Tuesday, May 8, 2007

'Dead Girls' Dance' by Rachel Caine

ISBN: 0451220897
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 256pp
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Price: $5.99

In Glass Houses, book one of The Morganville Vampire series we were introduced to Claire Danvers, a sixteen year old college student in the small Texas town of Morganville. She quickly learns that this college town isn’t what it seems.

Vampires rule the entire population except for the college campus. If the vampires weren’t bad enough, there are two groups locked in a fight to gain control of the town. Claire and her friends, Michael, Eve, and Shane, are stuck in the middle of it.

The Dead Girls’ Dance picks up exactly where Glass Houses left off - with a cliffhanger. I can’t tell you how glad I was to pick this book up and not have missed a single scene of the action. Michael, ghost during the day but solid boy by night, is seemingly killed. But the Glass House isn’t going to let anything happen to its occupants and soon Michael is back in action.

But the distress call that Shane placed to his father, Frank Collins, during the last scene of Glass Houses, brings more hurt than help. A self-proclaimed vampire hunter, Frank has returned to Morganville to clean the place with Shane’s help. One group of the vampires has offered protection to those of the Glass House and Claire and her friends are relatively safe. But Shane’s father doesn’t care about the alliance, or Shane’s friends for that matter, and quickly lands the four teenagers in trouble.

When Shane gets tangled up in his father’s mess, Claire has to discover a way to save him from a horrible death at the hands of the vampires. Desperate to save the boy she loves Claire visits each faction of vampires. But things are not that easy and in the end everyone must make drastic changes in their lives.

If you haven’t read the first book I can guarantee you that you will be a little lost in this one. While it’s easy to figure out the plot and the characters' relationships to each other, they do discuss past events quite a bit. Not to mention you wouldn’t understand why these two sets of vampires are at each others throats.

Some characters are three dimensional — Claire, for example — while others are flat and have not grown enough from the last book to make them interesting. The action in Dead Girls’ Dance is constant while you follow the characters — from page one all the way to the fiery end — with a death grip on the book.

Is this a satisfying follow-up? Yes. Am I looking forward to the next book in the series? Yes. It’s a good story with decent characters. Just don’t expect something out of the ordinary.

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