Genre: Young Adult Urban Fantasy
Cover: different, nice.
Welcome to Morganville, Texas. Don’t stat our after dark.
It’s a small college town with quirky characters. But when the sun goes down, the bad comes out. Because in Morganville, there is an evil that lurks in the darkest shadows – one that will spill out into the bright light of day.
Claire Danvers has had enough of her nightmarish dorm situation The popular girls never let her forget just where she ranks in the school's social scene: somewhere less than zero. And Claire really doesn’t have the right connections – to the undead who run the town.
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.
I have to admit I am very pleasantly surprised by the first book in this series. I am not that big a fan of YA, but this book grabbed me from the first pages, when Claire is almost being killed by the older dorm girls who hate her for being smart. Claire knows she needs to find someplace else to sleep tonight, or they will kill her. They are not kidding; Monica and Gwen are true sociopaths. She was very lucky to survive getting thrown down the stairs with only a sprained ankle and a lot of bruises.
Claire is some kind of prodigy, she is just 16, much younger than the other kids in college and the dorm, and she would have loved to go to one of the major colleges, and they would gladly have welcomed her, but her parents refused to let her leave the state, which is why she ended up at the “party” college of Morganville. Claire will just have to endure it for the next two years, until she is 18, and then she will transfer herself to one of the top colleges.
And so she finds herself looking through the ads for rooms for rent. The first one is gone already, the next few are too creepy, but one of the last advertisements seems perfect for her. The Glass House has three tenants, and is looking for a fourth. And at first she seems to be accepted, Eve and Shane seem to accept her, and take care of her, something she is not used to. But when Michael wakes up, he is against her as she is still a minor, and it is against the local laws. Still, she defies him, very uncharacteristic for Claire, and he relents when she explains about the bad girls at the dorm, who will kill her.
That evening Eve explains a bit about the town to Claire, who does so not believe her. A town run by vampires? Really? They pay taxes in blood in exchange for Protection?
But while making breakfast the next morning, the police knocks on their door, searching for Claire, she starts to believe it. Eve quickly hides her in a secret room behind the pantry, but Claire can make out some of their conversation.
When Claire finally tells them the name of her nemesis, they are appalled. A few years ago, Shane got on Monica’s bad side, and she burned down their house. He managed to escape, but his twelve year old sister did not. And with Monica being the mayor’s daughter, and their family Protected by one of the most powerful vampires in town, nobody did anything against her. Shane even left town, but he returned when his best friend Michael asked him to.
But something is not right with Michael, he is not a vampire, they tested that, but he is also never around in daylight, nor do they see him leave the house or come home. And that while he is a very gifted musician. He should be out there, playing his music. When Claire finds out the truth, he makes her promise not to tell the others. Especially Eve, who really likes Michael.
But when the vampires get too close, hunting Claire and the others who are all unprotected, they need to find something to bargain with, fast.
A very intriguing story, the vampires are not the good kind you want to have a relationship with. They treat humans as pets (the Protected families) or as cattle, the ones not protected, like the students who come to collegue from out of town. There is some kind of forcefield around the city, making you forget what is happening in Morganville when you leave.
I liked Claire, she is a bit of a nerd as she loves school and studying and science. But she does have a backbone when necessary, and she makes sure she herself and her new friends are safe. She does not stay meekly inside when the vampires are hunting her.
Eve, Shane and Michael are wonderful secondary characters, each with their own unique and not so happy background. And the bad girls are really bad, evil and conscienceless. They enjoy torturing those who are weaker than they are.
The book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, so I will dive into the second book right away. Glass Houses is a very enjoyable first book in a long series, and I do look forward to reading the rest of it.
© 2013 Reviews by Aurian