Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Some Girls Bite - Chloe Neill

Some Girls Bite
Chicagoland Vampires
Chloe Neill
One minute, Merit was a grad student working on her thesis in romantic medieval literature.  The next, she’s lying on the ground, bleeding, the victim of a vampire attack.  That initial attack would have killed her if not for Ethan Sullivan, Master of Cadogan House.  He was there, and he completed Merit’s transformation on an emergency basis and without her permission.  Of course, Merit knew about vampires and the Houses.  They announced themselves to the world less than a year ago, in a press conference.  She just never wanted to be one of them.

According to vampire laws and customs, in a few days, Merit will have to literally kneel to her Master and swear her eternal loyalty to him and the house.  All of that might be fine for someone in medieval lit, but Merit is definitely a modern and independent woman.  Then there’s the matter of the first vampire attack on her.  Clearly, that vampire intended her to die, messy.  That’s not the vampire way of doing things in these modern times.  Or so they claim.  One woman has already been murdered; a Cadogan House medallion left near her corpse.  Clumsy killer, clumsy set-up, or a vampire trying to break free of the House system?  Merit’s obviously in a great position to look into things, and would love to find out just who cursed her into this new and unwanted life.

This is the first book in a series, and it is amazingly complete.  Merit is refreshingly realistic about her status.  She’s nearly 28, a graduate student living an independent life and mostly mocking the ‘mysterious vampires’ and other occult-related things.  Now she’s forced to become one of them.  She has no romantic illusions about her change in circumstances.  She knows she’ll watch her friends and family die; she’ll have to ingest blood to survive; and she’ll never see the sun again.  None of that seems like fun to her.  Not to mention the swearing of her loyalty oath to her new liege.  Merit’s family situation is nicely complicated, too.  Her father is wealthy and powerful, her grandfather is a hard-working cop.  She identifies so much more with her granddad.

Merit’s roommate, Mallory, is an ad exec with a serious interest in all things occult.  When she’s drawn into the occult world, she’s thrilled at first, but tries to see it all through Merit’s (definitely not thrilled) eyes.  She’s a good friend, and stands by Merit, even as her life hits a patch of ice.  The whodunit part of the story is pushed into the background for a good deal of the time; this is Mallory’s origin story.  The mystery is wrapped up quite quickly at the end, but there’s some very interesting motivation for the crimes, which will clearly be a running thread in upcoming books.  This could be read as a standalone, but it’s such a unique universe peopled with such compelling characters, I won’t be able to stop here.  I bet you won’t, either.

Rating: 9
March 2014
ISBN# 978-0-451-46905-2 (paperback)


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