30 April 2011

Review: Glass Houses - Rachel Caine


Glass Houses by Rachel Caine
published October 2006
urban fantasy, bought my copy

Super intelligent Claire Danvers is only 16 but already starting college. Because her parents didn't want her to go far away from home, she had to choose the college in a small town called Morganville. Claire is used to being younger than her classmates and she is used to being bullied because of her age and small frame. But what happens at her new college is worse than everything she had to deal with before. Claire is tormented by a group of girls and they even threaten to kill her.
When running away from the dorm and looking for a new place to stay, Claire finds the Glass House. The Glass House is a special place in Morganville and Claire soon realizes that Morganville is not just another small town, but a place where vampires rule over humans and that when you don't join them your life is in mortal danger.
Will Claire be able to find a way to manage her new life in Morganville and will she find new friends in the Shane, Eve and Michael, the three people who live in the Glass House?

When starting "Glass Houses" I wasn't sure what to expect of the story. This was my first book by Rachel Caine so I was excited to learn more about her writing style and if her books would work for me. I started "Glass Houses" right before going to bed and just wanted to read a few pages. When I next looked on the clock I had been reading for nearly an hour because I was so fascinated by the story and the characters.
So I'm happy to say that the book worked perfectly for me and that I will most certainly continue with the books in the Morganville Vampires series and will also get books from Rachel Caine's other series.

On the first page you are thrown into the story and in the terror that Claire had to go through at the dorm. The way she was bullied is darker and more cruel than I expected it to be. Right from meeting Claire in the first sentence of the book I loved reading about her. She was very likable and I felt with her because she was completly powerless in handling the threats against her.
Being powerless is one of the big themes in the book. Morganville is a town where humans who want to lead a normal, carefree and happy live have no chance and are always in danger of being killed. Because if you don't agree with what the vampires are doing they will make your life hell. I found it fascinating to read about the way Claire, Shane, Eve and Michael tried to stand up for themselves and how they refused to give in to the vampires.
The vampires in this book are mostly opportunistic and cruel. And the bad guys (vampires and humans) are merciless and don't care if others die. So far the it's hard to understand the vampire society and their power plays. It will be interesting to learn more about their history and society in the next books of the series.
I liked all of the main characters and I enjoyed that they seemed to be real people and that they were not perfect. The relationship between Shane and Claire was cute and hopefully they will get a chance to get closer. The same goes for the relationship between Eve and Michael.

"Glass Houses" is a fast-paced, thrilling and at times dark book that satisfied me completly. I want to learn more about the characters and their life in Morganville. The only trouble I had with the book was that I had a hard time to categorize it. Sure, the main characters are 16 and 18 but while reading the story I never thought that it was a young adult book. I think the story is Urban Fantasy for adults and young adults (16 and older). 

cover
I like the UK cover even though the woman on it doesn't fit to one of the main characters. Especially the colours and the little details like the blood drops on the cover are great.
I love the line "Peer pressure sucks. So do vampires" - what a brilliant idea. 

final appraisal
"Glass Houses" is a thrilling and mesmerizing start into the Morganville Vampires series and I'm very happy that I finally started with reading books by Rachel Caine. The story is gritty and I'm excited to find out how the series will continue.
I would recommend this book to all readers who enjoy Urban Fantasy and are interested in a series in which vampires are ruthless and rule over a whole city of humans. 

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