Nov 9, 2013

Review: Daylighters by Rachel Caine

Title: Daylighters
Author: Rachel Caine
Publisher: NAL Hardcover
Publishing Date: November 5, 2013
Pages/Format: 368, Hardcover

While Morganville, Texas, is often a troubled town, Claire Danvers and her friends are looking forward to coming home. But the Morganville they return to isn’t the one they know; it’s become a different place—a deadly one…

Something drastic has happened in Morganville while Claire and her friends were away. The town looks cleaner and happier than they’ve ever seen it before, but when their incoming group is arrested and separated—vampires from humans—they realize that the changes definitely aren’t for the better.

It seems that an organization called the Daylight Foundation has offered the population of Morganville something they’ve never had: hope of a vampire-free future. And while it sounds like salvation—even for the vampires themselves—the truth is far more sinister and deadly.

Now, Claire, Shane and Eve need to find a way to break their friends out of Daylighter custody, before the vampires of Morganville meet their untimely end.


Initial Reaction of Book in One Word: FOREVER

"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."
- Dr. Seuss

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Rachel Caine's Morganville Vampires series. (Daylighters is the fifteenth and final book...or is it?) In fact, it's one of my absolute favorites. It's right up there with The Twilight Saga and The Hunger Games. I think I started this series during the latter part of my freshman year of high school, so...almost six years ago, I think? (Good gosh I'm getting old.) When I began reading this series, there were only a few books out, but that was all it took for me to get hooked. I started to buy the books and wait for them to be released, and fortunately there were two each year. And since then...well, let me just keep writing this review.

I won't lie: this series is not perfect (though nothing really is). It's not some literary wonder (I don't mean that offensively) and it does have its inconsistencies. The series has had its ups and downs, and I think there was a point (when I must have been psychotic) when I didn't read a couple of the books right when they came out. But you know what? I really don't give a damn. There's something about this series that I just LOVE. I love how each book has its plot and tension and thrills and OHMYGOSH moments and romance. I love the story, and all the little stories that make up all fifteen books (plus short stories and such). I love Morganville. I love the characters. Gosh, I love the characters.

You know, there was this one time where I just walking down a street and then, suddenly, I realized that I could picture the Morganville gang just standing there on the sidewalk, laughing and hanging out. It's like Claire, Shane, Eve, and Michael were really, physically there. And that's what it is with this series. It's not fiction; it's real. I can read about the characters and think to myself, "yeah, that's totally something they would do," and they would, because I know them. Morganville is like a second home, and the characters are like my friends and family. That's just how it is. (Doesn't it just SUCK that, no matter how real they may seem to you, fictional characters will never truly, really, physically be real? And that makes me sad. So sad.)

But now it all comes to a close in the fifteenth and final book, Daylighters. Things have been--as usual--crazy hectic in Morganville for the past few books, but even more so than usual. And I won't lie; those last few books felt kind of different. (That's not a bad thing, though.) But with Daylighters, even though I knew it was the last book and things were going to change and stuff would go down, it really had the feel the first half of the series had. It really felt like Morganville. And I loved that. I loved how, with the last book, Rachel Caine didn't feel the need to change things to close it off. She still kept true to this fantastic series, and I greatly appreciated that.

[If you haven't read the series or Daylighters, there may be spoilers up ahead.]

Daylighters picks off right where Fall of Night left off: Claire & Co. returned to Morganville, only to be intercepted at the town's border by some of Morganville's finest (including Chief Hannah Moses) and members of the Daylight Foundation. All vampires were non-fatally staked and taken away, and the three very upset and angry humans were taken to meet Fallon, the head of the Daylighters. And in true Morganville fashion, all hell breaks loose from there (or continues to break loose, really).

I did not like the Daylighters. While their intentions were good (give the humans full control over Morganville and take away the vampires), it was not done right. Vampires wore shock collars, were fed tainted blood, and were put in an abandoned mall, or "enclave." The Daylighters had a cure for vampirism, which they used mostly involuntarily on some vampires--and its failure rate is about 75%. Claire, Shane, and Eve are not, of course, okay with this, and spend the novel figuring out how to take Morganville back from the Daylighters and free the vampires. But Claire battles with this a bit--should she destroy the humans' happiness and sense of safety now that the vampires are no longer a threat? What's happening is wrong, but is undoing it right? Does that make her a villain?

Unlike the past few books, Daylighters is told solely (well, except from the Epilogue) from Claire's POV, which I liked. It ran smoothly, and totally worked. She is, of course, a big player in the novel. She, more than most humans, has a sort of sympathy for the vampires, especially for Myrnin, Amelie, Oliver, and newcomer Jesse. So she works very hard to save them, and it's not easy. Not only is she fighting a huge organization, but she's also trying to keep the Glass House from being destroyed. Her boyfriend (fiance?) Shane Collins--aka, one of my number one book boyfriends and just back up now, because HE IS MINE--has some issues of his own. Remember in Fall of Night when he was bit my some crazy dog? Yeah, well, that turns into something. (A big huge WTF of a something.) But he's still, for the most part, Shane. And then there's Eve, who is super pissed throughout the novel, because 1) people are still telling her that her and Michael can't be/aren't married because she's a human and he's a vampire, and 2) Michael's in the "enclave" and she's not and they won't let him out or her in. And you know Eve. Don't tell her she can't have something, especially when it comes to her friends (who are pretty much her family) and Michael. And since this is told from one POV and Michael is locked up, we don't get much about the vampire rockstar (also one of my boyfriends, so back it up). But I'll tell you more about him later.

Those are the four main characters, but I can't forget about our dear (badass) vampires that aren't of the Glass House gang: Founder Amelie, Don't-Mess-With-Me Oliver, and Mad Scientist Myrnin. Amelie has almost always been cool and collected, and with her people under siege, this is no exception. Even though I originally thought Oliver was the Bad Vampire (and he kinda is), I've grown to love him and accept his merciless ways. (He has also been merciful on several occasions, even to humans.) And then there's Myrnin. That man really could have his own book (or series). I just love him SO MUCH. While I'm glad he's found happiness with Jesse, there's a part of me that's always wanted him with Claire (even if just briefly), even though I want Claire with Shane, and Shane with Claire. (Messy, right?) But Myrnin is just...Myrnin. He's crazy. He's crazy intelligent. He has a pet spider named Bob. Half the things he does and says make no sense, but they work because it's who Myrnin is. He really is a fantastic character.

There are a few other characters. I liked seeing Morley, though I'm bummed about his fate. I hated all the Daylighter people, especially Fallon, and ugh, Dr. Anderson (I almost forgot about her). I don't mind Miranda, but I've wanted her out of the Glass House since she first ended up there. (Fortunately, that gets sorted out.) Monica Morell is still a super mega bitch. And Chief Moses still kicks butt, and it's good to know she isn't really a backstabber (to the right side).

[The following paragraph contains FULL ON spoilers. I am going to straight up say things that happened, and I am going to gush and freak out. If you have not read Daylighters, I would highly suggest skipping to the paragraph after this one.]

Lots of Things happened in Daylighters. OHMYGOSH, WHERE DO I BEGIN? Hmmm, how about Michael Glass? I've always wondered what would happen with his and Eve's relationship. I never knew if a cure existed and if it would work, which left only two other options: Eve grows old (and everyone else, for that matter) while Michael doesn't, or Eve turns into a vampire and her and Michael live happily ever after, forever, fangs and all (and no Claire and Shane). But no. There WAS/IS a cure, and it WORKED. Michael Glass is no longer a vampire. Michael Glass isn't a ghost. Michael Glass is, for the first time in years, a full fledged human. He and Eve can be a happy human couple together. They can have kids! And he can pursue his rockstar dreams and go on tour, because let's face it, that would've been hard if he did that as a vampire. Shane. Well, Shane kind of turned into a freaky, killing machine of a hellhound/werewolf. But while he was in that state, he was still Shane, because he didn't kill Claire, and ah, how sweet! Because those two have to be together forever. And guess what? They will be. Because...DUN DUN DA-DUUUN! In a dual wedding, Shane/Claire and Eve/Michael got MARRIED. Claire Danvers is now Claire Collins! I repeat, CLAIRE DANVERS IS NOW CLAIRE COLLINS! I have been WAITING for this since it was first brought up in...was it Lord of Misrule or Carpe Corpus? I can't remember. (I think it was first brought up when Claire was in the hospital after what's-his-face tried to drain all her blood.) I'll admit, I wanted the FULL wedding scene, and a single wedding at that, but...I think I'm okay. I got the wedding. And just...ahhh. < 3

Daylighters does not disappoint. We get answers. We get closure. We get everything we got in the fourteen previous books. Mayhem. Craziness. Romance. Sweet, sexy, swoony moments between Shane and Claire. Blood. Fights. Thrills. Tension. Drama. Comedy. Wit. This book just has everything you'd expect from a Morganville book and more, and I loved it.

What else can I possibly say? I just love this series SO MUCH. I kid you not, this series could go on forever and I would never tire of it. I don't think I ever thought, during fifteen books, that "it's time for this series to end." Because I never wanted--never want--it to end. But as series finales go, Daylighters did it well. It stayed true to the series. It let me imagine the future for the characters. It was satisfactory, and only destroyed me and has me sad because it's the last book in a series--a life, a place, a story--I cherish so much. I'm such a fan of the Morganville Vampires that if it has Rachel Caine's name on it, I'll put it on my shelf. (Besides a chapter book series from elementary school, Rachel Caine is the dominant author on my shelves, though I have yet to read them all.) I was pleased with the ending (and I'm wary of them, after a certain book), and I'm a stickler for endings. If you're a fan of the Morganville Vampires, I'm sure you will like Daylighters. If you haven't read the books yet, then what are you waiting for?

I should say goodbye, but really, is this goodbye? I'll return to this series all the time--via book and my head, for it's an ultimate reread. (If I could only bring one series on an island, I'd probably choose this one.) And I get the feeling that this is really just the beginning, and that we'll see more of Morganville in the (hopefully soon) future.

I'm sure I'm forgetting something and that this review fails to show my absolute love for this series. So let me just say a few more things and I'll be done. (For now.)

Dear Rachel Caine,
Thank you, so, so much for writing and creating this series. As I've said about a million times, I just love the books with all my heart. You've created something so special, and for that I am grateful. The Morganville Vampires is more than just some books: it's a world I live in. I believe Morganville is real. I love the characters, and to me they just seem so real. I love everything about this series, and always will. I can't imagine my life without these books.
So, thank you.

For now, I guess this is farewell.


Goodbye.

Rachel Caine once said that you could take the girl out of Morganville, but you couldn't take Morganville out of the girl. And what's that billboard say? "Welcome to Morganville. You'll never want to leave!" It's right. I never want to leave. 

And I'll never leave Morganville.

Did I like it? Um, duh.
Did I love it? Abso-freaking-lutely, forever and ever.
Would I reread it? This series is an automatic--maybe even number one--reread. I've reread parts several times. Even though this is the last one, and that's very bittersweet...I think I would still reread it.
Would I purchase it? Seriously, I bought it on release day. (After I freaking hunted it down. If that's not dedication, then I don't know what is.)
Who would I recommend it to? Every. Single. Person. And. Non-person.

3 comments:

  1. Rachel, I LOVED it as well....each and every book!!! I love your review and agree with every word in it!! I listen to books at work and these have been very entertaining and keep my guessing....well not anymore now that the series has ended...for now. :) I will again, enter Morganville for all 15 books!!! Maureen

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  2. THANK YOU FOR THE ENDING SPOILER!!! Not, really, I was looking for it, because I don't want to buy this sh*t anymore. I read the first 11 books and grow tired of Morganville, I just wanted to know the end.

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  3. It was an amazing ending, and she figured out how to give me what I wanted and needed for closure. My imagination will def stay busy with the future of all of my beloved characters and what could be next for them.

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