You wouldn’t think that you would be emotionally traumatised by a vampire book but I was. I was so traumatised by an event at the end of Hard Bitten by Chloe Neill, that for at least an hour afterwards I could be seen, sitting with a furrowed brow thinking ‘That couldn’t really have happened, could it? No, surely that can’t be true!’ over and over.
Hard Bitten is the fourth in the Chicagoland Vampire series. For those of you unfamiliar with it here’s a quick recap (for those of you who are, skip ahead!) – vampires are out in the open, organised into different ‘Houses’ each of which is ruled by a Master vampire and allowed to turn a certain number (volunteers) each year. However, our main character Merit, was turned without her consent to save her life after an attack by another vampire almost killed her. Turned by the Master of Cadogan House, Ethan Sullivan (a personal book crush) she becomes its Sentinel and is responsible for kicking ass to protect the House and all the vamps in it.
Now that we’re all caught up we can get to this installment! At the end of the last book there was an attack on Cadogan House by bad shifters intent on starting a war between vamps and shifters. As a result the existence of all shifters was revealed to the previously unaware public and feelings of hatred are running pretty high towards all supernaturals. As if things weren’t bad enough, there are also underground vampire ‘raves’ where vamps have been getting so out of control, humans have been killed and now the mayor has issued an ultimatum to Cadogan House – get it sorted pronto or you’re in trouble!
Usually when I pick up a Chicagoland book there’s no fear of whether it’s going to be good or whether I’ll be chucking it across the room and reaching for another book. It’s not the best written or most original series but it’s got a great cast of characters, just the right amount of ‘will they, won’t they’ sexual tension between Ethan and Merit, and some sword action. This time around though I felt a bit let down by Merit and Co – until the end anyway but we’ll get to that later!
The big bad was one that has been popping up since the start of the series which felt a bit lazy and the ‘action’ was so slow moving at times that instead of wanting to reach for the book every chance I got, I wasn’t too bothered if I could only read 10 mins here or there. The shifters, a cool bunch of motorcycle riding, leather wearing bad asses, only newly introduced, were hardly in it and there was little mention of the Alpha’s vision that Merit would save his newborn son. I do like a good vision and destiny type stories so I was a little disappointed about that.
I was all set to write this review and knew exactly what I was going to say but then just before my train to work arrived in Glasgow, something happened that made me feel like I was punched in the stomach and had me flipping through the remaining pages in a desperate attempt to find out that what had just happened, hadn’t actually just happened. Sadly it had and it was the emotionally traumatised version of me described above that stumbled into the office that day. 😦
The rest of the book might not have delivered but Chloe Neill definitely knows how to create a cliffhanger that will have you ordering the next book in the series as fast as your fingers can type! Given how great the other books were, I’m willing to overlook the majority of this book as Chloe having a bad day but if the traumatic event isn’t reversed in the next one then she is cruising for a bruising!
Have you ever felt let down by a favourite series?
Ever been emotionally traumatised by a book?