Monday, April 29, 2013
The Dead Girls' Dance by Rachel Caine #review
Title: The Dead Girls' Dance (The Morganville Vampires Book #2)
Author: Rachel Caine
It’s not often that I encounter a second book in a series that’s actually a mild improvement on its predecessor, but this is one of them. Book #1
introduces us to “too stupid to live” (TSTL) heroine Claire Danvers – who, at the age of 16, is intellectually gifted enough to study at a college away from home – and her motley crew of housemates, Shane, Michael (a ghost) and Eve (the token goth).
But the town of Morganville, Texas, is apparently the last place on earth any parent would want to send their child to, as it’s run by a community of vampires who consider their human townsfolk as nothing more than prey. Of course, Claire, with her knack for drawing trouble (which also keeps her firmly in TSTL category throughout the saga) finds herself smack bang in the middle of trouble. With a capital “T”.
Mercifully, the pace is fast and events quickly spiral out of control for the characters when Shane’s vengeful father and his gang of biker thugs aim to rid Morganville of its vampires. Added to this, Claire’s favourite bullying fiends – the stereotypical popular girls – have further nastiness planned for her.
My main issue with this story isn’t so much the writing, which is adequate, and a plot that is mildly entertaining, but rather that I wish Caine would find better ways to convince me of her character’s motivations. Because, once the cards are on the table, what sensible young person would want to stay in a town that features vampires (some of whom don’t have her best intentions at heart), and bullies who are not too concerned with exactly how deadly their lessons are?
All for the sake of proving that you’re big enough to get an education and be independent? I’m sorry. I’m not buying it, even for the sake of Claire not leaving behind friends. I simply didn’t gain the impression that the main character had lived in Morganville long enough to set down the kind of roots that would justify her obstinacy in risking life and limb – repeatedly, and with a blasé attitude to boot.
That being said, if you’re a fan of the Twilight and Fallen books, you’re probably not going to be bothered by Claire’s actions, and you’re most likely going to gobble down the entire series like chocolate-covered doughnuts.