Turned into a vampire against her will, 28-year-old Merit found her way into the dark circle of Chicago's vampire underground, where she learned there was more to supernaturals than met the eye - and more supernaturals than the public ever imagined. And not all the secrets she learned were for sharing - among humans or inhumans.
Now Merit is on the hunt, charging across the stark American Midwest, tailing a rogue supernatural intent on stealing an ancient artifact that could unleash catastrophic evil on the world. But Merit is also the prey. An enemy of Chicagoland is hunting her, and he'll stop at nothing to get the book for himself. No mercy allowed. No rules apply. No lives spared. The race is on.
©2012 Chloe Neill (P)2012 Tantor
It's a measure of how much I enjoy this series that I purchased Biting Cold on the day of publication. All that day I looked forward to listening...I pressed play and...wait, what is this? This isn't Merit!!
Biting Cold has a new narrator. So characters have new voices. And words have new pronunciations.
So much for snuggling in with a old friend.
The change in narrator is so disorienting that it's difficult to separate the story from the performance. It does seem that the pacing is far slower than in the previous five books, and that the characters have changed--their personalities are different. I wonder if Chloe Neill had the time she needed to polish this book--or if she's bored with Merit and Cadogan House.
I am really disappointed.
I would definitely recommend the series up until this book. The narration change has completely ruined what has been one of my favorite series in years. Cynthia Holloway was not just truly amazing as Merit, but every single character was uniquely brought to life by her. I was dying for this release and now am struggling to even finish because it just isn't there. I 'm very sad.
Haven't even got there because I am struggling to get into it. I am about halfway through but the story up until now seems like the same old problems with just a few new details changed. Everyone is mad at and blaming the vampires - same. The sorcerers are vague and misunderstood - same. The shifters are sticking there neck out to help - same. Ethan and Merit are on again off again - same. The GP is interfering and unhappy - same. Then you take away the spark that made it alive (Cynthia Holloway) and it just seems redundant and slow. Maybe it will get better...I just miss Merit!
I feel bad for obsessing about the narrator change because this narrator was not bad by any means...she just isn't even remotely this/these characters. Cynthia Holloway's sarcastic bite, wit and characters' voices made this series. It's almost like a different series all together. Five books tends to get you very used to people especially when done with so much brilliance. She made them come alive. I think the new narrator is not to blame and I would listen to her again. It was just devestating to this book.
Not without Cynthia Holloway 's narration. This makes me question whether I would have even liked the books as much reading them rather than listening if I am this affected by her abscense.
Sorry Sophie Eastlake but it's bad form to do a sequel book and not even try to sound like the original narrator! Oh I so hope they bring back Cynthia Halloway for the next book.
For fans of the series, it's not so heinous that you can't still listen with ease but after 5 books the voices are ingrained so it will annoy you a bit.
As for the story? It's another chapter in the ongoing dramas of Merrit, Mallory, the Cadogan House and all the other people in the orbit. Has a start, middle and end so now you are just waiting to see what happens in the next book as there are still a few loose ends.
Worth the credit, not brain surgery but a pleasurable way to use a few hours listening.
Not sure if it was the new reader that thru off the rhythm of the seriers but on first listen it seems to be a combination of both the story development and the reader. Neither were as good as the previous installments but still a decent listen.
Book blogger for YA & NA genres
Let me start with the most apparent thing everyone who LOVES the Chicagoland Vampires series is going to notice - there's a new narrator. Now sometimes that's a good thing...unfortunately, here it is not.
Don't get me wrong, I'm sure Sophie Eastlake is a great narrator - but when you've had the SAME narrator (Cynthia Holloway) for the first five books of the series, bringing in a newbie just doesn't work. I was so distracted by new speech patterns and accents (especially Luc's) that I lost track of the story at times and had to keep backtracking.
With all that said. Let's move past that and look at the actual story itself...without giving away any spoilers.
In the first few books the focus was mainly just on Merit getting a handle on her new lifestyle (as a vampire). Book four was focused pretty intently on the Merit-Ethan relationship. In book five, not only did we see Merit really come into her own, but we also learned a lot about Mallory and her powers. Now, with book six, the focus is put on "relationships:" Merit and Ethan, Merit and Mallory, Mallory and Catcher, etc.
In these last two books of the Chicagoland Vampires series (Drink Deep and Biting Cold), Chloe Neill has managed to grow even closer with her characters. Now that [us] readers have gotten to know the characters, she has started to weave the plot even more intricately. For this reason alone, I would NOT recommend this book for someone who has not read the previous installments. But, I would recommend Biting Cold for anyone who is a fan of the urban fantasy or paranormal genres. It is also perfect for those looking for a good PNR or urban fantasy with a little more bite (pun intended) than a similar book in the YA genre.
Even though I was left with some disappointment, I will continue on following this series. As always, the ending left me wanting more. Luckily we don't have to wait too long; book 7 (House Rules) comes out on February 5, 2013.
The narrator. Haven't the publishers figured out by now that listeners don't like to have a narrator changed after a series has been started.
The change in voices that we have become use to was a complete distraction.
Biting Cold was worth the listening time, but I don't think it was her strongest book. There was far more emotion in the first 3 books and this one didn't spark the depth of feeling that I enjoyed when I first started the series. I also found myself irritated at the number of times the phrase, "I stand sentinal" popped up. Yah, we know that by now.
Overall, the story was a good listen, worth the time, but just rates a 3 star "I Liked It" rating. I found Ethan putting their relationship on hold again a poor thing to put in the story line because it felt like Ms. Neil was trying to recapture the stunned feeling we all felt in the earlier books. It worked once but made my eyes roll the second time around (I wouldn't have stuck around for a man who so easily stopped and started with the tides).
I just want to say that I love this series, but this installment just went on and on and on. Nothing exciting really happened, loose ends were not tied up. It was pretty boring, I almost stopped listing half way through the first half of the book. I have officially lost interest in this series and will not be purchasing the next book. Some book series can go on forever, but this one is more than done. Sorry Chloe, this book was a huge disappointment.
I liked this installment. A little more talk than action in this one compared to the last couple, but this book sets up interesting changes to come and may be more of a transition book, although Merit and Ethan do get a chance to kick some butt. I missed some of my faves like the shifters, Morgan, Noah and Jonah but hope they will pop up for more than cameos in the next books. Good news is that Book 7, House Rules, is scheduled to be out in Feb 2013, so not terribly long to wait and see where it goes from here.
I approve of the narrator change. While I did like Cynthia Holloway's male voices a little better in that she has a wider range of male characters, I am thankful to have Sophie Eastlake's superior pronunciation and ability to perform accents, and I have really liked other books she narrated.
If you've been reading the series, then don't miss this one. Really enjoyed this newest installment of Merit's adventures. This book seemed to end the series, as far as characters go, to where you can walk away from it. At the same time, it starts a whole new series within itself. At any rate, I liked the way it ended, not feeling half disgusted, waiting on another installment to come out. So many of the series books, make you feel like you're hanging on a cliff for another year.
I don't really care for the narration, but is tolerable. She just doesn't have enough emotion in her reading, and the men really sound quite dull.
Please switch back to Cynthia Holloway. The narrator was awful. I almost stopped listening, but I wanted to know what would happen with Merit and Ethan. I powered through it. I am looking forward to the next book.
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