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Glass Houses (Morganville Vampires, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – October 3, 2006

4.2 out of 5 stars 340 customer reviews
Book 1 of 15 in the Morganville Vampires Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up—College should be an exciting time, but for brainy 16-year-old Claire Danvers that's too mild a word. Due to advanced placement, Claire can start college early, but her parents refuse to allow her to go to the distant Ivy League school of her dreams. She goes to Texas Prairie University where she is tormented by the popular girls—but that's the least of her worries. Morganville, home of the university, is also home to vampires and vampire hunters. Claire finds protection from the horrors of the town in the Glass House with three fellow outcasts, Goth girl Eve, rebellious Shane, and Michael, who disappears during the day. Claire falls for Shane and would do anything to protect her friends, including facing down bloodthirsty vampires and dangerous bikers. Rachel Caine's first two books (Penguin, 2006, 2007) in the series flesh out the characters and the setting, allowing listeners to really visualize the town. These suspenseful titles are filled with violence, language, and sensual situations. Cynthia Holloway's narration has a supernatural quality that is perfectly suited to the story, and she does a nice job of switching between characters and capturing the changes in Claire as she grows more mature and confident. Older teens will fall under Caine's spell as she weaves together scary moments with romantic situations, which are at times overly descriptive, but not graphic. Those looking for books like Twilight, but with more bite, will enjoy this series.—Sarah Flood, Breckinridge County Public Library, Hardinsburg, KY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Review

"The Weather Warden series is fun reading...more engaging than most TV."

"You'll never watch the Weather Channel the same way again." -- Jim Butcher

"A kick-butt heroine who will appeal strongly to fans of Tanya Huff, Kelley Armstrong and Charlaine Harris."
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Product Details

  • Series: Morganville Vampires (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: NAL Jam (October 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451219945
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451219947
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.7 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (340 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #335,294 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm 51 years old and I LOVED this book! Sure, the main characters act a little immature now and then, but THEY'RE KIDS.

This is my first book by this author and I could only put it down with difficulty (as opposed to the second book in the series, which I absolutely could not put down at all). The background of the town and vamps has been intricately built, with fascinating characters on all sides. Claire, the lead, is especially interesting and multi-dimensional (and I hope someone points her towards birth control real soon because she's gonna need it).

There is a real fear factor in the scary parts, real humor in the funny parts, and the guys are hilarious when they're being guys. The pace is get-up-and-go (2nd book even more so). All in all, tremendously entertaining.

The only sore spot was the sudden cliffhanger at the end, which (disregard the "look ahead" excerpt at the end of the book) is speedily dealt with in ch. 1 of Part 2. It almost made me NOT buy volume 2 after I'd determined that I wanted more of this author, but I bought it and am darned glad I did. Beware: volume 2 also has its own cliffhanger as well as numerous plot threads that need to be resolved fairly quickly. But that's what series are all about, right?

Buy this book! I don't like many vampire books, but this one is a winner.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Under attack by an upperclassman and her cronies, Claire Danvers, a young college freshman, moves into off campus housing with a group of teens that clue her in on the realities of life - and unlife - in Morganville.

Glass Houses had strengths and weaknesses. When a clique of psychotic popular girls is decidedly scarier and far more vicious than the vampires controlling the city, something doesn't seem right. In this, the first installment of a series, the vampires were, unfortunately, very much one dimensional, and aside from Amelie, uninteresting.

Caine did a better job with the heroes. Claire, Eve, Michael and Shane had distinct personalities, a good mixture of maturity and immaturity and enough quirks to make them seem real and likeable. I cared about them, and that drew me into the story.

This was the first book I've read by Rachel Caine, and while I had problems with a few of the characterizations, I found enough to like in this story to want to check out some of her other books.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Rachel Caine fans are in for another rockin' ride in this new series!

Some may be tempted to compare this one to her Weather Wardens books, but that's a big mistake. Each should be read on its own merits, keeping in mind it IS a whole different world and the rules are different. Were I in the right age group for this book I'd likely go nuts over it and be craving another one ASAP. As an adult I'm still nuts over it, but for different reasons.

The characters, especially the brainy, courageous Claire, are very well drawn and likeable for their quirks and shortcomings. Each has a history, baggage, and a unique way of dealing with problems. Young Claire is scary smart in some things, inexperienced in others, and attending college in Morganville, Texas, which has nasty goings on under the surface. Psychotic classmates, sinister cops, and other threats abound in a town where vampires make the rules and unwary humans are there for the taking.

Caine has gone all out on the "What if vampires (the e-vul, bloodsucking, barely controlled fiend kind) designed and ran a town?" It ain't a pretty sight, but it's a page-turning read as Claire and her housemates figure out how to survive. As if classes, term papers, and after school jobs weren't enough on a freshman's plate, the freshman could end up being the meal on that plate!

Think Veronica Mars crossed with Buffy, throw in a gallon of espresso shots to pitch things into high gear and that's what you'll find in Glass Houses. Just like the real world, this one isn't a fair place, and it can get very dark indeed, but you can get past that and thrive if you want it enough and have the support of good friends.

The other plus is the swift, effortless pace of well-executed writing.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
[Very mild spoilers below. Nothing new if you've read the preview, but here's a warning just in case.]

As I'm sure many reviewers have said, Claire has to be one dumbest leads ever. I don't understand why she insists on going to class when her life is at stake, or why she keeps mouthing off to the resident cliché "queen bee with a heart of vitriol," Monica. I thought Claire was supposed to be some sort of genius, or at least smart. Where are her priorities, her sense of self-preservation?** You could argue that she's trying to stand up for herself or not give her enemies the satisfaction of seeing her cower in fear, but really, she just seems like a moron. The risks far outweigh these lofty principles, which she doesn't seem to consider anyway. She just can't seem to curb her idiotic impulses. No one with a lick of sense loves college or fears professors enough to attend classes when their life is in serious danger. Come on now.

Also, she is pathetically self-deprecating. I didn't really pity or sympathize, so much as I wished she would grow a backbone. "It sucked to be smart, because this was where it got you." Thanks for another cliché, Rachel Caine. As if anyone with a brain is a freak who gets verbally and physically abused on a regular basis. As if there is always the "hot" rich girl with her posse of airheads and jocks to smack them down. Please.

"What normal girl loved physics? Abnormal ones. Ones who were not ever going to be hot. And face it, being hot? That was what life was all about."

I honestly can't find the words to express my disgust without resorting to profanity.

But this is getting awfully long, so I'll move on.
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