In a lot of longer series, I tend to look at some books as filler. This is one of them. A lot of Ninth Key revolves around Suze settling into her role at Carmel and how her relationship with Jesse is progressing. (I did like that her dad’s ghost pops in and promptly chews Jesse out for living with his daughter.) But it’s a good filler book for setting up and expanding on these relationships. I like that Suze realizes her crush is impossible and tries to go for living boys; I like how CeeCee and Adam kinda graduated into her right-hand companions/researchers; I like how you see how much harder it is to be a mediator in her new circumstances. The vampire plot that drives the book gets a little silly, and I reacted similarly to Suze whenever Father Dominic first brings up the possibility. But I do enjoy it, and I liked how the whole thing resolves.