Manikin (Channeling Morpheus, #3) - Jordan Castillo Price And here the story takes off. Manikin springs the series forward and cements the draw for Channeling Morpheus as Pancakes does for The Administration. Providing for a turning point in the nature of the sex and the relationship, but also posing the question to the reader, “What constitutes good and bad in a morally ambiguous world?” A dynamic that will propel this series.

“… vampires are as individual as humans…”

That singular realization completes the fade to gray altering Michael’s black and white prospective and leaves him questioning his own moral compass. Encountering a deranged vampire, Marushka, who kills for the sadistic joy of it, confirms to Michael that his decision to kill vampires is for the greater good. But when he is labeled a serial killer by Wild Bill, he must again question the fine lines between right, wrong and in between. Marushka, Michael and Bill all kill repeatedly and methodically, Marushka gets off on killing, Michael kills as a form of vigilante justice and Bill is simply surviving. Juxtaposing the “bad” serial killer, Marushka, against the “good” serial killer, Michael, and the “conflicted” serial killer, Bill, provided for a subtle commentary on the varying degrees of right and wrong, while enhancing the horror atmosphere of the series.

Though the sexual encounters now have to share the center stage, doesn’t mean they are now a device of the plot rather than a driving force to it. The tasteful crudeness in the sex continues, but is mixed with more sentiment than Wild Bill would like to admit. Wild Bill begins to take on more complexity and depth that doesn’t go unnoticed by Michael. And though the nature of the sex invokes more emotion in some ways it is kinkier, introducing blood play and the erotic element of hairless freshly shaved skin.

When I started this series, I expected some sexy vampire smut with a sensational horror backdrop. What I have found is a story much smarter. Manikin confirms that Price can make a series out of Wild Bill and Michael’s journey together. If the stories continue in the vein of the first three - a series that will be added to my favorites list.

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