Reading level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Size: 352 pages
Publisher: NAL Trade
Release Date: April 7, 2009
Stand Alone or Series: 1st in the Chicagoland Vampires series
Source: Audiobook through Audible.com
Rating: 4/5 stars
This is the first book in the Chicagoland Vampire series by Neill. I’ve been meaning to read this series for quite some time as I’ve had it recommended to me a number of times. I ended up listening to this on audiobook and the audiobook is extremely well done.
Merit is a grad student working on a PhD in romantic literature. That is the right until a vampire rips her throat out and another vamp saves her life….kind of. Merit has been saved by Ethan Sullivan the head of Cadogan House. Now instead of working on her thesis she is a vampire trying to navigate the complex politics between vamp houses…which are especially touchy now that vamps have come out of hiding and humans are being mysteriously found dead. Around the same time Merit finds out she is a vamp; her roommate finds out she may be a powerful sorceress…and now things are getting even crazier.
This novel was just a lot of fun pure and simple. Merit is a blast to read about; she goes from your everyday girl to having all these crazy vamp powers she is trying to control. It was fun to watch her start to grow into her powers. She is super snarky and sarcastic and had me laughing out loud a number of times. Merit’s status as an heiress only adds additional interest to her personality.
Ethan Sullivan is your basic power manipulative vamp, but at times he shows vulnerability that makes Merit stop and think. Merit and Ethan have sizzling heat between them, that is constantly pushed aside so that they can deal with more important things. As I said, it was just fun and engaging to read about.
While Merit is dealing with her vampness; her roommate finds out she is a sorceress and that adds some hilarity to the story too.
Don’t get me wrong this isn’t a light hearted urban fantasy full of fluff. There are some gruesome scenes in here. Merit is basically left with the task of trying to figure out who is brutally murdering women and trying to lay the blame on the newly outed vampire Houses. It’s a well done mystery/investigation with some startling surprises towards the end of the book.
The story wraps up nicely with no huge cliffhanger, but I still wanted to read more when I finished! Is there anything new here? Not really; Merit is similar to a lot of urban fantasy heroines out there…although she has a bit of the everyday girl thing going for her.
Overall this is a very well done and enjoyable urban fantasy. Fans of vampire urban fantasy will find a lot here to love. The story is well written, has an engaging plot, and is lots of fun. The characters have a lot of depth…a lot of snark…and a lot of heat between them. Pretty much this was just an all out fun book to read. Is there anything really creative here? Not really, this story echoes many other vampire based urban fantasies out there. Should you read it? Definitely, this may not cover a lot of new ground in the urban fantasy world, but the story and characters are very well done and I highly recommend to fans of urban fantasy!