Sunday, January 1, 2012

Book Review: Drink Deep

Drink Deep 
(Chicagoland Vampires #5)
Published By: NAL Trade
Publication Date: November 1, 2011
Page Count: 321
Buy it at Amazon or IndieBound
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Audience: Adult

Oh. My. Goodness. Review over. 

Seriously, I don't even know how to articulate how much I LOVED this book. Hard Bitten was such a difficult read for me - I know lots of other fans were feeling the same way when that one was completed. Deep down I knew that I just needed to trust Chloe's vision for her characters, but it sure was difficult not to be apprehensive about this one. However, in true Chloe Neill fashion she totally delivered and this is my favorite book in the series thus far. I am so glad I didn't let my frustration and emotion over the last book ruin the series for me. This one was so worth the patience. However, I do have to whine for a moment that the next book isn't coming out until August 2012. Seriously? Yes, I realize Chloe can only write so fast and books have a long process to undergo before they are ready to hit the shelves, but I honestly don't know what I am going to do with myself as I wait. I might reread the first five books to console myself - that's how much I love this series.

Chloe Neill's writing gets better and better with each book in the series. The plot, pacing, and dialogue in this one is spot on. I also loved all the twists and turns. There were so many moments in this book that I was on the edge of my seat trying to solve the mystery of the magic occurring throughout Chicago right alongside Merit and Jonah. Each new bombshell had me shaking my head and wondering how I could have missed the clues along the way. The biggest bombshell of this one is something I had a hunch about, but wasn't totally sure about. I don't want to spoil the read or the series for others so I'll keep my mouth shut on this topic, but I am dying to talk to someone about it. The need to share my love of this series with someone was so great that I sweet talked Michelle, another Lark, into reading these books. Michelle is more of a romance girl than me, but I convinced her that while that isn't the driving focus behind Chicagoland she would find romance lingering in segments of the books. She's already on book #2 and has remarked that she's addicted. 

Drink Deep also takes the focus off the vampire houses and culture for a bit to shine a light on some of the other supernatural beings lurking in Chicago. This one brings out the fey, nymphs, sirens, and the Order (aka sorcerers). I loved getting to know more about these groups and watch Merit and Jonah interact with them. There were moments when I compared Drink Deep to the Sookie Stackhouse books, but the Chicagoland series is so much better in my opinion. Chloe Neill does a nice job of not just throwing supernatural beings into a story because they exist in lore somewhere - she actually has a very solid purpose for their appearance. Her use of other supernaturals is what I wish had been done in the Sookie books; I actually stopped reading those because there were so many mistakes and it felt like there was no rhyme or reason anymore. Furthermore, while both Chloe Neill and Charlaine Harris are gifted writers, I much prefer Neill's world and characters over those who live in Bon Temps.

In addition, Drink Deep really allows Merit to shine. Her strength is tested time and time again yet she still manages to rise above everything and be the badass she was always meant to be. She doesn't allow her personal feelings to interfere with her job. I also love how she's always the bigger person in the ongoing humans blame vampires for everything negative in Chicago drama. She has solidified her place in my top 5 literary females list. I adore her and totally want to be her when I grow up.

Drink Deep had me laughing, crying, and clenching my fist in rage. It was one of the best reading experiences I have had this fall. I am also planning to read Chloe Neill's YA witch series to see if its as enjoyable as the Chicagoland books. Also, now that I am too old for my acceptance letter to Hogwarts, I am waiting on my acceptance into Cadogan House.

If you're a fan of urban fantasy, amazing characters, sharp and witty dialogue, and plots that get your blood pumping, then you must read this series. Drop everything and get these books NOW. You won't regret it. Everything else in my world goes on hold when a new book in this series comes out. 

One Last Gripe: Do I really have to wait until August for more? Seriously?

My Favorite Things About This Book: The dialogue & Chloe's writing style (Have I mentioned how much I love these books???)

First Sentence: The wind was cool, the fall night crisp.

Favorite Character: Merit

Least Favorite Character: Tate

Clouds are brewing over Cadogan House, and recently turned vampire Merit can't tell if this is the darkness before the dawn or the calm before the storm. With the city itself in turmoil over paranormals and the state threatening to pass a paranormal registration act, times haven't been this precarious for vampires since they came out of the closet. If only they could lay low for a bit, and let the mortals calm down. 

That's when the waters of Lake Michigan suddenly turn pitch black-and things really start getting ugly. 

Chicago's mayor insists it's nothing to worry about, but Merit knows only the darkest magic could have woven a spell powerful enough to change the very fabric of nature. She'll have to turn to friends old and new to find out who's behind this, and stop them before it's too late for vampires and humans alike.

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