file Book Review: "Glass Houses" by Rachel Caine

18 May 2015 15:46 - 18 May 2015 15:47 #71205 by direwolf
Glass Houses (Morganville Vampire, Book 1)

I knew two things when I started this book:
1) It was a Young Adult (YA) book
2) It was about vampires

I was worried it would something like "The Vampire Diaries" :ankh: , thankfully I was pleasantly surprised.

If you don't like YA literature in general, you probably won't like this. Personally, I think YA books can be good or bad. YA doesn't necessarily mean the story is dumbed down, but often you will find spotty narratives.

Synopsis:
The main character is an almost 17 year old girl who graduated high school early. Because she is so young, her parents didn't want her going across the country to an Ivy league school where she is obviously destined. So they send her to a nearby university in Morganville.

It turns out that Morganville is run by vampires. They take a blood tax from the population, and families accept protection from vampires. Those that do not are open game. The town is enchanted so that anyone who leaves forgets about anything vampire related... Those that do not forget, well they meet an untimely demise.

The main character, being a young prodigy makes the mistake of crossing the queen bitch of her dorm, who happens to be a local, and under the protection of a vampire. Afraid for her life, she moves off campus into a house with three other unprotected teens, only a couple years older.

The good news:
There are no stupid love triangles.
There is no emo human (usually a girl. Why's it usually a girl?) begging to become a vampire.
I have yet to see a reluctant/altruistic/human loving vampire. (this is only book 1, time will tell)

The only other supernatural elements are a ghost, and one human with some supernatural awareness (using tarot and seeing visions etc.) I am not a huge fan of including a whole bunch of other supernatural stuff with my vampire fiction (such as werewolves, witches etc) like you find in Buffy the Vampire Slayer or True Blood. That said, I wouldn't be surprised to see more of that in later books.

:ankh: "The Vampire Diaries" is a series of books that was turned into a television show on the CW Network. That alone is enough for me to avoid the series like a frenzied werewolf.

:tore: :pre: :tem: :aus: Independent Futurist. Contrarian (titled, X votes where X is the number of votes as the acting minion.) Target Vitals is always the better combat card.
Last edit: 18 May 2015 15:47 by direwolf.

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30 May 2015 15:52 #71420 by direwolf
I did it. I read the rest of the series.

It is YA through and through. Witty banter side by side with mediocre plot points. Good news is, all the supernatural stuff is strictly vampire related. I have to reiterate: If you don't like YA literature avoid this series!

By the end of it, I was sick of reading about the up-teenth time the group of teenagers ate chili dogs or tacos. It wasn't until book 7 when one of the characters got a job at a barbecue joint and brisket got thrown in the mix.

Why such a focus on food? Probably a contrast to the blood that vampires consume. Whenever there are vampires, there is always the primal hunger for blood. You can't get away from it in this genre.

Also, food is a good way to connect with your audience. Small details that flavour (literally) a story help immerse the reader.

On the flip side, it is still better written than Twilight. You can only use the word "marble" to describe a vampire's skin so many times before I wretch thinking about a shirtless Pattinson from the movie.

:tore: :pre: :tem: :aus: Independent Futurist. Contrarian (titled, X votes where X is the number of votes as the acting minion.) Target Vitals is always the better combat card.

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