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Even though it would probably make more sense to mention The Return of the King here, I’m playing rebel by not connecting this ending to another great series conclusion. The movie is Two Towers; do you remember the moment just before the looming Battle of Helms Deep and the sky is dousing everyone and you can see the Uruk-hai marching forward and there’s this incredible face-off—humanity at it’s bravest versus the inhuman/e? The elves have come to join man against an unprecedented threat and Gimli tells Aragorn “let’s hope [your friends] last the night” after Legolas tells him “your friends are with you” and the music is building and you know shizz is going to GO DOWN. Though the battle isn’t nearly as epically orchestrated—because hullooo it’s LoR—the final battle for Morganville gave me nearly the same chills, nearly the same fear and tension and anticipation as I read Claire and her friends take the lead to save Morganville from the outsiders and it’s traitors within.

The threat they face aren’t an advanced breed of orcs commanded to kill ruthlessly, but that doesn’t make these gold-pin-wearing, gun-swinging, cure-wielding, vampire-hunter-having group of racist humans called the Daylighters any less lethal. The villain this time is Hitler resurgent with a vampire-loathing twist and has come uninvited into the lives of Morganville citizens, making the threat to the vampire race even more potent than the last. Stepford Wives meets Nazi Germany in this “newly improved” Morganville where Amelie isn’t queen and some of the humans have drifted to the dark side.

Four of my favorite youths in fiction
*turns away* *rubs eyes and sniffles* Shane, Claire, Eve, and Michael have taken up a huge chunk of my heart and considerable fragment of my life. I’ve been with them for two years (not a great number to mention but still), I read the series up to date (eleven books at the time) in less than ten days back when I started and since then I’ve been with every fan out there pining for the next book, having reread the series in its entirety several upon several times now. They’ve occupied my brain space for quite a while, and the knowing that I was reading the last of them in the present didn’t hit me until the end. There aren’t many groups of friends that I feel this strongly about and I really wish there were, that authors be taking notes.

What I loved so much about Daylighters was seeing the culmination of all of their growth—as individuals, as two couples, and as a group—in action. There are moments where the four of them are fighting together and other moments when the group splits down to each one being on their own against some sort of crisis and finding the strength and will to power through it all so that at the end of all this craziness they’d all be together again, safe at home in the Glass House where it began. That kind of love, determination, and unity broke me and redid me over and over again throughout this book, and I’m amazed that I can still feel this much more for these four than I have done from the beginning.

Who’s going to let the dirty (hungry) vampires out of the dirty vampire mall?
Something I’ve always admired about Rachel Caine’s writing ability is her skill with plot and past character connections, how she would build on top of the events of the previous books, and so it’s really no surprise that Caine handled everything this time around like a true boss, wrapping things together in the way she does best and rounding off the series in a way that not only makes sense but stays true to what Morganville’s all about.

Seeing everyone before the end was… both poignant and invigorating, with cameos from Morley down to Bob the Spider, and my heart ached with the realization that I won’t get any updates on them from this point on. *rubs eyes again*

On a lighter, more exciting note, seeing everyone fighting for each other shows how far both vampires and humans have come. Oliver, Amelie, and Myrnin have been changed for the better, tasked with making Morganville better and for the first time I feel completely sure that they will. With the new additions of Jesse and Miranda as more integral characters, there’s nothing evil-doers can do against this mixed pot of a team. Daylighters ain’t got a damn thing on these clowns.

With all my heart… which is filled with TEABS
TEABS. I’m feeling it hardcore, a term coined by Forever Young Adult that stands for The End of an Awesome Book Syndrome. Caine gave me everything I could’ve wanted or asked for by the last page but I was still left with that weird hybrid feeling of hollowness and joy. This series reigns side-by-side with Vampire Academy among the paranormal series I’ve been through, and seeing it completed, well… I’m taking it hard, folks.

Take heart, though, because Caine does round everything off cleanly and completely, and still with respect to each character as they are—she doesn’t undermine them, but shows how the changes in them have made them stronger rather than not, though maybe something we’re not fully used to. And really that’s all I can ask for, staying true to the series while still giving me the ending I ultimately wanted.

I have to go back and thank Jen for showing me the way to this series, and every awesome publicist at Penguin responsible for getting to me each of the latest books since the day I finished Last Breath. It’s been a pleasure to have worked with you in promoting Morganville. And, lastly, thanks Rachel Caine for delivering a series that has been hilarious beyond measure and overwhelmed with characters that have made my heart sing, beat faster, and bleed—it too has been a pleasure to have known this world and the people in it. Seriously, thank you.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to turn on the shower to mask my sobbing and play some crybaby music so I can wallow for as long as I damn well please. Or until my heart shrivels and blackens to nothing. Whichever comes first.

Hardcover / 368 pgs / Nov 5th 2013 / NAL/Penguin / Goodreads / $17.99

Thank you to a publicist at Penguin for getting this to me in September.


Marathon said...

That feeling of numbness and joy. I KNOW IT TOO WELL. I'm kind of worried about picking this up, as the last few installments weren't stellar reads for me, but at the same time, I'm ridiculously excited too. I love these characters and can't wait to see how it all wraps up. It's SO strange knowing that this is the final book though. That it's all over after this. Since discovering the online reading community, there has ALWAYS been a MV book on the horizon waiting for me. It's hard to believe that it all end here. :( But I'm thrilled to hear that you got the ending you wanted! That definitely reassures me.