Book Review: Rachel Caine’s Last Breath

Posted March 26, 2012 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews, Young Adult readers

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Rachel Caine’s Last Breath

Last Breath


Rachel Caine

urban fantasy that was published by New American Library (NAL) on November 1, 2011 and has 335 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Undone, Unknown, Ghost Town, Rachel Caine, Bite Club, Dark and Stormy Knights, Devil's Bargain, Devil's Due, Unseen, Hex Appeal, Unbroken, Black Dawn, Working Stiff, Two Weeks' Notice, Bitter Blood, Kiss of Death, Fall of Night, Daylighters, Kicking It, Prince of Shadows, Ink and Bone, Paper and Fire, Ash and Quill, Killman Creek

Eleventh in the Morganville Vampires urban fantasy series for young adults about four roommates in the Glass House: a brainiac, a Goth, a formerly hateful slacker, and a vampire. All of college age. All supportive of the other.

My Take

This is a different set of perspectives…Caine has different characters present their viewpoint in their own chapters. As long as you check the chapter title as you read and do a little mind check, it works out well.

I agree with Claire. Amelie is a coward. There were some odd bits of terror and compassion that didn’t make sense. Amelie for one. Oliver’s weakness. Myrnin certainly surprised me. Loving with compassion…! I feel so bad for him; he is one of my favorite characters in this series…you never know what he’ll do or how he will react. Claire knows enough about Morganville that I don’t understand why she doesn’t report the odd visuals she’s getting.

Michael makes a very interesting observation about how forced and artificial Morganville always seemed from the human perspective. Now he realizes how similar it is for the vampire half, forcing them to adhere to unnatural behaviors and rules.

Oooh, now that I did not expect!! Oh boy… It’s a lot of running about with each running into some sort of dangerous encounter which results from the engagement party, the drug invasion, or Amelie’s fears.

Caine could have really worked that whole “bringing back to life” set of reasons. A missed opportunity. All sorts of loose threads floating in the waters here.

I do have to wonder how Caine intends to make use of this new circumstance. There has to have been a reason for doing this. If it was simply to create a depth of drama…well, I cried really hard!…and I’ll be really angry if that was its only purpose!! All I can say is, number twelve oughta be a pip!

The Story

Neither the vampires nor the humans are happy about Eve marrying Michael. Oliver especially is bringing pressure to bear and finally Eve snaps and the four decide they’ll open up the engagement party to the whole town…see how they like that! And, in the midst of all this, vampires are disappearing one after another.

It’s an unusual messenger from Morley in Blacke that sets off the panic when he sends a handwritten message to Amelie. One word. One word is enough to send her into almost mindless panic. If only Claire had mentioned the shadow man she keeps seeing from the corner of her eye…

And Myrnin will do anything for Claire, almost anything. It’s that “almost” that enrages Claire. That makes her reconsider her support of the Morganville vampires. Amelie has made a crucial mistake.

The Characters

Claire Danvers is the human pet of Amelie the Founder of Morganville. Brilliant, she aids Myrnin with his experiments and helps keep him sane.

Shane Collins is her boyfriend and one of three other roommates at the Glass House. The others include Michael Glass, a guitar-playing ghost who became a vampire, and Eve Rosser, a Goth chick driving a hearse — and Michael and Eve got engaged! An engagement that is stirring up all sorts of anger and resentments in Morganville.

Of the vampires, Amelie runs the town while Oliver is Amelie’s rival (with a surprising reveal in this story!) and runs Common Grounds the coffeeshop (weird since he hates any accommodations with the humans), and Myrnin, a brilliant and wholly unstable ancient vampire. Shane has some crazy nicknames for Myrnin: Nutty McFang, Count Crackula, Crazy McTeeth. One thing you can count on with Myrnin…a very eclectic sense of dress from a 17th century tailcoat to Hawaiian shirts.

Naomi de la Tour is Amelie’s blood-sister and one of the vamps Claire helped save. She’s currently spending a lot of time with Michael. Father Joe is the Catholic priest in town Michael and Eve are hoping will marry them. Marjo runs a 24-hour diner that serves the best ice cream in the world. Frank Collins is…was…Shane’s abusive, hate-spewing father. Now he’s dead although his brain is being useful.

Monica Morrell is the bitch queen of Morganville and amazingly obtuse. The daughter and sister of the former and current mayor. She loses no opportunities to hurt anyone. She has, very slowly, reached detente with Claire. Gina was one of her nasty friends; now she’s spending all her time with her own problems. Richard Morrell is the brother who is mayor. An amazingly decent man who knows exactly how nasty his sister is. If he had to choose between Claire and his sister…I wouldn’t hold out hope for Monica. Sheriff Hannah Moses is a veteran of Afghanistan and a friend of the Glass housemates.

Magnus is the druag. A water vampire. And a mortal enemy of the Morganville vampires. Hiram Glass is the Glass House — a house now at war between its founder and the years of Glasses living there. Providing the House with more sentience than Hiram expects. Helping a non-Glass Housemate.

The relationship between humans and vampires in Morganville is that of cattle and prey, Protected and Protectors, although Claire has been trying to change this. It is essential for any human to pledge themselves to a Protector if they want to ensure staying alive.

The Cover and Title

The cover is chill — all white from the Palladian window and the scene beyond it to the mist rising up and Claire’s lace top. Color comes with the sweep of Claire’s red hair with accents of blue in the touch of scrolling on the left side of the cover, the stones around Claire’s neck, and forming the shadows.

For it’s Claire’s Last Breath in the sub rosa scurrying in this installment.