Wait...let me catch my breath.
Okay, better now. In Rachel Caine's newest Morganville Vampires book, Last Breath, something dark and sinister has arrived in Morganville...and it isn't Bishop, Amelie, or any of the other vampires who have called the town home. Things have gotten so bad, with both vampires and humans disappearing, that when Amelie receives a note with one word on it--Run--she makes hurried plans to do just that...and to take the vampires with her. Which of course means that conflict is going to arise between the newly engaged Michael and Eve, who refuse to be parted. Claire is once again in the middle of the action, but she knows things are dire when even Myrnin seems worried. When she begins seeing things that no one else does, Claire tries to investigate...and that's when things go from bad to worse.
What I loved, loved, loved about this book: Ms. Caine is not afraid to take us into new territory, even killing off beloved characters if need be to move the story along. The depth of feeling is so real that it literally pulsates off the page, and the surprising revelation of just how much Myrnin cares is both touching and believable. I loved how the history of the series is woven into the book, making it all the more believable, and I loved how there is a determined refusal to give up. It's a page turner of epic proportions; I defy anyone to put the book down once Claire's "incident" occurs.
Nitpicking (and a bit of a spoiler): Still not sure precisely how Myrnin's "cure" of Claire worked, but I suppose it doesn't really make any difference, since it strengthens their bond and accomplished its purpose. I also think Michael and Eve are being ridiculously fast with the marriage thing, but that's a personal opinion from someone on the other side of being married for quite a while. Why antagonize an entire town and rub it in the faces of everyone by hosting an engagement event open to all? And I'm kinda over Eve's Goth look obsession. But like I said, that's just nitpicky. And the cliffhanger? Wow--I want answers and I want them now, but it's a smart move on Ms. Caine's part to mix things up and keep us salivating.
Last Breath is fresh and fast, and a rollicking good read. The four roommates are at their best, showing loyalty, unity, and determination when Morganville is in its death throes. At a time when most series start becoming tired and pale shadows of their former brilliance, Rachel Caine's Last Breath propels the Morganville Vampires books on to new places and deeper character development. This is how a series is *supposed* to be done.