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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And you think college life is rough?
"Midnight Alley" is the third novel in the Morganville Vampires series. While the series is written for young adults, it's a great read for older fantasy fans, too. While you can read "Midnight Alley" without reading the two prior novels, it's fascinating to see how each novel builds on each other developing complex characters and storylines.

If you've not...
Published on October 3, 2007 by R. Kyle

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It made me a little angry
For Claire Danvers to be so smart, she it quite possibly the dumbest person I have ever read about. I mean the decisions she makes are clearly the wrong decisions yet she just jumps head first into making them. Yes, you can argue that she's only 16 and new to Morganville and living without her parent's influence, but really that's not an excuse. when I was sixteen I...
Published on December 22, 2007 by Dani Deranged


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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And you think college life is rough?, October 3, 2007
This review is from: Midnight Alley (Morganville Vampires, Book 3) (Mass Market Paperback)
"Midnight Alley" is the third novel in the Morganville Vampires series. While the series is written for young adults, it's a great read for older fantasy fans, too. While you can read "Midnight Alley" without reading the two prior novels, it's fascinating to see how each novel builds on each other developing complex characters and storylines.

If you've not read a "Morganville Vampires" novel yet, I'll bring you up to speed. Claire Danvers is a brilliant young woman who graduated from high school early. Instead of sending her away to faraway MIT as Claire herself had wanted, her parents sent her to Morganville, Texas and TPU--Texas Plains University.

Claire quickly learned that only the strong survive in the womens' dorm. While she's brilliant, she's not so smart in learning who not to mess with and she manages to anger Monica Morrell, who pushes her down the stairs.

Realizing she's not going to live if she stays on campus, she seeks a place to hide and finds it in the Glass House. (Also the title of the first book in the series) Three other people live there: Michael Glass, a mysterious young man, Shane Collins, a rebel, and Eve, a goth girl. They initially do not want to take Claire in since she's underage, but do so to keep her safe--and she stays.

Claire learns from them that Morganville is run by vampires. TPU is essentially a blood bank for their use and a certain number of students are 'disposable'. Claire has to walk a very thin line not to become part of that group--particularly since Monica Morrell's father is the mayor and they're one of the most influential non-vamp families in town.

In order to stay safe, humans in the know sign contracts with powerful vampires who act as their protectors in exchange for monthly donations to the town's blood bank and the vamp's control of what the person does.

So--why doesn't the town get busted? That's the question Claire asked and probably what you are wondering as well. Very few of the kids on campus actually know about the vampires. Only residents do and they generally do not leave Morganville. There's a spell on the town where people who leave forget about the vampires. If they happen to remember, the vamps send an assassination squad and eliminate the problem.

In the second book of the series, "Dead Girls Dance," Claire and her three friends end up getting in a lot of trouble when Shane Collins' father returns. Mr. Collins is one of the rare folk who can keep his memory outside of Morganville and he's bent on killing every bloodsucker in the town as well as the humans who help them. In order to keep herself and her friends safe, Claire signs a contract with Amelie, the oldest vampire and ruler of Morganville. Michael is forced to become a vampire or die. He's the first new vampire in over 50 years and quite a celebrity among them since new vamps cannot be made.

That brings us to date. Claire's not told her friends what she'd done to keep them safe. Amelie sends her the bracelet that she's required to wear as part of the deal.

What Claire didn't realize is that Amelie didn't just want a pint of blood once in a while. She wants Claire to become an apprentice to Myrnin, one of the oldest vampires around and a brilliant alchemist and scientist. At first, that seems like more of a favor to the super-studious Claire, but she quickly learns that her mentor is mentally unstable and dangerous. The research she's doing could potentially help the vampires--does she want to do that?

Does she have a choice?

Meanwhile, Captain Obvious, who runs an underground newspaper in Morganville for the humans has outed Michael as the newest vampire and slates him for execution.

Oh yes, and Eve's crazy brother Justin is out of jail and coming to exact revenge on her for turning him in. The corpse of a young girl is dumped in the trash of the Glass House, casting suspicion on Shane as the culprit.

And if that was not enough, Monica Morrell wants to at least be allies with Claire. This is a dangerous alliance indeed.

To date, "Midnight Alley" is the best of the Morganville Vampires series. It's not belabored with the setup of the two prior novels and the characters are well-established. The action is non-stop and the book is as hard to walk away from as a bowl of dark chocolate M&Ms.

One caveat: if you are a person who likes novels to have stand alone novels within a series, you may have trouble with Morganville. You'll get some answers from book to book, but the storylines continue with each of the series. Fortunately for the readers, this isn't too much of a problem since "Morganville" is coming out every few months instead of making us wait a year or more for the next addition.

And "Midnight Alley" leaves me with such a slam-dunk ending, I am going to be waiting anxiously for the next episode.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Book 3, November 4, 2007
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This review is from: Midnight Alley (Morganville Vampires, Book 3) (Mass Market Paperback)
This third book in the Morganville Vampires series begins where the second left off. Claire Danvers had signed a contract pledging herself to Amelie in return for the protection of those she cares for. Amelie is the town's Founder. She is the oldest, scariest vampire of all. Claire now wears a Patron bracelet.

Claire still resides in Glass House with Eve, Michael, and Shane. Michael and Shane are still buds, but there is some major friction between them now. Then there is Claire's archenemy, Monica Morell. Claire detects the strange scent of oddity, of something rotten, when Monica starts showing up and begins acting as though she wants to become one of Claire's closest friends.

Amelie demands Claire become an apprentice to an ancient vampire and begins some private lessons in his secluded home. Claire will soon discover why.

**** Holy bloodsuckers! Author Rachel Caine delights with this installment of the M.V. series. Readers will actually find out HOW and WHY the town of Morganville even exists. As I watched various characters turn from friend to enemy (within seconds) and the darker side of college life emerge, I detected flavors of P.N. Elrod and R.L. Stine. I can't help but wonder if the stories by Elrod and/or Stine had somehow inspired Caine as she began writing this series. Each installment had many hidden surprises that kept me on the edge of my seat. The only major down side is that each book left me hanging, like an old Batman show. ****

Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It made me a little angry, December 22, 2007
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Dani Deranged "Da(m)ni(t)" (south of appalachee, north of ocala) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Midnight Alley (Morganville Vampires, Book 3) (Mass Market Paperback)
For Claire Danvers to be so smart, she it quite possibly the dumbest person I have ever read about. I mean the decisions she makes are clearly the wrong decisions yet she just jumps head first into making them. Yes, you can argue that she's only 16 and new to Morganville and living without her parent's influence, but really that's not an excuse. when I was sixteen I wasn't nearly as clueless as the author made Claire out to be. I honestly don't know how she makes it through the books without dieing.

Besides that little cunundrum I thought the book was good, but completely predictable. At this point the vampires have become two dimensional, which is a disappointment because the concept is quite interesting.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great moments, but lacks the "ooomph!" of the two previous books., January 6, 2010
This review is from: Midnight Alley (Morganville Vampires, Book 3) (Mass Market Paperback)
It's business as usual. Murder and mayhem abound in Morganville and the Glass House residents are up to their ears in trouble. If vampire politics weren't enough, the four roommates now face in-fighting and trust issues with each other.

Caine introduced Myrnin, the most compelling Morganville vampire to date. His characterization is a work of genius, he both moved me and terrified me, got under my skin as the other Morganville vampires haven't managed to do. The scene in Chapter 12 where he barely allows Claire to flee his lair chilled me even as his misfortunes brought a lump to my throat. Myrnin's "retirement" is a heartbreaking relief. In Myrnin's characterization, Caine painted astonishing dichotomy and raised the stakes Claire holds in utilizing her talents to assist Morganville's monster population. Vampires may be the baddies, but I honestly don't want Myrnin to end his days entombed alive, separated from all the knowledge and learning he's earned over his lifetime.

Another reviewer cited "Midnight Alley" as "filler" in the series. The novel is filler as far as fleshing out Shane, Michael, and Eve. Michael's still holding my interest, but Shane seems more and more so "Mr. Wrong" for Claire his scenes are starting to bother me. He never seems to do much of anything beyond initiating arguments or fistfights and telling everybody else why their decisions and choices are wrong. I'm not liking him a bit. The novel threw table scraps concerning Eve's bad blood with her family, particularly her presumably psychotic brother, Jason. I didn't complete the read feeling I'd found out anything nifty or new about the Glass House residents, and that disappointed me.

Additional disappointment is the aspect of Claire's contract with Amelie, Morganville's vampiress Founder. I have numerous issues with this storyline due to its inconsistency. Claire is a minor (unless she was legally emancipated by her parents.) Therefore, any contract she enters can be nullified by her parents or by Claire herself upon reaching adult age. I realize this is a paranormal series, but my understanding in Book 1 ("Glass Houses") was that minors were effectively "off limits" to Morganville's vampire population; children are effectively under the same "protection" as their parents.

Even though Claire is now "Protected," I have to question the value of this alleged protection since her "Protector" sent her on an assignment clearly intended to result in Claire's death. To my mind, this assignment qualifies as a "dealbreaker" in the contract. It also demonstrated duplicity and unreliability in Amelie that bothered me since, earlier in the series, Amelie cheerfully advised Claire she would never harm her without informing her prior to taking action.

Nor has Amelie's "Protection" proved to have much value elsewhere. If anything, Claire and the gang end up in hot water regularly, and with the same problems and threats prior to Claire entering contract with Amelie. Plus, Claire must now put up with additional grief from Amelie's rivals and enemies. The sole "improvement" I've discerned in the arrangement is that Monica Morrell and her Goon Girl Clique stopped terrorizing Claire. Somehow, signing away one's life for that one perk is a tad overkill.

I'd hoped for and was glad to see some depth and dimension developed in Monica's character. While I still don't find her genuine, it interested me to learn more about her practical motives.

I'd like to see Claire Danvers lose her Mary Sue status and be free to function as a real character. It's getting tiresome and predictable fast. Morganville Character meets Claire. If Character is a "good guy," s/he likes Claire immediately and treats her very well. If Chracter = "bad guy," s/he hates and abuses Claire and demonstrates psychoses. Everyone reports to Claire for whatever problem or issue occurs relevant to the storyline, even when it makes no sense.

My quibbles may sound nit-picky, and maybe the average reader doesn't share them. A good series should connect all the books in a cohesive, credible way. Yes, we'd like to witness evolution, growth, and change. But the chaotic element shading Caine's charactertizations of the vampires is getting harder to take in. Bottom line: most all are all neurotic (with good reason,) murderous (sometimes without good reason), and untrustworthy. People like that are hard to do business with. At this point, Claire can't trust Amelie to even safeguard Claire's own life and health. Claire has been slated for murder and plied with narcotics as a "study aid" by her "benefactress" or with her blessing. Now what?

My final peeve is the new cliffhanger ending of "Midnight Alley" which is not new at all, but a recycled double whammy of the "Glass Houses" cliffhanger. Rather than hurrying to load my "Feast of Fools" ebook, I found myself rolling my eyes and shaking my head. After the delicious poignant terror of Myrnin's storyline and its painful resolution, the novel's finale read to me as contrived and uninspiring. I think I would have digested it better if Caine hinted at the surprise earlier in the story. Some of the "surprise visitors" have no reason to visit the Glass House (apart from providing Caine with an opportunity to shock/surprise her readers.)

Overall, I'm not sorry I read "Midnight Alley" because Myrnin's story made the flaws worth the read. but I hope "Feast of Fools" is better than this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars really awful, February 9, 2012
This review is from: Midnight Alley (Morganville Vampires, Book 3) (Mass Market Paperback)
Claire is a big eyed cow while Buffy was a smart kid.

I had to get that out of my system. Now. Claire has a morality problem. She wants to be a good girl and a good person. She doesn't have the faintest clue how. She continuously sacrifices her friends' welfare to save rapists and murderers. A girl pushes her down the stairs and she decides to help her even if it means the boyfriend she says she cares for is near death's door and needs her support. She is trying to save the vampire race despite the fact they enslave, torture and murder the residents of an entire town. She is painted as a caring heroine in this series but her behavior at best is that of a really stupid, morally challenged birdbrain and at worst, a collaborator whose cowardice has completely suborned her moral sense. On top of all that, she is a slow thinking, clumsy elephant with a strong tendancy to masochism.

This is SUCH a poorly thought out series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ~good but the second one was better~, July 27, 2010
This review is from: Midnight Alley (Morganville Vampires, Book 3) (Mass Market Paperback)
I'm still a huge fan of these books but for some reason this one didn't have the same spark of the last one. Although if you're looking for a great cliff hanger type ending, this book has a good one!

***Spoilers below***

At the end of book 2 Claire agrees to sign a contract making her basicly Amelie's property for protection for her and her friends. For a while that didn't really make things any different for Claire....until Amelie introduces her to Myrnin. He's a vampire and he's brilliant. He's also very sick and slowly loosing his mind. Claire is ordered to work with the vampire to create a cure for the disease that is taking control of Myrnin and eventually all of the vampires of Morganville. The relationship that develops between the two characters is so cool. It's funny, intense, scary and keeps you tense the whole time you read about them. Due to this disease Myrnin's state of mind can change at the drop of a dime.

That's the biggest plot of this book. It was good but not as much action as the previous book. Like I said though, the end....super good!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars spoilers inside, November 12, 2009
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This review is from: Midnight Alley (Morganville Vampires, Book 3) (Mass Market Paperback)
Spoilers for book 1 (Glass Houses) and book 2 (Dead Girl's Dance).

Since I'm assuming y'all read Book 2 by now I can freely say that I hated how Shane acted throughout much of the book. I understand that he was under pressure and that he was mentally, physically and emotionally beaten down by his dad, but I'm not sure that excuses all of his jackass behavior. Unfortunately if I thought he would improve in this book I was obviously mental. His attitude in general is horrific for much of the book and his attitude towards Michael in particular is worthy of a quick slap upside his head with a frying pan. I wish I was joking.

The troubles for Claire and Co. just keeps coming. Yes they successfully saved Shane and stopped his dad from making a mondo-mistake...but the trade off was Michael is now a full fledged Vamp, Claire is pledged to Amelie and the part of the town that didn't already distrust and dislike Shane now has joined the other side. Not to mention Eve's brother Jason is still creeping (literally) around the town, Oliver has a score to settle, Amelie's independent study for Claire is this side of crazed and oh yeah Monica seems to think that Claire is the newest coolest toy in the whole wide world.

I still contend that Michael and Claire's chemistry is better then either Eve/Michael or Claire/Shane. They just...get one and other, understand almost immediately if something is wrong. True that was hampered by Michael going vamp (though a more gorgeous vamp you'll never meet apparently), but the two connect. Its hard for me not to see that romantically (especially as Claire seems apt to calling him gorgeous every little while).

Amelie proves to be more then her mettle in this book. Cracks appear in her demeanor and Claire is quick (unfortunately) to pick up on those cracks. Despite what is said I think Amelie does have a sort of fondness for Claire, though I fear its the sort that one feels for their pet goldfish. Two new characters are introduced in this book, well technically one because the other sort of showed up in Book 2, and both are dangerous. On different levels however and both are connected to Amelie. Oh and the reappearance of two other characters is less welcome.

I think the most interesting addition is Myrnin, a very old vampire friend of Amelie who studies alchemy and is losing his mind. Has been for years upon years. A well guarded secret even amongst those she trusts, Myrnin alternates between utterly charming (in a crazed manic sort of way) to cruel, dangerous and manipulative. He's a wonderful character though! He's never completely sane quite frankly and even when he's mostly sane he's really not. A true mad genius.

The end, as usual, leaves us with a tasty predicament for the Glass House residents specifically and Morganville in general. Its ends like these that make me happy I waited till I had a good chunk of the series to read at once. I don't know if I would like having to wait.
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15 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars All filler., October 5, 2007
This review is from: Midnight Alley (Morganville Vampires, Book 3) (Mass Market Paperback)
While this series is written for young adults genre, I still found myself engulfed in the world of Morgansville Vamps in the first two books. Sadly, the third in the series didn't meet my expectations.

While I think the storyline created my Rachel Caine is excellent and inventive; this particular book went absolutely no where. Nothing really happened-- it was like a whole lot of side story being squished together in desperate measures to make a book. The characters didn't grow at all, and their relationships didn't change.

Shane had his tantrums as usual. Claire was the peacemaker with no backbone. Michael's a vampire, oh my. Nothing really happened w goth girl.

Best put, it would be like the first two books were big screen productions that made millions, and the third book was a made-for-tv episode-- which sure you'd watch it and not hate it; but it would be all filler and no substance.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, June 22, 2014
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Another great addition to the series! Claire shows just how good of a person she is with her relationship with her new teacher, assisting in research to cure vampiric disease. I was a bit annoyed by her boyfriend, but I suppose that's what boyfriends are for.

The ending is unexpected and perfectly pages the way to book four. I can't wait to read it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hello crazy..., February 29, 2012
This review is from: Midnight Alley (Morganville Vampires, Book 3) (Mass Market Paperback)
To protect her friends Claire has pledged herself to Amelie the founder of Morganville. Claire knows that they won't be happy about this and she is desperately trying to hide what she has done. A part of her pledge means taking advanced classes at school and private Alchemy lessons from a not-so stable vampire named Myrnin. Claire knows that Amelie has a hidden agenda and when Claire finally realises what it is, she finds out about a secret that could place her in great danger with the vampires of Morganville.

All of the books pick up straight where the last finished and it means your never having to wonder what has happened in between the books.

This book has just the right mix of twists and turns with never a dull moment.

The action in Midnight Alley is well-paced and the storyline is intriguing and had me from the beginning. As always, we get the staple Rachel Caine cliff-hanger that will ensure readers rush off to get Feast of Fools as soon as they have finished reading Midnight Alley.
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Midnight Alley (Morganville Vampires, Book 3)
Midnight Alley (Morganville Vampires, Book 3) by Rachel Caine (Mass Market Paperback - October 2, 2007)
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