Feast of Fools is the 4th book in The Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine.
Here's what has happened so far
Claire Danvers moved to Morganville to go to college early at 16. After being bullied in the dorms by Monica and her popular friends, Claire moved into Glass House with Michael, Shane and Eve, where she soon discovered that Morganville was ran by vampires. Michael was a ghost and now he's a vampire, Shane is Claire's boyfriend and Eve is her best friend. Shane's crazy Dad turned up and tried to take out the vampires. Claire had to sign herself over to Amelie to ensure protection for her and her friends which resulted in working for Myrnin, a crazy, sick vampire. Eve's brother came back after being in jail and dead girls began to turn up all over the place. Then, Mr Bishop, Amelie's father turned up and he seems to be the scariest vampire of them all.
Feast of Fools
The vampires in Morganville thought that Mr Bishop was long dead, properly dead, and that he could never come back. When they learn of his arrival, panic begins to set in. Once it is known that he is in town, invitations are sent out for a huge masked ball but it seems that Claire and Myrnin are the only ones not attending. Even Shane gets invited by Ysandre, one of Mr Bishop's 'friends'.
Claire and Myrnin are still working on the cure to his disease but they aren't getting very far. All of the vampires are taking human dates to the ball and it's down to Claire and Myrnin to take time out from their research to figure out what Mr Bishop's plans are before it's too late.
What I thought
If you haven't read any of the Morganville books and you start with this one, you are going to be one very confused reader. Rachel Caine does provide a 'story so far' in the beginning of the book but I really feel like, due to the long running story, that you need to start with book 1, Glass Houses.
So at the end of Midnight Alley, Mr Bishop and his vampire friends turned up at Glass House so the beginning of this book was quite action packed. Claire, Shane, Michael and Eve know that there is something terrifying about him but think they can handle him but soon find out just how wrong they were. I loved how there was so much going on in the first chapter because it gave me an idea of what the rest of the book was going to be like. Each book in this series so far has had a little theme going on and this one's was definitely action. From books 1 to 3, there has been a lead up to something HUGE happening and this is where it all comes to a head, for a little while at least. This is Morganville after all.
Claire's character development seems to come to a bit of a stand-still in this book but not necessarily in a bad way, not in my eyes anyway. 3 books in and Claire has already learnt a great deal about her new home and what actually goes on there so apart from little mysteries here and there, she doesn't really have much to learn in that department. Claire has already grown quite a lot as a character and has gone from not really knowing much about the world, to fending off vampires, answering back and having a steady, older boyfriend so in many ways, she now seems a lot older than she was to begin with. I really like the new kick-ass side to Claire because she although she is actually terrified, she'll still do whatever it takes to save the day without a second thought.
Some of the secondary characters, especially Sam, really came into their own in Feast of Fools and we get to see a completely different side to the vampires. Just when I thought I had certain vampires sussed, they did something that made me change my mind and end up not really knowing what they are like at all. The twists that Rachel Caine throws into each book is what keeps the series so interesting and addictive.
Rachel Caine puts a lot of effort and detail into the descriptions in each book which makes me really feel like a part of the story. I can totally imagine walking through the streets of Morganville, sitting in Common Grounds coffee shop and sitting on the sofa in Glass House playing zombie games. It isn't very often that I feel this much a part of the story but the way it is written makes me feel like I am just another lodger in Glass House.
I'm finding it very hard to pick a favourite out of these books so far because so much and different things happen in each one to make them stand out from the next. I will say though that this one would be at least near the top of the list due to how action packed it was. I really liked that there was a whole story going on here and not just something thrown in around the romance aspect. The romances are important in these books but not as much as the plot.
After 4 books, I'm still as hooked as I was to begin with so I know I'm going to be a fan the whole way through. Roll on book #5: Lord of Misrule.