The Bitter Bite of Change and the Dead (Bitter Blood – A Book Review)

Bitter Blood (The Morganville Vampires #13)

Author: Rachel Caine

Published: 2012

On Goodreads

My Rating:

Rated B for bittersweet and benevolent intentions that bite

For years, the human and vampire residents of Morganville, Texas, have managed to coexist in peace but now that the threat to the vampires has been defeated, the human residents are learning that the gravest danger they face it the enemy within…

The draug have been defeated, but there is much unrest across unrest Morganville still. The greatest enemies of the town vampires have been defeated and now nothing stands in their way. The air shifts and rules long thought to be thrown away are set back in motion with special, and horrifying, additions. Morganville is now a hunting ground and no human is safe, especially with the dangerous and even volatile Oliver at the helm of all fo this. It’s survival of the fittest and the consequences of even that are deadly.

While trying to deal with the new changes, Claire and her friends of the Glass House are on the cusp of change. Change that shakes them all. Michael and Eve are ready to find their own place. And Shane, is wondering if he and Claire are ready for that next step as well. Claire’s head is spinning with all of this change and she has to resort her priorities, but as all of them are handling this, their home threatens to crumble from beneath them when dark forces come in to rip them apart.

The Morganville Vampires series is 1 of 3 that I am rereading as a part of my New Year’s Resolution. This is 13 of 15 books.

The Morganville Vampires Reviews

The Morganville Vampires Vol. 1: Glass Houses & The Dead Girls’ Dance

The Morganville Vampires Vol. 2: Midnight Alley & Feast of Fools

The Morganville Vampires Vol. 3: Lord of Misrule & Carpe Corpus

The Morganville Vampires Vol. 4: Fade Out & Kiss of Death

Ghost Town

Bite Club

Last Breath

Suggy Emotions

This was definitely one of those ones that gave me an emotional breakdown. From all of the twists to the realization that this is the final stretch for the series, I was slowly becoming a train wreck the further I got in the book. You know when you feel how far your beloved characters have come and all they’ve gone through. I’m feeling it now. Every time I read this series I feel it right her with this book. It just punches you in the heart. Michael and Eve are gearing up for the married life. Claire is finally ready to go to MIT. Even Morganville is changing. All of the rocky progress the town has been making finally comes to a head. Like all rights movements there are riots and protests and voices desperate to be heard all on the cusp of a new era.

And, of course, it’s not Morganville if there’s not something that makes everything extra complicated. While the town is on the verge of war, a reality TV show shows up looking for the supernatural. They came to the right place, but the question isn’t if they’ll find proof of the supernatural, because they will, it’s will they make it out alive?

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Caine has a talent for transition and growth. It really showed in this one. It was like a tsunami hitting me. I just suddenly realized and actually thought about how far the characters have come since book 1: Glass Houses. It’s like that quote, which oddly resonates with Claire so well: “One day you’re seventeen and planning for someday. And then quietly and without you ever really noticing, someday is today. And that someday is yesterday. And this is your life.”. And yes, I totally One Tree Hill-ed this. Sure, Claire’s, and the rest of the Glass House’s lives aren’t quiet. Not by a long shot. And it’s barely been two years since Claire arrived, if that. But, still. Someday became today, and she’s blinked and boom. Life happened. Is happening. And she’s really just seeing it now. Caine got me to feel that so hard.

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It was despair, heartache, and distrust in this book. An old foe thought to be dead was playing some major puppet games and it destroyed everyone. Naomi, Amelie’s sister through vampire father (Bishop) was playing a dangerous game of chess that threatened to do much worse than upend the Texas town. And while Claire and the Glass House and the rest of the town survived and defeated her, there were lasting effects. This one was felt like a lasting scar that always turns red under warm water, as if to remind it’s there. I just ached for everyone, even Oliver, and he’s a real fecking jerk. Some tears were seriously had.

Also, on a side note, I am done with Eve’s shade about Claire not being a true Morganville townie. Like, I get it. You don’t want that, but she slings that and it’s now an insult because it’s at this point that Claire is only looking to preserve the humanity of her friends so that they don’t become just as bad as the vampires. It has nothing to do with being from Morganville and knowing better. For Claire, it’s always been about salvaging hope and humanity in others. Calm your shit, Eve and stop telling Claire to drop the attitude when you don’t.

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The struggle between vampires and humans reached an unsurmountable level, really leaving a tension that would snap if even breathed on. It was crazy! I love crazy! And the mysterious figure, Captain Obvious rose back up to take the helm, but after getting killed back in the beginning, guessing who the new one was left my heading spinning. Amelie, not for the first time, but definitely in a clever way, was turned away from wanting to do better for her town. It left a major feeling of shock throughout me because it was something she really wanted not just for humans but for vampires as well. The sudden change of character was a whisplash of the scary variety. She wasn’t the only either. Hannah Moses, badass of the human race, also switched up. After the loss of Richard (which I still mourn), it’s understandable.

Both of these characters changing also showcased and reminded me of how many have been lost, not to mention how many characters have left Morganville since the beginning: Sam, Ada, Frank, Richard, Morley, Miranda, Gina, Jennifer, Detective Lowe, Detective Hess, and it goes on. But thinking about it really leaves me with a heavy heart. It really all just hit me, guys. This book’ll do that.

The cameo of Alyssa blew me away! Completely unexpected and breathtaking. This really brought Shane’s backstory full circle and added ghosts to the list of supernaturals that exist in the MV world. Alyssa is such a personal part of Shane and this arc of his is incredibly important. It was just amazing and broke my heart at the same time. While it doesn’t entirely involve Claire, it’s easy to understand that she’d want to help any way she can though it’s not easy. It’s something I love about Claire. She’s always wanting to help others even though it may put her life in danger.

Overall

So much happened! I laughed, I cried, I raged. Most of all, I felt the life-change and growth of babies to adults. Freaking precious but also incredibly bitter. This is 13 books in! Like, damn!

I loved this book so much! And trust me, I’ve barely revealed anything. The sharp twists are like a knife to the heart and the heartbreak feels real, but so does the love and fight. Just phenomenal. At such a fast pace, this really was one of those that you can’t put down after you start it. There never feels like a good spot to put it down and I didn’t want to. I’m always going to recommend this and the entire series.

Quotables:

Ah, Morganville. Where dressing to hide bloodstains was just good daily planning.” (Claire, p. 28)

“I came to Morganville to create something unique in the history of the world…a place where humans and vampires could coexist in the relative safety, if not always peace. I will not allow Oliver to pervert that achievement into nothing more than his own personal…hunting preserve! It’s a perversion of what Amelie intended here. And if she won’t recognize it, I must do it for her.” (Myrnin, p. 52)

“You came here looking for ghosts, and they found you. And that dangerous. There’s—okay, I can’t explain so much of it, but there’s power here. Old power. And sometimes the dead can use it if you give them access. You opened up the tap, I guess. And now we need to shut it off before something worse happens.” (Miranda to Jenn, p. 283)

“The trick to doing the impossible, I‘ve found is to simply never think past what is at your fingerprints. Do the thing in front of you.” (Myrnin, p. 296)

More to come soon…                                                                                                

  -K.

P.S. Song today? Hold On by Chord Overstreet.

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