Tuesday, 30 November 2010
Review: Some Girls Bite - Chloe Neill
Sure, the life of a graduate student wasn't exactly glamorous, but it was mine. I was doing fine until Chicago's vampires announced their existence to the world - and then a rogue vampire attacked me. He only got a sip before he was scared away by another bloodsucker...one who decided the best way to save my life was to take it.
Turns out my saviour was the master vampire of Cadogan House. Now I've traded sweating over my 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 also seems to expect my eternal gratitude - and servitude. Right...
But my burgeoning powers (all of a sudden, I'm surprisingly handy with some serious weaponry), an inconvenient sunlight allergy, and Ethan's attitude are the least of my worries. Someone's out to get me. Is it the rogue vampire who bit me? A vamp from a rival House? An angry mob bearing torches?
My initiation into Chicago's nightlife may be the first skirmish in a war - and there's going to be blood...
Chicagoland Vampires Series:
Some Girls Bite
Friday Night Bites
Howling for You (Novella)
Lucky Break (Novella)
Visit Chloe Neill's website for more information
Merit is a graduate student who doesn't live the most glamorous life but is happy with her lot, that is until she is attacked on campus by a rogue vampire. The rogue is chased off by Ethan but to save Merit's life he does the only thing he can do - he turns her into a vampire. Waking up to discover that she has been turned comes as quite a shock to Merit, even though she is aware of the existence of vampires (they came out to society several months ago) she had no interest in them and the last thing she wanted was to become one herself. Now she has no choice but to try and fit into the vampire world - unless she wants to live her life on the outside like the rogue who attacked her. She has to come to terms with what happened to her while at the same time try to find the rogue vampire and stop them from attacking someone else.
I'd heard good things about Some Girls Bite so was looking forward to reading it but I didn't realise just how good it was going to be. For the first book in a series I was very impressed and Chloe Neill managed to suck me into the story right from the very beginning. Although there is a lot of world building going on I really liked the way this was handled and didn't feel overwhelmed with information like you can be in some series. With the story told in first person narrative from Merits point of view you experience things exactly as she does and get to join her on her journey into the unknown. She isn't happy that she was turned into a vampire without being given any say in the matter but I liked the fact that she didn't spend the whole book moaning about her lot, she accepted things and worked to find a way to fit in. That doesn't mean she was a pushover though - she was willing to stand up for herself and earned my respect by doing so.
Merit is a very likable character and I found her easy to relate to but I was also impressed with the secondary characters in the story. I loved Merit's human best friend Mallory, it's always good to see strong female friendships in books and they have a strong bond and care deeply for each other. I loved the banter between the two of them and they had me laughing out loud on several occasions. I also loved Merit's Grandfather, Merit has never had particularly supportive parents (in fact I wanted to smack her father more than once when I was reading!) but her Grandfather was a great role model. He has a few secrets of his own and I'm pleased that we'll probably get to spend more time with him in future books. Catcher and Jeff are also both interesting characters who I'm looking forward to getting to know more about.
When it comes to love interests you have 2 very different characters to choose from. First there is Ethan - the master of Cadogan House and the vampire who turned Merit. At 400 years old he is very removed from his human life and comes across as very arrogant. There were a few things he did that really made it difficult for me to like him but there is something about him that makes you want to get to know him better. There is a strong sexual attraction between him and Merit but I liked the fact that Merit didn't immediately jump into a relationship with him. She stands up to him and puts her own needs first which was another thing I admired about her. I'll be very curious to see how things develop between them throughout the series and find out whether Merit can help him adjust his attitude. The other love interest is Morgan who is second in command of the rival Navarre House. He comes across as sweet and loyal but although there is an attraction between him and Merit it wasn't as strong as the heat between her and Ethan. I can't quite put my finger on it but there was something about him that I found off putting. I'll be curious to see if this continues when I read further books.
Overall this was a fantastic start to a new series and a book I thoroughly enjoyed. It wasn't as action packed as some urban fantasy series I've read but there was a lot of character development and I did enjoy the mystery of who was behind the rogue vampire attacks. This is definitely a series I'm looking forward to continuing and one I would strongly recommend to fans of the genre.
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