by Terrance V. Mc Arthur
At the end of this review are details on how to enter to win a copy of Last Breath.
What could be so bad, so dangerous, that it would make vampires flee, load up the buses, and get out of town? Find out in Last Breath by Rachel Caine.
Morganville, Texas, is a nice place to live…if you’re a vampire. If you happen to be human, there are a few drawbacks: the every-other-month tax that is paid at the blood bank, the Protector you need to have and satisfy to keep yourself from being attacked and drained in the street, and the fact that you’ll probably never be allowed to leave…alive.
Claire Danvers is trying to help her friends Eve and Michael get married, but there is a lot of resistance to the union in the town because Eve is a heavy-makeup Goth and Michael is a vampire. The mortal townies see her as a traitor to her kind, while the vampires think you shouldn’t get married to your livestock or your lunch. These squabbles become insignificant when rain clouds roll in across the desert landscape and vampires start vanishing.
This book creeps up on you, starting out at a leisurely walk, but it accelerates into a gallop with jet-pack assistance. The pacing drives you into reading faster and faster, pushing you toward scenes of danger and amazement.
This is the eleventh book in the Morganville Vampires series, and Caine knows her literary creations so well that she can turn their emotions around on a dime, and she feels confident enough with her craft that she can juggle the viewpoints of male, female, human, and vampire characters.
Claire is a strong presence, and Shane, her love, is hunky and tough, but he has some serious issues with vampires, including Michael, who was his best friend before an out-of-body accident caused him to become a vampire.
Amelie, the Founder of Morganville comes across as an iron, insensitive autocrat, until you see things through her eyes and see her as an iron, insensitive autocrat who can learn to accept the advice of others.
Myrnin, Claire’s boss, is an undead mad scientist who has definite emotional attachments to his employee: picture Doc Brown from Back to the Future with fangs.
The villain, a creature that doesn’t look quite human or vampirish, doesn’t have a lot of depth to his character, but he shouldn’t at this point in his story arc. His existence answers some questions of why sun-avoiding vampires would establish a town under the blistering Texas sun where rain is an infrequent occurrence.
Last Breath brings some major changes to the series, losing and gaining characters, shifting the focus to the new challenge, and forcing Claire to make decisions that could alter her existence eternally. Read it and try to catch your breath through the last half.
To enter to win a copy of Last Breath, simply email KRL at email@example.com with the subject line “Breath”, or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen January 7, 2012. U.S. residents only.