Friday, 21 September 2012

Hard Bitten Review

Hard Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires #4)
- Chloe Neill
Publisher: Gollancz
Times are hard for newly minted vampire Merit. Ever since shapeshifters announced their presence to the world, humans have been rallying against supernaturals-and they're camping outside of Cadogan House with protest signs that could turn to pitchforks at any moment. Inside its doors, things between Merit and her Master, green-eyed heartbreaker Ethan Sullivan are...tense. But then the mayor of Chicago calls Merit and Ethan to a clandestine meeting and tells them about a violent vamp attack that has left three women missing. His message is simple: get your House in order. Or else.
Merit needs to get to the bottom of this crime, but it doesn't help that she can't tell who's on her side. So she secretly calls in a favor from someone who's tall, dark, and part of underground vamp group that may have some deep intel on the attack. Merit soon finds herself in the heady, dark heart of Chicago's supernatural society-a world full of vampires who seem ready to fulfill the protesting human's worst fears, and a place where she'll learn that you can't be a vampire without getting a little blood on your hands...
I seem to have a bit of blind spot when it comes to this series – I have really grown to love Merit (especially now she’s no longer moaning about being a vampire) and the rest of the characters (Ethan, Christina and the rest!) and the last book I gave a high rating. Yet, I have let this book and the next one sit on my TBR shelf for months depriving myself of a thoroughly entertaining and exciting read! Bad Mel!
The vampire raves mentioned in Friday Night Bites reappear here (as they weren’t really solved in that book) and look to be a big political problem for Ethan and the rest of his house. Merit in her role as Sentinel is asked to investigate and ends up entangled in vampire politics, blood raves and the possibly reappearance of her biggest enemy… There is a lot going on here which makes for an exciting read – especially if you like politics as well as action. Merit is still struggling to walk the fine line between her duties to the house and her feelings for Ethan. For the first time I really felt Ethan was trying to make an effort with Merit and open up more than he has before.
Merit spends a lot of time investigating by herself in the story leaving her free to visit friends when she needs help, but also showing she can handle herself now. There is a lovely under current of snark and humour. And while Merit is a vampire, she has never really lost her humanity managing to indulge in greasy food and bad reality TV as well. I loved that Merit still found time to be there for Mallory, her best friend who is going through some major life changing events as well. Overall, I felt Merrit has really grown up now and is spending less time bemoaning her situation – I hope this attitude continues!
I really felt like this was the beginning of many storylines with some elements wrapped up, while introducing us to possible new complications. I’m not going to spoil the ending but there is a big emotional punch at the end that I didn’t see coming and will have big influence on where the series goes from here. Hopefully I won’t leave it so long to read the next book, Drink Deep, which is already sat on my TBR pile…
Recommended for fans of Mercy Thompson and Jennifer Estep. 8.5 out of 10.


  1. Stop eet!!! I've been wanting to dive into this series for like... EVAR! :) Now you are telling me how fun it is? That the ending is unexpected? You are evil and now I have to get this series! ;) <3

  2. I just could not read on, I did not like her or Ethan :/

  3. OOO, I'm only one book behind and really looking forward to it! I agree, very entertaining series :)

  4. Oh man, you are this far in the series already!?! Dang, I do want to get to it one day. Thanks for the great thoughts on it.