By Chloe Neill
Heirs of Chicagoland Book #1
Category: Paranormal Fiction | Paranormal Romance | Urban Fantasy
Paperback, E-Book 352 Pages
Penguin Random House | Berkley
Aug 14, 2018
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.
In the first thrilling installment of Chloe Neill’s spinoff to the New York Times bestselling Chicagoland Vampires series, a new vampire will find out just how deep blood ties run.
As the only vampire child ever born, some believed Elisa Sullivan had all the luck. But the magic that helped bring her into the world left her with a dark secret. Shifter Connor Keene, the only son of North American Central Pack Apex Gabriel Keene, is the only one she trusts with it. But she’s a vampire and the daughter of a Master and a Sentinel, and he’s prince of the Pack and its future king.
When the assassination of a diplomat brings old feuds to the fore again, Elisa and Connor must choose between love and family, between honor and obligation, before Chicago disappears forever.
There are some book series I hope the author ends before it becomes awful, but I don’t think any fans of the Chicagoland Vampire series wanted to see it end — at least not me. So last years “end” to Merit’s and Ethan’s story, BLADE BOUND, did not make me happy. So, I was very pleased to see a spin-off coming, featuring the long-foretold tale of the couple’s unlikely offspring.
A new Chicagoland Vampires novella, SLAYING IT , just came out and it is placed between the last chapter and the epilogue of BLADE BOUND. I think that makes it part of the series as it stands and not a new story – but I haven’t read it yet.
Back to my thoughts on WILD HUNGER. Wow, I guess I hoped to read a Merit and Ethan story disguised as a new series. I was disappointed there — Merit shows up hardly at all and has matured. As a 400 year old vampire and a leader, Ethan was already rather mature. Other characters in the book had moved on, Malik and Merit’s Grandad for example.
Elisa is front and center in this story: a skilled 24 year-old who has lived in the public eye her entire life. She is the only vampire child ever born and her parents were, pretty much, the most visible vampire couple in the world.
Neill pulls off establishing Elisa as her own person, with her own problems, and is not just different because of her birth as a vampire. I’m not sure I care as much about Elisa as I did Merit who I liked from page one. She has a love interest, sort of and is smack dab in the middle of the European vampires trying to become as peaceful as the Americans have after the worldwide council split.
In the course of the original series there were other groups of supernatural beings: the most prevalent being sorcerers, like Merit’s best friend, Mallory and Mallory’s husband, Catcher, as well as Gabriel Keene and his Wolf-Shifter pack. Mallory and Catcher had a daughter, LuLu, and Gabriel Keene had Connor, The three grew up friends, or sort of friends. I would like to have seen more development of both Connor and Lulu as characters. Faeries also figure prominently throughout the series but none have been family friends.
But this book is mostly about establishing Elisa as a character in her own right. I think she is more like her father than her mom as she is an excellent strategist. And she is honest, confused, and believes she has a secret no one knows and that will make her a monster.
Neill pulls off establishing Elisa’s story line without making her a clone; she isn’t making a copy of the Chicagoland series. She is creating a new story in that same world and related to the previous series. It is in that world though, with a lot of back story, and I don’t think it would have worked as well if I were not familiar with the first series. But it is not just Merit’s and Ethan’s story any more, even if I had wanted it to be. It’s a tough trick to pull off.
AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER