For those of you who follow this blog, thank you for putting up with the reviews I write that are maybe a bit critical. However with Rayna’s guidance and a bit of pot luck I have been finding some “new to me” authors that are absolute gems. To reel them off I’d have to say LA Banks (Rayna, hats off to you for the recommendation), Nancy Haddock and to add to that list now, Chloe Neill. The thing that all these authors have in common for me is a fresh take on the same ole same ole that I’ve been whining to Rayna about. When reading their books I feel invigorated and refreshed. This leads me to:
Second novel in the Chicagoland Vampires series
by Chloe Neill
Release date: October 6, 2009
The great thing about this book is that it spends the first couple of pages giving a brief run down about what had happened in the previous book. Not enough to feel like this book is rehashing the first; just enough to refresh your memory if you haven’t had a chance to read them back to back. Merit is back at her snappy best. Seriously, I love this characters attitude and spunk. It’s delightful watching her trying to reconcile her stubbornness and go your own way attitude to a life in a House with rules and regulations. Even down to the clothes she wears. The fact that she might bitch and moan a bit or be conflicted, really gives the character life. You can easily place your feet in her shoes and wince with her when she makes a faux pax.
There are circles within circles happening as you read and you never know what to expect – one minute you are heading down one path and then suddenly you’re doing a 180 degree turn and heading in another.
I love how Ms Neill describes the sensation of Merit’s vampire half undulating under and along her body. As it was described in the book, I could almost feel it happening. I really felt invested in Merit and the situations that she was finding herself in. A couple of times it reminded me of when I was younger, I had inadvertently “let something happen” by saying nothing because I was afraid it might hurt someone’s feelings.
If I was pushed to make a criticism, it would be the way Merit describes men or guys in general as pretty, and that is all I got there, no expounding on it at all, just pretty.
In the end the flow of the book just happened. Reading this book was a pleasure. It was like drinking a fine glass of wine where you sip it slowly wanting to make it last or the rush of sweet taste of great chocolate exploding in your mouth. The pace wasn’t too fast or slow. I got carried away with the story. I was eager to find out what was going to happen and then when it did I was like “I didn’t see that coming. How could I have missed it?” I loved the book from beginning to end. I loved the return of the nemesis and I want to know what’s next. Ms Neill has been able to show that her characters are not defined by what they are rather that they are defined by what they do and who they are. The fact that they are vampires only adds another layer that is yet to be fully explored. Boy, am I glad I got to read these books and I want MORE!
Can’t wait for Firespell, Chloe’s next book.