Glass Houses by Rachel Caine

Glass Houses

a review by Jade Hounsell

Book One of The Morganville Vampires

I was at Supernova in Melbourne this year when I was given Glass Houses, the first book in the Morganville Vampire series for free and what can I say but very clever marketing! Upon finishing the book, I actually went out and brought the other 9 in the series. Yeah, I’m a sucker I will admit it! It’s just that even though these books pretty much (but not quite!) wrap at the end of each one, it still leaves you wanting to know more, more, more. Each book seems to bring in more characters from the town and expands upon your knowledge of Morganville, its rules and regulations. And it’s not like the majority of characters are only touched upon in one book, once introduced they continue to disappear and reappear throughout the series, developing insight into their motives. There is a core bunch of characters throughout the books though and it’s their interaction with the citizens of Morganville that makes it possible for Rachel to be able to do this without being confusing.

First up there is Claire Danvers, she is the character that we see Morganville through, its how she feels and her actions that we follow. Claire is a freshman at the Morganville’s College, TPU, she’s only 16 years old but so smart, and well kinda geeky. Claire knows she will never fit in with the cool kids or the in-crowd, but she is fine with that; she is happier studying anyway. Then Claire inadvertently shows-up Monica in front of everybody and she makes an enemy, a very dangerous one.

Unable to stay in the dorm after a very vicious attack by Monica and her ‘followers’, Claire begins looking for off-campus accommodation. There’s not much going and the only one that seems ok is a shared house. So she answers the ad and is accepted into the Glass House, which she shares with odd house-mates Michael, Shane and Eve.

Michael is the 18-year-old owner of the house, and well, very, very good looking. All blond hair and blue eyes that would make most girls melt and if that doesn’t get them, he is also a very talented musician. Michael is a complete night owl, so much so he is never seen during the day, ever.

Eve is a 17-year-old Goth girl who works at the local coffee shop, Common Grounds. Eve seems like fun and great company, even if she dresses odd, until she tells Claire that Morganville is run by Vampires, so she may very well just be a little crazy.  Eighteen-year-old Shane doesn’t seem to do much expect lay on the couch, play video games and make chilli  Oh, and apparently Shane is quite a hottie as well, but more in a surfer kind of way.

Claire loves living with her new house-mates and they quickly become one of the best things about moving to Morganville. Then it turns out that Eve isn’t quite as crazy as Claire thought and vampires do run Morganville, so maybe Monica wasn’t the worst thing after all. Now there are two choices, pledge allegiance to a vampire and become protected or become a mobile blood bank and fair game. Leaving town is not an option, not without permission from the town founder, Amelie, and that’s not likely to happen now she knows. What will Claire and her friends choose?

Also see Nalini Haynes’ interview of Rachel Caine.

Previously published in Dark Matter issue 4, July 2011, blog post pre-dated to reflect the original publication date.