Saturday, October 4, 2008
Good Lord. The Vampire Novels just keep on coming. One of these days I may get tired of them, but for right now, I'm just going to enjoy the Spooky Season and keep on reading!! Glass Houses by Rachel Caine (256 pgs. NAL Jam Books, 2006) is the first book in the Morganville Vampire Series. I chose to read this book for both the RIP III Challenge and the YA Challenge.
On the day Claire became a member of the Glass House, someone stole her laundry.
Sixteen-year-old Claire Danvers is a genius. She's always been the "smart" one. As the youngest freshmen at Texas Prairie University in Morganville, the odds seem to be stacked against her. She's always had a hard time making friends, but once she came to college, things got exponentially worse. "Geek" and "freak" are names she has been called many times. But when Claire made the mistake of correcting a statement that Monica Morrell made, she really stepped in it. Monica is one of the beautiful people. She is tall, gorgeous, and mean as a snake. And when Claire humiliated her in front of everyone, she made it her mission to make Claire miserable.
But when the teasing turned into violence, and Claire was pushed down a flight of stairs, she knew she had to get out of the dorms before she got killed. Picking up a newspaper, she finds an ad for 3 people that needed a roommate. Taking her books and what little dignity she had left, Claire sets off for the "Glass House".
The three roommates in question were Eve, the "Goth" girl that works at the local coffee house; Shane, an angry boy that doesn't really do much of anything; and Michael (Glass), a musician that owns the house and only comes out of night. The three of them were so close-knit that Claire longed to join them. She was desperate for a place to stay and a little companionship. With Claire being so young, the 3 were reluctant to let her stay. But when they heard the story of her torture and saw the bruises that covered her, a short-term agreement was reached.
But early on Claire learns the secrets of the house, but more importantly, the secrets of Morganville. It seems the town was filled with vampires. They controlled everything and everyone. If you were a human, you need to be under the "protection" of a vampire. If you were, you wore a bracelet that linked you to your protector. If you didn't have a bracelet, you were fair-game, so to speak. And no one at the Glass House was protected. But they had each others back, and now they had Claires.
At first I thought the storyline was a little silly. How such terrible things could happen in a dorm and no one ever stepped in to stop them really bothered me. But as the story progresses, you find out that the "mean girls" in the dorm are protected by some really High ranking Vampires. Ok. I can live with that. But why humans would continue to live in a town run by vampires....including the local police force.....just doesn't make a lot of sense to me.
But all silliness aside, Rachel Caine writes a pretty engaging story. The farther you read, you find out a little bit about each of the roommates' background. And you continue to get sucked into the story. Claire is not only smart, but is courageous and loyal. She takes the "vampire" stories with a grain of salt....until she actually comes face-to-face with one. Then the reality of her situation, and the precarious position she put the roommates in hits home.
All in all, this was a fun, quick read. Rachel Caine knows how to build tension and keep you on the edge of your seat. The snarkiness of the characters definitely add a bit of humor to some really dark situations. And you really want the main characters to stay safe. Since the last sentence of the book was a total cliffhanger, I had to start Book 2 right away. I couldn't just NOT find out what happens. If I like Book 2 enough, I may have to go pick up the next couple of books in this series! 3.75/5