Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Author: Chloe Neill
Pages: 341 pages, paperback
Genre: urban fantasy
Release: already out
Publisher: NAL Trade
Purchased by me
Author info: www.chloeneill.com
Spoiler Alert: In the clear
Good Reads Blurb: First in a brand new series about a Chicago graduate student’s introduction into a society of vampires. Sure, the life of a graduate student wasn’t exactly glamorous, but it was Merit’s. She was doing fine until a rogue vampire attacked her. But he only got a sip before he was scared away by another bloodsucker—and this one decided the best way to save her life was to make her the walking undead. Turns out her savior was the master vampire of Cadogan House. Now she’s traded sweating over her 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 her gratitude— and servitude. But an inconvenient sunlight allergy and Ethan’s attitude are the least of her concerns. Someone’s still out to get her. Her initiation into Chicago’s nightlife may be the first skirmish in a war—and there will be blood.
I don't know what I love more about this book - the heroine was a graduate student that now wields a katana or that it takes place in Chicago and has so many awesome Chicago details from Cubs, to hot dogs with green relish and peppers, and the Loop. Merit is heading across the campus of University of Chicago late at night when a violent attack changes her life forever. Merit's savior, and maker, turns out to be Ethan Sullivan, the head of Cadogan House, one of the four vampires houses in Chicago. Merit has to deal with issues of being turned a vampire without consent, losing her position at the univerersity, and having to swear allegiance to an arrogant and rude Master vampire. Merit also finds out that her attack wasn't the only one perpetrated by a vampire in her city and she ends up tangled up with a larger plot and mystery that might resolve in her second death.
Merit is thrown into the world of vampires and expected to accept and adapt to her new world immediately, but like any good graduate student she questions - the rules she is now bound by and the motivation for the attack and her change by Ethan. The vampires in Ms. Neill's world have recently come out to the human world following the lead of one of Chicago's other house masters - Celina of Navarre House. Thankfully, Merit doesn't have to face her new life as a vampire alone, she has her quirky and humorous roommate Mallory to help her out with her new blood requirements (bagged blood with some Tabasco sauce and celery on the side) and new extreme sun allergy. Mallory also gets tied up in the supernatural world and gets entangled with the ridiculously sexy sorcerer Catcher. (Go Team Catcher!) I must also mention the other guide to Merit's new supernatural life - The Canon of the North American Vampire Houses - which has such winningly titled chapters as Servicing your Lord and Vampires - who's on top?
I can't tie up this review without mentioning the incredibly handsome and incredibly arrogant Master vampire - Ethan. Ethan definitely has the "Mr. Darcy" complex going on when it comes to his attraction to Merit and man am I a sucker for a potential love interest who is arrogant and aloof yet having a dark and hungry passion burning just below the surface for Merit. The sexual tension between Merit and Ethan is a burning thing but can Merit really give herself to someone who hates the fact that he is attracted to her? Thankfully for Merit, now that she's dropped the books and been changed into a super strong vampire the boys seem to be lining up for her.
Overall this book is a 4.5 out of 5 stars for me, Merit has emerged from the library stacks to kick some vampire ass!