Sunday, May 12, 2013
Black Dawn by Rachel Caine
Black Dawn is the twelfth book of Rachel Caine's highly successful YA vampire series Morganville Vampires. I have to say that these are highly addictive. I started reading them late last year and have ripped through the last few in record time for me. I don't generally read things like this back to back, but I've made an exception with the Morganvilles, reading chunks of them before bed each evening (yes, in hindsight reading a vampire book just before trying to sleep is probably not the best plan). I had to go straight onto to Black Dawn because the previous instalment (Last Breath) was left on a pretty sizeable cliff.
Black Dawn is probably the most all action, all the time book in the series since Carpe Corpus in the middle of the Bishop storyline. In Last Breath Rachel Caine introduced the concept of the draug, a water affiliate vampire that is anathema to their land bound cousins. Before going on here I have to say that the concept of the draug is one of the coolest and newest ideas I've seen for a long time in vampire fiction, especially what could probably be termed as YA paranormal.
With the town under lockdown because of the invasion of the draugs, and Amelie infected and close to death it's up to Claire and her friends and allies to come up with a way to save the town and themselves in doing so.
As she had in Last Breath Rachel Caine continues the multiple PoV concept, expanding her first person cast, and continuing to write Claire in third person. I don't think she gets it right all the time. She's pretty down with Claire's gang, and she's been doing Shane for the last two books anyway, but the vampires' Oliver and Amelie, in particular just don't sound right.
Shane's dream sequence when he is held captive by the draug was particularly moving and effective, very well written. You're well into the chapter before you realise exactly what is happening here. Hats off to the author for that one.
This book also ends of the draug storyline, and while you're never really overly worried about the leads, some of the peripherals do get killed. Not many YA authors will do that, so I was both shocked and impressed, not to mention sad, because a personal favourite didn't make it.
The books have grown progressively darker as the characters have matured and situation altered, but it was dialled up in Black Dawn. It may have reached a peak, although the ending does tend to indicate that maybe this is not the case and there is more misery ahead for Morganville.