Trade paperback: 352 pages
Reading level: Adult
Genre: Urban fantasy
Publisher: New American Library
Release date: November 1, 2011
Series: Chicagoland Vampires #5
Source: Personal shelf
Reviewed by: Jenn
Clouds are brewing over Cadogan House, and Merit the vampire 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 have never been more precarious for the vampires. If only they could lay low for a bit...
Then magic rears its ugly head when Lake Michigan turns black.
The mayor insists it's nothing to worry about, but Merit knows a panic is coming. 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 both the vampires and humans.
WARNING: There is NO way to talk about Drink Deep without discussing the I-can’t-believe-that-just-happened moment from Hard Bitten so please don’t read this review if you are unaware of what I’m talking about.
You have been forewarned. =)
After the epic-ness of Hard Bitten, I was expecting something truly incredible out of Drink Deep. Unfortunately, I wasn’t quite as blown away as I’d hoped. Don’t get me wrong -- Drink Deep is an excellent installment in the Chicagoland Vampires series but it just didn’t knock my socks off in the same way that Hard Bitten did. That being said, it’s still a solid novel filled with lots of excitement, fights, and mystery; it just didn’t punch me in the gut the way Hard Bitten did at the end.
Drink Deep takes place about two months after the tragic events of Hard Bitten. In some ways, the book is all about treading water -- the characters are all struggling in the wake of the events from the last book -- the anti-vampire movement, the Greenwich Presidium taking over Cadogan House, Ethan’s sacrifice -- including Merit, who also has to contend with Jonah’s increased presence in her life and his offer to join the Red Guard, a secret group of vampires who try to protect vampirekind outside of (and sometimes from) the system. Merit is understandably discombobulated by everything, though it’s Ethan’s loss that’s really put her off her game. As bad as I felt for Merit, it was nice to see just how much Ethan meant to her.
It was also really neat to see Malik as the leader of Cadogan House. He’s one of the characters who’ve been hiding in the shadows in some ways, since he wasn’t super important for any of the previous storylines, and it’s refreshing to see him in a more central role because I’ve always enjoyed his quiet and his wisdom. Unfortunately for him, he’s taken over the House at a terrible time and he has to deal with Frank, the weaselly representative from the Greenwich Presidium, and the anti-vampire protests that continue from the last novel.
The central problem of Drink Deep -- the magics mentioned in the blurb -- is a well-written mystery that leads Merit and Jonah down several wrong paths before homing in on the answers. I love it when authors are able to have their characters make smart decisions that end up going nowhere, since it adds a realistic level of frustration and tension to the story.
You know who was really frustrated in Drink Deep? Jonah. He’s been interested in Merit for a while and he’s itching to make his move so we get to see more of smoldering Jonah than we have in the past. Jonah’s really grown on me, much as he has for Merit, and there’s a part of me that’s definitely rooting for his handsome self. I don’t have much hope for it but I’ve got my fingers crossed all the same.
As always, Chloe Neill has delivered an engaging novel full of surprises and left her readers dying for more. We’ll have to wait until August to read the next installment, Biting Cold, so there’s plenty of time to speculate about what incredible surprises she has in store for us next.