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Glass Houses: Morganville Vampires, Book 1
Rachel Caine
Narrated by Cynthia Holloway
Tantor Audio, 8.5 hours

Glass Houses
Rachel Caine
Rachel Caine has been writing and publishing novels and short stories since 1991.  She is a former professional musician who has the distinction of having played with such musical legends as Henry Mancini, Peter Nero and John Williams. She's also an avid movie buff, a TV-holic, and prefers a good stout Guinness to wimpy American beers.

Stormwatch: Rachel Caine's Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Gale Force
SF Site Review: Chill Factor
SF Site Review: Heat Stroke
SF Site Review: Ill Wind
SF Site Review: Ill Wind

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Gil T. Wilson

Finally, a young adult vampire series you can really sink your teeth into. Seriously, in creating the Morganville Vampires, author Rachel Caine returns to the good old days in her portrayal of vampires as enemies of humans -- not something to fall in love with. And now, Tantor Audio has brought the first book in the series to life in audiobook form.

The story in this first book of the series introduces listeners to the town of Morganville, Texas, home of Texas Prairie University. The town is populated by some strange people and even stranger yet, it is run by vampires. Each person has a sort of insurance policy that protects them from the vampires, but when children reach the age of 18, they must find some vampire family to "insure" them or risk becoming food for the vamps.

Overall, narrator Cynthia Holloway does a very nice job of delivering the story as told from the viewpoint of the new college student, Claire Danvers. However, there are a couple of pronunciation issues that should have been cleared up before production. One that stands out is the word settee, which Holloway pronounces as "setty" instead of set-tee. There were some other words that grated on me, but this one was repeated several times in the book and just felt like nails on a chalkboard. If it weren't for the intriguing story, I would have been turned off a bit from the book. But aside from some mispronunciations, Holloway does a great job of helping listeners distinguish who is talking and thinking with slight voice variations. Her tone emotes both the danger and, at times, the humor found in this town full of vampires.

Claire Danvers is a 16-year-old who, due to her intelligence, has graduated high school early and decided to attend TPU before heading to a major university. Problems begin when that intelligence puts her on the wrong side of Monica Morell, the most popular girl in school. When Claire corrects Monica and makes her look dumb in front of friends, Claire becomes marked for violence. Monica and her "girls" beat up Claire and steal her clothes from her dorm room. Claire decides that she must move off campus in order to be safe and discovers that residents of The Glass House are looking for a fourth roommate. After meeting with Shane and Eve she must meet with Michael, the owner of the house who happens to only make appearances after sunset.

Shane makes a deal with the vampires to keep Claire from further attacks by Monica, but when Claire learns the deal could put Shane's life in jeopardy, she decides she must make the vampires a better offer by finding a lost article for which they have been searching for ages. With exciting vampire battles juxtaposed against the more traditional trials of a new college student, Glass Houses offers fans of other young adult vampire series a new twist on the very old vampire story.

Copyright © 2009 Gil T. Wilson

Gil T. has spent a quarter of a century working in radio and has lots of spare time on his hands and reading or listening to books takes up all that time. Check out his blog to find out what he's up to at any given moment.

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