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Monday, 27 July 2015

The Dead Girls' Dance by Rachel Caine (Morganville Vampires, #2) - Book Review

5/5 Stars

Good news, girls: your dates are here!

Bad news, girls: they're dead!


Edition: Paperback
Pages: 380
Chapters: 13 (Plus a short story at the end.)
Publisher: Allison & Busby

Book Links: Goodreads
                      Amazon
                      Author's Website

Review

The Dead Girls' Dance ratchets up the stakes following Glass Houses' cliffhanger ending. Old enemies remain, while new ones pop in to complicate matters. 

One thing's for sure: Everything is about to change.

And it might not be for the better...

Another awesome entry to the series, with Ms Caine cementing her talent for insane stories and captivating characters. The Morganville Vampires series is, and I feel I'll be repeating this a lot, fun. It's a quick, easy read. The story is well-paced and plotted; the characters unique, interesting, and above all, a joy to love or hate.

This is a series to relax with. Plus, menacing vampires.

SPOILER WARNING

Synopsis (Not a copy from the book, but I always keep my interpretations close.)

Claire Danvers, sixteen-year-old genius, thought vampires and their followers were the only evil she had to worry about.
And in a town run by them, that problem was big enough by itself.
But with the arrival of Shane's father, and his anti-vampire biker gang, the tenuous peace that Claire fought for, is about to be snapped.
And it could end in a war were death is all but certain...

Plot - 5/5 Stars

The Dead Girls' Dance is a great sequel to Glass Houses. Everything is driven up a notch: Action, tension, suspense, world building, character development; all of it. The building blocks of the first book handle it all without budging. We're in for an exciting and complex ride, with new surprises around every corner.

There's some predictability and cheesiness, but somehow, this just makes the series that much more enjoyable.

There's a heavy focus on morality, an intriguing one. Claire and the gang place vampires in the bad column, no questions asked, but with the introduction of new characters, these views are challenged. It's a nice concept to play with, and while not original, it's a concept I don't tire of reading. You really can't classify any one person, or whole group, as completely bad. And our characters find this out. Good and bad reside in everyone, but it's our choices that define us, not our supposed predispositions.

The introduction of Shane's father Frank adds new weight to the novel. Or, put simply, adds bucket loads of chaos. And while the main subject of Glass Houses' plot takes a backseat, this entry proves to be just as engaging, and thrilling.

Pace - 5/5 Stars

Faster than its predecessor. Much faster. The foundations from the story have been set, and you can just tell the author had fun now that's out the way. The Dead Girls' Dance is a breeze to read; the flow, as I mentioned before, is undeniably great. 

Not only is the story packed and the characters lovable, the pace makes sure you'll be blasting through the books. And I love that.

Characters - 5/5 Stars

I wouldn't say this entry focuses on characters anymore than Glass Houses does, but it definitely goes deeper. Especially concerning Shane and Eve, and with their progressions, the rest of the cast change too. One thing remains, though, they're fantastic. From the good guys, to the ambiguous guys, to the bad guys: They're all a helluva lot of fun to read.

Claire is still so bloody endearing! Which is a good thing. One of my favourite scenes that shows off her courage, quirkiness and undeniable comedic qualities, is her attempt at flirting with Shane. One word: Hilarious! She's definitely a magnet for bad, in the sense that poor Claire seems to have evil coming at her from all sides, and she's almost always at the front of the line for it. Being the youngest has to be hard, but she handles these things. Maybe not well, but she handles them all the same.

Eve is still as ferociously kickass as she is kind, but The Dead Girls' Dance digs deeper into her past, namely her psycho serial killer brother, Jason, who's just been released from jail. We see her normally sarcastic but generous nature pushed to its limits. While the Jason plot is touched upon and used throughout, it isn't fully used; which of course could mean anything: Namely, trouble lingers on the horizon.

Shane is perhaps the character whose time in the spotlight is longer than the rests. The real reason he's returned to Morganville is revealed, and with the introduction of Frank, his Dad, the full ramifications of that reason changes his mind. Shane definitely deepens in this entry; where he's mostly carefree in Glass Houses, a darker, more weighty part of him is created here.

Michael, however, if it's even possible, increases in maturity. He's level-headed and extremely capable, but also sadly helpless. His condition, and his inability to leave the house forces him into a position where he's all but useless. It's from this that a choice springs, a choice that could rock the characters' dynamic with one another. On the plus side though, he's definitely more open now his secret's out.

Aside from the four mains, and the other collection of mesmerising misfits, some new, creepy characters are introduced, and Claire has it right, they're scarier in different ways to the cold and calculated vampires.

Writing - 5/5 Stars

I'm loving the writing. It's simultaneously serious, and sarcastic. The comedic elements woven throughout are hilarious. The books strikes a great balance between taking itself seriously, and not really giving a damn.

Overall - 5/5 Stars

Overall, a thrilling entry. 

If my hunch is right for the next book, then I am extremely excited.


Previous Instalment: Glass Houses
Next Instalment: Midnight Alley


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