Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Review: Rachel Caine, Glass Houses (Morganville Vampires, #1)

Reading level: Young Adult
Mass market paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: NAL Jam
Pub date: October 3, 2006
I really wanted to like this book. I'd heard a lot of great things about the Morganville Vampires series from fellow Vampire Academy aficionados...and yet. Humph. I just could not get into it.

The main character, Claire, was not interesting at all. Despite being some kind of child-prodigy genius, she continually makes choices so stupid that you almost wish the evil vampires (or sorority girls on campus) really would just finish her off once and for all and put both Claire and us poor readers out of our misery. Claire knows if she goes into town to attend class she'll probably be attacked. She also knows she's smarter than practically everyone in the school, including the professors. So what is the point in risking her life to go to class? I don't see why she can't just complete the entire degree online. Better yet, why not just pack up and go home, to some community college that has the perk of not being infested with evil vampires? The entire concept of a town ruled by evil vampires, which also happens to have a bustling university, was just ridiculous, in my opinion.

The supporting characters were also extremely boring. Michael was the only one that interested me at all...and only because he clearly had a weird secret that I found kind of intriguing. I've said this before, but I have no patience for authors who think all they have to do to create a compelling character is give them some unusual physical characteristics (i.e. dress them up like a goth) and one or two personality traits (friendly, loyal). (Hello, Eve.) Admittedly, I have not read any of the other books in the series, nor do I plan to ever do it's possible that Eve eventually becomes more than just another goth chick later in the series. But for now, I found her character really 2-dimensional and lame.

Shane was also boring and had no chemistry with Claire. Just because the author says that Claire's heart beats fast when he's in the room, it doesn't mean the reader is going to feel the spark between them. The creation of chemistry in a YA novel is a mysterious thing. I sure don't know how to do it. But I can spot it, and I can spot its absence, and it most assuredly was not present in Glass Houses.

2 stars (because, despite my complaints about the characters, I actually did find myself getting a bit anxious about the plot and flipping through quickly to find out what would happen - which is a plus.)