(The Morganville Vampires #1)
by Rachel Caine
Published: October 3, 2006
From the author of the popular Weather Warden series comes the debut of an exciting new series set in Morganville, Texas, where you would be well advised to avoid being out after dark.
College freshman Claire Danvers has had enough of her nightmarish dorm situation. 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.
It’s a pretty common scenario in books or television where there is an existing hierarchy among teenagers. If you’re popular, you get to be dumb. If you’re smart, bookish, and with perfect GPA, it’s like an unspoken rule that you’re nobody, fantasizing what it’d be like to be one of them which is absurd considering that you are supposed to be “smart” and therefore should know better that there is nothing cool about being popular and being – or pretending – to be dumb. And that there is no way those two would ever cross paths. I don’t know if there is anything like this in real life but in one way or another, I hate to think about it.
That’s not really the whole point in this review but I must admit, it was like that at first. Claire Danvers is a 16 – nearly 17 – year old girl who was admitted to college at a young age and was therefore labeled a freak because “nobody wants a know-it-all”. This idea doesn’t come unusual for me since we have a different kind of system with our education here in my country and 17 is normally the age we enter college. My sister is also 16 and she’s already in her 2nd year of college. Different situation but same age, so I thought there’s no need to be whiny. Sixteen is old and mature enough, except that of course, everyone in Texas Prairie University is older by at least two years so there is nowhere to fit in. Add that to the fact that Monica Morrell – Mayor’s daughter, rich, pretty, popular, and most importantly, Protected – seems to be dead set on destroying Claire. And with destroying I meant literally. Monica and her sidekicks are straight-on cruel! No fear, no remorse, no anything which bothered me a lot that in certain scenes I kept thinking, “Woah! That is too much!” It’s one thing to be mean, you know, “all-talk-no-bite”. Well, I’m telling you, they are all bite which is exactly what this is all about. Because a small, quiet town like Morganville is crawling with vampires.
And then there is the Glass House occupied by Michael Glass, landlord; Eve, resident goth; Shane, bad boy and new housemate Claire after that deadly incident with Monica that forced her to find a place away from anything Monica-related. Despite my initial reaction towards Claire (I’m not letting it ruin the book for me), I still find her an amazing protagonist. I actually think she’s cool because for one, she “loves Physics”, she just has to stop thinking so low of herself or trying to be something she’s not and just act it. Girl, just be yourself, you don’t have to prove anything. I like her just the way she is – no matter how weird or cliché that may sound – and her evident sense of humor which made her perfect for that last spot as a member of the Glass House.
Michael, Shane, Claire, Eve. This foursome is my most favorite part in the book. There is no one in dark, desolate Morganville that can lighten it up as bright as these outcast teenagers can. They made me crack up in every passage I can remember and at the same time amazed at how much they care about each other especially in a place where merciless vampires rule. We’re all team human here!
“Hello, you’ve reached the Glass House. If you’re looking for Michael, he sleeps days. If
you’re looking for Shane, good luck with that, ’cause we never know where the hell he
is”—distant laughter from at least two people—“and if you’re looking for Eve, you’ll
probably get her on her cell phone or at the shop. But hey. Leave a message. And if
you’re looking to audition for the room, come on by. It’s 716 West Lot Street.” A totally
different voice, a female one lightened up by giggles like bubbles in soda, said, “Yeah,
just look for the mansion.” And then a third voice, male again. “Gone with the Wind
meets The Munsters.” More laughter, and a beep.
“What exciting classes do we have today?”
“You can’t go to class with me!”
“Hey, you’re welcome to knock me out and stop me, but until you do, I’m your date for
the day. So. What classes?”
“Calculus II, Physics of Sound, Chemistry III, chem lab, and Biochemistry.”
“Holy crap. You really are smart. Right, I’ll take some comics or something. Maybe my
“Emergency room,” he said. She must have looked confused. “Damn, Claire. Warn a guy
before you do a face-plant on the floor next time. I could have looked all heroic and
caught you or something.”
“What about stakes?”
“You’ve seen Brandon,” Eve said. “You want to try to get close enough to stake him?
Yeah, me neither.”
“But do they work?”
“Guess so. You have to fill out a form when you buy wood.”
Claire wrote it down. “Crosses?”
“Because they’re evil, soulless, bloodsucking fiends?”
“So was my sixth-grade gym teacher, but he wasn’t afraid of a cross."
“Hell,” Shane spit in disgust. “I can’t hit a girl. Here, Claire. You hit her.” He tossed her