Daylighters - Rachel Caine
Published November 5, 2013
Allison & Busby
Young Adult Fantasy
As you should know by now, I absolutely love the Morganville series by Rachel Caine. This book is a little different to the others, as Daylighters marks the end of the journey for Claire and her friends. Although not the strongest book in the series, it is far from the weakest.
As usual, the story begins where the last left off. Vampires and humans are separated - Michael and the others have been staked unconscious. Claire, Eve and Shane are taken to the Daylight Foundation building to meet the leader. The first thing we notice is the newly built area of Morganville - infact, all of Morganville has had a face lift since the Scooby gang left.
The Founder's houses are being knocked down - wait a minute, what? Fallon, the main antagonist of the book, is trying to destroy all of Amelie's influence on the town so that he can finally take total control.
The Daylight Foundation's influence is being well and truly felt by both the town and the reader. Fallon is changing the town for what even Claire thinks is the better. They're becoming a stronger, closer community without the Vampires being in control. The symbolism of them coming back to Morganville at dawn was not lost on me.
I loved Claire's inner struggle about destroying this new-found independence. That was quite central to the whole story, because she's never really thought that what she was doing was 'bad'. Her moral compass is usually spot on, and for her to be torn about a situation is unusual. I loved the change for her, even if the whole of the book lasted only a couple of days.
The other characters stay pretty grounded, for Morganvillians. Nothing is done that you would not expect the characters to do, although Eve's reaction to a certain situation is shocking in a good way. Other than that, it's business as usual.
From here on out, it's spoilers.
There were a lot of things which I didn't like about Daylighters. I didn't like the lack of build up for the Daylight Foundation. I don't think one book (Fall of Night) counts as story arc development.
If I have missed any hints or mentions throughout the series, please feel free to throw them at me in the comments.
We are introduced to yet another abandoned building in Morganville. Honestly, how many buildings can be abandoned and forgotten in a town whose major shopping district is second hand stores. Pull your finger out, Amelie, or risk entrapment by your own negligence!
I especially did not like the final trip to Blacke. It was too short, and ultimately unnecessary. Lots of characters were killed off, whereas if I was Caine, I would have left Blacke alone for a possible spin-off series in the future. I genuinely hope that's it now because I cannot deal with a Monica Morrell spin-off. That would be awful.
I was not a major fan of the Cure. I don't like that in almost every Vampire book series, or film series, there is a cure for this imposed affliction. Especially when in this series, it is crucial to the story that Vampires are seen as a race rather than a mutation. In fact, I always thought that the Morganville series was saying something about race and even going as far as Apartheid and how terrible that was. The humans struggle to be classed as equals, and the Vampires struggle to accept 'lesser beings' as such. Of course, this book completely dashed all of that, and almost offended me with the way in which the Cure was offered by Fallon. You can't change the colour of your skin, so why would the Vampires want to change their race?
Of course, this is what Caine intends, as the champion for equal rights (Claire) destroys Fallons laboratory and closes down his experiments. Ultimately, this concept which I hate so much, has been done in the most perfect way. It screams "be who you are, not who you think you should be", and I absolutely love it.
Conversely, Caine does allow Michael to turn back into a human. I don't understand this as it seems like his and Eve's 'interracial marriage' shows strength of character in a place where it is frowned upon. Riddle that out.
I didn't at all like the dog mutations for both Shane and Hannah. I was really hoping for just one without Werewolves. That was the only reason I liked the Cure when I was reading, because it stopped this awful thing from happening.
Personal opinion comes into play on this next one. I didn't like the wedding. I thought it was tacky, mainly because Eve wore that red dress again. I just couldn't see Claire's parents agreeing to let their only child get married in a joint ceremony and not have her own special day. They are quite traditional, and I didn't see it fitting. A lot like the dialogue, it was a lot more rapid fire than in previous books.
I was expecting the Glass annulment, but I wasn't expecting to feel as moved as I did. Eve's fight to keep her husband was exactly how I would expect her to react to the situation.
Although I've written a lot about what I didn't like, I did enjoy this book. I love the writing style; the dialogue seems appropriate for their age although, like I say, a little bit rushed this time. It is familiar and similar to what we've had before. That feeling of familiarity is what always brings me back for more. I started reading Morganville at a time when I'd not read anything for almost a year. It was fast moving, twisty and interesting, and I think that the series has never lost that.
I loved seeing all the influential elements and characters of Morganville being brought back for a farewell. It's all these little nods to previous books that really make you remember that this is the last in the series. We get to see Jason, Morley, Bob the spider, Monica, Miranda, and all those from Blacke. We are taken back to Myrnins Lab, the graveyard, Founder's Square, the Glass house; Amelie's secret room, the hidden pantry, Claire's room.
The only people I would have liked to have seen would be the Jewish family. I cannot for the life of me remember what happened to them, but they don't make an appearance.
It wasn't, for me, the perfect ending I was expecting. However, summing up such a prolific series in one book was never going to be easy and please everyone. Caine has created a brilliant end to the saga, even finishing up with Amelie still on top. Even writing this has made me think differently about Daylighters. I was prepared to say how much I disliked it because it took me in a direction I wasn't expecting and didn't like, but don't I always moan about knowing what's coming next? I took a step back to really delve into the book when writing this, and only understood the significance of the Cure as I was writing that paragraph. It made me appreciate the story a lot more.
So, with all that being said, thank you Rachel Caine and farewell Morganville!
Also read this review, as she has a good perspective on Daylighters.