Saturday, 5 August 2017

Book Review: Ghost Town by Rachel Caine (Morganville Vampires #9)

While developing a new system to maintain the town's defenses, Claire discovers a way to use the vampires' powers to help keep outsiders from spreading news of Morganville's "unique" situation once they've crossed the city limits.

But the new system has an unexpected and possibly deadly consequence: People inside the town start forgetting who and what they are - even the vampires. And when Claire's boyfriend, Shane, and her best friend, Eve, start treating her like a perfect stranger, Claire realizes she has to figure out a way to pull the plug on her experiment - before she forgets how to save herself... and Morganville.

My Review: 
Since the destruction of Ada, the town border in Morganville has not been secure so Claire and Myrnin are trying to fix the problem. Claire is resisting Myrnin's attempts to use another human brain to power it, convinced that there must be a better solution. However when they test the new security, the portals are not working perfectly and the 'forgetting spell' causes people and vampires inside the border to start forgetting things and each other. With her friends affected, Claire has limited time to fix things before she forgets too...

Morganville is unsecure until Claire and Myrnin fix the systems by creating a new computer without a human brain. Myrnin argues (correctly as it turns out) that it will not work properly and Michael is unhappy about Claire's new task, fearing that Myrnin will try to use her brain in the machine, something Shane and Claire herself fears. Shane is unhappy to hear that Frank is now embracing his vampire state and making the best of his situation. Claire is feeling the pressure to get things operational. Myrnin is just Myrnin.

Eve reluctantly goes to a rave to keep a friend company, hoping that Cory will tire of it and they can go home early but a group of jocks gatecrash the party and start a rampage of destruction. They are pursued by a group of furious vampires who had a colleague attacked earlier by the group and they demand payback, placing Eve and the others at the rave in danger. As her friends rush into the venue, Claire's rash actions lead her to be charged with killing a vampire and Amelie has a nasty punishment for her, if she wants to escape execution.

Finally the computer seems to be operational but their relief does not last long. Humans are suddenly forgetting that relatives have died or where they live and work. People are killing themselves. The vampires are convinced that the world has gone wrong and are going crazy. Michael forgets who Claire is several times, thinking a stranger is invading his home yet Myrnin does not believe that the computer is to blame. Claire decides to take the matter to the Elder Council.

The Elder Council is in crisis with a new power play going on between Amelie and Oliver and to Claire's shock, Oliver wins. Ysandre starts making demands about being his second and when he says Amelie will take the position it sends Ysandre into a murderous rage. Oliver listens to Claire telling him about the computer problem and he instructs her to get it fixed before anything else happens but Myrnin is now affected and will not cooperate. But when Amelie forgets, Oliver and Claire become her enemies, and seem to be the only people not affected by the memory issues as they are both outsiders to the town.

I liked a lot of things about this book and having the plot fully back in Morganville was a good start. I love Claire's interactions with Myrnin, and the power play between Amelie and Oliver spilling over into action at last. I very much enjoyed the whole memory loss plotline as it added a lot of new twists to the ongoing story and having Claire and Oliver working together to save the town was good. Amelie was pretty scary with the memory loss and of course sparks fly whenever Myrnin goes off the deep end! My one niggle was when Claire and Shane decide they have to do something to sort the mess but decide to wait until the morning and of course by then, Shane's memory has gone! When time is of the essence you can't just wait til the next day, you must act now!

Overall I found this enjoyable as it featured not just the usual action and humour, but the emotional issues of dealing with the memory loss in the people you love. It was a good story and of course, Myrnin serves up a shock for Claire at the end!

Read June 2017
4 stars. 

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