Published: May 7th, 2013
Fall of Night (Morganville Vampires # 14)
By: Rachel Caine
New American Library
Thanks to its unique combination of human and vampire residents, Morganville, Texas, is a small college town with big-time problems. When student Claire Danvers gets the chance to experience life on the outside, she takes it. But Morganville isn’t the only town with vampire trouble...
Claire never thought she’d leave Morganville, but when she gets accepted into the graduate program at MIT, she can’t pass up the opportunity. Saying good-bye to her friends is bittersweet, especially since things are still raw and unsettled between Claire and her boyfriend, Shane.
Her new life at MIT is scary and exciting, but Morganville is never really far from Claire’s mind. Enrolled in a special advanced study program with Professor Irene Anderson, a former Morganville native, Claire is able to work on her machine, which is designed to cancel the mental abilities of vampires.
But when she begins testing her machine on live subjects, things quickly spiral out of control, and Claire starts to wonder whether leaving Morganville was the last mistake she’ll ever make...
I love Morganville as much as the next girl. I feel like the premise is still eons away from Twilight in fresh ideas and the way it treats the tired vamp subject matter is very welcomed by me. But at the opening pages of book #14 (yeah, you read that correctly), I feel like the series has gotten quite a bit stale. I was pleased that Caine took things out of Morganville finally and gave Claire a chance to test out the life she'd been dreaming of at M.I.T. since the first book when her parents made her go to Texas Prairie U instead due to her young age. I liked that she does get to explore that possibility, so that when she ends up with Shane (which is a given at this point) it will be with no regrets on that score. She won't have wasted dreams due to a guy. Yet, at this point in the series it also took the reader out of Morganville, in a not so good way. With how movie-of-the-week the plots have gotten the only thing really even saving this series for me anymore is the characters. As in, the characters we know and love from multiple books in the series' past such as Michael, Eve, Myrnin, Oliver, Hannah, Amelie and even bitchy Monica Morrell. For the first half of this book we are stuck in an unfamiliar setting with only alternating points of view between Shane and Claire as our window into a new world. Oh yeah, Shane too because he follows her so he can watch over Claire without her knowledge. Sweet, but still kind of creeptastic even when they are on the verge of being engaged.
This book also suffers from nowhere near enough Michael and/or Eve. With the lack in this book of either one, I'm not picky - I just want half of my favorite power couple. Please Ms. Caine? Pretty please with sugar on top of it? :( Claire is working with a Professor Irene Anderson who used to work for Myrnin. She still works for the vamps, in an out of town capacity with who I believe to be the ill-fated, nine day Queen Jane Grey as her vampire bodyguard. There is a secret government organization, The Daylight Foundation, looking to control vampires that is sniffing around the lab at the worst possible time. Because Claire brought the ray gun with her that she made to control vampires' urges and emotions. Of course she gives it to Anderson to study. What could possibly go wrong? *insert sarcasm here* Another new (yet mentioned in book #1 by Claire's Mom) character was her ex-BFF, Elizabeth. She is perky, neurotic and has her very own stalker ex-boyfriend Derek, who is a psychotic creep. However, Shane's behavior is pretty close to Derek's, which after 13 books worth of relationship between him and Claire was disappointing. It was very teen-angst, bordering on the beginnings of abusive relationship behavioral-patterns. I have loved Shane for most of this series, but I feel like lately his character has advanced backward instead of forward. And considering where he was in the first book, that is somewhat horrifying. It's a pretty rapid descent too, which is all the more wrong to me.
The Daylight Foundation and the other villain in this book felt like placeholders and were so cliche I can hardly stomach thinking about it. I missed the humor and unique perspectives of the first half of this series. This book was entirely too serious for me to really like it as much as the others. Yeah, we get it. Claire and Shane are in major trouble and so is everyone else. But there always used to be some jokes to break the tension or a funny moment where you knew it would work out somehow, without it bashing you over the head in its obviousness. Now this book sports a grim, Joker-like slash of a grin. Unnerving to say the least as a major fan of this series. Overall, I'm just failing to see the point of this book. All the side plots with Liz, Derek and Professor Anderson (except for the DF connection) were verging on pointlessness. After all, Shane and Claire are just going to end up back in Morganville and none of these other people will. So why, in book #14 should I give a shit about them? I don't and I didn't. Overall, I would recommend reading it if you're a hardcore Morganville fan and can get past the cringeworthy content issues and the mediocre attempt at our favorites being 'serious' and 'growing up.' Gag me. Worth it to get to book 15, for which I hold the hopes of Star Wars fan to Disney's treatment of Episode VII - meager and full of denial. Good luck to you all.
VERDICT: 2.5/5 Stars
**No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book is now available in stores, online, or maybe even at your local library.**