Believe me, it was not my first choice. After reading Joleene Naylor’s fabulous seven-book (still unfinished) series, I wanted a nice long break from the fanged and want-to-be-fangers. And here I am, book three of a series I’m kind of seriously hooked on (thanks Jamie).
I really wanted to read a stand-alone. Something short, quick. Hell, I’d even take a bridge book just to freshen things up a bit. But a certain someone (*cough* Jamie *cough*) offered up a favorite series she thought I might like. Not one to turn down a word of mouth suggestion—also it’d be super awkward if I’d declined as we sit across from each other—I figured sure, why not? A new series by an author I hadn’t heard of? Score. Someone to discuss them with when I’m done? Double score. And the best part–the books are free AND paperback. Hell to the motherfucking yeah. Two things I enjoy most about books other than rad writing and killer stories. Obviously.
Anyway, Chicgoland Vampires. I like.
I like a lot.
A. Merit, our MC, is actually pretty funny. And smart. And stubborn. Yes, most MCs usually claim to have these traits but so few really impress. I’ve read *tons* of heroines who’re whiny and stupid and I kind of don’t care what happens to them. But I like Merit. I feel I can get behind her, support her. And I feel for her during her main struggle of being turned into a vampire against her will (she does get turned to save her life. There’s an attack and it was either become a vampire or die). She can get super-stubborny at times (and maybe that does it for you—I don’t know) but it got on my nerves a bit. Other than that, she’s smart and a fighter and can hold her own in a rough and rowdy group of guys. I like that.
B. The writing is awesome. I’m surprised I’ve never heard of Chloe Neill before because she’s a surprisingly gifted storyteller. Everything is smooth but quick-paced and without going on for ten pages (as some of our more poetic authors do) she keeps her descriptions concise but visual. I knew what everyone was wearing, what everything looked like and how everything went down, clear as a movie. She’s also got a wicked vocabulary and I found myself rereading sentences because I liked how pretty they sounded. That, to me, is how you write a book. And me, as a reader, is how I like to read a book.
C. The story is pretty unique. Yes, I’ve read Twilight. I haven’t read any Ann Rice or Charlaine Harris, but I’ve read a few other vampire books. And I feel they pitch a lot of the same ideas: dark and deadly and mysterious, but sexy. Vulnerable. Victimized. There’s a bit of that too, but overall, I found it refreshing since Merit, who was turned against her will, is forced to drop her prized dissertation and join one of the three established vampire Houses of Chicago, standing in as Sentinel. Of course there’s a bit of heat between her and Ethan (the Master vampire and the one who changed her) so for all you looking for something spicy, there it is. The story is old customs and traditions meets frat-house living in modern times. Oh, and there’re shapeshifters. And water nymphs. And sorcerers and sorceresses. And plenty of good-looking guys with snarky, sarcastic comments. So, if you’re into any of this, you’ll probably dig the series.
Awesome MC, great writing, fun story. I like those ingredients. I also like them when they’re sprinkled with hot guys, so, super-win on that account. I’ll be starting the fourth tomorrow (I believe there are twelve books total) which means I have a lot of reading in front of me.
It also means I might actually reach my goal now.
So you can suck it, Goodreads. Go book-shame someone else.