Book Review: Rachel Caine’s Black Dawn

Posted August 10, 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 Black Dawn

Black Dawn


Rachel Caine

urban fantasy that was published by New American Library (NAL) on May 1, 2012 and has 367 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, Last Breath, Unseen, Hex Appeal, Unbroken, 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

Twelfth in the Morganville Vampire urban fantasy series for young adults revolving around four fast friends and the trials and tribulations of living in a vampire-run town in Texas.

My Take

Hoo, boy. Scary. Tense. Dramatic. Did I say “scary”? And the ending…*shakin’ in my boots*.

Each chapter is written from a different character’s perspective — just pay attention to the chapter headings. Shifting the viewpoints allows for each major character to share what’s in his/her head. Their doubts, fears, and hopes. And never so sad as when we share Shane’s dreams as it makes what follows so very poignant. The drama of Michael and Eve’s concerns can’t help but ring a sad farewell, for their individual thoughts and actions are sensible as are their fears.

Whoa, Claire is stepping up and out — talking back to the scary vamps and not taking any shit from them. Even weirder, Oliver acknowledges that he needs human help right now. Just don’t hold your breath too long.

Shane has such desire and need. So normal. So deserving. It just made me cry.

Sending help for them is what Hannah should have done in the first place, dammit!

Perfect is the key.

The Story

They’ve been driven back to the vampire stronghold in Founder’s Square. Fortunately, it’s well-fortified although chocolate and espresso were not part of the considerations. They didn’t rescue many from the draug, just Naomi, Oliver, and Michael. If not for Michael’s and Amelie’s attacks, it wouldn’t have been this good.

As it is, Eve’s plan to create weapon caches around town is a good one and events cement her standing. It’s Claire with her shotgun, Shane with his flamethrower, and Naomi who will search out Theo, for Amelie desperately needs aid. Theo is also the vampire who protects Claire from Oliver’s less-than-tender mercies and Eve from Naomi’s plots.

Surprisingly, Myrnin has some good militaristic ideas with one huge objective being the water treatment plant. Now Oliver has forbidden Myrnin to plan any battles…but, technically this isn’t a battle although getting the keys to the Founder’s “tank” may be considered one!

The plant is just one objective. Saving Shane and finding a better weapon than what they have is more critical. Shockingly, Monica insists on coming along on Claire’s rescue mission with Richard, Hannah, Michael, and Eve. It also allows them to discover a new weakness. Caine left a loose thread — how Magnus is linked to Claire. Shane surprises everyone — his idea is so much more brilliant.

The Characters

Claire Danvers is young and brilliant. Not yet 18, she is essential as Myrnin’s assistant. Essential enough that Amelie, the leader of Morganville and its vampires, grants her a great deal of leeway. She’s also the only one who can see through Magnus’ glamour. Shane Collins has changed so much from his ignoble start. He cares. He loves, particularly he loves Claire. it’s that love that could well be his downfall.

Michael Glass has been a vampire for a bit now. He still plays his guitar, but he’ll never go on the road with his music. He and Eve had intended to marry in Last Breath. Now, who knows after the ordeal he has suffered, the attack on his beloved. He still cries out in the night with the nightmares he suffers. Eve is still freaked out by the attack. Uncertain of her future, she is avoiding and wanting Michael.

Amelie was badly bitten by the draug and now she lies dying even as the attacks continue and the battle rages for her throne. Naomi is Amelie’s “sister” and a recent arrival. She’s more of a threat to the Founder than Oliver with her sense of entitlement. Oliver owns Common Grounds and is Amelie’s rival. He despises humans and is completely against Amelie’s policy towards them. Theo Goldman is one of the few vampires friendly to humans. Well, as friendly as a vampire may be. It’s his knowledge of medicine and vampires that Oliver is counting on. Myrnin is brilliant and bi-polar. He’s also in love with Claire. For herself in his life. For her brain to run Morganville. It just depends on his mood.

Frank Collins is/was Shane’s jerk of a dad. Never a real father, all he ever thought of was destroying vampires. Only to be turned himself into a vampire and then into Morganville’s protector. Jason is sort of on probation and he’s been co-opted into making Myrnin’s special bullets. He’s also a target for Naomi and a threat to hold over his sister, Eve. A psychopathic human, he would be a terrifying vampire.

Monica Morrell, the queen bitch, has returned to Morganville. Seems her credit cards were running out. Richard Morrell is Monica’s brother and an amazingly decent man. With his father’s death, the vampires insist he is now Morganville’s mayor. Hannah Moses is the police chief. She’s had experience in war but never like this. She and Richard have been thrown together a lot in this crisis.

Magnus is the master draug. The greatest threat that exists to vampires and he intends to eliminate every last one.

Captain Obvious leads the human resistance against the vampires. and he’ll sign his own death warrant. Miranda is a psychic who refused to leave town. She has a role to play if she can’t keep Claire safe.

The Cover and Title

The cover has a black and green watery background with a close-up of Eve looking out at us with wicked promise, her short black hair sweeping obto her cheek, her forehead.

I don’t know which is the Blacker Dawn, trapped without hope in Founder’s Square at the start or the end.