Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Biting Cold - Chloe Neill

Biting Cold: A Chicagoland Vampires NovelBiting Cold (Chicagoland Vampires #6)
                                                    - Chloe Neill

Grade: Adult - UF
Rating: 5/5 stars

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. (Description from Goodreads)

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The wait for ‘Biting Cold’ was so hard to deal with. After reading the first five books in a row earlier this year, I’ve been desperate for more – I can only image what long-time fans felt. ‘Drink Deep’ left us with a lot of questions and a lot of unsolved issues. My expectations were high, because there has been a high standard of drama, action and mystery in the previous books; and they were definitely met.

The book begins where we left off in the previous book. Mallory has escaped from the Order’s magical holding and is desperately seeking the Maleficium, the evil book she stole and used to wreak havoc on Chicago. It’s up to Merit and Ethan to try and stop her from unleashing more evil on the world. I was under the impression this book would be very Mallory-focused. She’d gone a little power-crazy and I thought it would take a fair bit of time to get her under control. I definitely thought we’d see more of the Order because of her. But the issues with Mallory are smaller than expected. That’s not to say it wasn’t an important part of the book, but Mallory is pushed to the side when a more powerful evil hits the scene. I did like seeing Merit and Ethan work together to try and contain her, but it caused a few more problems for them that I would have liked.

Ethan and Merit’s relationship has always been a little rocky, nothing is easy for them. I thought they’d get a chance at a bit of smooth sailing in ‘Biting Cold’, especially after all the relationship drama they’ve faced in the past; but unfortunately the world doesn’t want to let them be together. This part of the book frustrated me a little. After five books full of panicked sitting-on-the-edge-of-our-seats moments, wondering if Ethan and Merit are together or not, I wanted some sort of guarantee that they were on their way to being official. But it takes a while to get even close to that point. However, the times when they were together were just what I was looking for. They know and understand each other so well, and that’s what I love to see in a book couple. There’s nothing more comforting than seeing a favourite fictional couple find a little happiness with each other.

Part of what I love so much about the Chicagoland Vampires series is Chloe Neill’s exploration of different supernatural beings. We started with Vampires and Sorcerers, moved onto Shifters, and brought in a few Faeries, Nymphs and a Siren, before sitting back and waiting for the next species to pop up. ‘Biting Cold’ was no different, but what I loved was that the new sups were definitely not what I was expecting – I’ll admit I laughed and gave the book strange looks at one of them, but it all fell into place in the end (I’ve deliberately left out what these supernatural beings are because you don’t want to go into it already knowing what to expect – spoils the moment a bit). The big part of this storyline comes with Seth Tate, the former Mayor of Chicago. If you’re a long-time Chicagoland Vampires fan, you’ll know the mystery of Tate’s magical origins has been dragged out for a while, and we finally find out who – or what – he is. It’s definitely worth reading just for that!

There are a lot of problems from previous books that carry over into ‘Biting Cold’ and make up the major troubles for the book. One in particular is the fate of Cadogan House now that Ethan’s back on his feet. It involves a lot of discussions with the vampire governing body, the Greenwich Presidium. I’ve thought it before, but the GP makes me want to strangle someone. Their rules and regulations are in need of a serious rethink, but it does make for a very interesting story. I couldn’t wait to find out the verdict on Cadogan’s existence. It definitely kept me on the edge of my seat.

The book ended too quickly for my liking. I wanted it to go on forever. I can’t wait to see what happens next for Merit and Ethan. I hope it’s just as exciting as ‘Biting Cold’.

5/5 stars

(Originally Posted on Goodreads)


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