Chicagoland Vampires #5
by Chloe Neill
Published on November 1, 2011 by NAL Trade
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
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Clouds are brewing over Cadogan House, and recently turned vampire Merit can’t tell if this is the darkness before the dawn or the calm before the storm. With the city iself in turmoil over paranormals and the state threatening to pass a paranormal registration act, times haven’t been this precarious for vampires since they came out of the closet. If only they could lay low for a bit, and let the mortals calm down.
That’s when the waters of Lake Michigan suddenly turn pitch black-and things really start getting ugly.
Chicago’s mayor insists it’s nothing to worry about, but Merit knows only the darkest magic could have woven a spell powerful enough to change the very fabric of nature. She’ll have to turn to friends old and new to find out who’s behind this, and stop them before it’s too late for vampires and humans alike.
Thankfully I didn’t have to wait too long to read this after Hard Bitten or I would have been a wreck. And if you haven’t read the previous book then this review is definitely not for you. Though I try to keep spoilers out, it’s harder this late in the series.
I think the biggest problem with this book, for me, was that there was no Ethan. His dynamic in the House, his relationship with Merit, they didn’t necessarily make the books what they are so far but they definitely played a large role in this story and the absence was felt. This series just isn’t the same without him.
But at the same time, I think Neill did a really good job at showing Merit’s progression through it all and the changes she had to undergo in moving forward. Despite the change, life continues to move forward and Chicago has plenty in store for it that requires the investigative mind of one Cadogan Sentinel. Drink Deep really brought Merit’s strength forward and she had to see a life without Ethan. After the last four books, I think it brought a lot of her past conflicts to light.
I wasn’t quite sure how this book was going to go because I knew there would be another book after Hard Bitten but in terms of the plot and the world, where could it go from there? The big bad was finally done for. And then Neill does it again and throws out the biggest twist of them all.
Okay, that’s not COMPLETELY true. I had a guess. It took over half the book to make that guess, but it was there. Yet seeing it on the page proved true was tough because no matter my thoughts I was not prepared for that. It felt like a betrayal but at the same time made total sense.
What do you do with a story like that?
The issue is that it took a while leading up to this point before anything really happened. The characters are grieving and I get that but it meant for slow moving. There’s a lot of emotional trauma that Merit and her friends have to work through before facing the issues plaguing Chicago.
But despite the slower pace, I think this book had a lot more depth than those in the past. The entire cast was forced to face situations that they had not before and challenges that pushed them, whether in a good way or bad.
I won’t spoil the ending but I look forward to the next book. I have a very strong interest in making sure these characters achieve happiness because many of them certainly deserve it after all that’s happened. Another great series installment!