Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Book Review: The Dead Girls Dance by Rachel Caine (Morganville Vampires #2)

Good news, girls: your dates are here!

Claire Danvers has had her share of challenges - like being a genius in a school that favours beauty over brains, dealing with the homicidal girls in her dorm and, above all, finding out that her college town is overrun with blood-sucking fiends. On the plus side, so far Claire and her friends have managed to survive getting on the wrong side of some Morganville VIPs . . . Vampire Important Persons. But their temporary peace is in danger of collapsing, thanks to the arrival of her new boyfriend's scary father and his vampire-fighting supporters.

Bad news, girls: they're dead.

My Review: 
*this review contains spoiler about the end of book one*

Shane, Eve and Claire are in shock at what Frank has done to Michael and they are held captive by Frank's men. It becomes clear that Shane came back to town on his dad's orders to spy out which vampires to target as they both wanted revenge for the vampires allegedly killing Shane's mother for remembering everything after they fled Morganville in the wake of his sister's death. The house will not let Michael die and he is able to phone the police to a break-in at the house, causing the men to flee. Now Shane has to consider where his loyalties lie.

Claire and Eve are well aware that their fragile protected status from Amelie is under threat if Frank harms any vampires so it is a shock when Brandon is found dead with Shane at the scene of the crime. He is sentenced to be killed by fire unless his friends can prove that he is innocent. Claire will do anything to get Shane released by her attempts to investigate are going to be hampered by Monica's determination to make her suffer for just existing. However Frank is also not prepared to sit back and let his son be killed without taking a prisoner of his own, and his choice just ramps up the tension in the town to a whole new level.

With Michael being such a big player, and being a ghost not a vampire, I was expecting that he was not really dead. It was still a relief to see he was ok as I love the group dynamic between the four of them. Michael is frustrated that he cannot help with anything as Oliver has left him unable to leave the house, and he is desperate enough to ask Amelie if she will turn him fully vampire. This is a huge risk for his friendship with Shane and his relationship with Eve but a big plus for character development. Shane of course, is a complete dumbass to be doing his father's dirty jobs when the guy treats him so badly. Shane is desperate enough for his father's approval to make seriously dangerous choices and now he might burn for it. I understand his desire for vengeance, of course I do but calling Frank for help was a very bad idea for Claire, Eve and Michael's safety.

Claire is persuaded by Eve to go with her to the frat party and while Eve is looking for Sam, Claire chats to the frat boy that invited her to the event. She soon discoveres that she is way to trusting of people as vshe ends up drugged and almost gang raped. It doesn't help that Frank's group decide to attack the party to kill vampires but with everyone dressed up, mistakes are being made and kids start to die. Oh Claire, I could see this coming a mile away! In this town she is learning to be wary of the vampires but seems to believe that all humans are safe which isn't true. I hope the spiked drink storyline here is a warning to the YA readers about how easy it can happen to you.

It was a massive shock to me to see the lurking bad guy from Glass Houses suddenly be murdered in this book. I was expecting him to be a major player in this series. I liked being surprised though, as it means the author is doing a good job in storytelling and twists. Michael's dilemma, Shane's stupidity, Claire being naive and Eve going take charge allows a lot of character development. I like that the teenagers are complicated and brave when they need to be, instead of whiny childish idiots like you see in other YA books. I liked the whole prisoner exchange story which had the book motoring along at speed to the plot climax, and allowed us to see the cops on the side of the good guys for once in this town.

An excellent sequel.

Read April 2017.
4 stars. 

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