Book review: Ghost Town by Rachel Caine

Yes, it’s another Morganville Vampires book review. For me these things are like text crack for so many reasons, but chief among them is that the series creates a world where vampires are well aware of their outnumbered position and are cautious to avoid being hunted to extinction. One thing that’s been a pet peeve of mine with the stereotypical vampire story is their indiscriminate killing sprees combined with the “What is this thing?!” trope. If a vampire left half as many drained, fang-pocked bodies lying around, there’s no way vampires could be a well kept secret, is there? And yet, the tired trope plays out over and over in horror.

But not in Morganville. Instead, the vampires have created a town where they rule silently over a population of humans who can’t leave thanks to a barrier created by a computer system augmented with a vampire’s brain. Or rather, that’s been the case for a long time, and in the last two books, the vampire brain who ran things went crazy and tried to expose the town with the help of an overly ambitious human. Ada, the vampire running the barrier, was rebooted, but ended up killing herself, leaving the town exposed.

So at the start of Ghost town, Claire is tasked with the impossible, creating a barrier to protect the town without using a brain. Myrnin, her vampire boss, helps her to craft a new system, but soon after it goes active, people begin going crazy. The machine affects both humans and vampires, and soon everyone is losing their minds, even elder vampires like Amelie. Claire must find a way to shut down the machine, a task made even more difficult because Myrnin has also lost his memories and has reverted into his former maddened state. Continue reading


Open call for beta readers

Last night I completed edits of my next release, a pair of sci-fi novellas titled Sex Doll Divorce and Family Planning and Sex Doll Therapy and Rehabilitation, and I am now ready to look for beta readers.

These are sequels to the two novellas I released in 2011 under the combined title The Life and Death of a Sex Doll. The first two books followed the development of Ashley Braun, a Sensu-Doll modified to act as a daughter to a lonely stock broker, Kelly Braun. Being raised as a family member made Ashley a unique entity, a cybernetic companion given more independence than most of her factory built “relatives.” The first two books offered an often humorous and almost utopian view of the future, with several critics calling the ending of the second novella a bit too sweet and perfect. Continue reading


Visual art: Alexander Jansson

Here’s yet another artist I’ve found on Facebook, which is becoming my site for finding pretty/weird things to admire. (And you thought it was just for cat pictures.) This particular artist’s site also brought me an update I didn’t expect in the form of a book cover for the next John A. Lindqvist novel. (SQEEEEEEEE!) It’s called Himmelstrand, and from little news I can find online, the English title should be We the Infected. Definitely looking forward to getting my hands on that whenever it comes out.

You can check out his portfolio and bio at http://www.alexanderjansson.com/

In other news, yes, I know my updates are real slow these days. I’m trying to stick to editing during my waking hours. I’ve just finished editing In the Mouth of the Wolf (Alice the Wolf book 3) and have sent it off to my beta reader. I still have to work my way through books 4 and 5, and then I have to get the last Sex Doll novella edited and emailed to the beta reader.

I am currently playing Witcher 3 and Diablo 3, but I don’t expect to have a review for either for quite some time. Sorry about that. But there should be another book review in a week or so. (Another Morganville Vampires book, big shock.) Eventually, I hope to get to more frequent updates, so I hope you’ll bear with me during this slow update period.


Book review: Kiss of Death by Rachel Caine

You had to know my next review was going to be for another Morganville Vampires book, and you probably shouldn’t be surprised that the next will be another. As a series, this has to be one of my favorites of all time, with vampires tat are morally ambiguous yet still committed to their methods of staying hidden from most humans. But Kiss of Death may be my least favorite book of the series for what I consider to be a couple of missteps. I’ll get to that soon.

This book opens with Claire and her friends being given passes to leave town and travel to Dallas, where Michael is scheduled to record tracks with a big-time studio. There’s a catch to this gift, not surprisingly, and the group must travel with Oliver acting as their escort. Oliver is riding along for other reasons, and soon everyone else is pulled into his plans when they all go horribly wrong.

What bothered me was what happens when Claire, Eve, Shane, and Michael roll into a little town looking for a place to eat. They are instantly set upon by the locals in what vaguely reminds me of a rehash of Deliverance. Continue reading


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. Continue reading


Book excerpt: A Wolf In Girl’s Clothing, Chapter 31

Here’s the third and final excerpt from A Wolf In Girl’s Clothing, this time from chapter 31:

A grey Audi pulls into our driveway, and my cousin Evan Saunders opens the rear door on the driver’s side. I haven’t seen him in ages, but that’s because his parents blamed me for us becoming play cousins. I wasn’t solely responsible, though. It was a mutual agreement to be bad.

Age hasn’t changed him much, maybe adding some extra flare to his jaw. But he’s still got the same narrow chin, slim nose, and thin lips. Something about the shape of his round brown eyes is different, though I can’t say what it is. He’s let his brown hair grow out long and wavy, covering his ears, forehead, and most of his neck. He’s also growing some facial hair, but the wispy fluff on his upper lip and chin don’t qualify as a proper moustache and goatee.

Evan looks a lot taller, but he’s got the family’s thin frame. If his folks had enrolled him at Uncle John’s gym, he would have fit in. He’s got to be in some kind of sport, because his thighs stretch out the legs of his jeans. But his black T-shirt, emblazoned with a logo for Metallica, is baggy and makes it harder to assess his upper body.

I jump up and start across the yard. “Evan!” Continue reading


Book excerpt: A Wolf In Girl’s Clothing, Chapter 25

Here’s the second of three excerpts from A Wolf In Girl’s Clothing:

By the time I reach the second night of my trip, my knife is humming in my bag, and I know I’m close to my wolf. I’m going to find her tonight, and then I’ll find out if I’m really programmed for the task of killing and skinning a living creature.

The idea bothers me, but it’s not like I can avoid this. The alternative is driving myself insane every full moon, and that’s assuming there aren’t worse side effects that no one knows about. No one’s done any experiments to find out what happens if a skinwalker ignores the calling of their totem animal, and I’m not willing to be the guinea pig even if my curiosity is picking at the idea. Continue reading


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