Merit, Chicago's newest vampire, is learning how to play well with others. Other supernaturals, that is. Shapeshifters from across the country are convening in the Windy City, and as a gesture of peace, Master vampire Ethan Sullivan has offered their leader a very special bodyguard: Merit.
Merit is supposed to protect the Alpha, Gabriel Keene - and to spy for the vamps while she's at it. Oh, and luckily Ethan's offering some steamy one-on-one combat training sessions to help her prepare for the mission.
Merit must accept the assignment even though she knows that she'll probably regret it. And she's not wrong. Someone is gunning for Gabriel Keene, and Merit soon finds herself in the line of fire. She'll need all the help she can get to track down the would-be assassin, but everywhere she turns, there are rising tensions between supernaturals - not least between her and a certain centuries-old green-eyed Master vampire.
©2010 Chloe Neill (P)2010 Tantor
"A refreshing take on urban fantasy." (Publishers Weekly)
I have really been enjoying this vampire/supernatural series. The explanation for vampirism seems almost more plausible than most of the paranormal fiction novels I have read. For example: an alteration in the DNA. They are still living, still warm, can eat food but need blood supplements, are mostly immortal with some fatal flaws.... It is a bit irritating that we are kept in the dark as to Merit's real first name. And Merit should just boot Ethan to the curb. Cynthia Holloway's narration can be a bit confusing at times as there often isn't enough variation to differentiate between characters but she still does a pretty good read. Definitely not detracting enough to take away from the story. Bottom line is that if you enjoy listening to authors like Ilona Andrews, Jim Butcher, Jennifer Estep, Carrie Vaughn, Kim Harrison, Richelle Mead, Patricia Briggs, Charlaine Harris, J. R. Rain (another really good find), and T. A. Pratt, you will probably enjoy this series as well.
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.
I actually give this third book in the series four and a half stars. I really am hooked on Chicagoland vampires, and I am very sorry that there's only one more book (please more!!), but just two things kept this from being up there on the list of my all-time favorite vampire series.
First reason is Merit, our intrepid heroine. She's feisty, she willful, she's stromg, resilient and sexy. But sometimes she borders on being a "Mary Sue". Mary Sue is a name given to usually female characters (sometimes male) who know more, perform better, figure things out faster than the leaders, experts or masters. They often save the day, saving everyone even though they are newbies. Merit just borders on Mary Sue-ism, but thankfully doesn't cross the line.
The second reason is the Ethan and Merit relationship continually upstaged any of the conflicts in the plot. Their relationship started and stopped, interrupted for some conflict. I know their issues couldn't be resolved immediately, but what ended up happening was I had a difficult time caring about all the troubles with the vampires and shape-shifters because I was so distracted with Ethan/Merit. I wanted to just hurry through all the fights and arguments and get back to those two.
One thing made me very happy---no Red Guard! Thank goodness!!
Anyway, loved this book and on the next (and last, hopefully not!).
I liked both the previous books in this series, but this one is the best one so far (stayed up all night listening to it). I can't wait for the 4th book to release May 3rd, 2011.
QUESTION : DOES LISTENING TO AUDIO BOOKS MAKE YOU SMARTER? If so, I'm. Freakin Genius!
I love the "Chicagoland Vampires" series!
If you like books from the Paranormal Genre. You will really enjoy these books.
I think these books are really hitting their stride. I enjoyed this book immensely. There was tons of action between the vampires and the shifters and I really didn't see the villain coming which always makes me enjoy a book more. I loved the advancement of the relationship between Merit and Ethan. I did miss Mallory and Catcher as they didn't seem to be around quite as much as in the previous books. I'm really enjoying this book series and can't wait to listen to the next one. As a narrator, I like Cynthia Holloway and think she does an ok job though she doesn't differentiate between the characters as much as I like.
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 know, I didn't read the print version
It's kind of a grown up version of House of Night books by P.C. Cast. The reason I say that is because all the vampires seem to live together in houses and there is girl drama. Otherwise it also has a bit of the Dresden files but not nearly as good.
This one was really no different than the other two books she did in this series. Though I will say it kind of threw me off how she all of the sudden decided to change how she said Navarre house (or however it is spelled.).
I have no idea. I don't think it would make it to a third film and third time around is not the charm.
The story isn't bad and it's good for when you don't want to think too hard. I like the characters even! It's just not the best book I've read with the same sort of subject matter. If you want a bit of entertainment and a few chuckles but aren't looking for a book that is going to grip you by the throat and take you on a wild ride, well then this series is for you.
I am dyslexic! If it wasn't audible I would not even be able to know what's in a book. I found out I love books.
loved it great story i would listen to it again
loved it great story i would listen to it again
Once again Cynthia Holloway does not make any indication to show she has noticed parentheses or asides. She is full steam ahead with her readings.
Devourer of all books fantasy
This is the third book in the Chicagoland Vampires series and my favorite so far. This book had a more solid plot than previous books and things escalate both between Ethan and Merit and between the shapeshifters and the vampires. Definitely a must read if you enjoyed the first couple books of this series.
I listed to this on audiobook and the audiobooks for this series are incredibly well done. This is one of those series that I think sounds even better than it would read; the narrator just does such a wonderful job.
Shapeshifters are meeting in the Windy City and they meet to decide if they will return to their homeland or stay for the oncoming supernatural war. Ethan lends out Merit's services as a bodyguard to the shapeshifter's leader Gabriel-Keene. As the time to the Shapeshifter Convocation draws closer it becomes clear that someone has put a hit out on Gabriel. Merit continually finds herself in the line of fire. Not only that but she is trying to navigate treacherous politics between the shapeshifters and vamps while also doing one on one training sessions with Ethan to try to improve her lackluster sparring skills.
This was the best book in this series so far. Things are really building to a climax in multiple ways. The shapeshifters are on the edge of either staying of fleeing as war approaches the supernatural community and the way they choose will tip the balance one way or the other. The tension between Merit and Ethan is constantly building and it was absolutely killing me to know what would happen between them. Merit is starting to understand her own powers and finally figuring out way to break down the wall she keeps hitting when she tries to spar.
Romance is a huge driver in this story. The tension between Merit and Ethan is absolutely sizzling. This is one of those books where I loved Ethan and then I hated him. Seriously he jerks Merit around so much; yet he does it in a strangely understandable way. The only other series I can think of that has had me as emotionally involved as this one is the Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost. I swear there were parts of this book where I was holding my breath to see what would happen.
Beyond that a lot of other neat stuff happens in this book. Lots of action in this one, Merit finds herself in a number of combat situations and performs admirably. The addition of the shapeshifters raised the stakes and ratcheted up the tension in this book, really driving the plot forward. So much depending on their decision to stay or leave. I continue to love the fun and witty banter between all of these wonderful characters.
The story wraps up well, but will have people a bit frustrated I am sure. I am very eager to see where both the building-war and the Merit-Ethan thing ends up going. I am dying to read Hard Bitten now. I was a little disappointed that Mallory wasn't in the story more, she always adds a lot of fun. Hopefully we will see her more in future installments.
Overall the best book in this series, absolutely stellar. If you liked the first few books in this series you'll love this one. Tons of action, building tension between the shifters and vamps, and lots of Ethan-Merit moments. This was a super engaging and fun read. Highly recommended to fans of urban fantasy. Reminds a bit of the Night Huntress series; so if you like that series I think you will love this one as well.
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