Published 2011 447 pages
Reviewed by Georgia
Summary (from the book jacket)
Claire Danvers is concerned when three vampires vanish from Morganville without a trace. The last person seen with them is someone new to town – a mysterious individual named Magnus. Claire is convinced creepy Magnus isn’t human … but is he a vampire or something else entirely?
Claire’s hunt for answers leads her to solving another mystery that’s long been puzzling her: why do vampires live so far out in a sunny desert when they’re sensitive to sunlight? The answer has nothing to do with sunlight, but with water – and an ancient enemy who has finally found a way to invade the vampires’ landlocked community. Vampires aren’t the top predator on earth. There’s something worse that preys on them … something much worse. Which means if Claire, and Morganville, want to live, they will have to fight on to the last breath…
This is one spooky description and it doesn’t kill the thrill! So, Last Breath continues from where Bite Club left off and from the beginning it manages to captivate the reader. Something is definitely out of place in Morganville and gradually our heroes catch up with the oddity. Moreover, there is too much personal drama this time around to spark a lot of excitement. Last Breath is not for the idle reader. Somehow one is kept guessing all the time, thus requiring a keen brain. One thing that definitely makes it important to pay attention to detail is the close-knitted plot. The devil lies in the detail and that’s what makes Last Breath incredibly interesting. I believe that there is a term in author’s jargon about laying clues here, there and everywhere for the reader to pick up and figure things out, but, alas, I don’t know it, I just hope that you get the meaning.
Another factor that makes the book very appealing is that we get the sequence of events from different people. Even the author writes a small introductory note about this method of narration. Although it isn’t a novelty for the series, this time around it’s not just Claire and Shane whose point of perspective is used to tell the story, but also Michael’s, Eve’s and –surprise, surprise – Amelie’s. For those fearing that too many cooks will probably spoil the broth, rest assured: not only does this formula works out, but it also help us readers to better evaluate and understand our heroes. Once you get a person’s point of view, you get a glimpse into their minds and that’s usually very illuminating. On the other hand, at end you wouldn’t want the story to be told any other way. It really does make sense why some parts need to be told by others than Claire.
In addition, we have a lot of developments on the personal front for many characters. Drama alongside with love is in the air, and not only for the usual suspects. This sparks a lot of tension and anxiety. Along with the strangeness that occurs in everyday life in Morganville our heroes’ private lives go through enough turmoil to make even the more patient lose their cool. Somehow, the author manages to intertwine the personal tension with the desperation and frustration of everyday life to create an atmosphere of fear, desolation and uncertainty so vivid and colourful that it transcends the pages and captivates the reader.
Finally, the author writes with sincerity, compassion and humanity, even when she writes about the vampires. Everyone is vulnerable and everyone has a breaking point. Whether they manage to overcome their personal obstacles and fight back is a point debated many times and treated with a lot of respect. Our heroes are people – be it humans or vampires – and that is imperative for understanding the plot and following up with everything that happens from page one till the last page.
Despite its complexity Last Breath can be read by the uninitiated with success. The story has a fabulous individuality, which makes the eleventh book both engaging and sensational.
P.S.: if you buy this edition, there is a hilarious story featuring Shane titled “Anger Management” at the end. Oh, and of course an extended complimentary track-list.
LoveVampires Review Rating:
Rachel Caine's website has information about all her novels and a link to her blog. Check out Rachel's site.