Prince of Shadows by Rachel Caine #BookReview #YA

 

princeofshadowsTitle: Prince of Shadows
Author: Rachel Caine
Series: N/A
Format: Paperback, 368 pages
Publication Details: February 4th 2014 by Allison & Busby
Genre(s): YA; Retellings
Disclosure? Nope, I borrowed it from the library.

Goodreads 

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From the author of the bestselling Morganville Vampires series comes an exciting retelling of the classic love story, Romeo and Juliet.

‘A plague! A plague on both your houses!’

In the Houses of Montague and Capulet, there is only one goal: power. The boys are born to fight and die for honor and – if they survive – marry for influence and money, not love. The girls are assets, to be spent wisely. Their wishes are of no import. Their fates are written on the day they are born.

Benvolio Montague, cousin to Romeo, knows all this. He expects to die for his cousin, for his house, but a spark of rebellion still lives inside him. At night, he is the Prince of Shadows, the greatest thief in Verona – and he risks all as he steals from House Capulet. In doing so, he sets eyes on convent-bound Rosaline, and a terrible curse begins that will claim the lives of many in Verona.

Review

I have to say I was pretty sceptical going into this but I was intrigued regardless. Having read Caine’s Morganville Vampire series (or most of them at least), I was pretty shocked to find this in the library. A Shakespeare retelling, really? Hmm…

You can’t help but love the tale of the two doomed lovers, right? And you know what, this wasn’t a bad retelling. It’s told from Benvolio’s POV, who is forcibly entrusted to keep his cousin and Capulet heir, Romeo, on the straight and narrow. But that pesky boy has a habit of getting into serious trouble and falling in love with all the wrong girls. Then there’s his bff Mercutio with his own doomed love Tomasso, both of whom will be killed if discovered. Poor Benvolio has got a lot on his plate!

On one hand I really enjoyed this book. I liked reading from Benvolio’s point of view. It was an action-packed, fun retelling with a modern twist. The pages flew by. But on the other hand I did find myself cringing a lot. ‘Shakespeare turning in his grave’ was a phrase which often sprang to mind. But I guess there would be no point in retelling it without a new spin on the traditional.

I felt like the whole business with the curse was a double-edged sword. It made the story new and fresh, and Caine does paranormal very well, such is her remit! But for me, it meant that the story lost all its romance. Which is surely the point of any Romeo & Juliet story?

I really respect Rachel Caine for taking on such an iconic story and introducing a fantasy element. It’s a pretty bold move, and I think it mostly worked. Her writing is always so readable. Not one for the purists though, obviously.

unicorn rating 3

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Introducing… Morganville – The Series (Buffy fans rejoice!)

I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t know anything about this until the press release landed in my inbox. And man, I was pretty excited!

Thanks to a Kickstarter campaign and Felicia Day’s Geek & Sundry, Rachel Caine has adapted the first book in her Morganville Vampires series, Glass Houses, into a web series comprising of 8-12 minute long episodes, which began airing yesterday.

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Web series have been hailed as the new big thing for a while now, with the ability to reach a worldwide audience faster than any other format. You only have to look at the success of I Kissed a Vampire, Dr. Horrible’s  Sing-a-long Blog or the endless Netflix and Amazon Prime series to see that the way we watch TV is changing.

This Halloween, Morganville: The Series hopes to make a splash in the world of Webisodes…

The entire show was filmed on location in Dallas, Texas, in four separate venues, including a coffee shop, a turn-of-last-century Victorian home, a hospital,and a university, and I’m assured that nearly every episode ends with Rachel Caine’s infamous cliffhanger endings. But at least this time we won’t have to wait too long to found out what happens next. Hurrah!

But, how do you cram a whole book into such a small series?

“The first thing I tried to do, since I wrote the book in 2006,” said Caine, “was to write down everything I remembered from it without re-reading it. That was fascinating, because what I wrote down was really the core story, and that turned out to be what needed to be told in the show.”

It’s also pretty hard to believe that the whole thing was filmed in just 10 days.

Glass Houses was our first introduction to Morganville – a town riddled with vampires. The book centers around Claire Danvers who doesn’t quite fancy slumming it in the college dorms, and is looking for a room. She finds one, and a lot more in the Glass House. We meet a whole host of fun, and some not-so-fun characters, who are intent on helping or hindering Claire in her quest to survive in Vamp town.

So, is the web series going to tell the whole story?

“For practical purposes, you can only have so many characters in a show with this running time, so some characters from the novel, while really interesting, ended up not being central to the plot (like Miranda). However, I did think it was important to introduce Myrnin, a fan favorite, into the mix early, so he makes a short appearance this season,” explains Caine.

Hold the phone, is that Amber Benson?

Yep. The awesome Amber Benson, who you should all know as Tara from Buffy TVS landed the role of Amelie – the sort-of vampire queen. PERFECT!

I really enjoyed these books and I can’t wait to check out the series. I plan on marathoning it on All Hallow’s Eve. Who’s with me?

In the mean time, here are the first two episodes to whet your whistle…

 

 

Links:

http://www.morganvilletheseries.com/

https://www.youtube.com/user/geekandsundry

http://www.morganvillevampire.com/

http://www.rachelcaine.com/

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Series…

toptentuesday
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (Click the image to visit them). This week the theme is Top Ten Best/Worst Series endings.

But here lies a problem…I am so TERRIBLE at finishing series. Even worse than I thought I was when thinking about what to put in this post. So I’m going to do the series that I need/want to finish and the ones I want to start.

Top 5 Series I Need to Finish:

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The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare: I wasn’t completely smitten with these and only made it to book 2. But then I re-read the first book, City of Bones before I went to see the film and now I feel like I should read the rest of the series.

The Morganville Vampries by Rachel Caine: I enjoyed the beginning of this series and made it all the way to book 8 so I really should sort my life out and finish a damn series for a change!

The Bourbon Kid Series by Anonymous: These books are pretty hard to find in actual shops and online they’re not cheap so I’ve been hoping to find them in charity shops (that’s where I found the 2nd one) or on ReaditSwapit…my eyes are peeled for books 3 & 4.

The Akasha Series by Terra Harmony: I only read the first book, Water but I’ve been meaning to get round to the other two. Water was infuriating but intriguing!

Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger: Again, I only managed the first book in this series, but I liked it a lot. Will get round to it one day. Maybe.

Top 5 Series I Want to Start

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Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead // The Grisha by Leigh Bardugo // The Ascendance Trilogy by Jennifer A. Nielsen // Luna Chronicles by Marissa Meyer // Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder