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 #6
Publisher: Berkley Books
Source: My shelves
In book six of the Chicagoland Vampires series, twenty-eight-year old vampire Merit is on the hunt, tailing a rogue supernatural intent on stealing an ancient artifact that could leash catastrophic evil on the world. But, as she soon discovers, she is also the prey: an enemy of Chicagoland is hunting her, and he'll stop at nothing to get his hands on the artifact.
< This review does contain spoilers >
Hello! Welcome to book six 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. All vampire Houses are ruled by the Greenwich Presidium (GP), based in the UK. In Biting Cold, the GP and Cadogan House finally sever ties, after months of brow-beating and pointless abuse. Thank. God.
“There are few things in the world that [Ethan] loves more than this House, Merit. Possibly only one.”
At his knowing gaze, my cheeks flushed.
“And in all the world, he entrusted one girl, one scholar, with the right to defend it.”
Biting Cold is also the first book that follows the return of Ethan Sullivan, Cadogan House Master (and love interest), back from the dead. Merit and Ethan don’t get much of a reunion, because shortly after Ethan is reanimated, they’re off on a merry chase to head Mallory (and Mayor Seth Tate) off before she destroys the world.
What I liked:
✨ Merit pulled on her bootstraps for this one! She’s always pretty confident, but Merit really showed her growth as she had to learn who she was apart from Ethan. She was self-assured and more settled in her Sentinel skin than before, and I loved watching her go head-to-head with Ethan when he was (again) being a dumbass.
✨ I liked Malik more than ever! I actually think, despite the fact that we know very little about him as a character, that Malik would make a great House Master. He just had these little moments in the book that made me fond towards him, something that I’d honestly given up on this late in the series. I hope we see more of him as a real character.
The world isn’t perfect, and some days it wears you down. You can either accept that, and face it, and be a help to others instead of a hindrance. Or you can decide the rules are too tough and they shouldn’t apply to you, and you can ignore them and make things harder for everybody else.
Sometimes life is about being sad and doing things anyway. Sometimes it’s about being hurt and doing things anyway. The point isn’t perfection. The point is doing it anyway.
✨ Mayor Seth Tate – I’m going to miss him! He was actually such a great character. I wish he could stay and join the gang… but alas. There’s that whole wanted-for-murder thing by city… oops?
✨ Ethan Sullivan finally made a name for himself. Ethan is always floating around as The Love Interest, and really hasn’t developed much outside of this persona. He’s capable enough, sure, but he just doesn’t seem dangerous or powerful enough for his station and all the respect he gets. Like, yes, he’s a cool guy, but one of the 12 most powerful in the world? ehhh. But finally, at the end, it may have all become clear. He’s a hell of a good fighter (although this is told, not necessarily shown), but it’s his brain and his capacity to care that make him such a badass, which is why the ending of this was so inspired! He’s not just brawn, and I finally may think that it is cool again :)
✨ Speaking of Darth Sullivan… I’m also a tad disappointed. I talked a lot in my last review about my hopes for Ethan, and Ethan and Merit’s relationship.
Points of Discussion:
✨ What kind of piece-of-shit organization is The Order?? Like, lord, can they do anything? It appears that maybe the answer is no. I’m encouraged by how capable Paige is (and I hope she stays!) but OMG they need to step but their game by a lot because they’re a bit of a joke.
✨ Ethan is a bone-head, but at least he pulled his head out of his ass quicker this time. Plus his inspirational speeches?? I’m in love 🙌🏼✨
Ethan leaned in, his lips at my ear. “Unstoppable force,” he said. “Immovable object. Choose the one you want to be, and do it. You are a vampire of great power, Merit. Prove it to us, to the city of Chicago, to the Houses.
Prove it now.”
✨ Paige is so cool! I really like her. Is it bad that I ship her and Catcher together? Just put Mallory away, please 😅
✨ I have mixed feelings about Mallory’s redemption arc. Namely, I’m a little disappointed that she has one. Like, okay, I loved Mallory in the beginning. But then she got all bitchy, then she was evil and GOD I know it’s 60% the Order’s fault for faulty training, but I’m just ready for this drama to be done, and honestly, it’s really unclear whether I’ll even give forgiveness for her actions. I didn’t miss Mallory. But we’ll see, she may win me over again.
Biting Cold vindicated me in a lot of ways. Ethan and Merit finally had their I’m-a-Dumbass, Come-here moment (thank goodness) and the GP is no longer a concern! Which is honestly such a relief 😅 These books are advancing quite nicely, to the point where I’m realizing I’ve described almost every book, to this point, as a “pivot” in a new direction for the series. This is exciting because this means that the Chicagoland Vampires series is doing exactly what it’s supposed to be doing: growing, evolving, and not staying on the same stale storyline.
“The world is what it is,” I said. “We can only battle it back.”
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!