, but honestly what is that title? It hit me about halfway through reading this book that Carpe as we all know from ‘Carpe Diem’ means Seize or Seize the. And of course, Corpus means corpse or body. So there we have Seize the Body. Fun.

Title aside, I really enjoyed this one yet again. Looking back on the earlier books, I can definitely see how much Caine’s writing has improved! It’s also so different for me reading this and the next books as I had read the first 5 years ago but these are all new for me. But I still found I’m enjoying them just as much, if not more, to have even more tense moments where I have no clue what happens!

‘There was just that one moment when she’d seen him as a man who loved his son.’

Shane and Claire were great in this book. Shane hasn’t exactly been my favourite person in the past few books, but the way he treats Claire brought it all back for me. He’s troubled, but also so heartfelt. As always, all of the Glass House residents were great, but I missed having Michael around all the time!

Without giving too many spoilers, I really liked the addition of Ada. As always, Myrnin was great and his crazy episodes make him such an interesting character to read. Like is he a villain? No one knows, and it makes it so intriguing to find out. Talking of characters, this one is definitely the most emotional so far, and I loved it. Although I’m obviously sad/emotional over what happened, it gave a new depth to the story I hadn’t really seen before.

‘Maybe everybody has those moments. Even the worst people.’

The ending of this one kind of reminded me of City of Glass in the plot style. Unlike usual Caine, we had a lot of loose ends wrapped up and not such a big cliffhanger, but I’m not complaining! Even though it didn’t make me feel as though I needed to read the next one immediately, I feel like we have enough of an opening to continue in Morganville, but enough closure to know things are going to be different. Let’s see what book 7 brings!

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: Lord of Misrule (Morganville #5) by Rachel Caine

Review: Lord of Misrule (Morganville #5) by Rachel Caine
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In the college town of Morganville, vampires and humans coexist in (relatively) bloodless harmony. Then along comes Bishop, the master vampire who threatens to abolish all order, revive the forces of the evil dead, and let chaos rule. But Bishop isn’t the only threat.

Rereading this book made me wonder how the hell I didn’t continue with the series last time I read them. I think I maybe didn’t own the next books back then, but I’m so happy I do now so I can continue straight after that cliffhanger!

Honestly, this book was the best so far for me. I’ve enjoyed them all so far, but the introduction of Bishop and a new threat was just great. And I love Myrnin. Having a villain that you as a reader never know when to trust works so well – I was so on edge with him.

‘Hannah leaned against the wall. “Mind if I call shotgun?”‘

I also found this book more atmospheric and creepy. Not only is the town deserted and empty, but the addition of abandoned warehouses etc really put me on the edge of my seat. Reading this while I was alone overnight was kind of perfect for this type of book, and really added to the atmosphere.

Lord of Misrule includes the most action I’ve seen in these books so far which made it (yet again) fly by, and my intrigue from that ending means I’m already 100 pages into the sixth book!

‘”Since you’re carrying one? Feel free.”’

Overall, this series is becoming self-absorbing, and I can’t believe I’m already six books in and not even thinking about other books. It’s guilty-pleasure with action and I love it.

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

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Feast of Fools (Morganville #4) by Rachel Caine

Feast of Fools (Morganville #4) by Rachel Caine
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In the town of Morganville, vampires and humans live in relative peace. Clare Danvers has never been convinced, though – especially with the arrival of Mr. Bishop, an ancient, old-school vampire who cares nothing about harmony. What he wants from the town’s living and its dead is unthinkably sinister.

Yes, we’re back! I can’t even describe how much better Feast of Fools was compared to Midnight Alley. Although the pacing can still be a bit off in places, I found the second half of the book especially fast and interesting. I’ve been flying through all of these books, but I definitely hit a lull at the end of 3 and start of 4. So glad it’s picked up again for me!

‘“I’m gonna kill him,” Eve said, or at least that was what it sounded like filtered through the pillow.
Stake him right in the heart, shove garlic up his ass, and-and-“‘

I think a lot of this was due to the new characters. Having a new threat like Mr Bishop was so brilliantly written on Caine’s part. I feel like after having 3 books including only people from Morganville, we definitely needed a fresh insight on the vampire community. The introduction of a new, common enemy was just perfect.

I also have to say the character growth was great. I really feel like I spent more time with the main characters in this one than any books previously. Some of my favourite scenes from Morganville are definitely just scenes between the friends, and they can be the funniest too!

‘”And what?”
“When did you get home?” Claire demanded.
“Apparently just in time to hear my funeral plans. I especially like the garlic up the ass. It’s…different.”’

Overall, a really enjoyable read and perhaps my favourite Morganville book yet! I’m excited for Lord of Misrule now.

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

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Review: Midnight Alley (Morganville #3) by Rachel Caine

Review: Midnight Alley (Morganville #3) by Rachel Caine
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MORGANVILLE IS SUCH A NICE PLACE TO LIVE… AND DIE. IF YOU DON’T MIND THAT SORT OF THING. When Claire Danvers learnt that her college town was run by vampires, she did what any intelligent, self-preserving student would do: she applied for a transfer and stocked up on garlic. The transfer is no longer an option, but that garlic may come in handy. Now Claire has pledged herself to Amelie, the most powerful vampire in town. The protection her contract secures does little to reassure her friends. All of a sudden, people are turning up dead, a stalker resurfaces from Claire’s past, and an ancient bloodsucker extends a chilling invitation for private lessons in his secluded home.

There’s no doubt I’m really enjoying this series. But unfortunately this one is far from my favourite, and I felt the same the first time round too! The pacing is just so off for me, and I remember most of the book being pretty slow.

Due to not having internet for a few days, I did actually finish this earlier in the week. So everything is blending into one in my head! But if I look back at this book, it just doesn’t stick together that well. Like, everything seems random until this one event at the end. And due to this writing style, I didn’t have time to connect with the characters much which I didn’t enjoy!

‘”You shouldn’t be afraid of me because I’m a vampire.”‘

Talking of the characters, I really wasn’t a massive fan of a few of them. Shane is overdramatic, sulky and a bad friend/boyfriend. Claire makes some super bad decisions as usual but I can forgive her most of the time I guess.

But of course I still enjoyed it and things aren’t all bad! This series never fails to entertain me, and the introduction of a new character in this book is needed so much. Myrnin offers a new dynamic and focus, and his scenes are always so tense and entertaining!

‘”You ought to be scared because you just trash-talked my girlfriend to her face.”‘

So overall, a real mix but unfortunately not as enjoyable as the first two books. Although I still enjoyed reading this book, it’s just lacking in some ways.

★★★
3 out of 5 stars

-Beth

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The Dead Girls Dance (Morganville #2) – Rachel Caine

The Dead Girls Dance (Morganville #2) – Rachel Caine
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Claire has her share of challenges. Like being a genius in a school that favours beauty over brains; homicidal girls in her dorm, and finding out that her college town is overrun with the living dead. On the up side, she has a new boyfriend with a vampire-hunting dad. But when a local fraternity throws the Dead Girls’ Dance, hell is really going to break loose.

I really enjoyed this book, and I flew through it. But unfortunately, I remember it in a fonder light. I remember my first read of this being gripping, on the edge of your seat and so emotional. I’m not going to lie, it was emotional, but I feel like Caine missed some opportunities for some really good scenes.

It’s like instead of remembering what actually happened in this book, I was taking the best parts and remembering a different, better version. Maybe that’s a problem with re-reading books later in life when you have a lot more maturity and reading experience!

‘Claire: “So we do nothing?”‘

That being said, I did still love reading this book. It’s still gripping (to a degree), and I was definitely kept entertained. I read this in less than 2 days once again and couldn’t put it down, the pages really fly by in this series. I also love the variety of scenes all over the town, with such a big cast of characters, that added so much to the atmospheric feel of this book/series.

This book is definitely more of an introduction to Morganville. We’ve met the main characters, we know who we’re rooting for and who we’re against, and now it’s time to learn about this creepy town. The description of the town is definitely one of my favourite things about this series. Caine knows how to build up atmosphere.

‘Michael: “We do the best nothing you’ve ever seen.”‘

I still adore the characters, even Claire, although I understand why most readers seem to find her annoying. She does make some stupid decisions, but mostly she’s just a real, scared, courageous, 16 year old girl who is completely out of her depth. Her loyalty is outstanding, and I love her for it.

There is still no doubt this series is pure entertainment. But I can’t help but love it anyway.

★★★★ 
3.5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

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Review: Glass Houses (Morganville #1) by Rachel Caine

Review: Glass Houses (Morganville #1) by Rachel Caine
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College freshman Claire Danvers has had enough of her nightmarish dorm situation. When Claire heads off-campus, the imposing old house where she finds a room may not be much better. Her new roommates don’t show many signs of life, but they’ll have Claire’s back when the town’s deepest secrets come crawling out, hungry for fresh blood. Will she be able to face the town’s terror or will she drown like everyone else?

I have owned most of these books for years, but unfortunately I stopped at book 5 on my first read of them because I didn’t have all of the books! It’s now almost 3 years later, and I’ve managed to collect the whole series pretty much secondhand. This might sound weird, as it’s a 16 book long series and a big commitment – but I finally picked it up again because I needed something easy. I needed comfort. Life is busy at the moment, and I knew picking up and re-reading the first 5 books before I carry on with the series is just what I wanted right now.

I honestly wasn’t sure how I’d feel about these books. I was a lot younger – and hadn’t read quite as many books – when I read them 3 years ago. But I have to say I had a pleasant surprise, and I still really enjoyed this one.

‘”Damn, Claire. Warn a guy before you do a face-plant on the floor next time.”‘

I mean, to a degree it just is what it is. It’s definitely more of a guilty pleasure read than anything else for me. It’s a little trashy, and the writing isn’t exactly going to blow your mind. But sometimes you just need a bit of trash.

I have very vague, sporadic memories of the first 5 books of this series, but it didn’t take away from my enjoyment. I was drawn into Morganville from the first chapter, and I found it so fast paced that I didn’t stop reading. I got through this one in around a day, which is super quick for me!

‘”I could have looked all heroic and caught you or something.”‘

Although there are many plot holes in this series, I love it enough to ignore them. The characters are funny and real and love each other more than anything. They’re sometimes stupid, too, but it just makes me love them even more. I’m so glad I finally decided it was time to pick this back up!

The bottom line is, these books aren’t going to blow your mind. But if you need some entertainment, and an easy-going read, they’re just the thing.

★★★★ 
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

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Review: Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

Review: Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
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Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked…until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.
Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

I can’t believe I didn’t read this book sooner! I didn’t pick it up until late, and by that point I’d broken an important bookworm code and watched the movie. 90% of the time I will read the book first, but this time I just happened to watch the Dumplin’ adaptation with my boyfriend when it came out and we both loved it!

I don’t think watching the movie first impacted my opinion too much – thank God they stayed very similar with the adaptation – but I did picture all of the characters as they are in the movie. So Will’s mum was Jennifer Aniston all the way.

‘All my life I’ve had a body worth commenting on’

Anyway, onto the book! Honestly, I loved it so much and it flew by. I haven’t been reading overly fast recently I guess, but I read this one in under 2 days. It was so unexpected, but this is one of those books I could just sit and read for hours on end and not even watch the page numbers. It had such a good flow and pace, and I adored it.

As for the characters, I loved them all. I had my issues with Will but the fact she’s not always perfect is kind of the point. She’s growing up and it’s such a great coming-of-age story. She learns throughout the book and I love that El called bulls**t on her. No one in this story is perfect, everyone is flawed and that felt so real and relatable. I loved how proud she was of her own body, and it made me so proud of her too.

‘and if living in my skin has taught me anything it’s that if it’s not your body, it’s not yours to comment on.’

Honestly, this book was such a pleasant surprise. YA contemporary was my favourite genre for a long time, but I’m just not in that space anymore. And I’m completely fine with that. Having said that, coming across gems every once in a while is so lovely. I don’t think I’ll ever completely stop reading the genre, and this book is proof of how much I love the odd one!

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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