Kathy's Reviews > Glass Houses

Glass Houses by Rachel Caine
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Jul 20, 10

bookshelves: fantasy, fantasy-other-world, fantasy-romance, young-adult
Read from July 19 to 20, 2010

Morganville – home to vampires; to survive, one (generally in families) agrees to become ‘protected’, to wear the emblem of the vampire house, so life preserved, but in trade, one is at the beck & call of the vampire – for blood, for maid service, for sex, etc… there is a power struggle going on between vampire factions…

Claire – very mature 16 year old… highly intelligent (skipped 9th & 12th grades)… and her parents don’t want her to go too far away to college, so they send her to Morganville’s Texas Prairie University… not having checked out that 2% of their student body goes missing every year (and we find out that’s due to an arrangement with the town’s vampires)… I do like Claire - intelligent, independent, vulnerable, true hearted.

Michael Glass – inherited the family home (Glass House – a cross between Gone with the Wind and the Munsters) – a musician, 18, bit by an old vampire that was experimenting – trying to create new vampires; but it failed, and he’s a ghost by day, fully alive at night, but unable to leave the house (which was built by Emelie – the oldest vampire) which is warded and could only protect Michael in this way… and the house keeps out vampires, unless they are invited in… a kindhearted guy…

Eve – got on the wrong side of the vampires and her family because she said no to her families’ ‘protector’, who had (though not said out right) required sex from her when she turned 16 (and her family did not intervene) (at 18 she got a choice)… and she ended up at Glass House asking for help from Michael – whom she only knew vaguely from High School, but who seemed nice enough – and he took her in…

Shane – Michael’s friend; left town for a few years after he pissed off the mayor’s daughter, and she arranged for his house to burn down, killing his younger sister & mother; returns when Michael calls for him (since Michael can’t leave the house, he needs someone to be living it for the protections from vampires to work, and to go to the store)… He’s the most free spirited – doesn’t hold a job, flirts with the girls, dates… and although he doesn’t confront the vampires, neither does he avoid them.

Claire is afraid for her life… she offended Monica (one of the popular girls, and so much more – yes, Shane’s Monica), and Monica has it out for her…. But determined to not be scared away she tries to stand up to her… after being hit in the face & pushed down a flight of stairs & threatened that tonight will be her last, she ends up at Glass House – as they’re looking for one more roommate… They all can see she needs them, and Michael (who has the most to lose) reluctantly invites her to live there…

When Monica & the Monicettes continue to harass her, Shane makes a deal with vampire Brandon (Eve’s ex-protector & Monica’s ‘master’) to two bites that don’t leave him dead. Claire determines that they need to bargain with his superior, and finds out that they are looking for a book – an old book. She considers making a fake one, but stumbles onto it accidently when she explores the 4th floor of the library (which the students did not have access to). The rooms are filled with boxes of old books… and as vampires are unable to see the printing in the book they are seeking, Claire’s English professor is one who is going through the books…. He covers for her when she is discovered by the overseeing vampires, and when she is assisting him going through the books, she notices that he secretly puts one in his satchel… but the vampires catch him, she throws liquid nitrogen in their faces, they escape to the elevator, but as he is dying (heart attack?) he tells her to find the black book in his house and keep it from the vampires.

Shane & Claire share some kisses… and Michael & Eve share some kisses.

She and Shane find the book, hidden in a bible… she makes overtures to Oliver (Eve’s day time coffee shop boss) who seems helpful (he kept the vampires from them a few times) and friendly to act as mediator for the deal she wants in trade for the book… but Oliver is the one who turned Michael, the book is the ‘how to make a vampire’ book, and Oliver is head of the faction trying to ‘dethrone’ Emelie. Oliver & company (including nonvampire cops who conform to the vampires) attack the house… Michael is pretty well able to defend, though one starts a fire… and then in comes Emelie, cold but not as evil as her counterparts, who makes the trade, offering them her protection (and protection for the dorms on campus) in exchange for the books, and their agreement that they will not leave Morganville.

And the story ends with Shane’s father and biker buddies storming in (after all the troublemakers have left)… apparently Shane was a plant in Morganville to identify the whereabouts of the head vampires, and they plan on revenge – and they start with Michael (as he is a vampire of sorts)…

Will the house protect Michael? Will he be altered by his 2nd death? Will Shane’s father be successful? Is this what Shane wants now? What will the promising Claire do for the rest of her life?
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