BLADE BOUND Brings the Curtain Down on Ethan & Merit

Blade Bound

Blade Bound Audio Cover

Book 13 in the Chicagoland Vampires series
Author Chloe Neill
Narrated by Sophie Eastlake
Publisher: Tantor Media
Publication date Apr 25, 2017
Running time 11 hrs
Also available in print from
Penguin Random House/Berkley Publishing Group

I voluntarily reviewed an advance readers copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.


Since the night of her brutal attack and unwilling transformation into a vampire, Merit has stood as Sentinel and protector of Chicago’s Cadogan House. She’s saved the Windy City from the forces of darkness time and again with her liege and lover, Ethan Sullivan, by her side.

When the House is infiltrated and Merit is attacked by a vampire who seems to be under the sway of dark magic, Merit and Ethan realize the danger is closer than they could have imagined. As malign sorcery spreads throughout the city, Merit must go to war against supernatural powers beyond her comprehension. It is her last chance to save everything—and everyone—she loves.


My Take Oblong Shaped

Sometimes a book and series are so well constructed I forget to listen critically and just listen, so caught in the story’s snare that I am lost to the outside world and everything but the narrative.  Each book in this series has achieved that mark, and those series are few and far between.

This one is no exception, and features unique and well woven world building, creative creature development, and intricate, unique, but accessible, plotting.  I can’t remember any plot similar to this exciting and unique series end. 

We all know there are events and plots in play that we expect to have tied up: will the loving couple successfully marry and will the werewolf alpha’s prophecy be realised, and if so how, and, what about the public relations and political nightmares between the humans of Chicago and the vampires? What about other, less central, characters we’ve met over the course of the series: Jonah, Mayor Tate, the librarian, etc. 

Neill has offered up true tragedy in this series, so I half expected it to end that way and perhaps it does.  I can’t say more and it is really hard to describe and substantively review this book without doing so.   I have two issues with this particular entry in the series.  There is, if one knows the world-building of the series, indeed, a solution to the massive problem facing Merit, Ethan and Cadogan but he is in jail and not called-upon. And, I really do not like the cover offered with both the audio and print versions of the story: the characters don’t look as if they occupy the same space and the male character doesn’t feel like the character of Ethan we’ve had described so many times as a refined, cultured, ancient warrior. The guy pictured here reminds me of a character on a soap opera from my youth. I can’t even remember which soap opera, but the character was named “Patch.”

Sophie Eastlake does a great job with Merit, whose voice is the narrator.  Her male characters voices are a little similar to each other, but are reasonable in timbre. Merit and her bestie, Mallory are distinct, and Eastlake delivers all with the wry and snarky humor that offers relief to the sometimes dark subject matter.

By any standards of paranormal fantasy and romantic fiction this series in general and this volume in particular, are a rousing success and a must read for this blogger!

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