Author: Rachel Caine
Date of Publication: April 3, 2007
Formats Available: Paperback, E-book
Buy This Book: Amazon
Synopsis: 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 Morganville Vampires is one of those rare YA series that manages to pull off being about vampires without being completely ridiculous or hard to read. Maybe I'm just biased because I spent so much time obsessing over these books when I was younger but I really do love this series with all my heart. Caine has a way of writing in such a magnetic way that it's almost impossible to stop reading her books once I start; leaving me constantly desperate for the next one.
This book takes a little bit of a different direction than the first book in the series. While the first book focused mostly on introducing the characters this book delved deeper into what really makes them tick. We finally learn more about what happened to Shane's and Eve's families and we're even introduced to Shane's dad. I didn't like the plot of this novel as much as I liked that of Glass Houses, even though the idea of Shane's dad being a vampire hunter wanting to take down the whole town was an interesting one it was much slower because Claire wasn't exactly deeply involved. There were a lot of moments where this novel dragged a little bit just because Claire wasn't in the thick of what was happening.
I will say that I like Glass Houses better than The Dead Girls' Dance but this is only the second book in the series. Caine is still trying to figure out how everyone fits into the series and a huge amount of information is presented in this novel. Some of the characters undergo major changes and much of the social structure of Morganville is explained throughout the novel. Even though there is a pretty exciting plot the main points of the novel seem to be giving more information on how Morganville is run and introducing some pretty major characters. That's not to say this book isn't a good one but it does a lot of setting up for future novels.
The character relationships are really what make these novels as amazing as they are. Claire and Shane will forever be my favorite fictional couple. Caine knows how to write a romance and something about the relationship between Claire and Shane is deeper than just words on a page. Likewise the brother/sister like relationship between Claire and Michael always makes me smile and I don't even want to get into how adorable Eve and Michael are as a couple. Caine is a master at creating characters and even the secondary characters have personalities just as strong and unique as the main characters.
I'm the first to admit that I've become extremely wary of vampire novels but the Morganville Vampires is a novel that I will always, always, always recommend. Caine manages to take an overdone plot such as a town run by vampires and make it into something unique and fun to read. I highly recommend this series to teens and adults alike looking for a novel that breaks the mold for vampire books!