Book Review: Black Dawn (Morganville Vampires #12) by Rachel Caine

Author: Rachel Caine

Publisher: NAL

Release date: May 1, 2012

Rating: ★★★★★

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With its eclectic mix of vampire and human citizens, Morganville, Texas, has always been a risky place to call home. But with the invasion of the vampire’s deadliest enemy, Morganville isn’t just in danger—it’s dying…

Ever since the draug—mysterious creatures that prey on vampires—took over Morganville, the lives of student Claire Danvers and her friends have been thrown into turmoil. Most of the town’s residents have evacuated, but Claire, Shane, Eve and Michael have chosen to stay and fight.Using the city’s water system to spread, the draug have rapidly multiplied. Things in Morganville look grim, especially since vampire Amelie—the town founder—has been infected by the master draug’s bite.

Now, if Claire and her friends don’t figure out how to cure Amelie and defeat the draug, it looks like Morganville will become little more than a ghost town.


It’s been a while since I read a Rachel Caine book, much less continue reading this epic series. And oh, how I missed it! I loved this book. It was another great installment in the series! With the library being my second home, I decided to commence borrowing books and picked up this gem. Vampires have become a taboo, and I myself find them cliched. It depends, though. Rachel Caine’s, Morganville Vampire series falls into a different category. I love her writing and the world she creates, thus, adding a new spin to the vampire world.

Black Dawn commences only a day after the aftermath of Last Breath. Claire, Shane, Michael, and Eve narrowly escape the sinister forces of the draug, the only known enemy to vampires. The town founder, Amelie escaped but was infected by Magnus, the master draug’s bite. To save Amelie, Claire and her friends will have to kill Magnus. The task is not easy – as things never seem to be for the gang – with danger lurking in every corner.


Claire. I really love how strong of a character Claire has developed throughout the series. She’s not that little, frightened girl we met in the first book. She’s smart and unbelievably brave. She also isn’t afraid to take an initiative or fight to go back for a friend left behind. Throughout this installment, it is mention on several occasions how Claire will be eighteen soon. It’s very nostalgic, seeing her become this exceptional young women, this girl who had to grow up to inevitably stay alive in a town such as Morganville. It’s apparent her strength, valor, and courage through this installment and I can’t wait to see more of her transition in the last few books.

Shane. Oh, I so am in love with Shane Collins. He’s damaged, strong, and sassy. He’s one of those fictional boys that will always hold a special place in my heart. I admire Shane so much because with everything bad (and he’s had some pretty horrible stuff happen to him and the people he loves) that happens, he keeps going. He keeps living. He never once gives up. As in previous installments, Shane battles with inner turmoil. He needs to overcome the false visions of dreams and believe in reality.

Michael. Gah. Michael. He is riddled with guilt. After what he did to Eve in Last Breath, he’s unable to come to terms with who he is to her. He tries to push Eve away, threatening her that he may kill her one day. He can’t let go of almost draining her dry after he was taking by the draug and it kills him.

I liked that this was finally introduced in the series. Michael is a vampire and he hasn’t exactly been acting like one. He denies himself the simple pleasure of what it means (i.e. blood) which made him lose control in the first place. I sympathized with Michael because it’s hard becoming something – someone, that you don’t want to be or aren’t wholly ready to be. But of course, he finds himself and that’s what matters and it’s one of my favorite things to have read in this installment.

Eve. Eve is just as badass as ever. I loved a particular part where she stands up to Michael, not letting him scare her. That was a huge victory and earned a happy dance from me! I really just love how she’s always challenging and not what you expect.

Myrnin. Myrnin is just as eccentric as ever with a few minor instances where his focus was thoroughly intact. He actually develops a plan to take down the power the draug have over the town. It’s one of the first acts he’s accomplished and I liked seeing this side of him. Like Eve, there’s never really any prior prediction of what he’s going to do.

Secondary characters were also poignant. I love that about Caine’s novels. Every one has a purpose and that purpose isn’t wasted on a mundane secondary plot line.


With the introduction of the draug, we learn more of where they came from. We also discover the affects and reasoning for Claire’s ability to see Magnus and set him apart from the other draugs. Lastly, Caine continues to craft her world involving the Morganville vampires. The ending of this novel foreshadows a new order in the town of Morganville and I can’t wait to see what that entails. May it go back to a sort of hierarchy, where humans are inferior to vampires. Or will Amelie make it fair?


I love romance. It’s definitely one of my favorite qualities in a book. Claire and Shane’s relationship is put through a test, where Shane needs to trust in the validity and concrete love that he and Claire have. She’s real. And she’s not going anywhere. Then there is Eve and Michael who parallel Shane and Claire’s obstacle. And when things are resolve it’s oh, so sweet! Kind of steamy too. Made me raise my waggle my eyebrows ;D

writing style:

One of the reasons why I keep reading Rachel Caine’s Morganville Vampire series is because of her fantastic writing style. Her ability to keep an audience captivated with fast-paced action, unnerving plot twist, and heart-pumping romance is what makes her novels unique and out of this world addicting. Black Dawn is no exception. I love that Caine keeps the series refreshing with new predicaments for the characters to go through. It is never the same thing twice. It further develops her characters (i.e. Claire).  I also loved the fact that this installment was told from different perspectives. We saw Michael, Eve, and Oliver’s perspective for the first time. Their perspective were also cohesive and important to the plot, which is a very difficult thing to do. Caine doesn’t waste characters and I love that about her writing. It’s all very highly developed and thought out.


With everything that happened throughout the progression of the novel there was a moment of happy occasion. There was also the foreshadowing of a new order in Morganville, which is something that I am really excited to see. I mean, what could it be? Will it prove to be another obstacle for Claire and her friends? One thing is for certain, they at least have an evening of freedom left before things change.

Black Dawn was incredible. I devoured the pages and am going to check out the next installment, Bitterblood, now. I need to know what happens next! I also have not forgotten about Claire’s promise to marry Shane.

I believe Andrew Garfield perfectly describes my feelings about that.

If you haven’t read this series, I highly recommend it. It’s one of my favorite vampire books of all time. This is the twelfth book, but fret not. The first 6 are pretty small bound books. I remember reading them in a couple of hours. Each. Yeah. I know. I’m a wee bit insane. But seriously. Go and pick this series up if you haven’t read. And if you haven’t read this installment, then what are you waiting for? You’re missing out!


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