Guest Review: Black Dawn by Rachel Caine

My friend Patti (AKA Book Addict Patti) from Caught in a Fab Romance is here today to review Black Dawn by Rachel Caine. Patti has reviewed several of the books in this series here at Fiction Vixen and we’re pleased to have her back again today. 

Take it away Patti!

Black Dawn - Rachel Caine
In Last Breath, the rain brought a new and dire threat to Morganville and its vampires… their ancient enemies, the draug. Now, the vampires are fighting a losing war, and it will fall to the residents of the Glass House: Michael, Eve, Shane and Claire, to take the fight to an enemy who threatens to destroy the town, forever.

****Warning: Spoilers for the previous book, Last Breath****

Morganville, Texas, is my favorite town that I never want to visit; especially after finishing Black Dawn by Rachel Caine, the latest installment in this spectacular series.

At the ending of the previous book, Last Breath, I was a little frustrated because the threat to Morganville, the draug, had not been destroyed and, in fact, seemed to be winning.  Black Dawn picks up immediately where Last Breath left off: our foursome of Claire, Eve, Shane, and Michael are together, but recent events have definitely left their mark on each of them; some are physical marks, some not so easily seen.  Vampires are still being taken, but now they (and we) know why.  The draug seem to be unstoppable, and have taken over most of the town.  Not only are Claire and her friends desperate to figure out a way to stop the draug, but the town’s vampire founder, Amelie, is getting worse, not better.  If she succumbs, her chosen replacement to lead the town will not be a good thing for the humans who are still there.

For some reason, at first I had a hard time getting into Black Dawn.  I think because of the way Last Breath left us hanging, it was as if I had waited several months to pick up the story in the middle of the action and I felt disconnected.  Then…all of a sudden, it clicked.  And I couldn’t put it down.

No war is fought without casualties, and Morganville’s war against the draug is no exception.  Rachel Caine knows how to keep her readers at the edge of their seats, turning the pages frantically to see what happens next.  Every time I said to myself  “I see where this is going”, I was wrong, wrong, wrong.  Although I’m not a fan of the multiple POVs, the way Ms. Caine weaves the story through multiple characters’ experiences is magic.  I liked that we got to see how each character viewed the threat of the draug, as well as their thought-process and motivations for their actions and/or reactions to their situation.  That being said, the downside of the multiple POV is that it the frequent changes made it sometimes difficult to remember who was “on” and I’d catch myself paging back to see who’s chapter I was reading.

While the focus of the story is on the residents of Glass House and Amelie/Oliver/Myrnin, Black Dawn brings back several characters that had slipped my mind in the excitement of fighting off the draug.  For me, though, Shane was the most compelling character in Black Dawn:  while the other characters are terrified of the draug winning the war, Shane’s fear was so much more personal and raw.  Ms. Caine writes the hell out of a tortured hero…

In addition to the action, we get to read some tender moments between our couples, with a surprise or two on that front…  some joyful, some sorrowful, and the reader will be moved by it all.

I clapped at the end of Black Dawn.  There are some interesting developments that are going to be game-changers and I like the way it ended.  I’m looking forward to the next installment of this enthralling series.  (I don’t know why I thought this was the last book, but I’m happy to say it’s not.  I read somewhere there will be at least three more books!)

Favorite Quotes:

I could feel the tension and the anticipation in the vamps around me.  For the first time in a long time they were going to war – against an enemy who’d been hunting them, killing them, for ages.  And they were ready.  The violence in the air was thick, and every single one of them looked as hard as a bone knife.  When Michael glanced at me, his eyes had gone bloodred.  Usually that would have scared me, or at least disgusted me, but not now.

Right now, I wished mine could do the same, because what was burning inside me was just as bright, and just as crimson.  I wanted to hurt the draug for what they’d done to Claire.

To all of us.  To me.

“No,” she said.  “Don’t come back. Never come back, Myrnin.  Or I’ll have you..”  She suddenly looked toward Claire, and the impact of it made Claire take in a sharp, painful breath.  “I’ll remember the taste of you.  Don’t let me get so close again.”

My Rating:
4 Stars

Black Dawn by Rachel Caine
May 1, 2012 NAL Hardcover
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  1. says

    I can’t wait to catch-up with this series!! I have Glass Houses (audio-book) so far and the rest are on my wish-list to-read lists! Great review as usual hon! 😀

  2. says

    *SPOILERS* in this comment – BEWARE!

    “There are some interesting developments that are going to be game-changers and I like the way it ended. ”

    Yes, yes and … kinda.

    Show Spoiler »

    I maintain that things would have been livened up quite a bit if Caine had changed Claire. I mostly wanted it to happen to see Shane’s reaction, and test his devotion. But, to be fair, I think if Claire was too change then Caine would have to write another 10+ books exploring that development (and I think she’s only contracted for 3 more? I’m not sure).

    I agree though, this book was like an adrenalin rush for the series. Loved it (especially the Claire/Myrnin/Shane stuff) – if Claire isn’t going to be changed, then I am at least grateful that Myrnin’s true feelings are being mentioned and hinted at, to make things interesting.

  3. says

    Thanks for your review Patti. This is one of those series that appeals to me but I’m not willing to start it until I have time to read the series straight through in case I get hooked. I didn’t realize it was available on audio though. The could be an option. :)