Originally published November 9, 2013*
By Pam van Hylcklama Vlieg
Summary: There’s a new werewolf in Mystic Falls!
Klaus and Caroline continue their passionate, all-consuming affair. Everything seems perfect in their world. But then a handsome young stranger shows up in Mystic Falls, confusing Caroline and raising the fur on the back of werewolf Klaus’ neck. It’s time for Mystic Falls High’s annual spring dance. It’s her last one, so Caroline very much wants to go stag along with girlfriends, Elena and Bonnie. Klaus of course expects and is disappointed that she isn’t going with him. And then Mystic Falls’ golden girl meets the alluring Rhys at the Mystic Grill. She feels a strange attraction to him, too. Klaus knows why only too well. And he becomes enraged when he learns that the newcomer, Rhys might take his place in Caroline’s arms at the big high school affair.
Main Characters: Klaus Mikaelson, Caroline Forbes
Original Character(s): Rhys
The Dance, by Pam van Hylcklama Vlieg, is sold (via its summary) as a Klaus/Caroline story “continuing their passionate, all-consuming affair”. This is just the type of story that I’ll jump head first into, especially as Damon and Elena pretty much dominate the books found in the Kindle Worlds’ section. Unfortunately, the summary couldn’t be further from the truth. At best, Caroline tolerates Klaus throughout this short story and quite honestly, the entire summary gives away too much, promoting plot lines that are barely skimmed over within the 15 pages of The Dance.
And, it’s a shame, because van Hylcklama Vlieg is a talented writer. I loved her characterization of Caroline whose inner monologue is spot-on: indignant at times, funny, insecure and obsessed with the homicidal, Big Bad hybrid that outwardly she is totally conflicted about and claims to hate.
For this reader, I had a hard time qualifying this as a story at all. A story has a beginning, middle, and end. Typically, within a story the beginning introduces the characters and conflict. The middle examines the conflict with the end resolving them. The Dance starts well. We’re introduced to the characters, the conflict is established nicely with a little twist taking us into the middle of the story, the buildup is done well and then it just ends. The reader is left dangling and incredibly frustrated, especially because the ending would have been the perfect beginning of a great story. I even searched through the summaries of van Hylcklama Vlieg’s other Kindle Worlds stories to see if there was a sequel, but no luck. To be honest, Pam, despite your talent as a writer, I feel like you stole my 99 cents. You wrote the summary, which I think misrepresented the content, and The Dance just stopped instead of ending. Now I’m short the money for a Kit Kat and that’s a big deal for me.
The Oops Factor: (this is a new feature which highlights ideas within the book that are in conflict with the show)
- Tyler refers to Uncle Mason as his cousin
- Matt & Caroline’s breakup is referred to as a “bad breakup” resulting in an awkward relationship between them.
- Caroline randomly turns off her “little internal emotion switch” like it’s something a vampire might do instead of eating a 10 pound bag of Peanut M&Ms
- The original character (who, btw, is totally hot) hates Klaus because his brother died during Klaus’s “first experiment with doppelgänger blood”. Tyler, of course was Klaus’s first experiment with doppelgänger blood.
For those reading this who thinks the Oops Factor is really nitpicky. You’re absolutely right. There is one thing that makes me bang my head against the wall when reading a KW story and that is the author not getting the show details correct. To quote Damon: “No! No, no, no. Did I mention No?”
Favorite Part: Caroline considering “She should get a lot of cats. Or a puppy. But, she might get hungry and eat it.”
Least Favorite Part: Caroline asking a stranger on a date 5 seconds after meeting him. Stranger Danger!!