Friday, July 28, 2017

Twice Bitten - Chloe Neill

Twice Bitten
Chicagoland Vampires
Chloe Neill


Note: If you haven’t read the first books in this series {SOME GIRLS BITE and FRIDAY NIGHT BITES) this review contains unavoidable plot spoilers.

It’s only been a couple of months since Merit became a vampire under unusual circumstances.  Due to the unusual nature of her change (it was without her consent, to save her life) she only truly completed the transformation a few weeks before the events detailed here.  Still, Ethan Sullivan, the Master of Cadogan House saw the skills and potential in Merit and appointed her the Sentinel of the House.  That puts her in charge of the security and safety of the House and everyone who belongs to it.  Her loyalty must be to her House.

All the Houses in Chicago are going to need security.  Celina, the former Master of another House, once the very public face of every ‘vampires live among you, and it’s ok,’ press conference has gone pretty seriously over the line.  She’s gone so far as to attack Merit in the street,.  All the efforts of the vampires to show that they’ve assimilated into the general population (synthetic blood, etc) and wish to co-exist with humans may have been for nothing.  Many vampires are now concerned that, as these public acts of violence continue, there may be some kind of war coming with the humans.  That will also concern the shapeshifters, who are still very much in the shadows. 

Gabriel Keene, the Apex of the North American shifters (the Alpha of alphas) is in Chicago.  He’s there to meet with the packs, to have a vote.  Some pack members feel it would be better to retreat to their northern stronghold to ride out any violence between humans and vampires.  Others want to retain the lives they’ve built, and fight if necessary.  Most, though, are united in their dislike of all vampires.  Most vampires feel the same way.  Gabriel and Ethan hope to broker a truce between their peoples.  To do so, they’ll have to overcome centuries of distrust and outright hatred.   

The first three books have taken place over a period of only a few months.  Merit has been through huge changes over this time.  But, since the time is so compressed, the story can’t focus solely on Merit’s change, or on Merit and Ethan’s will-they-or-won’t-they relationship.  Honestly, I find their relationship to be the least compelling aspect of these novels.  To that end, the shifters are a compelling addition to this world.  Gabriel, his family, and the extended family of the packs offer some great avenues for future stories. 

For characters only recently introduced, the shifters each seem like real individuals, with realistic concerns. No matter which side they’re on in the dispute, no one is entirely right or wrong.  The author does a great job filling in a bit of the packs’ history, and more of the history of the vampires.  Everyone has good reason for their thoughts and feelings about the issue at hand.  None of this bogs down the action, though.  This is probably the best book in the series, so far. 

Rating: 8.5
December 2014

ISBN# 978-0-451-47005-8 (paperback)


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