The Premise: This is the third Dark Days novel, narrated by Mira, a 600 year old vampire, known as the Fire Starter, the only nightwalker (aka vampire) with the power over fire. Mira is in the middle of a war between the nightwalkers and the naturi, a race of beings who think that all humans and nightwalkers should be eliminated to cleanse the earth. Mira’s fight with the naturi has traversed the globe, from her home in Savannah, to London, to Venice and back. Now things have progressed so that the naturi are about to break free out of the seal keeping most of them out of the world, but Mira is hellbent on stopping them.
**** There are minor spoilers for the past books from this point on ****
My Thoughts: I had very similar thoughts about this book as I did for the previous two, except I would say that this book has even more action. Dawnbreaker is like one of those blockbuster movies with plenty of fights and pyrotechnics (which makes for a quick read whenever I picked it up). The book starts off where Daywalker left off, with naturi pursuing Mira while she tries to stop them from breaking the seal that keeps most of their kind from returning to the world. By Mira’s side are several people who we’ve been introduced to in the past couple of books. There’s a lot of characters to keep track of, but I had no issues remembering who they were because of quick summaries of who is who exactly when I needed it. All of these people are under Mira’s protection and she takes her job very seriously, but the bombardment from the naturi means Mira is a busy woman.
One of the people surrounding Mira is the vampire hunter Danaus who over the past couple of books has become something of a friend. Their relationship is an odd one. They have to work with each other because only Danaus is able to expand Mira’s abilities, but they are natural enemies. This book is very much an urban fantasy because there is almost no romance, but there are hints that Danaus and Mira feel more for each other than they are willing to admit. These hints were *very* few and far between, and are about equal in number to the comments that one day Mira and Danaus will kill each other. They both seem able to understand one another in times of trouble, but Mira and Danaus have seen each other do things they didn’t approve of. In any case, because this book was focused on the race to stop the naturi from re-entering the world, there was less time to delve into relationships as deeply as they were in previous books. Much of the interesting interactions happened in the last quarter of Dawnbreaker. I don’t doubt we’ll see more of that to come, both between Mira and Danaus, and between Mira and others, including the vampire Coven leaders, whose long term plans are hard to guess, and Mira’s new vampire family. This book leaves us with some problems solved and other problems appearing (Mira’s seat on the Coven, Danaus’ identity, The Great Awakening). I can’t wait to see how Mira and Danaus tackle them!
My family used to live there, so I have a very small nit about the Peruvian weather: Peru isn’t far from the equator and the change of seasons is quite mild, so the description of the winter winds and seasons being the opposite of North America’s isn’t accurate. I’d say Cusco is only colder because of the altitude and there really is only a dry season and a rainy season, not four seasons.
Overall: Ramps up the non-stop action which is found in the first two books. This book continues with the same dark, Gothic undertones and epic scope. I love the complex relationships between characters which is sparingly doled out here, but I have no doubt they will come to the forefront again soon enough. There are a couple of juicy issues left for Mira and Danaus to tackle after this book, and I’m looking forward to the next installment.
Links and other reviews:
Jess’s Book reviews as a interview and contest for Dawnbreaker that ends 10/5 (this is awesome because it comes with a picture of how Drake imagines Danaus)
Interview at SciFiGuy (I was interested to find out about a preview novella in the Unbound anthology, and that the next books will be called Pray for Dawn and Wait for Dusk)