20 February 2013

The Dead Girls' Dance by Rachel Caine

Claire Danvers has her share of challenges---like being a genius in a school that favors beauty over brains, dealing with the homicidal girls in her dorm, and above all, finding out that her college town is overrun with vampires. On the up side, she has a great roommate (who tends to disappear at sunup) and a new boyfriend named Shane, whose vampire-hunting dad has called in backup: cycle punks who like the idea of killing just about anything.

Now a fraternity is throwing its annual Dead Girls' Dance and---surprise!---Claire and her equally outcast best friend, Eve, have been invited. When they find out why, all hell is going to break loose. Because this time both the living and the dead are coming out---and everybody's hungry for blood.

The Dead Girls' Dance wasn't a huge step up from Glass Houses in my opinion of it. The characters were good, but not exceptional; the world was expanded well enough; and, luckily, it wasn't a rehashing of the first.  It was still very superficial and "bubble gum" like, but what made this installment distinctive for me was how the stakes were high.  (No pun intended.)  But I'm still not finding it "oh my goodness" amazing.

Like the first book, Dead Girls' Dance lacked a sense of depth.  It left me wondering, "Why should I find this important?"  I did feel more of a connection with the characters, though, because I'd already read a book about them, but while their quips were hilarious, their dynamics weren't thrilling me.  That was my issue with most of the story: I was left utterly un-thrilled.

Claire was my central issue in Glass Houses.  Here, she was fine.  Still a complete flake, but not wholly useless, either.  Although, I certainly raised my eyebrows over her desire to still head to class when she knows full well that leaving the house will get her killed.  With Claire, I was always thinking, "If you're going to get threatened, kidnapped and potentially sucked dry by a bunch of creepy vamps, it might as well be for a better reason than wanting to go to class."

I thought the plot for Dead Girls' Dance was much better than Glass Houses.  It had a bit more cohesiveness; I understood the stakes better.  What I didn't understand was why the title was "The Dead Girls' Dance" when the dance didn't mean a whole lot in terms of how it impacted the story.  Besides that, it was exciting and interesting and packed a few twists.

What I loved most, hands down, was the humor.  Kudos for books that make me laugh.  Glass Houses was excellent in the humor department, and The Dead Girls' Dance continued that excellence nicely.  So if I got anything out of it, it was a great laugh.

I'm a bit on the fence about whether or not I'm going to continue with the series.  I've been told they get better with time, but after two books that were only "meh," I'm a bit skeptical about putting a lot of time and effort into the series.  Still, I'm interested, and that counts for something.

"Boys. I'd turn gay if they weren't so sexy."
"Can I come back and see you sometime?"

"Long as you bring me some chocolate," Gramma said, and smiled. "I'm partial to chocolate."

"Gramma, you're diabetic."

"I'm old, girl. Gonna die of something. Might as well be chocolate."
"I liked you better when you were this timid little kid. What happened?"

"I started living with you guys."

"Oh, right."
Book Info
  • pages - paperback, 248
  • published - April 2007
  • publisher - NAL Jam
  • genre - urban fantasy
  • received via - library :)
  • rating - 4/5
  • series - Morganville Vampires
    • Glass Houses | Review
    • The Dead Girls' Dance
    • Midnight Alley
    • Feast of Fools
    • Lord of Misrule
    • Carpe Corpus
    • Fade Out
    • Kiss of Death
    • Ghost Town
    • Bite Club
    • Last Breath
    • Black Dawn
    • Bitter Blood
    • Fall of Night
    • Daylighters