By Rachel Caine
Published May 2011, New American Library
Hardback, 337 pages
After discovering that vampires populate her town, college student Claire Danvers knows that the undead just want to live their lives. But someone else wants them to get ready to rumble.This book does something brand new in the series -- Shane's point of view is alternated with Claire's point of view. It is a very good thing that Rachel Caine decides to do this, as I do not think that Claire could have gotten such a good understanding of the lure of the vampire-themed fight club that Shane gets involved with.
There's a new extreme sport getting picked up on the Internet: bare- knuckle fights pitting captured vampires against each other-or humans. Tracking the remote signal leads Claire to discover that what started as an online brawl will soon threaten everyone in Morganville...
We not only get to see into Shane's head, but we also get a fuller understanding of his anger and hatred towards vampires, as well as his internal battle with accepting his sister's death, followed by his mother's death, and his father's abuse and fanaticism. Honestly, it is amazing that Shane has any sanity left at all, considering the life he has lived up to this point. Claire has been like a bright star in his life, and it would be a real tragedy if he were to ever lose her -- which does not look like it will be happening any time soon.
On the flip side, Shane's drastic change in behavior due to the fight club puts Claire's heart through the ringer several times throughout the book and has her considering and reconsidering just how much she really wants to stay in Morganville -- especially when M.I.T., her dream school, starts calling. Luckily, Claire has always been a force to be reckoned with in Morganville, and her instincts are always right on par. Only she can stand up to Amelie, the Founder of Morganville, and come away unscathed, even if barely.
If a vampire fight club is not bad enough to be worthy of a book, a certain "big bad" comes back from the figurative dead to wreak havoc and death. Of course, my favorite character, Myrnin makes the final battle interesting with a few new toys and unforgettable one-liners. His rivalry with the new brain behind the town security system, Frank Collins, provides some fresh entertainment, too. This series just keeps getting better, and I can't wait for the release of the next book, Last Breath.
The Cover: I love the purple, and it is perfect that both Claire and Shane are on the cover, since both of their viewpoints are featured in the book this time around.
First Line: "Looking back on it later, Claire thought she should have known trouble was coming."
This opening gives me chills, since Claire is always so matter-of-fact about a situation that anyone else would be run screaming from.
Favorite Quote: "Eve was all kinds of awesome, when she had the chance to shine. She glittered and flared and was sharp enough to cut, just like a diamond."