Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Serial Killers' Featured Review: Last Breath by Rachel Caine

Want to know more about the idea behind Serial Killers? This post is the place to start.

This month's book is Last Breath the 11th book in the Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine. I'm the established reader and Odd is new to the series...

Synopsis (Goodreads):
With her boss preoccupied researching the Founder Houses in Morganville, student Claire Danvers is left to her own devices when she learns that three vampires have vanished without a trace. She soon discovers that the last person seen with one of the missing vampires is someone new to town-a mysterious individual named Magnus. After an uneasy encounter with Morganville's latest resident, Claire is certain Magnus isn't merely human. But is he a vampire-or something else entirely?
Odd's Thoughts: Being that a) this was my first exposure to Morganville and b) I ain't all that into vampires in the first place, this book was a big solid meh for me. Caine writes wicked-snappy dialogue ("And you know if you screw it up with Claire, I'll rip your throat out and drink you like a juice box.") so all the characters sound like hip n' edgy folk you might find scribbling in their diaries at the local coffeehouse. And the plot, it did move along and there was a Big Bad and it Big Badded all over the place, but... 

At the end of the day, there was too much soap opera going on for me. I think it was just that I haven't been watching from book one, so things that 10-book loyalists probably squealed at, I was like, "So...okay. Then what?" Fifty pages more and I was thinking maybe put prozac in the Morganville town reservoir. 

So no, I'm not a convert to this series, but based on Caine's skill with dialogue, I'll be giving her weather witches series another try.

My Thoughts: I'm a pretty hardcore Rachel Caine fan and I've been reading the Morganville books for many moons now, so this book totally hit the spot for me. It dropped us back in the middle of Morganville and into the lives of Claire and her friends (and sometimes enemies) just as something big and nasty blows into town. Considering some of the bad guys they've faced in the past, this isn't necessarily something new but, at the same time, it's the worst thing they've ever faced.

With bad feelings mounting on both sides of the species line against Eve and Michael as they plan their wedding, Claire is beginning to see that her status as Amelie's human liaison can't protect her friends. She gets a rough awakening as to what Amelie is willing to sacrifice to protect her vampires and the level of human discontent continues to mount. On the plus side, she and Shane seem stronger than ever. Is it wrong that even though I adore the two of them together there's a little part of me that has a jonesing for Myrnin/Claire? I just love how crazy Myrnin is. The dude is whacked out and brilliant and I like him. I'd love to see him in a relationship but, let's face it, the last time he had one of those he ended up putting his lady's brain is a jar after a bad day. So, maybe that isn't the best idea.

Now, there's a big BIG thing that happens midway through the book (two things, actually, but I'm talking about the second part of it that fixed the first part <--cryptic), one that could have lasting repercussions on the overall arc. How will this affect things? I don't know. I am a wee bit excited to find out, though. There's also a BIG thing that happens at the end of the book that is a game changer and I am very, very curious how this event will alter the overall dynamic of the town.

Bottom line: I loved seeing the gang again and the bad guy is bigger and badder than anything the town has faced before. Claire is forced to face some hard facts and the entire town is balanced on the edge of destruction. In other words, it's a normal week in Morganville.

Kelly: So... do you hate me for making you read a YA vampire book?

Odd: Hate is such a strong word. Also, I didn't realize it was YA until you said something just now. But I think my main problem with it was that it was so very As the Fang Turns, you know? It was all wahpants and marriage proposals, which kind of led to "Oh no! The Big Bad [spoiler] that's going to kill the fuck out of everyone! ....HOW EVER WILL WE MARRY NOW?"

Rather than, say, "Okay, hands up everyone in the room with access to kill-grade bionuclear weapons. Let's put this thing DOWN."

Kelly:  *cackles madly* As the Fang Turns? You're dating yourself, Odd! I do, however, like your bloodthirsty attitude. Well played, madam. Well played.

Coming into the 11th book in a series, how's that working for you?

Odd: Quite a bit of what was going on felt like it was the culmination of 10 books worth of wangst and drama and the occasional fanging and oh noes destruction. I could definitely empathize with someone who'd been following faithfully along and now was hanging off every word all OMG YES CLAIRE/MYRNIN FINALLY. But as someone new to the series, I could've used less "Tina!" "Cord!" "...Tina?" "Cord!" *

What are the soap operas on nowadays? It's true, I have no idea. Bold and the Beautiful? Community? Jersey Shore? I have no idea. True Blood? That would make sense here.

Anyway, I'm babbling. What about you? As a long-term fan were you thrilled to tiny blood-soaked pieces?

Kelly: Yes. I'm a loud, proud Morganville fan and I'm not afraid to shout it to the world!

For the record, I dunno about today's soaps. My sister watches General Hospital or something but she fast forwards through the whole thing. It kinda makes me wonder what the point is in watching it in the first place. I mean, if she's just watching for the pretty and the sex, it would be a far better use of her time to just join Tumblr.

Wait. Who are Tina and Cord?

Odd: Who...are... *sigh* ...

So you're continuing on with the series, then? And are you shipping Claire/Myrnin or what?

Kelly: I am completely overwhelmed by the amount of history I just read about Cord and Tina. *headdesk*

I am totally continuing with the series. I'm in it for the long haul, baby. I won't say I'm *shipping* Claire/Myrnin because I want her with Shane but... I just... He's Myrnin. I have a soft spot for the guy. And he shows these flashes of affection for her and my stone-cold heart melts a little. Holy Hannah! I am shipping them, aren't I?

Do I even need to ask if you're going to continue? Maybe start at the beginning? YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO!

Odd: Oh, you mean start at the beginning of One Life to Live? Well maybe if they release it on DVD, sure. Also, tell me Cord and Tina wouldn't be the best vampires EVAH.

Kelly: Statements like that are why I love you!

Odd: Right back atcha, babe!

*I so watched that show, y'all. Original Tina might've looked like she ran into a door at high-speed in full makeup, but she knew how to keep three men on a string. And until I saw Cord shirtless, I'm not sure I really understood about pectoral muscles.

Split Decision

Books in this series
1. Glass Houses
2. The Dead Girls' Dance
3. Midnight Alley
4. Feast of Fools
5. Lord of Misrule
6. Carpe Corpus
7. Fade Out
8. Kiss of Death
9. Ghost Town
10. Bite Club
11. Last Breath - Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle

Author Links
| Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, Hannah! I'm glad to be caught up on the series now!

  2. Thanks! We really enjoyed doing it!

    1. Have I told you that our back and forths always crack me up. <3

  3. "As the Fang Turns" lol. I am jones-ing to pick up my 1st Caine book. I can fit it in in audio easier, but I prefer to start a series just me & the characters in my head how I picture them the Old School way. Urgh....

    1. I really enjoy this series as a whole. It's fun. With vampires! One of whom is bat-shit crazy. *nods*