Feast of Fools
Published 2008 367 pages
Summary (from the book jacket)
In the town of Morganville, vampires and humans have learnt to live in relative peace. Still, Claire Danvers knows that after dark, her homework can take a backseat to staying alive. But this tenuous harmony is turned on its head with the arrival of Mr Bishop.
Bad to the bone, the ancient old-school vampire cares nothing about keeping the peace; staying at the top of the food chain is enough. What he wants from the town’s living and dead is unthinkably sinister. It’s only at a formal ball attended by vampires and their human dates that Claire realises Bishop’s plan – and the elaborately evil trap he’s set for the warm-blooded souls of Morganville…
Feast of Fools is the fourth book in the Morganville Vampires series by popular fantasy author Rachel Caine. Aimed at Young Adult readers the Morganville Vampires books follow the adventures as a group of young people sharing a house in vampire infested Morganville.
All of the books in this series are part of one long-running story arc, they invariably end with cliff-hanger endings and always start from where the previous book finished. This makes them unsuitable for stand alone reading. The author includes a “The Story So Far” preface in Feast of Fools but this acts more like a brief recap for existing readers than an introduction to the series. For this reason it is recommended to read the Morganville Vampire books in order starting with Glass Houses.
Like all of the preceding books in this series Feast of Fools gallops along at a break neck speed. From the start of the story through to the closing pages and its inevitable cliff-hanger ending the action never lets up as the Claire, the novel’s young protagonist, races to look out for her friends, avoid her enemies (she has managed to make several) and generally advert disaster - something of a daily occurrence in Morganville.
This time the stakes have been raised for Claire because her parents have now moved to town. No longer safely ignorant of Morganville’s vampire secret Claire’s parents are now in as much danger as Claire – something that she had worked hard to avoid. As usual Claire and her friends find themselves in the thick of the action as two opposing vampire factions square up for a battle over the control of Morganville. The home team is lead by Amelie – the away team is lead by Mr Bishop (Amelie’s scary father) but it’s impossible to tell which faction has the advantage…
The novel’s fast pacing ensures that pages will be quickly turned and the journey from the story’s start to finish will be a rocket ride. However the fast pacing doesn’t quite hide a number of noticeable errors in the logic and continuity of the story line. One example would be Michael’s gig at the coffee shop which is a big deal since he hasn’t played his guitar outside his home since he became a vampire – only he already did play in public in Midnight Alley. Another example is when Claire thinks the town’s resident psycho might have been turned into a vampire but he’s harassing her outside in the daytime and he isn’t a ball of flame – so there’s obviously no chance he could be a newly made vampire…
In addition to the odd lapse in logic, some of the characters in this series suffer from a lack of motivation for their actions, making them seem one-dimensional on occasion. In particular Monica comes across as the token popular girl who likes to bully the less popular nerdy kids - a character that is found in most teen novels. Why does she have such an unreasoning hatred of Claire? No idea. Even the school bully usually has a reason…
These are only small gripes so don’t let them put you off Feast of Fools if you are so inclined to read it. Certainly fans of the Morganville Vampires books won’t be disappointed with this instalment of the series since it contains everything that they have come to expect – vampires, danger and high-octane excitement – complete with a cliff-hanger ending that guarantees Lord of Misrule will make most readers “must-buy” list.
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