Science fiction and fantasy                                            

The Dead Girls' Dance

by Rachel Caine


For Claire Danvers it's better the devil you know in the second of the Morganville Vampires series. The vampires are deadly, but Shane's crazy father and his biker gang have come round to break up what little peace Claire and her housemates were trying to carve out. Shane's dad puts Michael Glass in the same category as the vampires, and he and his buddies are about to declare an all-out war on the undead of Morganville.

Shane's father is cruel and rough, and he doesn't seem to be capable of compromise. In his quest for revenge for what was done to his family he doesn't seem to have much regard for his own safety or that of his son. But Shane isn't the only one with family problems. Eve's wayward brother Jason is out of jail and on the loose. Jason is psychologically unstable, and there's no telling what he's planning to do once he's free.

Tensions escalate when a murder takes place in Morganville's claustrophobically close-knit community. It's not merely a matter of finding the culprit, however, but also of finding a way to avoid more bloodshed as various factions try to manipulate the situation for their own ends. The residents of the Glass house are dangerously short of allies, and they don't know who they can turn to when everyone seems like an enemy.

The story is very pacey with fangs, abductions, stand-offs, chasing around and more adding to the action. But Eve and Claire still find the opportunity to dress up and go partying. It's sweet the way cute teenage antics are mixed with the perils of psychos and vampires. Claire has all the usual hassles of growing up, magnified by the addition of monsters of various stripes.

Since Claire is only sixteen there's a limit to the things she can legally do. However this doesn't stop Rachel Caine from writing some sizzling, if somewhat chaste, love scenes.

A certain part of the mystery of the events in the book gets introduced early on, but then it's left relatively undeveloped during this story. It's as though this thread is more of a set-up for the next book in the series than a part of this one. Eve's diary at the end fills in certain details, but it doesn't quite round things off and as a result I was left with the impression that the book was incomplete.

However, on the whole The Dead Girls' Dance is a satisfying read. It's fast, cute, sassy and tense, and a great bit of escapism.

17th August 2011

Book Details

Year: 2007

Categories: Books

  YA     Horror
    Female Protagonist  

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4 star rating

Review © Ros Jackson
Read more about Rachel Caine