DARK DEBT by Chloe Neill: Review, Interview, Giveaways


Chicagoland Vampires #11 by Chloe Neill


A vampire never gets old. But neither do his enemies. When a figure from Ethan’s dark past makes a splashy debut in Chicago, Merit and her Master don’t know whether he’s friend or foe. But they’ll have to figure out soon, because trouble is brewing in the Windy City.

At an exclusive society soiree attended by the upper echelons of the human and supernatural worlds, Merit and Ethan barely stop the assassination of a guest. When the target turns out to be a shady businessman with a criminal edge, Merit suspects a human vendetta. But the assassins have fangs….

The connections to Chicago’s Houses go deeper than Merit knows, and even one wrong move could be her last…. http://www.chloeneill.com

Audiobook provided by Tantor Audio and print book by Penguin NAL for review.  No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.


Tantor Audio
Narrated by Sophie Eastlake
Publication date Mar 3, 2015
Running time 11 hrs 10 min

from Penguin NAL
400 Pages
3 Mar 2015


My Take Oblong

It’s release day for the 11th book in one of my favorite series, Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampires. This entry roams from Cadogan House into the islands of Lake Michigan.  Like all of the Chicagoland novels real risk exists for all the couples: Vampires, Sorcercers and Humans.  A new troublesome element is brought into play and this one is going to be formidable.

I happened to listen to the audio book and I thought Sophie Eastlake did a great job, hitting the target between a straight read and acting.  Her Merit was great although I found the range on the other characters narrow. The production is clean and without extraneous noises.

I am always happy to be drawn into the world  Ethan and Merit inhabit.  It’s a slightly alternative world with the only real changes being the very recent knowledge about the existence of vampires and the recent political history of Chicago.

Very little time has gone by in the series; it has all occured in just over a year while in real time it’s been almost 6 years since the first book was published.  I always find the real time to series time difference hard to wrap my head around.

The thing I think I like the best about the series, and in particular,  Merit and Ethan, is how Merit maintains her personality and independence whether she’s with Ethan or not.  She isn’t kickass on her own and then wimpy when the powerful male vampire is protecting her.

This story has Merit and Ethan overcoming further issues — the kind that either make or break a relationship. And, other characters take new steps in their relationships too.

DARK DEBT has Ethan (the powerful male vampire) facing an important figure from his past.  Mallory’s relationship with her father, never all that loving, takes a new turn as his Machiavellian machinations throw the differences between the men in Merit’s life into relief so obvious even Dad has to come to terms with his own failings as a parent and maybe even as a person.

I feel that Chloe’s vampires are better humans than are her humans. Beyond Merit’s grandfather, the only humans in her life are vacuous, money grubbing, criminal or social climbing. The paranormal world seems to be peopled by beings who are either good or “off the rails” bad. Her vampires also don’t seem possessed of amazing super strength or bravery; or are becoming more human over time. Merit and Ethan seem only slightly faster and stronger than some of the humans they face here. And, some interesting biological stuff is coming up!

The twists in this story are fascinating; especially the way they unravel. Chloe is really good at bringing a reader to a conclusion just a fraction of a second before Merit. The plots are full of political intrigue and personal growth. Chloe doesn’t fill in all the blanks so readers actually have to pay attention and connect some dots.

Ethan and Merit’s relationship is physical and sexy but the steamy stuff is tasteful.  This is a must read series and I highly recommend reading them in order. And, eleven books in Chloe is still keeping it fresh — coming up with interesting plots and new characters, even as she develops storylines from earlier books.  I eagerly await each new book!

Interview Label Long
I had the chance to ask Chloe a few questions about the book.

Throughout DARK DEBT I felt vampires were less different that humans than they had been in previous entries in the
series. Not as strong, not as fast.

1. Do you feel you are moving the vampires towards being more human?

No. That’s certainly not intended, at any rate. I think Ethan feels emotions more strongly now than he did in his previous
centuries, but they’re just as strong and fast, if not stronger and faster.

That’s not to say Ethan and Merit win all battles they fight. They aren’t omnipotent or unbeatable. If they were, there’d
be no more conflicts, and thus no more books. Sometimes the other guy is just stronger/faster.

About Vampire Fertility:
We know there is a prophecy about Merit and Ethan having a child. And, Merit mentions that no vampire pregnancy had
ever been carried to term. Therefore I assume vampires can conceive. It’s not unheard of for there to be vampire
pregnancies (cough, Twilight).

2. If vampires can actually conceive, are they still fertile (do they still have menses and live sperm); do they have to use
birth control?

There have been conceptions, but very few (I believe the number is three). As you note, none have been carried to term.
As such, vampires are generally not fertile, so no further birth control is necessary.

3. Could a natural conception occur or would sorcerer’s magic be involved?

As noted above, there have been conceptions. So they are possible, but very, very unlikely (based on the rate to date).

4. Do your vamps have retractable fangs (A la True Blood) or are the fangs (canines or incisors?) always visible?

The fangs are always visible.

Thanks for having me!


Horizontal Giveaway Section Label
On Site Giveaway:

  • Cadogan House cotton tote bag
  • Cadogan House keychain
  • An autographed international Chicagoland Vampires novel
  • Swag, including Chicagoland Vampires bookmarks and pens, and Cadogan House lanyards
    Please comment and fill out the rafflecopter form. Open to US shipping only and to entrants 18 and older.
  • Comment Ideas:
    • What do you think is next for the series?
    • When do you think Ethan will propose?
    • Which is your favorite OTHER couple in the series:  Luc & Lindsay, Jeff and Fallon, Mallory and Catcher or someone else?


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tourwide_GiveawayThe fun doesn’t stop here. Want more chances to win? You can also enter the Dark Debt Grand Prize Giveaway, which runs February 23 through March 6 on Chloe’s web site.

What is the Grand Prize Giveaway prize?

  • An engraved Cadogan House medal necklace
  • An Amazon gift card
  • Cadogan House cotton tote bag
  • Cadogan House keychian
  • Chicagoland Vampires bookmarks, pens, and lanyard.

This is a tourwide giveaway. I do not administer, support nor fulfill this giveaway; the link is provided for your convenience.


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