Sunday, November 3, 2013

REVIEW: GLASS HOUSES (The Morganville Vampires, #1) by Rachel Caine

Title: Glass Houses
Series: The Morganville Vampires
Author: Rachel Caine
Publisher: NAL Jam
Publication Date: October 3, 2006
Genres: YA, Urban Fantasy
Reviewed by: Books4Tomorrow
Source: Purchased
My rating: 5/5


From the author of the popular Weather Warden series comes the debut of an exciting new series set in Morganville, Texas, where you would be well advised to avoid being out after dark.

College freshman Claire Danvers has had enough of her nightmarish dorm situation. When Claire heads off-campus, the imposing old house where she finds a room may not be much better. Her new roommates don't show many signs of life, but they'll have Claire's back when the town's deepest secrets come crawling out, hungry for fresh blood. Will she be able to face the town's terror or will she drown like everyone else?


Oh my freaking word! I LOVED THIS BOOK!! Okay, wait, wait, wait. Back up. I know what I said. I said I don’t like vampire-themed books. I don’t want anything to do with books that have vampires in it. But, in my defense, I’m a sucker for hype. Every now and again I see a review on a blog somewhere or on my Goodreads feed of one of the fifteen books in the Morganville Vampires series, and it’s always a glowing, positive review. And because I’m a curious person by nature, this series called to me. It didn’t actually call to me, it shouted at me to - at the very least - read the first book and then decide if I’m anti-vampire YA. If you’ve already read this book, or any book in this series for that matter, you’ll know I never really stood a chance – resistance being futile and all that.

I started reading Glass Houses with next to zero expectations, ready to roll my eyes at the merest mention of a handsome, broody vamp and a swooning sixteen-year old girl falling in love with aforementioned vamp. Surprisingly, about ten percent into the story, I was so fascinated with Morganville and its mysteries, and curious up to my eyeballs as to why in the name of all that is good and holy, Monica and the Monickettes (Monica’s sidekicks) are tormenting geeky Claire. I’m not talking taunts, mocking, a few snide comments or a couple of idle threats here and there. I’m talking unadulterated cruelty that would take your breath away. Seriously, I wasn’t sure Claire was going to make it past the second chapter.

Then Claire moves into this old, old-world-charm house with Michael, Shane and weirdo (but very sweet) Eve, and the mystery intensifies. Before I even got to the vampire part of the story, I already had all sorts of suspicions about these three housemates allowing Claire to board with them. I think the two elements that really drew me into this book were the constant menacing undertone and the fact that every time I thought I had things figured out, another mystery popped up, needing my and Claire’s investigation. I was suspicious of everyone and everything (as the author had intended) and couldn’t figure out whether Oliver can be trusted or not...amongst others.

I loved the characters, with Michael being my favorite, and Eve, Shane and Claire a close second. Amazingly and thankfully Claire is a strong character who can stand up for herself, even though her decisions are sometimes impulsive. She takes responsibility for the consequences of her actions, and she’s obviously no airhead who constantly needs a boy’s protection. I have a strong suspicion her character is going to be kicking serious butt by the end of the series. There’s a tiny, tiny bit of romance in this book, and I am overjoyed that it was kept in the background.

Rachel Caine has given me everything I hate in a book, but she turned it upside down into everything I love to read. I hate reading about vampires because the female lead is always falling in love with it. Not in this book. I can’t stand weak, clingy, hormonal female teen leads. In Glass Houses, the female lead is everything I want her to be, flaws and all. I love action in books, but am not too big on too much romance, and this book had exceptional action scenes in the final chapters that trumped the little bit of romance there was ten love. And, wow...then there’s the mother of all cliffhanger endings... Overall, Glass Houses ended up having all my favorite story elements in it, and overnight turned me into a Rachel Caine super-fan. Although I wouldn’t consider this a horror exactly, I would recommend it to fans of this genre as Caine expertly keeps the sinister feel of Morganville going throughout the story to keep the suspense at high voltage. I’d also recommend this series to readers who are tired of reading vampire romance, because these vampires are the stuff nightmares are made of. Nothing romantic or cuddly about them. If you’ve already read this book and loved it, also check out Tim O’ Rourke’s Kiera Hudson vampire series. Not for the fainthearted.    


Glass Houses by Rachel Caine has 3 198 reviews on Goodreads. Read it here.



Rachel Caine is the #1 internationally bestselling author of 15 novels in the young adult
Morganville Vampires series. The first novel, Glass Houses, was named to the prestigious Texas Library Association’s Tayshas Reading List. She also wrote the powerhouse urban fantasy Weather Warden series, as well as the Outcast Season series, set in the universe of the Weather Warden novels.

Her novels have been published in more than 20 languages around the world. She has been awarded both a Career Achievement Award and a Pioneer Award in Urban Fantasy from Romantic Times. A former professional musician, graphic artist, web designer, and corporate communications executive, Rachel finally left the business world in 2009 to devote her time completely to writing. She and her husband, award-winning fantasy artist R. Cat Conrad, live in Fort Worth, Texas.



Rachel Caine said...

I know it's not the right thing to do to thank a reviewer, but sometimes I just can't resist. I'm so tickled you enjoyed the book ... !

-- Rachel

Amanda D said...

I have to admit I love vampires so I've read many vampire books. What I loved about this series is that it is different from the rest. I'm on book 7 in the series and usually by this point I'm growing tired of a series and hoping it's over or just abandoning it. This is a solid series. Each book is enjoyable and makes me want to keep reading. Another series I feel the same about is Mythos Academy by Jennifer Estep.