"Vampires in Chicago! You'd think headlines like that would have provoked the fine citizens of the Windy City to take up arms against us bloodsucking fiends. Instead, 10 months later, we're enjoying a celebrity status reserved for the Hollywood elite - fending off paparazzi only slightly less dangerous than cross - and stake-wielding slayers. Don't get me wrong. Joe Public isn't exactly thrilled to be living side-by-side with the undead, but at least they haven't stormed the castle...yet.
"All that will change once they learn about the Raves - mass feeding parties where vampires round up humans like cattle and drink themselves silly. Most civilized vampires frown on this behavior - but that doesn't make good copy for a first-time reporter looking to impress his high-society family.
"So now my 'master' - the centuries-old yet gorgeously well-preserved Ethan Sullivan - wants me to reconnect with my own upper-class family and act as liaison between humans and vampires...and keep the more unsavory aspects of our existence out of the media. But someone doesn't want people and vamps to play nicey-nice - someone with an ancient grudge."
Bite into another Chicagoland Vampires novel.
©2009 Chloe Neill (P)2010 Tantor
Devourer of all books fantasy
This is the second book in the Chicagoland Vampires series. The sixth book, Biting Cold, will release in August 2012. Right now the author has 10 books on contract for this series. I enjoyed this book. This series has just been so fun and entertaining. I listened to this on audiobook, which I highly recommend, it was a very well done.
Merit is trying to finally get settled as Sentinel of Cadogan House, she's moving into the house and getting into a routine with the other Guards of the house. That is until Ethan needs her services elsewhere. Ethan has heard rumors that someone has leaked a story about vampire raves to the press and Ethan wants Merit to stop it. Then they find the Selena has been released from custody in Europe and is most likely on her way to shake things up. In an effort to make contact with the movers and shakers in Chicago Ethan asks Merit to do the one thing she vowed never to do again, reenter the elite social scene that plagued her childhood.
Merit is your typical urban fantasy heroine in some ways but not others. She has unusual powers, she is in the middle of a love triangle of sorts, and she is surrounded by supernatural power figures. The thing that sets Merit apart from other UF heroines is that to unravel the mystery throughout this story she uses something else entirely...her brain and her research skills. It was refreshing to see an urban fantasy heroine that is valued for her intelligence and actually thinks through the consequences of her actions. Don't forget that Merit is also funny, snarky, and wonderful at sarcasm.
Merit has also discovered that she is different from other vamps and this leads towards some interesting plot elements towards the end of the story.
Ethan, who was kind of stick in the mud in the first book, becomes a much more well developed character in this novel. Ethan actually has a sense of humor at points and even shows some vulnerability throughout the story. He is mostly still a mystery but we are starting to get some hint of who he really is.
We don't see a ton of Morgan in this book, he is definitely in the story but when he is he comes across as jealous and angry most of the time. This story focuses much more on Ethan. Mallory is also absent for much of the story; she's gone off to be trained in magic stuff. I missed Mallory and Merit exchanging witty dialogue, but Ethan was there to spice things up a bit.
One thing that absolutely irritated me about this book is that Neill sticks to a lot of the same description words throughout. Almost every guy Merit meets is just "so pretty". Seriously there are more pretty guys in this book than any other book I have ever read. The other thing is raised eyebrows; there is a whole dialogue of raised/quirked/lifted eyebrows in this book. I have never before read a book where eyebrows are involved so much in body language.... Okay I just had to get that out, now I feel better.
Overall this is a very fun and entertaining read. Merit does a lot of learning in this book and is as entertaining and snarky as in the first book. Merit is dealing with a lot in this book she is under emotional stress and under pressure to solve the mystery behind the rave stories. Ethan is the other big character in this book; we finally get to meet him and learn more about him. There is a great mystery woven throughout the story and it was hard to put the book down. This is a very entertaining read and fans of vampire urban fantasy will find a lot here to love. I would also recommend if you like the Night Huntress series; this series reminds a lot of that one but this series has less romance and more mystery.
I actually enjoyed the first book in the series but I think this one was better. It built upon the building blocks of the first book to make this one more in depth. We get to see more about Merit's family and the way she grew up as well as advancing her relationships with Morgan, Ethan, Catcher and others in the house. She makes some more friends and seems to make peace with her unexpected change into a vampire. I like that Merit is snarky and doesn't take herself too seriously. I like Cynthia Holloway as a narrator but I do think she could differentiate between the voices a little more.
For background, my favorite authors are George R. R. Martin, Robin Hobb, Jacqueline Carey, Ken Follett, Bernard Cornwell, Kevin Hearne, Jim Butcher and Margaret George.
I wouldn't say it was the most enjoyable listening experience, the narrator did an okay job but occasionally I got a little annoyed with her voice.
I didn't have a most memorable moment.
I wouldn't rule out a book because she was the narrator.
I can't see the first book making enough of a splash in theaters to make certain round two would be done so there is no need for a tag line. And honestly, I'm not fond of this question.
The book isn't bad. It isn't great either. I finished it and it was a decent story. I even went on to listen to the next story. I will probably even listen to book 4 because I don't expect a great story by now, I just expect an entertaining one.
So I was lukewarm on the first, but curious to see where it was going to take me. Intrigued by the Ethan/Merit/Morgan connection as well as Merit's relationships with her friends and her growing relationship with the other vampires in the house. I was okay with it up until about 50% of the way through the book and then it just started falling apart for me. Mostly I figured out that I really didn't like Merit. She keeps stringing Morgan along even though it's clear he's practically in love with her and she's not that into him at all. She's got the hots for her boss but doesn't want to go for him either for various conflicting reasons, and frankly, I never really warmed to Ethan in either book so it was hard to see what she saw in him that was worth fawning over. And then there are Merit's various hangups - her latent vampire troubles that she won't talk to anyone about, won't see the truth in the advice from her friends, won't just shut the f--k up and be the bad ass that she can be. Suffice it to say, I think I'm done with the Chicagoland vampires
Great little read but the narrator Cynthia Holloway does not distinguish between the character speaking aloud and the character thinking. I do not recommend her for future titles in this series.
I should not have listened to another reviewer that said not to be fooled by the cover. The cover is a good allegory for the book.
The writing is juvenile and the story is amateurish. It's like Anita Blake "light." If you like the Anita Blake series, you might like this. If you don't like Anita Blake, you probably won't like this.
The writing is akin to a Harlequin romance novel from 20 years ago. (Guilty of reading many of them.) The author overused her thesaurus and it's terribly distracting. We don't need every little nuance described -- "furrow" for a frown, "padding" to walk, etc. -- in flowery language. If the plot is strong enough then you don't need to fill up your pages with descriptive words that make the actions of the characters seem unnatural.
The main character is selfish -- just like Anita Blake. It's ALL about HER. Why should the readers care about some selfish person who whines and complains and is only concerned with what she can get out of a situation? She has no redeeming qualities and I don't care to waste my time with stories about people I can't feel sympathy for, or relate to in some fashion.
The narration doesn't help the weak writing. She makes everything overly dramatic -- just eating a meal (done often and adds no value to the story) is made to sound like a MONUMENTAL event. I caught on by about the fifth meal (yes, slow learner), when I realized that despite the narrator's exaggerated tone and inflection an alien was not going to come clawing out of someone's stomach.
I'm through with trying new (to me) vampire series based on the overwhelmingly positive reviews. I'll stick with the ones I know at least have decent writing even if I don't always like the direction the story takes -- Sookie Stackhouse and Kresley Cole's series.
Say something about yourself!
I have read and listened to a lot of different vampire series and this series is definitely in my top five. The story line is wonderful, the narrator is excellent, and the characters are fun. I love this series and can’t wait for the next book to come out in August. I have already listened to this series a few times and will continue to do so. 5 stars.
Loved the previous book, and couldn't stop listening to this book or the third book in the series. Narrator did a great job.
I was always a sci-fi fan and nerd as a young person. Currently I read more urban fantasy, now plentiful and popular, than I do true sci-fi.
I always enjoy Cynthia Holloway as a narrator. She generally does very well adding enough change of voice to help you recognize the character changes in the dialogue. Once or twice in this story, I felt lost as to which person said what in a conversation. However, they were very small bobbles that did not make listening difficult at all. Her voice is one that is smooth enough for an enjoyable listen and doesn't sound silly when other characters are voiced.
Unfortunately, the story made me feel like I waited half of the book for any significant suspense or plot. The events happening in the beginning of the novel were not uninteresting at all and were certainly Important to the story, but it felt more like a first novel in a series than an established series. Once the plot begins to pick up at about halfway, it is definitely worth the read. I am glad I didn't give up on it. Since this is only the second book in the series, it is definitely a forgivable story structure. I might borrow the third book in the series from the library first instead of immediately buying it in case the structure of the next book is similar.
I really like the characters. The author does a really good job of making the reader feel connected to them
She does a great job! I think she does a great Merit and Mallory
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