While Merit didn't choose to become a vampire or Sentinel of Cadogan House, she vowed to fight for her House and its Master, and she's managed to forge strong alliances with powerful supernaturals across Chicago. But even though Merit has had wild adventures, this may be her deadliest yet. A killer is stalking Chicago, preying on humans and leaving his victims with magical souvenirs. The CPD hasn't been able to track the assailant, and as the body count rises, the city is running out of options. Vampires and humans aren't on great terms, but murder makes for strange bedfellows. Can Merit find the killer before she becomes a target?
©2014 Chloe Neil (P)2014 Tantor
I'M MALE NOT FEMALE, BUT IT'S ASKING TO MUCH FOR AUDIBLE TO CORRECT THERE RECORDS, THERE NOT SMART ENOUGHT
DON'T CHANGE NARRATOR MID SERIES AND IF YOU DO, AT LEAST GET SOMEONE WITH THE SAME STYLE.
I'm semi-retired at 67 and a recent Cancer survivor.
When you combine the creative mind of Chloe Neill AND the perceptive spirited narration by Sohpie Eastlake, you definitely have a winner. After 10 books, you'd think that the capability to sustain the Ethan/Merit romance, to keep the Cadogan House members and staff alive with character development and to create stories and plots that are interesting and intricate would wane. NOPE, NADA. NO WAY. This series just keeps getting better; the writing crisper and the dialogue just spectacular. Blood Games is no exception...and now I can't wait for the next one. I never go into the storyline detail...far more experienced reviewers do a much better job. But I will tell you that the level of maturity in Chloe Neill's writing is certainly on display in this work. AND you absolutely cannot go wrong with Sophie Eastlake. I am not only amazed at how Ms Neill THINKS of things to include in a conversation but also the ability of Ms Eastlake to bring that conversation to life. Do NOT miss this CV book 10...it's outstanding.
I am an avid fantasy and urban fantasy reader. I also read a lot of millitary romance.
I love this series. Merrit and gang are full of sarcasm and snark. The plots are good and characters are well fleshed out.
Yes, it was okay and this far in to the series you just can't stop
Sure, there is always good to be found
Well it worked
I'm a 30-something paranormal, mystery, and humor enthusiast. For me, the main character is the most important part of a book.
I really liked the mystery in this one. I was very interested the stages murder scenes.
The Ethan/Merit stuff was pretty normal, but it was nice to see them stand on solid footing.
This current installment of Chicagoland Vampires has moved Chloe Neill from the "purchase on sight but read it when I get to it" list to the "read before I sleep" list. In a single volume, Ms Neill advances her storyline farther than I had guessed she would in the next three books while avoiding a problem common to many long term series -- all good things come to the main characters. With many of my favorite urban fantasy series winding down or already complete, the Chicagoland Vampires has risen consistently in my estimation and I now find myself wanting the next book almost immediately.
As in previous volumes, it is well written and well performed, but is probably not the best place to start reading. If you are not going to start with book 1, Some Girls Bite, the previous (book 9) would be a better start point, but still not totally satisfactory.
Without too many spoilers, this book resolves the issue of Ethan trying to wrest control from the GP. Several new Masters and their Houses are introduced in this book, extending the reach of the series and the resolution was as unexpected as it was welcome. The hook to future volumes is a little obvious but is no less welcome.
Now the reason for the review title: Early in this book, Merrit goes to a huge Chicago game convention's dealer room and many of the participants think that she is cosplaying herself. She runs into multiple tables of Cadigan oriented merch, including multiple artworks of herself. I found myself laughing uncontrollably as I recalled a similar spectacle that happened at Origins almost a decade ago. Once upon a time, the husbands and wives of Big Daddy Thwak's Millennial Army had a bet and the guys lost. The penalty was memorable. The men, many with full beards, had to go through the dealer room in Sailor Moon fuku (Japanese schoolgirl sailor suits). Please understand I am good friends with most of the Army. Thank you, Ms Neill for planting an image I will cherish for the rest of my life.
I also find it interesting that Ethan and I both have a soft spot for 18 year old Glen Moranjie.
My Initial Reaction...
I love the books in this series that involve lots of GP BS, because it makes me so angry. Blood Games was no exception to that rule. So, of course, I loved it!
Note: some series spoilers to follow.
I enjoyed Sophie Eastlake narration for Blood Games as usual. She's Merit for me now and I think that if I were to read these books I'd hear her voice for Merit. For Blood Games, though, I noticed for the first time a lot of bleed over between Ethan and Jonah's voices, to the point where I got confused sometimes who was talking. I think it was Ethan's voice bleeding into Jonah's, which was unfortunate, because I felt like some of his personality was lost as result too at moments. But still a solid performance and I'll definitely continue listening to this series.
I think the characters are what captivate me about this series. I just love them all in Blood Games- from Merit and Ethan, to the Omsbudies and Merit's grandfather, to Jonah and Mallory and the Cadogan vampires. There's so many personalities and they're all so well-developed and unique.
Ethan and Merit are having troubles again and when I saw that coming my stomach about dropped. Thankfully, though, this was more of the kind of trouble you expect for any long-term couple, especially when one of the partners has hundreds of years of life history. So yeah, Ethan's past is rearing it's ugly head and neither one knows quite how to navigate those waters. Ethan is falling back on his go-to protect and exclude, while Merit is worrying and going on the defensive. I enjoyed watching them figure out how to navigate this aspect of their relationship, while still loving and being there for each other.
I'm a really big Jonah fan, so I was personally really happy with the time he got in Blood Games. His interaction with Merit was fun and increasingly more comfortable, we got to learn some fun new details about him, and I'm curious about what may be on the horizon for him.
The Omsbudies are doing so much better now that they have the support of the mayor again. I was really happy to see Merit's grandfather on the mend. I would always like a bit more Jeff, but I'm partial to him ;) Things between Mallory and Catcher are also so much better, I'm loving seeing their new relationship. I love the new Mallory, too. She's been healing slowly over the last few books and I feel like we've finally reached a point where trust is returned. She's learned from her experiences and is doing something about it for others, too, which I thought was great to see. I don't think her and Merit's relationship has (or ever will) returned to what it was, but it something new and equally great.
An unexpected treat for me was Lindsey, one of the Cadogan Vampire guards and Merit's friend. I've always liked her, but in Blood Games during the testing specifically we get to see a piece of her and her ability that I really enjoyed. It made me appreciate what life must be like for her a bit more and I felt it was a really nice touch.
There's two big story lines to Blood Games as usual. One involves people turning up dead and the method of murders looks like it might be members of the supernatural community, or singling them out at least. For me, this very procedural element of the books is always just okay, but I'm just not that into procedurals. I didn't see the result coming, though, and there were some neat clues and elements that I really enjoyed.
For me, the real treat is the politics. I know for a lot of people it's the reverse, but I just love the drama with the GP. And seeing as Ethan challenged Darius for his position as head of the GP at the end of the last book we have GP drama in spades. I think Chloe Neill excels in this and I loved every twist. I did think that one element with Darius was fairly anticlimactic and a bit too easily solved, but besides that, nothing was easy. Which means it was great to read!
I thoroughly enjoyed Blood Games and cannot wait for the next one. Especially because things ended with a bit of twist! Thankfully it's not a cliffhanger in the sense that things feel unresolved, but I'm definitely counting down to the next book!
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