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The Dead Girls' Dance: Morganville Vampires, Book 2
Rachel Caine
Narrated by Cynthia Holloway
Tantor Audio, 9 hours

The Dead Girls' Dance
Rachel Caine
Rachel Caine has been writing and publishing novels and short stories since 1991.  She is a former professional musician who has the distinction of having played with such musical legends as Henry Mancini, Peter Nero and John Williams. She's also an avid movie buff, a TV-holic, and prefers a good stout Guinness to wimpy American beers.

Stormwatch: Rachel Caine's Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Glass Houses
SF Site Review: Gale Force
SF Site Review: Chill Factor
SF Site Review: Heat Stroke
SF Site Review: Ill Wind
SF Site Review: Ill Wind

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Gil T. Wilson

Morganville, Texas is home to Texas Prairie University and vampires. The university attracts new, young "blood" and the vampires rule the town. The locals are all under protection from a vampire patron, with the families entering a contract giving them protection. It's very much like life insurance, but instead of a payout when you pass on, you simply don't pass on at the hands of a vampire.

Claire Danvers is a super-smart 16-year-old that has graduated early from high school. Instead of going to a big name university she decides to start out with a couple of years at TPU. After being the butt-end of some hazing, she moves off campus and into the Glass House, where the residents all seem fairly normal. There's Michael Glass, owner of the house; Eve, the goth girl; and Shane, the video gamer. Claire learns the secrets of Morganville from her new roommates and soon the trouble begins.

The big battle in book one leads to the residents of the Glass House receiving protection from Morganville's founder and strongest vampire, Amelie. But things don't get any easier because of this -- in fact, they may be worse. During the worst of the battle, when things looked grim, Shane made a mysterious phone call, calling in the cavalry. It turns out the cavalry was Shane's dad and the anti-vampire biker gang set to destroy the Morganville vampires.

The Dead Girls' Dance starts out right at that cliffhanger ending from book one. Shane's dad is ready to kill and starts with Michael, thinking he is a vampire. His cohort stabs Michael and then they cut off his head and bury him in the backyard. This is not good for the remaining residents of the Glass House, as it may break their protection agreement.

Hearing that his dad has targeted a vampire named Brandon to be killed, Shane sets out to save the unsuspecting vampire. Unfortunately, Shane is found next to Brandon's dead body and is accused of Morganville's most hideous offence -- killing a vampire. Locked in a cage in the town's square and condemned to die by incineration, Claire and the rest don't have much time to find proof that Shane did not do the killing.

One of the many plans the group comes up with is to find a vampire to help them sneak into the square and help Shane escape. The vampire they find to help them is named Sam. Wait till you hear the secrets Sam holds. No I won't tell, you'll have to listen for yourself. But to find Sam, it's necessary to attend the campus dance called, The Dead Girls Dance. Problems abound when Shane's dad and his biker buddies decide to crash the dance.

Once again, while Cynthia Holloway does a decent job of reading the story and has pretty good vocal characterization, she still needs to work on her pronunciation skills. One of the words that stands out is her pronunciation of the word, nuclear. You guessed it -- she pronounces it as "nucular." There are others, but that one stands out as the most obvious. Other than that, there's some good listening in this audiobook production of The Dead Girls' Dance.

Copyright © 2009 Gil T. Wilson

Gil T. has spent a quarter of a century working in radio and has lots of spare time on his hands and reading or listening to books takes up all that time. Check out his blog to find out what he's up to at any given moment.

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