Now, I have had this book in my possession for about a good year. And I just kept pushing it back, not really sure if I wanted to get into a Vampire series. I am picky about my Vampires, as my friend Smellie says, I'm a bit of a Vamp Snob. I prefer darker, tortured vampires ... like Lestat. Oh Lestat. I love Lestat. Siiiiigh.
*wait twenty minutes for daydreaming....*
Anyways, the point is this: I am picky about my undead. I may be the Zombie Queen, but my Vamps are close to my heart too.
I think I have posted before about Vampires - or at least the evolution of Vampire YA in my short lifespan - from things like Nightworld and The Vampire Diaries to Twilight, it's very interesting to chart the evolution (or devolution depending on your view) of Vampire fiction. Though the Vampire Chronicles are probably always going to be my number 1, I do find myself open (but critical) of new additions to the genre.
But I had the audio to the first Morganville, it was Halloween weekend and I was driving home with two girls (Princess and Smithy) who were both listening to audiobooks (Pride and Prejudice and Julia Quinn respectively, if I believe) and I thought, what the hell - I will give these vamps a try.
Boy, am I glad I did.
For one, there is no male heartthrob vampire (sort of), to steal the show. In fact, in Morganville the Vampires are real vampires - they're scary. They're also very powerful - and for me, that's enough to hook me in. Also, it opens with violence. Not half-squeamish, half-hearted party slaps, but real honestly scary stuff - where our main character gets thrown down a flight of stairs and passes out. (Was that technically a spoiler?)
Anyways, for some reason, that got me to pay attention. And like I said, I was hooked.
The story synopsis is below:
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. [Source]
So, like I said: it opens up with Claire being thrown down the stairs of her dorm.
And the whole thing just explodes! It’s actually quite cool! Without giving too many spoilers, I will say this: I really like the way Claire is portrayed in her relationships with others – especially those in the house. There is something so fresh in the younger, awkward girl attempting to make it in the world, especially when she is the most mature of everyone, despite not having a clue as to what is going on. I like the fact that the heroine is both completely clueless, but smart – she may not know everything going into this, but she learns, she adapts, and hell – even when she’s terrified, she takes up the challenge, thinks of her options, makes it makes sense. I really like Claire!
That being said, it is a strange book – there are highs and lows. It seems to climax a few times, before the actual smash-down! (But hey, the smash down is totally worth the ups and downs!) And I loved the tension between Shane and Claire – it was pretty palatable and yummy. Like, amazing. Like, when they finally realized what was going on with their libidos I was yelling at the iPod and scaring my passengers.
As a young adult vampire fiction book I think it scores on all the things I love, with very little of the hate, so I would highly recommend this book. Next on my list for this is the second Book, The Dead Girls’ Dance – and given the twist/hanging ending of Book 1 – I am so looking forward to #2! (Especially since I already read the back cover and am now fully on board!)
Seriously ... like Wow.
In other news, this is my favourite cover: (boo yeah, it's in my native language, too!)