Monday, 26 June 2017

Book Review: Glass Houses by Rachel Caine (Morganville Vampires #1)


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?

My Review:
Claire makes the mistake of getting on the wrong side of superbitch Monica and her friends but even she doesn't expect to be almost killed by them. Desperate, she applies to live off campus in the Glass House, owned by Michael and lodging his friends Eve and Shane. Now she learns the truth about Morganville, run by vampires and those who serve them and once you enter town you cannot leave. If you are not protected by a vampire, their personal property, you are on the dinner menu as the sun goes down. Claire is going to discover that Monica is the least of her problems...

I love this series! It was that beautiful shiny cover that caught my attention first, followed by hey, VAMPIRES! I was curious about life in a vampire town and I just had to buy it. For someone like me who doesn't read much YA, this was a bit of a treat. I binge read the first six books in April and I'm back reading them so it seemed like a good idea to start posting the reviews.

Firstly the characters are great. Claire is a smart fifteen year old who wanted to go to a better place but her parents thought the best colleges were too big and scary for her, unaware that this Texas college has actual teeth and is more deadly than they know. Now Claire is stuck in a town where the Queen Bitch wants her dead and the vampires lurk in the dark. Her new allies are aspiring musician Michael, who turns into a ghost every morning and never seems to leave the house, Eve the Goth who works at Oliver's coffee shop which is neutral ground in Morganville for vampires and humans, and playboy Shane. The relative peace in the Glass House has been shattered by Claire's arrival as trouble seems to be following her.

Eve and Shane are unprotected, not belonging to any vampire but Brandon, the one who wanted Eve so badly has now become fixated on Claire. To protect her, Shane enters into a blood donor deal with Brandon which the girls are unhappy about. They hear that the vampires are searching for a book and that is one thing that Claire knows about. If they can find it or fake it, perhaps they can talk to someone in authority to release Shane from the contract before Brandon drinks him dry. And if they can find the book, there is the danger that the vampires will find out and take it from them...

The vampires in the book are certainly evil. Brandon is a creepy paedophile type vampire who targets the young. He was once obsessed with Eve who refused to sign a protection order with him when she turned eighteen like the rest of her family and was disowned by them. Brandon is pure evil and regards all humans as fair game regardless of the rules, and is also Monica's protector. Even on neutral ground, Brandon has to be stopped from harming Claire by Oliver. The vampires are permitted to feed on the unprotected on the streets at night so Eve's car becomes vital to the safety of the gang.

There are also the human monsters like Monica. I don't greatly like the cliche bully stories in YA but this was different. Monica is just as evil as the vampires and she is more than happy to kill Claire for making her look silly in front of a guy. She previously set fire to Shane's House, killing his younger sister and destroying his family. Her sidekick Gina is just as evil although Jennifer seems to have a little bit of a conscience when it comes to attempted murder. The police work for the vampires and are no friends to those in the Glass House, as events go on to show...

There is also plenty going on in terms of action. The constant attacks on Claire by Monica's friends, the vampires lurking in the dark, the dramatic search for the book and the siege of the Glass House. There is a good mix of action, humour and tension in the book along with a bit of light romance which never overpowers the plot. In some ways, it is well enough written to enhance the story. The character development is good as is the storytelling and you really can imagine what it is like to live in this creepy little town!

Excellent start to a series.

Read April 2017 
5 stars.

2 comments:

  1. I wish I was ready to read vampires again! I don't see many 5-stars here on your blog your standards are high so I know this one HAS to be really good :)

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    1. These are proper vampires, not your friendly shiny ones that you usually get in YA so I really enjoyed that. It's also about the friendship of the MCs and how dark and dangerous the town is. It was certainly a fun vampire read and I've just got three to go in the series now!

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