Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Morganville Vampires, Volume 1: Glass Houses by Rachel Caine

Paperback: 480 pages
Publisher: NAL Trade (November 3, 2009)
ISBN-10: 045123054X
ISBN-13: 978-0451230546

Morganville is a small college town in the heart of Texas-not a place that exactly screams "hotbed of creatures of the night". But college freshman Claire Danvers is about to discover why, in Morganville, you should never, ever stay out after dark...

Glass Houses
College freshman Claire Danvers moves off campus and into an old house in the small town of Morganville. Her new roommates have her back when the town's deepest secrets come crawling out, hungry for fresh blood...


Going to Texas Prairie University was not Claire's first choice of colleges, but before she could make it big she had to attend a college in Texas close to home and wait till she was actually legal enough for her parents to even consider letting her go to schools thousands of miles away. Being the genius and bookworm she is, Claire wasn't fully aware of the threatening presences that dominated Morganville as a town. Though she definitely knew the ruler of the college and that someone was out to get her; bad. For her safety, Claire moved out of the dorms and started living off-campus...where she met her three roommates and where the saying "every action causes a chain reaction" was truly put to the test. Operating under a somewhat defenseless tact, Claire knew that she was going to need some sort of protection from the vampires running Morganville, just not the Protection they were offering. With the help of Eve, Michael and Shane, she was under no circumstances fooled by the impending danger that was descending on the Glass House; but she had the assurance that she wouldn't be fighting off the vampires alone.

I'm still not sure if I like the fact that Claire is attending college at the ripe age of sixteen, but it adds to the frightened-little-girl portrayal in the beginning of the book quite nicely. While I do enjoy strong female heroine preferably, the first couple of chapters quickly captivated my attention, as did the deprecatingly quirky, glib style of writing. The plot was essentially easy to follow and minor events that carried out the action--and some torturous--scenes were fluently done, though a bit scary. (Acid? Really?) It was effectively surprising and definitely original in its comprehension. The vampires in this book are nothing out of the ordinary but they bring a bit more fear to the reader than I expected, which I kind of liked because it was refreshing and creepy at the same time. Claire did have small spurts of self-defense which I was grateful for because I couldn't stand to read a character that was rendered completely helpless throughout a whole book.

As for the interaction between all the roommates and characters in Glass Houses, they did bounce off each other and had made an effortless connection with each other as far as the communication went. Within themselves, some characters were more explored than others, but I believe that was only because some were seen more often as well. There are a lot of characters to think about but it really led to the momentum of the book and kept the ball rolling. I liked the somewhat constant action/fight scenes between the vampires and humans; kept the book entertaining as hell.

If I had not had the second book at the ready, the ending of the first book would really have killed me. Talk about your head-chopping cliffhanger. I would recommend for my readers to buy the Volume 1--which brings Glass Houses and The Dead Girls' Dance--edition if they're considering picking up this series. Trust me, you will kick yourself later if you don't book 1 and 2 to read consecutively. (Heck, I'm kicking myself for not buying the cheap copies of Volume 2 I can seeing everywhere and I haven't even finished book 2 yet.) It's also cheaper to buy the omnibus than each book individually, anyway.

Grade: B

Source: Bought