Chloe Neill

A Chicagoland Vampires novel

Gollancz (2010)

ISBN: 978-0-575-09405-5

Reviewed by Tehani Wessely

Being made into a vampire against your will isn’t every girl’s dream. But if you have to be turned, becoming a powerful creature that quickly gains a strong position in your vampire “family”, along with the adoration of a bunch of male vamps, can’t be such a bad thing. Merit finds herself in just such a position, torn between her Master and the vampire he’s thrown her at, and forced back into the fold of her human family for the benefit of her House. But Merit’s relationships are all under pressure while she tries to find out who is behind threats to her House – will she manage to hold it all together?

This is a fairly generic urban fantasy – in fact, I don’t think it deserves that designate, as urban fantasy is generally grittier and tougher than Friday Night Bites manages, but nor does it fit the markers of paranormal romance.

The character of Merit is pure wish fulfillment and that type of character is pretty passé in the flock of vampire novels of the past few years. I haven’t read the previous book of the series, and this may have contributed to my lack of belief about the characterisation – the responsibility Merit is given after only two months as a vampire simply doesn’t ring true, and I didn’t find any real motivation for the attraction of all the men to her. I needed a reason to suspend my disbelief, and I wasn’t given one.

The plot too is fairly ordinary, but I found the supposed seriousness of the issue to be at odds with the writing style, which aims for banter and sauciness. In all, it was a fairly lightweight read – okay for a bit of brain fluff, but nothing memorable. I’d classify it as chick lit with fangs – not too smart but plenty of sass.