*This title will be released on August 7, 2012*
by Chloe Neill
Genre: Urban Fantasy | Excerpt: Yes
Book Trailer: No
Reviewed by: Julia | Source: Publisher
Excellent – Loved it! Buy it now & put this author on your watch list.
Turned into a vampire against her will, twenty-eight-year-old Merit found her way into the dark circle of Chicago’s vampire underground, where she learned there was more to supernaturals than met the eye—and more supernaturals than the public ever imagined. And not all the secrets she learned were for sharing—among humans or inhumans.
Now Merit is on the hunt, charging across the stark American Midwest, tailing a rogue supernatural intent on stealing an ancient artifact that could unleash catastrophic evil on the world. But Merit is also the prey. An enemy of Chicagoland is hunting her, and he’ll stop at nothing to get the book for himself. No mercy allowed. No rules apply. No lives spared. The race is on.
Despite the strength, beauty, and immortality of vampires, I rarely find myself envious of their supernatural lifestyle. Merit’s afterlife smorgasbord of the best food the Midwest has to offer, however, has a way of making vampirism seriously tempting. Add to that push-button athleticism and a close-knit community of local vamps, and you have an afterlife recipe that cannot be beat.
Of course, all is not hunky dory in Chicagoland. Merit’s best friend has gone around the bend, and the path of true love has been anything but smooth, but even those setbacks have been a pleasure to read. Somewhere around book two of this series, Merit’s voice really began to work for me. Underneath the ponytails and the Mallowcakes is a relatable young woman who has embarked on one hell of an adventure. For every innate power Merit is given, there’s another, equally valuable skill that she has to work for, and it is these practiced changes that make her so interesting as a character.
BITING COLD picks up after the twists and drama of DRINK DEEP, and the magical mayhem is amped up from page one. Anyone brand new to the series should really start at the beginning, but for returning readers, I though Neill did a great job reminding me of key details along the way. I haven’t seen a witch gone this bad since Evil Willow, but Mallory’s descent into darkness has a lot more pain and torment built into the character. Mallory reads more like a junkie who keeps hurting herself, and everyone around her, in pursuit of that last, definitive fix. I liked how Merit is neither unquestioningly loyal to Mallory nor dismissive of their history. Rather, she has understandable spates of anger, sadness, and then more anger. Of course, I myself started to experience some of that anger when Mallory’s mess started to bleed into Merit and Ethan’s love life. Though the plot was didn’t skip a beat heating things up from page one onward, the romantic side of things was downright chilly for much of the book. I didn’t mind the prior reincarnation plot line, but I was also more than ready for these two characters to get some quality time. Their time apart gave Merit an opportunity to grow and develop on her own, but now that Ethan’s back further roadblocks were just plain frustrating. Even worse, Ethan really doesn’t stack up well compared to all of the men in Merit’s life that manage to both be smoking hot and respect her capabilities (a combination that often eludes Ethan).
Though I’m slower to forgive Ethan than Merit, my romantic frustrations were resolved over the course of the story. Neill also plays out an interesting and unexpected resolution to a few past magical mysteries while weaving in some continued vampire politicking from prior books. I look forward to exploring that subplot in book #7. Dare I hope that an upheaval of local politics means both Jonah and Morgan will get some time in the limelight? Ethan could still stand a little competition in my book.
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