Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Romance
Also by this author: Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires, #1), Friday Night Bites (Chicagoland Vampires, #2), Twice Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires, #3)
Series: The Chicagoland Vampires #5
Publisher: Berkley Books
Source: My shelves
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 iself 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.
< This review does contain spoilers >
Hello! Welcome to book five of the Chicagoland Vampires series by Chloe Neill :) If you’re new to the series, I recommend you start with my review of book one here, because this will contain spoilers up through this book.
As a general recap, the Chicagoland vampires series follows Merit, a newly turned vampire, who stands Sentinel (as a kind of warrior/brand rep/on-site PI) for Cadogan House, one of the three Chicago Vampire Houses. In the last book, we were left completely aghast as the love interest and Cadogan House Master, Ethan Sullivan, was killed off very suddenly. This left Merit (and everyone else) very much in the lurch.
Drink Deep shows Merit, the gang, and the rest of Cadogan House mourning their Master and Friend, and trying to pick up the pieces… and survive within the circumstances left to them. The GP (the ruling council of the vampire world) has sent a “receiver” to monitor the House and its decisions. Cabot, the “receiver”, was the literal devil and put the House through hell. But more on that later…
What I liked:
✨ Merit’s journey was really incredibly done. So if you don’t want to be spoiled, stop now. But if you do… Ethan was killed in the last book, right at the end. So Drink Deep was the book of growing, of vindication, reparation and emotional development, and that’s exactly what we got. Merit’s grief felt so very real, it was heartbreaking! Plus her figuring out who she was without Ethan… agh! 🙌🏼✨
✨ The method almost tore me apart, but I love the romance evolution. It was clear that Merit and Ethan were stuck, and that something had to change with their relationship, and this is that change, that will allow them to evolve and grow stronger, individually and together, than just stay stagnant where they were.
✨ Catcher and Jeff light me up. These two are hilarious and are literally so cute!! I love this gang with all my heart. Jeff (shifter) is such a sweetheart and so funny, and Catcher is gruff and sarcastic, but such a gentle, caring guy. I like him 100% more than Mallory, his girl, so I really felt for him in this one. That scene where Jeff and Catcher were talking about what their kids may look like in the future… my heart!! 🥰🙌🏼 Must have more tender scenes between male badasses!
“I have been given a third chance at life, even if the circumstances are somewhat disconcerting. You are mine, and we both know it.”
✨ Darth Sullivan is back! Thank goodness. First of all, “Darth Sullivan” is my favorite thing Mallory ever did. That nickname? 🥺👌🏻 We didn’t get a lot of him in this book, but it’s clear that he’s not coming back the same copy-and-paste Ethan, which I think is really incredible. Merit had the chance to grow without him (for two months) which I think is really important, but I love that Neill is allowing Ethan to do the same, and evolve as well.
✨ Jonah!! I have to say, I love Jonah a lot, and I really got my hopes up for him here. This had the potential for a really amazing friends-to-lovers slow burn post-Ethan, as they become RG partners and such, but I’m also really excited for the partnership/friendship thing to happen here, now that Ethan is back. This development makes me happy. Plus the Red Guard? I feel like chaos and hilarity is about to ensue.
Points of Discussion:
✨ Cabot! Who the hell is this “receiver” guy! I know who he is, mind you, but lord! He was given the power by the GP (the vampire world’s council of authority figures and rule-makers) to override and oversee all decisions made in the house. He cut the blood down by 40% for the 90-or-some vampires in the House, and he even forbade drinking. He made them endure torture exercises to “test them” in the middle of what was essentially a siege of protestors. He forced Merit to resign by making that the only option for her friend to bow out of a sunlight endurance test. DICK. I hated him. God.
✨ Mallory, Mallory, Mallory. I don’t even really know what to think of this. It was zero surprise to me that Mallory was at the root of the Chicago Apocalypse, but I didn’t really… love… how it came about. Mallory and Merit’s relationship has been a bit shaky for the last two books, but it just seemed like an all of a sudden left turn for really vague reasons for such strong emotions. I’m disappointed in Merit and Catcher for not seeing this change in their friend/lover, but I think I’ll be more disappointed if she returns. On the other hand, she is the last piece of Merit’s human life…? I’m not sure.
✨ I guess it wasn’t that big of a shock? I went through all the grief stages in the last book, truly. I’d closed it and shook my head ruefully, thinking that there was no way Ethan was going to stay dead. And voila! But I have to say, she had me convinced there for awhile. I was so excited at the prospect of Jonah, admittedly, so I’m unsure of how that’s going to work. I don’t love that Neill took such a huge step (in killing Ethan), and is essentially deleting that step, but I think some important things came of it, so I’m allowing it to happen 😌👌🏻
“Mallowcakes!” I whispered, my eyes probably lighting up like roman candles.
“Contraband,” she corrected and pulled out a Mallocake. “I’m only brave enough to sneak these in one box at a time, but we all need a little something to get through the day.
And so it began, I thought, the first wave of a revolution against oppression, fought with corn syrup and chocolate.
✨ Mayor Tate – what the hell is he?? I’m so curious to see where this plot point develops!
✨ Ethan’s a Master, but he’s never shown us why. I love Ethan, I do. Although I do feel that I got over him a bit too quickly, and I think that’s because he really doesn’t seem that powerful. We know Merit is an incredibly powerful and strong vampire, especially for her age. But Ethan seems to just casually be on her level, never stronger than the bad guy. I just need… more from him.
✨ The mystery in this one felt like a game of Pin-the-Tail-On-The-Donkey 😂 This honestly makes me laugh so much. So the rivers and the lake are turning into power vacuums, the sky turns red, mountains are popping up out of the street… and Merit and the other vamps have no idea Who, What, or Why. Just that the public is blaming them. With Merit being in charge of this case, i.e., a baby vampire of less-than-a-year-old is was probably a pretty accurate picture. She goes the water nymphs, “Did you do it?” Then the lake siren. Then the fae. Then… rinse and repeat for each new supernatural creature. I rather enjoyed it, to be honest, because it felt like the kind of detective work that would actually happen, plus it allowed us to learn more about some of the supes in the world!
This book seems to be the pivot point for the rest of the series, as the story takes on a new life and enters the second stage. This is the fifth Chicagoland Vampires book I’ve read in a row, which is rather unusual for me; I’ve never been much of a series binger. But there’s something truly addicting about this series, where each book feels more like an episode of an amazing TV show, rather than a standalone book of a 13-installment series. Overall, this book was such a great mix of emotional development, story progression, and still giving us those gentle everyday moments in between the action and politics. Loved it 🥰
Series Reading Order
< Check out all my reviews from this series here! >
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< Check out more vampire romances here! >
Have you read a Chloe Neill book? Are you a vampire or a shifter lover? Let me know in the comments down below, I’d love to hear from you!