Title: Glass Houses
Author: Rachel Caine
Series: Morganville Vampires #1
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Allison & Busby
Summary (from Goodreads)
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.
What Was Good About It
It’s nice to read a book where vampires are scary again. There is such a glut of ‘my sexy vampire boyfriend’ books out there finding one that sends them back to their terrifying, violent personas is a breath of fresh air.
The mythology was interesting and some of the characters were great. I loved Monica and the Monickettes – totally convincingly horrible college girls who think they rule the roost because they have powerful Vampire Protection. This politicky side of things worked well too. I loved the idea of Monica and her ilk running around like they were in charge but really they were just puppets to the Vampires.
The housemates in the Glass House were interesting as well, if a bit two dimensional at times. Some of the characters were a bit throwaway or flat, but as this is the first in a series they have plenty of room to grow, and the potential is there.
Which was my general feeling overall really – the potential is here, hopefully next book the writing will be better, the story better, the characters better etc. Because I think Rachel Caine is onto something good here- and obviously enough people agreed to keep the series going as long as I know it has been going.
What’s Not So Good
As I’ve already mentioned, the characters were a little flat. They all seemed a bit… token. Eve the token damaged goth girl, Miranda the token weird psychicky one, Shane the token jock etc. The main characters weren’t bad, but some of the less involved ones were totally two dimensional and placed in the story very conveniently at times.
The quest for the book seemed a bit throwaway as well. A bit like ‘oh, my characters are in this predicament, how can I get them out of it? I know, magic book that all the Vampires want!’ It was handled well enough, and I didn’t put down the book feeling like it was all too convenient. Again, the politics and the mythology backed the story up well enough to overlook any minor annoyances.
But overall, my biggest problem with the story was Claire herself. Now, this may just be a personal taste thing, but I really didn’t get on with her as a character. She was having her life threatened and she still decides to go to school? Um… I don’t care how much you love school, you love being alive more. I just got the feeling she would have run fairly soon after the second or third incident. But then that would have been after about 4 chapters, which wouldn’t have left much of a story.