by Rachel Caine
The sleepy town of Morganville, TX is not all that it seems. It’s the home toTexas Prairie University (TPEwwww), a school where partying rules and academics are an after-thought, and not much else. Claire is 16 and smart. She graduated high school early with acceptances to prestigious colleges such as MIT, Yale, and Caltech, but her parents were worried about her being so far at home so they forced her to go to TPU. Claire’s miserable at TPU and is counting the days until she can transfer out. Classes are not a challenge and she’s having some difficulties socially. She’s always been a bit of an outcast — being super smart and really short can do that to you — but she has never encounter problems like those at TPU. Unwittingly, she made a very bad enemy of popular girl Monica and therefore Monica’s entire crew. Monica has a cruel streak that has Claire actually fearing for her life. If Claire only knew that Monica isn’t the only threat to her life! In an attempt to flee Monica, Claire seeks off campus housing. She finds a home and a pseudo family at the Glass House. Owned by Michael Glass, a young musician who mysteriously disappears during the day, and inhabited by not only Michael but Michael’s friends Shane and Eve, Claire finds a pseudo family at the Glass House. But her new roommates may also be crazy because they tell her that vampires exist and they rule this town. Hadn’t she ever wondered why so many people transfer from TPU? All too soon, Claire learns the hard way that vampires are in fact real and they are very, very dangerous.
Book One: Glass Houses
The beginning. Claire goes to live in the Glass House and learns the truth about Morganville. Just because she lives off campus now does not mean she safe from Monica or the Monikettes (Monica’s crew). Monica has a vampire protector, as do many of the people who live or are from Morganville, and her protector is after Claire at night just as Monica is out for Claire during the day. After a particularly nasty incident with a particularly nasty vampire named Brandon, Shane makes a pact with the vampire; Brandon can take some of Shane’s blood in return for the safety of Shane’s friends, specifically Claire. Claire feels horrible about the sacrifice that Shane is making for her sake. She vows to find a way to release him from the deal. The only way seems to be to find a special book the vampires have been searching for for years. No human knows what’s in the book but it would be an amazing bargaining tool. Claire hopes to find the book and free Shane from his obligation but will she survive the search and, if she finds the book, will it help or make things even worse for Claire and her friends.
Book Two: Dead Girls’ Dance
Shane’s father is in town and he’s bent on revenge. He and his gang of unruly biker friends have decided to take on the vampires. Though Shane doesn’t think his father’s plans are wise he cannot help but be drawn to his father and his father’s cause. When Shane is found at the scene of a vampire murder, he is taken into custody and sentenced to die. Claire knows Shane is innocent and will do whatever it takes to save him and hopefully bring Shane’s father, the true murderer, to justice. On top of that, Eve’s deranged brother, Jason, has been released from jail. Eve is the one who testified against him and put him in jail, so understandably Eve is worried what Jason will do to her now that he’s free. Jason’s m.o. is murdering young girls and soon girls are turning up dead. Is it Jason or just a coincidence?
Book Three: Midnight Alley
Claire has signed a contract of protection with the most powerful vampire in town, Amelie, the creator of Morganville. In return, Amelie wants Claire to study with Myrnin, a very intelligent scholar but very sick vampire, as well as take advanced classes. As volatile as Myrnin can be, part of Claire is really excited to be learning about new and challenging topics, especially after the relative ease of all of her typical freshman courses, but soon she learns that studying with Myrnin is a death sentence. Myrnin continues to decline and his mind is going; often he only sees Claire as a meal not a student, but with Amelie calling the shots is there anything Claire can do to protect herself? Also, Jason is still on the loose and more young females are turning up dead. Jason is becoming bolder and is beginning to threaten Claire and Eve. The question is, why isn’t anyone trying to stop him?
Congratulations, you’ve made it this far! What a long post this will be. Keep reading and you’ll get my reaction. I’ll try to be brief! :)
Reaction: I devoured these. I was hungry for a good vampire series and these certainly fit the bill. I like that they are different from many of the other vampire series out there since in this series vampires are the villains, though there certainly are a lot of humans who are also villainous. I also like that the main characters, specifically the main characters involved in a romance, are human. Vampires play a very important role in human lives but the main characters are very human (well, most of them). I admired Caine’s creativity, specifically regarding the idea of protection contracts and the bracelets that would show which human belonged to which vampire. This definitely showed the humans’ subservient position to the vampires.
My dislikes were few but not enough to keep me from recommending the series. My biggest gripe was the fact that so much happens in so little time. I read three of the current four books but I think maybe only a month passed from the beginning of the series through book three. You read the summaries I wrote (I’m assuming), a lot of things happened in so little time! I wanted to tell Caine to slow down or at least give these poor characters a few weeks to recover between life-shattering, near-death incidents. The short time frame also cheapen the romance to me. They never get to spend any time together so I feel like it is a romance of convenience and circumstance rather than reality. The Morganville Vampires books are not the best written but they stand out in an ever-growing group of vampire series.
What’s Next: Feast of Fools, which is out now, Lord of Misrule, slated for January 9, 2009, and any others Caine decides to write. I have Feast of Fools but I needed a break. While I really enjoy the series I was reading them too fast so I’m waiting and will read Feast of Fools as a treat in the coming months.
Don’t just take my word: TheYaYaYas take.