Fall of Night finds our favorite heroine, Claire, leaving Morganville to go to MIT, a trip made possible by Amelie's promise. Claire's ambivalent about leaving her friends and boyfriend behind, but feels certain she needs to experience the world, so off she goes, moving in with former good friend Liz and working with former Morganville resident, Irene Anderson. Claire's brought VLAD--her device that would level the playing field when a vampire attacks. Little does she know that she's unleashing the downfall of vampires and putting everyone's life in danger.
What I really loved about Fall of Night is that we still see our characters growing and developing, and mostly, having to deal with the consequences of their actions. Claire, in her innocence (and a bit of arrogance), has no idea that she's putting lives in danger. She thinks the "real" world is safe and she can count on those around her, but nothing could be further from the truth. Shane is so attached to Claire that he cannot actually allow her to "leave" Morganville; he packs up and follows her, though he does stay at a distance. But when everything goes horribly wrong, Claire has to come to grips with the fact that it is, indeed, all her fault. As one of my teachers used to say, she's up an unsanitary tributary without the necessary means of transportation.
I love that this series, fourteen books in, still has life and is still taking us in unexpected directions. I love that the core relationships are still solid, and I love that things can spin so utterly out of control in such unexpected ways. I love that Claire has become my favorite kick-butt fighter; it shows that she has evolved so much over the course of the books. I do love the relationship between Shane and Claire, even if I did feel he was out of line in following her. This book ends on such a cliffhanger that I am going to be on pins and needles waiting for November to roll around. Excellent work, Ms. Caine! Other authors should follow your lead in how to keep a series fresh.