Not so long ago I had written a small review about After the Fall, the first book telling the story of team CFVY, their adventures after the fall of Beacon and their trip through the world of Remnant – precisely to the region still not seen up until this moment in the series, Vacuo.
The universe of RWBY is vast and there’s a lot of potential within the plot and characters to tell a bunch of stories. On Before the Dawn we see the sequence of events of After the Fall; team CFVY arrives in Vacuo and meets their friends and mates from team SSSN (formed by Sun Wukong, Scarlet David, Sage Ayana and Nepture Vasilias). Our protagonists are looking for clues which will lead to the den of the Crown – an organization which is seeking down people with powerful semblances in order to kidnap them and probably use them in a war of some sorts.
Like the first book, Before the Dawn was written by E.C Myers, with the story by Kerry Shawcross and Miles Luna (both writers of the animated series). It’s really satisfying getting to know more about these characters, who since the beginning were adored by fans. Like stated in another post, one of Rooster Teeth’s specialties is to create very charismatic characters with a lot of potential, and here on the books it could not be different. The pacing of the story is quite close to the one of the episodes in the series, which is amazing!
Speaking of whom, on this book, we don’t only get an in depth look at Vacuo, just like in its predecessor, but now we get to know Shade academy, its headmaster and teachers, like Theodore and Rumpole. The plot is chaotic and full of surprises, specially after we had gotten to know Carmine Esclados and Bertilak Celadon (in After the Fall), we know we can expect, at least, something suspicious. Beyond all these novelties, it’s quite interesting seeing Sun being held accountable by his teammates, after having left them behind and now facing the consequences of his actions, and also learning how to work as a team – the young faunus had always been more of a lone-wolf type so far.
Yatsuhashi Daishi, gains more and more notoriety within the plot, specially because of his semblance – the power to change people’s memories – which had already been explored on the first book, but now it’s explored even further. Velvet Scarlatina shows that she’s not only a sympathetic partner and brave warrior, but has a great tech expertise – which is revealed in a flashback with her father. Coco Adel once again shows us her insight and great leadership; it’s really rewarding to see how Fox Alistair and Coco are so well developed and show their personalities throughout the plot, like their skills and intelligence. Like stated before, the characters are the stars of these stories and this is something that always holds the spotlight during the unfolding of events.
Just like After the Fall, Before the Dawn is an amazing gift for the fans who want to know more about the RWBY universe and its side characters. You don’t have to have read the first book in order to understand and enjoy this sequel because everything is well explained and summarized – very fluidly, by the way – giving all the background to the people who want to start from this novel. I recommend reading both because the story is fantastic and it’s worth having these two extra pieces of such a beloved franchise. Not only focusing on both teams, we get more insight on Vacuo and prepare ourselves for the ninth volume, coming up in late November this year. Hope you enjoy the ride!