Review of Chicagoland Vampires, by Chloe Neil

From Hoopla, I borrowed and listened to the first five Chicagoland Vampire books: Some Girls Bite, Friday Night Bites, Twice Bitten, Hard Bitten, Drink Deep. I only bothered reviewing the first and what turned out to be my last though. Middle books are so often just “ditto.” Especially when the series is read back to back, and feels like a single reading experience.

Description:
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.

Review:
This was dated, but I still found it entertaining. It does have a serious case of “she’s so special” going on. The heroine breaks the rules from day one, setting herself aside from others, and is allowed to get away with it. This is a plot device that always annoys me. All the powerful males are attracted to her because she’s so prickly and refuses to submit. But WHY exactly is she allowed to act this way when anyone else wouldn’t? No idea.

Having said that, as a first in a series, it was fun. I’ll give it one more book before I judge, because I really do feel like this one was mostly all just set up. I thought Cynthia Holloway did a good job with the narration, as I listened to the audio version. But I gotta say, this cover is atrocious!


I gave it four more books, my opinion didn’t really change much. But as the series went on and I felt nothing progressed, I became less tolerant of the things that annoyed me and eventually just didn’t want to follow it anymore. In the end, it fizzles for me. I finished book five and then made the following note:

I technically have the next book in this series (Biting Cold), but I don’t think I’ll bother reading it. I think I’ll stop now. I liked Merrit and her crew, but the plots are just getting too ridiculous and predictable. I can only stand so many books in a row in which the supernaturally special heroine, who somehow bypassed being new and inexperienced and EARNING trust, struggles against the short-sighted and self-important bureaucracy. It’s like no matter what else the plot involves, the megalomaniac leader who the good guys have to work around just gets changed out, washed and repeated. I’m bored with it now. And I think the author must even know the books were becoming overly formulaic. There’s a joke about how the main character loves a series, despite it becoming just so.

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