Midnight Alley is the third book in The Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine.
Here is what has happened so far
Claire Danvers moved to Morganville to go to college early at age 16. After a lot of hassle from popular Monica and her friends, including death threats, Claire moves into Glass House with Michael, Shane and Eve. Shane is now Claire's boyfriend, Eve is her best friend and Michael the musician was a ghost but is now a vampire (A lot can happen in two books). Shane's Dad came to town to take out all of the vampires which ended up landing Shane in jail and being sentences to death but Claire worked out a deal with Amelie to save everyone.
After signing to Amelie, Claire must now do pretty much whatever she wants without question. What Amelie wants Claire to do is work with a crazy scientist vampire who is quite insane as well as take some advanced classes, which come complete with a scholarship. Myrnin, the scientist is crazy because he has a disease, one that will slowly infect all of the vampires in Morganville sooner or later. It is Claire's job to learn all that she can from Myrnin in order to find a cure before the disease can wipe out the vampires but Myrnin isn't helping matters by forgetting things and trying to bite Claire.
There's also news that Eve's brother is out of jail and back in Morganville but as soon as this happens, dead girls start appearing and they don't seem to have been killed by vampires. Was it Jason? Claire, Shane and Eve are all trying to deal with the fact that Michael is now a vampire and they are unsure of how to live with him and how to act around him. Life in Morganville is never a walk in the park.
What I thought
After knowing that Claire had signed herself over to Amelie, I was very curious to see what she would be getting her to do. The idea of sending Claire off to some vampire losing his mind to help with research into saving their race was very interesting. Amelie obviously knows that Claire wouldn't really want to save the vampires, should she have the chance but it seems as though Claire is the only one able to do the job, seeing as she is so clever, a quick learner and always wants a challenge.
Claire seems to change a lot in this book compared to the previous two. Everyone is telling her not to trust Myrnin but she refuses to listen, doing whatever she thinks is best instead. She knows that Myrnin can be dangerous but is also able to see the good, which she does with a lot of people. What I love about Claire as a whole is that she is quite normal, apart from her intelligence. She has emotions and problems just like any other normal teenager but hers just involve vampires. There are a lot of people who try to tell her what is best for her and what she should/ shouldn't be doing but Claire is turning into a strong young woman who can think and act for herself. She's always ready to face the consequences for what she does but always believes in what she is doing.
Myrnin is one of the best written characters in this whole series so far because he is so complex. He's a very old vampire with a lot of life experience and is extremely clever. He was anyway until he began to get sick and lose his mind. Myrnin is quite a funny character because he has been stuck inside for such a long time that he doesn't have any real sense of what is going on in the outside world and he is very much stuck in whatever time it was when he left the real world. Due to how much time Claire spends with Myrnin, her understanding of the vampires on a whole grows and she begins to show some signs of compassion for certain people. Claire's time with Myrnin also gives us a little more insight into the history of the vampires, Amelie especially.
In the first two books in the series, the vampires have all been bad guys (as they should be really) but in Midnight Alley, things are beginning to change. A couple of vampires are beginning to show emotions and more of a human side than I thought was possible for those in Morganville. I'm glad it was only a couple of characters because one of the biggest things that I love about these books is that vampires are as bad as they're supposed to be. Also, even though the humans were shown as the good guys to begin with, slowly more and more are showing their true feelings about the vampires and living in Morganville. Having good guys on the bad guys side and vice versa spices up the story a bit, making me unsure of who is really on either side. I liked this aspect because it really kept me guessing about what was happening.
While Michael and Eve's relationship progresses (well as much as it possibly can with him being a vampire now), Claire and Shane don't seem to be going anywhere. As I explained in my previous review of The Dead Girls' Dance, Shane refuses to have sex until Claire is 17, no matter what she does to try to tempt him. I was hoping that something different was going to happen with this aspect of the story but can completely understand why they are at a standstill. I guess I thought that Shane was going to give in and be weaker than he is.