A Chicagoland Vampires Novel
By Chloe Neill
Series: Chicagoland Vampires #12
Category: Paranormal Fiction | Paranormal Romance | Urban Fantasy
Penguin Random House/NAL
Paperback Mar 01, 2016 | 384 Pages
E-Book Mar 01, 2016 | 368 Pages
E-Galley provided by publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
As the Chicagoland Vampires series continues, Merit and Ethan find themselves in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse, where winning may require the ultimate sacrifice…
A vampire’s grudges don’t stay dead long…
Merit is one of Chicago’s most skilled vampire warriors; these days, she doesn’t scare easily. But she and Master vampire Ethan have made a new and powerful enemy, and he won’t give up until he owns the Windy City.
With his last plan thwarted, he’s more determined than ever to watch Cadogan burn. Ethan has put the House’s vampires on high alert, but their enemy will stop at nothing, including pitting vampire against vampire…
In this deadly game of cat-and-mouse, the stakes are life or death—and winning might mean sacrificing everything… http://www.chloeneill.com/?page_id=5873
There’s just something that works in this series, and it works really well. It’s just one of those series where everything comes together and forms a good read of pleasant without being banal, sexy without a lot of steam, and multiple storylines that are interwoven but also not stretched out too far. That being said, it is the series that works as a whole and sometimes individual books or elements have issues.
This is the twelfth book in the series with a few shorts stuck in between — it is not a good place to start. I think you have to start at the beginning or you miss too much. Chloe does give some backstory but there is no info dumping and there is enough backstory to provide a rich experience.
In part of a continuing storyline about a corrupt, wealthy businessman with an anti-supernatural problem we come in about 13 months into Merit’s vampire-life. If I have any issue with the series it is the timeline: specifically, Merit has become a vampire, been named sentinel, suffered severe losses and restoration, learned how to fight like a master of the art, fallen in love, etc. all in about 13 months. Basically, she would have to have 48 hour-long days for this all to have happened in the 390+/- days she has been allotted.
I do have some issues with the current corrupt businessman storyline. First, it’s a trope I am seeing in both paranormal and contemporary suspense romance quite a bit these days. In this particular case the character is very two-dimensional. His wife is sometimes vacant and sometimes tapping away furiously on her phone. To the reader it is obvious she is some kind of supe; so much that it makes me scratch my head about what the good supes are thinking. But her husband hates supes? Plus, the guy just oozes badness; he doesn’t seem to have any redeeming features. But that is all he seems to be about. Other than Chloe Neill’s good guys, everyone loves the guy though.
In addition to the basic series timeline issue, this book is also weird: in just seven days they find this big problem, figure out the basics, write a bunch of code and create a machine to help. Granted they are supernaturals, but, it feels forced.
Of course Merit and Ethan are right in the thick of the issue, which involves shifters too. For some reason the alliance between the shifters and vampires seems to have gone a little rocky. But, in general, they’ve worked together as friends. Here, at the slightest provocation they are out for each other’s blood.
The relationship between Merit and Ethan progresses much like most couples do. There is love, but they also disagree. These highs and lows are probably what makes the series work for me. Add into the relationship that she is the person responsible for his safety, and he is used to being in charge without question. The result is a complex situation where sometimes they fall asleep without having resolved everything.
We do learn through Chloe’s work that being supernatural does not make one infallible. Ethan screws up and makes one or two bad decisions in this book. Guess that’s why Merit is a Kickass heroine.
If you love the series you will want to read this one immediately. I don’t think it is the best in the series, but because the series works on so many levels the dodgy bits don’t overpower the good aspects.
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