Friday, July 20, 2012

Early Review: Biting Cold by Chloe Neill

Biting Cold
(Chicagoland Vampires #6)
Chloe Neill
Release: August 7, 2012

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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.

He marched to the center of the room, interrupting a cadre of half a dozen vampire who were sparring on the tatami mats that covered the floor.

“Out,” he bellowed, and no one stopped to ask for clarification. Without a word, they gathered up their things and headed for the door.

“Lock it,” Ethan directed, and I closed and locked the door behind us, my heart thudding in anticipation.

When I turned around again, he was pulling his half-buttoned shirt over his head, and his shoes were gone. His Cadogan medal hung just above the scar that puckered his chest—the mark he bore from taking Celina’s stake.

“Ready when you are, Sentinel.”

Neill gives us what we've been waiting for with Biting Cold - some serious Ethan and Merit time. This one picks up almost immediately after the end of Drink Deep, with Ethan and Merit packed into a car and driving out west to try and get to the Maleficium before Mallory. The start was a bit slow, Ethan and Merit must drive a ways to the location of the Maleficium and they encounter some 'issues' (read: Seth Tate) on the way. There is also the introduction of a new character, the historian for the Order who is also currently the protector of the Maleficium (by the way, I kind of loved her and hope she sticks around for future installments).

But once things get going they REALLY get going! Neill takes everything in a completely different direction than I thought and I simply held on for the ride. Tate, who has been a mysterious, secondary bad guy throughout the last few books, finally gets his due time in this book. Much of the plot focuses on figuring out just what the hell he is and what his end game might be, and I have to admit I was as baffled as Merit and pretty surprised when the truth was revealed.

Mallory, thanks to her actions from the previous book, must be dealt with in Biting Cold and I was pretty pleased with the way she is handled. Merit made me proud, as she usually does, with her unwillingness to simply forgive Mal and move on. The way she is handled is sensible and perfect in my opinion, and I think readers who were shocked and saddened by the turn of events at the end of Drink Deep will be happy to see how her plot line develops. Catcher isn't really in this book that much and when he is he is not his usual charming and snarky self, which is understandable since his girlfriend has been a total pain in the world's ass lately. I hope he can get back to himself in the next book though because he is one of my favorite characters in this series!

Ethan. . . ETHAN! He's here! He's IN the book! Really, is there anything else I can say besides that? Ethan and Merit have some issues to work through and Ethan is as stubborn as always. Most of this book reads like the earlier books in the series where the two were always stop and go in their relationship. Ethan is constantly pushing Merit to be a better vampire and Sentinal, and Merit is constantly pushing Ethan to stop being an idiot and just accept their relationship already.

Ethan leaned in, his lips at my ear. “Irresistible force,” he said. “Immovable object. Choose the one you want to be, and do it. You are a vampire of great power, Merit. Prove it to us, to the city of Chicago, to the Houses. Prove it now.”

There are some House politics here - aren't there always? - that keep getting in the way of them just jumping into bed together already, but I enjoy the back and forth between them because it keeps things interesting. That said, I was very happy with the way this aspect of the story went. *wink wink* The politics in this one help to set up what I can only assume will be a big part of the next book. Apparently all other vampire except those in the Cadogen and Grey houses are either evil or complete turds. 

And Merit. I can't complete a CLV review without mentioning Merit, a strong and smart heroine with an awesome weapon. She's dealing with a lot in this one, between Ethan's return, Mallory's "issues", and tracking down Tate. She continues to make good decisions and doesn't drive me bananas. . . always important in a good leading lady.

The way Biting Cold ended has me excitedly looking forward to the next in the series and some more Ethan and Merit time!

Recommended for fans of: Ethan, good heroines, katanas, solving supernatural mysteries, and yelling at your book "get into bed already!". 

This review is based on an advance copy of the book.



  1. I think Ethan actually being in the book made a huge difference for me! HAha! But of course! And oh, my god!!! I need the next book ASAP! Thank god it's out in February! :)

  2. Ok, I don't know if I can express just how excited I am about this book. I can't wait for its release. Thanks for the review!

  3. Thank for this great review! I have the previous books on my e-reader but due to not enough hours in the day I haven't gotten to this series yet. Now I can hardly wait to read them!


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