A week or so ago, I started the Chicagoland Vampire series by Chloe Neill. I’ve always had a soft spot for Urban Fantasy but I’ve also always had my favorite UF heroines. I’m happy to say that Neill’s Merit makes that list.
Sure, the life of a graduate student wasn’t exactly glamorous, but I was doing fine until Chicago’s vampires announced their existence to the world. When a rogue vampire attacked me, I was lucky he only got a sip. Another bloodsucker scared him off and decided the best way to save my life was to make me the walking undead.
Now I’ve traded sweating over my thesis for learning to fit in at a Hyde Park mansion full of vamps loyal to Ethan “Lord o’ the Manor” Sullivan. Of course, as a tall, green-eyed,
four-hundred-year-old vampire, he has centuries’ worth of charm, but unfortunately he expects my gratitude—and servitude. Right…
But someone’s out to get me. Is it the rogue vampire who bit me? A vamp from a rival House? An angry mob bearing torches?
My initiation into Chicago’s nightlife may be the first skirmish in a war—and there will be blood.
I bulldozed through the first seven books of the series within a couple weeks. I just couldn’t stop reading; I had to see what happened next. Unfortunately, with all these books under my belt, it’s hard to remember where each book stopped and another started. I guess that’s an indication of how flawless this series is when it comes to plot, writing and flow. So I’ve decided to do a “why-you-should-read-this-series” review (even though I’m not quite finished yet.)
To be frank, I am in love with this series so be prepared for some biased fangirling. The main protagonist in the series is Merit, English grad student turned vampire against her will when she was attacked on the way across campus one fateful night. She then joins the Cadagon House (All the vamps are separated into “houses,” where they pledge their allegiance to the Master.) and meets the master vampire, Ethan Sullivan. [Cue Swooning]
The chemistry between Merit and Ethan is electric. Neill makes the reader wait a really long time before anything really happens between them but the give and take is just as good as any dirty details. When it does come down to the nitty gritty, Neill is very light on the details. The focus is really on their relationship not so much the physical aspect. Regardless, each interaction between Ethan and Merit left me panting or reeling. I loved every second of it.
Merit is a kick ass heroine. She has to come into her own but once she does, she is one badass girl with a katana. I enjoyed watching her navigate the vampire world but still hold onto her humanity. Each book in this series has a challenge for Merit, Ethan and the Cadagon vampires to overcome, exposing the reader to new supernatural species, such as shifters, fae and river nymphs. There’s always a lot of action and really good character development. Not just with the main characters but the secondary characters as well. For example, Merit’s best friend Mallory and Catcher, the sorcerer.
My favorite book so far is Hard Bitten, the fourth book. The reader FINALLY gets to see some action between Ethan and Merit and the ending is such a cliffhanger it left me bawling my eyes out. There are nine books currently out with the tenth installment, Blood Games, coming out soon on August 5. If you are a fan of Urban Fantasy, especially if you enjoy authors such Kim Harrison or Patricia Briggs, you will love Chloe Neill. This is a series that shouldn’t be missed.
STARS: 5 out of 5