Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Biting Cold, by Chloe Neill

- Chicagoland Vampires #6
Release date: August 7th 2012
Published by: New American Library
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Find it on: Goodreads, Amazon

*Warning: This review will contain spoilers of the previous books in the Chicagoland Vampires series, especially Hard Bitten and Drink Deep.

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.

When I first began reading Chicagoland Vampires, I was bored by the politics and the complex world-building that Chloe Neill had created. I almost dropped it altogether, but I was using her descriptive writing to train my English, and my translation skills, so I just swallowed my urge to throw the entire series away, and kept reading it. And now, two years later, this is one of my favorite vampire series of all times, especially because of the politics and the complex world-building - although some kick-ass scenes and a breath-taking blond Master vampire do win a few brownie points. 

I feel like Chloe Neill is unraveling something unique with her series. In it, vampires burn in the sun, but they also have a knack for using a katana, they're magical creatures that feel all the currents of power around them, and their eyes silver when they're feeling certain emotions. It's a familiar yet completely disconcerting territory to explore, and Chloe Neill has done a terrific job at it - she's still doing a terrific job at it, since this is her sixth book and things are only improving. Merit has grown into her skin, gone from a geeky graduate student to a vampire Sentinel who's willing do to just about anything to protect her House and her city. She's at the same time a reliable friend and a kick-ass vampire chick ready to swing a katana when danger arises. I simply love Merit, and the way she has evolved as the series went on. 

Now that I'm talking about, you know, my love for the characters, I wouldn't be able to write this review without talking about Ethan, the breath-taking blond Master vampire that I mentioned before. If you have read this series, and invested as much effort into it as I have, you're probably as happy as I am about Ethan being in this book. And at a certain extent, my expectations were met and I was fan-girling over the fact that he's back the whole time.. but at the same time, I was disappointed with a few things. Ethan has changed, and I wasn't ready for it. One second he's this intense guy bursting into Tate's office and being staked by Celina... and then, he's this open-minded guy who's not afraid to speak his mind, and being forward with Merit about his feelings. Well, this troubled me. I couldn't create a connection between these two sides of him, and I was afraid that Chloe Neill had changed Ethan in a permanent way. I'm glad to say this didn't happen, and once again I saw the Ethan that I loved and got so frustrated with. My friends, I can definitely say: Ethan Sullivan is back. Prepare yourselves: It's a tough, yet exciting, ride. 

When talking about the plot and the villain, I was surprised by how much Biting Cold was about Tate. The summary talks about an evil chasing Merit across Nebraska, yes, but I thought that maybe that was just a secondary plot arch, and Mallory stealing the Malificium would've been the real issue. However, Mallory's betrayal is the least of Merit's concerns, now that Seth Tate has finally showed his true form. I loved this twist, and though it was a little weird to know what Tate was, it made sense. I was satisfied by the way things turned out, especially when it came to the "final" battle. 

Overall, Biting Cold was everything I thought it would be, and more. Chloe Neill is a fantastic writer, and now I can only wonder why I was so worried about this book in the first place. Chicagoland Vampires is still placed firmly on my "favorite" list, and with everything that has happened in this installment, it's obvious things are going to be even crazier in Chicago now. I can't wait to see more of Merit and Ethan.This series is just getting better and better!


  1. Wow! I keep hearing the name of this series floating around in threads and conversations, but I've never actually read it. It's good to hear that the author is writing a series about vampires that isn't outdated. Sometimes I feel like I've read all there is to read about them, though I know there are books out there that are quite different. I'm so pleased your opinion of this changed to love. Fabulous review, Bia! :)

  2. Thank you *-* And yes, it's a very unique series. If you're into vampires or just paranormal in general, it's definitely a must read :D