Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Dead Girls' Dance by Rachel Caine

4.5 Stars.
(omnibus - contains books 1&2)

4 stars for Glass Houses and 4.5 stars for Dead Girls' Dance really loving this series so far.

I read the first book in this series Glass Houses back in May over two days and really enjoyed it! here's my review for that one -
Glass Houses Review I picked up the omnibus versions of the following four stories in the series because the standalones aren't readily available at my bookstore anymore - plus I like the omnibus covers quite a bit.

So here is my review for the recently read second book in the series, Dead Girls' Dance

This story takes literally right where the previous book ended. Shane, Claire, Eve and Michael are back again, this time to stand against a hoard of vampire hunters with a vengeance and thirst to kill the night walkers of Morganville – an act punishable by death. Low and behold, the leader of said gang is none other than Shane’s grief stricken and slightly (or more than slightly) unhinged daddy dearest Frank Collins out for revenge for the deaths of his wife and daughter several years earlier.

There are several twists and turns in this book, several moves that advance the plot for more books in the series and quite a few advancements on the romantic front for all four characters. Number one, the action was superb. I was never bored or flipping through pages, which I tend to do with books where the action takes over the rest of the plot but drags. I was always eager for more and although for most of the second half of the book Shane isn’t around (for good reason) and therefore unable to interact with Claire and the rest of the gang – which tend to be my favourite parts, when these four are together and more often than not bickering, I never felt jipped or sorry. I was eager to read more and learn more and see where this twisty plot would take me. I loved every minute of the action and the way this story developed.

One of the better parts of this book was seeing Shane and Claire grow closer. These two are so cute together and I love that for all Claire’s innocence and seeming mousiness, she knows what she wants and want she wants is Shane. She isn’t as timid with him when she realizes what she wants and I enjoyed seeing her break out of her shell in not only her interactions with Shane, but also with bitchy and seriously insane Monica Morell and her psycho gang as well as with the vamps. Claire is becoming a force to be reckoned with in her quiet unsuspecting way and I really enjoy her as a heroine. As always, Shane is great for a party line and although he was more worried and serious in this book – understandable given the circumstances, he was still the great ole’ Shane I met in the previous book and I loved him. Michael and Eve were equally likeable and I especially love Michael as well. The one thing I will say though is that although you know that Michael and Eve are falling hard for one another, you as a reader don’t fully see it. They have interactions and exchanged words that are related to the readers through Claire’s observations, but in terms of seeing behind that closed door into their personal and private interactions, the readers miss all this and therefore miss much of the development of their fantastic relationship. I love each character separately and think they go so well together and seeing the way Michael loves and protects Eve I so badly wanted to see more of them behind the wall that Claire can’t see past. That would be my one and only complaint about this book really. I want to see more Eve and Michael.

The only other thing I could mention as an irritant is Claire's unrelenting desire to go to school - I know she's a smarty pants and loves education and doesn't want to sacrifice her classes, but come on girl - she is in the middle of a very real and dangerous crisis and insists that she not only go to school, but go alone. Forget the threat of vamps, she goes to a place where she was beat up, thrown down a flight of stairs but Monica and her minions and targettet, taunted and threatened more than once. It's a stupid move and irritating that Claire is so smart in every other way and yet makes these poor choices. Because inevitably whenever she does get to class there is alwasy some dire insident which leads to more drama and action, but also makes the reader think - "see, if you had listened to Michael and Shane you wouldn't be in this mess!" It's a small thing, but still annoying in the grand scheme.

The evolution of the plot was great and I loved the way Caine leaves readers on such tenuous cliffhangers. As in the previous book, the atmosphere of Morganville was still wonderful and I continue to love this foursome and the real genuine and heartfelt love and devotion they have for one another. In a short amount of time they have all grown to love, respect and care for one another and when Michael called the others his family, I got a stupid happy grin on my face, thinking Ya! You are family!

These four would lay down their lives for one another and in the constant danger and drama of Morganville that willingness is both real and a very strong possibility on a regular basis.
Another fantastic instalment of Rachel Caine’s Morganville Vampires series.

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