The Dead Girls' Dance: The Morganville Vampires, Book II Mass Market Paperback – Apr 3 2007
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"A kick-butt heroine who will appeal strongly to fans of Tanya Huff, Kelley Armstrong and Charlaine Harris."
About the Author
Rachel Caine is the author of more than twenty novels, including the "Weather Warden" series. She was born at White Sands Missile Range, which people who know her say explains a lot. She has been an accountant, a professional musician, and an insurance investigator, and still carries on a secret identity in the corporate world. She and her husband, fantasy artist R. Cat Conrad, live in Texas with their iguanas, Popeye and Darwin; a mali uromastyx named (appropriately) O’Malley; and a leopard tortoise named Shelley (for the poet, of course).
Top Customer Reviews
Shane's father has returned to Morganville with one thing in mind: He wants to kill as many vampires as he can, even if he gets killed in the process. After the trauma Shane's family went through with the loss of his sister, and, subsequently, his mother, Shane and his father have cooked up a plan for revenge. Shane's phone call to his father sets the plan in motion and once his father arrives, Shane realizes what a mistake he's made.
The protection Claire, Eve, Shane, and Michael have under the Founder is in jeopardy now that Shane's dad is causing problems. If they are thought to be involved in any kind of plan to kill the vampires, their protection will be removed and it will be open season on the occupants of the Glass House -- and believe me, there are plenty of vampires and people in Morganville who want to see them dead. When one of the most powerful vampires in town turns up dead, Shane is accused of the crime and sentenced to death, and it is up to Claire and Eve to find a way to save him.
Readers will enjoy it when Claire's nemesis, Monica, gets a little of what's coming to her when the tables are turned and she is put in the victim role. Also be looking for relationships to blossom over the course of THE DEAD GIRLS' DANCE, both in love and friendship. We also meet a new, likeable character named Sam. He offers aid to Claire and Eve when they are in desperate need of help.Read more ›
There are some definite good twists in this book, some good and some bad but all enjoyable to read. I find that this story makes me feel so many different emotions while reading it and I love that. I haven't found a series that I've loved like this since reading books from my favorite authors Stephanie Meyer, Kelley Armstrong, Claudia Gray or Richelle Mead.
Story is great, everything just so close to be great and then there is Claire, our heroine who is so so so! boring I can't stand it.
She has absolutely no charm, spunk, anything.
Every time I read her saying she wants to go homeI find myself grabbing my car keys to drive her, I would carry her if that would do it.
The story and characters in the books was great enough to ignore Claire and just read around her (I skip a lot of text as soon as it's all about her)
I'm interested enough to read the next book to see what happens to the people I am interested in and worry but I'm hoping for a small miracle that somehow Rachel Caine had decided to pep Claire up a little.
Seeing how all the other characters are created I'm fully aware that Claire was made this way on purpose but I just don't get why
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The characters are getting more dimensional and interesting and the worldbuilding shows how intricate it is, hiding so many mysteries that we want to investigate. I don't usually like vampire novels, but this series has lots of original ideas in it -- and its characters carry them to even higher levels. The cliffhangers are frustrating, but I'm currently writing a series that has its own set so I guess I should welcome this as setting a precedent. Be assured that the basic plot of the book is complete within it; you won't be dissatisfied.
You'll also get some really good scares. Have fun reading it! (And Rachel Caine: WRITE FASTER!!!)
First the good - the continued development of Michael, Eve, and the vampire Amelee were all good. The introduction of new characters like Sam, Gramma, and the "neutral cops" added some interest. I wanted to learn more about what made the "trap door vampire" so different and hope we get to meet and learn more in future books. The book is action packed and fast moving. And that is about all the praise I can give.
Now for the bad - the story is full of contradictions and plot holes. Not small plot holes but those big enough to drive a truck through. The development of both Shane and Claire is almost non-existent and when it is there, it is horrible. And while not an issue for me, I would warn that this book has detailed account of sexual molestation and attempted gang rape...definitely not appropriate for younger teens.
I sure you want some specifics so this is my SPOILER warning:
- Shane has been plotting with his father to take out vampires so when in trouble in the first book he calls for re-enforcements. His father shows up with 2 other guys but through out the book there are atleast 7 other bikers. If Shane called for help, why would his father hide or leave over half the help?
- Michael has powers and through those powers, he and Shane easil threw a vampire and countless police officers out of the house in the first book. Shane's dad shows up with two bikers and in the first few pages beat Shane and kill Michael without even breaking a sweat.
- Michael can't leave the confines of the house because of the power of the house (the same powers that keeps vampires out without being invited in - they just bounce off the threshold) but when he is killed his body is carried outside for further disfiguring. Seems strange but then when he re-appears in the house it makes no sense since he would be outside of the house's power.
- Mayor Morrell was included on a trial jury against Shane - he is human but they claim that all trials are held by the victims (in this case a vampire) peers
- If the mayor was just a witness, how can he make a deal to release Shane in exchange for them saving Monica?
- In the beginning of the book, a biker locks himself in a room with Eve and Claire to rape them. Shane goes to get his dad but his dad needed to keep the biker's happy and did nothing. Later when the bikers kidnap Monica. He stops one of the bikers from touching Monica. Now Claire and Eve did nothing to him or his bikers but Monica burned down his house killing his daughter which led to the death of his wife. Why would he intervene with Monica but not Claire?
- Shane has been in town 6 months looking for hiding spots and tunnels. In that time, he was able to find a hideout where Amelee's people couldn't find him and tunnels that would allow Shane, his dad, and the bikers to escape from a building surrounded by vampires, who are hundreds of years old, designed the entire town, and yet they didn't know about the tunnels
- Claire is under the protection from the oldest vampire (meaning the leader of the vampires), one of the neutral cops even says that attacking her means death, but Oliver attacks Claire in broad daylight in front of many other vampires, cops, and humans to try to force her pledge allegiance to him and nothing happens to him
- Where was Amelee and her vampires when the vampires are circling the hospital to catch vampire killers? It makes no sense that she wouldn't be there or send her people to help
- If Amelee's current protection is worthless - which was proven by Oliver's attack and Amelee's own letter at the end of the book; why in the world would signing a contract to be a slave to her mean more protection for her?
I am sure there are many more examples but I wanted to get to my two biggest issues with the book:
- Monica kidnaps Claire (again) and is physically torturing her when the bikers carjack the vehicle kidnapping Claire and Monica. They tell Claire they will take a blowtorch to Monica if the mayor doesn't release Shane. Now just to recap, so far Monica has threatened Claire nearly daily, beat her multiple times, threw her down the stairs, burned down Shane's house killing his siter, cut Eve, set her house on fire, was going to burn Claire alive, set her house on fire, kidnapped her three times, tortured her, tried to get her gang raped, etc. Yet Claire never even considered not trying to help Monica. This doesn't further develop Claire. Real development would have an internal struggle with the decision but ultimately decide no one deserves that (like Eve did). This just make Claire look pathetic like she deserves this abuse and is under the mindset that somehow they can all be friends.
- Second horrible move in the book revolved around Ian. Now Ian could have been an interesting character. It doesn't feel realistic that no one on campus is on Claire's side...Maybe a crush that could develop a love triangle and an ally even if he is behind the scenes out of fear would have been interesting but the author went another direction which I can respect. He is a bad guy. He drugs her drink and leads her to a room where he and 3 friends are preparing to gang rape her. After Sam saves her, the bikers attack the party and Claire, Eve, and the 4 gang rapists hide in a closet. While they are scared, Claire holds Ian's hand out of fear. I am not kidding. The author decides that just a few minutes after being nearly gang raped it would be a good idea to have Claire holding hands with one of her attackers! When the coast is clear and they all exit the closet, a guy who groped both Eve and Claire before asks if they are going to report them, Claire again decides not to. This isn't taking the high road. The high road is making sure people are accountable for their actions. This strips Claire of being a human being who might actually be upset by the idea she was nearly gang raped and tries to make her an all forgiving Christ-like character. Just as the author tries to make Claire all forgiving for Monica's brutality.
I might even be able to overlook the plot holes in the blockbuster action movie kind of way that as long as it entertains, who cares? But I can't overlook the horrible character development of Claire and the author's lack of sensitivity and understanding of what a tramatic experience rape, even attempted rape, can be. Sugar coating it does no one any good. Bad book, horrible character development, poor understanding of real world problems by the author.
There are lots of dangerous situations in Book Two, and a major race against time to save Shane, wrongly accused of killing a vampire and sentenced to death. The reappearance of Amelie gives another dimension to the vampires in that while she's not exactly warm, she's at least a little accessible and helpful. The best addition is Sam, a solitary vampire with ties to Michael; his appearance gives hope that possibly the vampires and the humans of Morganville may eventually be able to live together with a little more trust.
I'm not really sure why this novel is titled The Dead Girls' Dance in that the actual dance is a very, very small portion of the book, and not all that central to the action. That aside, it would be nice to see a book where Claire doesn't spend so much time getting beaten up in some way, and with maybe a bit of personality redemption for Monica. I love how Eve and Claire take charge of the situation and do all they can for their roomie, even putting themselves in grave danger. These novels are very action packed and often a situation will seem to have no positive resolution, keeping me on the edge of my seat and racing through the pages. I like the love stories going on in the background as well, but would hate to see everyone tied up in relationships too quickly.
Book Two is a wild ride that kept me up past my bedtime to finish. I'm excited that I have the next two books in the series here to get to this summer. This is a good, intriguing vampire series that will keep you entertained fully.
Rating: 5 Enchantments
Claire is a brilliant college student stuck in Morganville. With possibly no way out...ever. Living with Shane, Michael and new best friend Eve, she is trying to attend college and live a halfway normal life. With vampires running the town, she gets driven to school and tries to lay low at night. Claire is a personable girl with a catty wit that will make you laugh out loud.
In book two of the series, Claire and her friends are all involved with new problems. Branching out from where GLASS HOUSES ended, Shane's dad is in for a visit after Shane called him. His dad is after blood, and it's not the human kind. With a mad man on the loose and killing vampires, everyone is pointing fingers at Claire, Michael, Eve and Shane. Oliver, the vampire manager of Common Grounds, is plotting revenge and is getting help from an unlikely source. Eve also starts a new job at a coffee shop on Claire's college campus. While indulging in coffee and talking to Eve, a college guy named Ian invites the girls to EEK frat houses' Dead Girls Dance. Michael, still not able to leave the house, makes a choice that will not be easily forgotten and will shock all of his friends in the house. When Shane gets into some trouble, because of dear ole dad, Claire and Eve decide to go to the frat party, with a seat-gripping chain of events all the way to the end.
THE DEAD GIRLS DANCE gripped me from page one, just as much, if not more, than the first book in the series. Ms. Caine knows how to get readers interested and keep them hanging on. From the antics of the spoiled-brat Monica to the ending at the frat party, this book is non-stop fun. It flows smoothly and is very hard to predict what's going to happen next. All the characters are well-developed; you can feel their emotions of having to live in this town that's overrun by vampires. THE DEAD GIRLS DANCE is one of the best vampire stories that I have read so far.
Ms. Caine is the author of another series called `The Weather Warden' and some other stand-alone titles. She continues to write books for the `Morganville Vampire' series. Her website, [...] has loads of information on her and her books. She also has a myspace page that includes some wallpaper from the books and a mailing list you can sign up for with the latest information on contests and new releases.
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