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Glass Houses: The Morganville Vampires, Book I    by Rachel Caine Amazon.com order for
Glass Houses
by Rachel Caine
Order:  USA  Can
Signet, 2006 (2006)
Paperback
* *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Rachel Caine's first book in her new Morganville Vampires series, reminds me of R. L. Stine's Fear Street novels, only a little more edgy and well-formed. Fans of young adult horror will be excited by what Caine brings to the genre.

Claire Danvers is on her own for the first time in her life. At only sixteen, she is already a freshman at Texas Prairie University in Morganville, Texas. However, dorm life is not going too well for Claire she is bullied every day by the ultra-popular Monica and her Monikettes. When the bullying escalates to physical harm, Claire decides to move out despite the fact that she has no money and her parents would kill her if they found out. However, if she thought things were bad in the dorm, they are about to get much worse once she moves into Glass House. Monica is mad that her whipping girl escaped and now has the whole town after Claire, a town that consists mainly of vampires and their human helpers. Claire's new roommates will do anything to protect her, but that is not easy when dealing with the undead.

Glass Houses is full of vampire action and suspense, with just a touch of teen romance thrown in for good measure. Once the novel gets going, the suspense holds the reader. But while the book does start right off with action, it still takes a while to settle into the story and this could discourage some readers. However, if you stick with it for the first couple of chapters, Caine really gets rolling with a fresh and funky teen thriller that breathes new life into an old and tired genre. This first episode ends with a cliff-hanger that will leave readers aching with anticipation for the next installment, especially since Caine does an excellent job of getting the reader attached to the main characters. One word of warning, though, do not read the bonus excerpts from Eve's diary until after the story there are many spoilers in it.

2nd Review by Lyn Seippel (Rating:3):

Sixteen-year-old Claire Danvers is away from home for the first time at Texas Prairie University in the small town of Morganville. Claire, who is academically gifted, wouldn't have chosen to go there, but her parents insist on keeping her close to home. She's younger (and smarter) than most of the other students and accidentally makes Monica, the queen bee, look stupid. Monica and her crew take hazing to a new level. Claire will be lucky if she lives through Freshman year.

After being severely beaten, Claire answers an ad for 'roommate wanted'. Morganville is strange, but surely it'll be safer than the dorm. Although the roommates at Glass House are against Claire moving in because of her age, her bruises convince them. They feed her chili and won't allow her to go back to the dorm after dark.

Later she learns that after dark the town is turned over to vampires and if you aren't wearing a bracelet that says you're under the protection of one of the undead, you're fair game. Nobody in Glass House has a bracelet, but the strange old house has its own protection as long as you stay inside.

Caine has managed to put her own spin on the vampire story and introduces characters you'll fall in love with. Fortunately she's a fast writer and Glass Houses is the beginning of the series so I can dive into the next book right away.

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