Chicagoland Vampires #1
by Chloe Neill
Published on April 7, 2009 by NAL Trade
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
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They killed me. They healed me. They changed me.
Sure, the life of a graduate student wasn’t exactly glamorous, but I was doing fine until Chicago’s vampires announced their existence to the world. When a rogue vampire attacked me, I was lucky he only got a sip. Another bloodsucker scared him off and decided the best way to save my life was to make me the walking undead.
Now I’ve traded sweating over my thesis for learning to fit in at a Hyde Park mansion full of vamps loyal to Ethan “Lord o’ the Manor” Sullivan. Of course, as a tall, green-eyed,
four-hundred-year-old vampire, he has centuries’ worth of charm, but unfortunately he expects my gratitude—and servitude. Right…
But someone’s out to get me. Is it the rogue vampire who bit me? A vamp from a rival House? An angry mob bearing torches?
My initiation into Chicago’s nightlife may be the first skirmish in a war—and there will be blood.
Now that is what I call an urban fantasy.
I’ve been on a bit of a paranormal kick lately and decided to give this series a try. First I’ve read of the author but it certainly won’t be my last. The writing reminded me a lot of Richelle Mead, whose books I absolutely adore, so definitely brownie points there. Plus, the world isn’t overly complicated while still providing enough of the supernatural to make it a bit otherworldly. With a cast that I’m already in love with, Some Girls Bite just cracked my list of favorite paranormal books.
I think it all comes down to Merit. She’s a sarcastic, down-to-earth heroine who just had her entire world turned around and she has to handle not only all the changes but the fact that she’s now a vampire. Considering vampires only just made themselves known to humans within the last year it’s a bit of a shock, to be sure. But she doesn’t let others think for her. She knows who she is and (mostly) what she wants, a maturity that I feel like I miss in other books within the genre.
The story is told through her eyes and I think that makes it all the more fun. Merit’s (Neill’s) way of describing the world and all the side commentary is laced with a lot of humor but not so much that it grew annoying. Conversational is the best way I can describe it. But every now and then you get moments where Merit’s uncertain or scared or angry and all those emotions come through so clearly that it’s like being in her head.
Though I could talk more about the plot, this story was pretty character-driven and the actual goings-on in the background simply fed into the lives of the characters. I think it was a simple enough storyline in that there weren’t a million and a half subplots going on, but there were a lot of opportunities for expansion in future books. Neill gives you a taste for what’s to come.
Including a romance with a gorgeous 400-year-old vampire god.
Well, he’s not an actual god but Darth Sullivan has his…charms. And with the chemistry between him and Merit that could have lit the entire book on fire I’m expecting to be seeing a lot more of him in the future. It was refreshing that the romance didn’t consume the story, but added to the overall dynamic of the story. It’s definitely there but Merit doesn’t just fall head-over-heels for Ethan. She recognizes her attraction but also that she neither knows him nor really likes him past the physical chemistry.
And I can’t forget Mallory, Merit’s roommate. The newly-dubbed sorceress is all sorts of fun and acts as a good balance for her fanged friend. She played a role as the best friend in Some Girls Bite but I can see her having a bigger role down the road.
Overall, a quick and fun urban fantasy that gives me faith that not all vampire books are terrible nowadays. I will definitely be needing the next one as soon as I can get a hold of it!