Neill has been brilliantly unfolding her supernatural Chicago throughout the Chicagoland Vampires series. As Merit slowly unfolds her new supernatural reality, we too are able to find out more about the world of things that go bump in the night. And in Drink Deep, Merit’s (and our) awareness of this world is expanded tenfold. This slow filtering of information and unfurling of their world slowly, but surely draws me into the reality of the world of Cadogan.
The ending of Hard Bitten shocked me in a way that no other book has – Neill did something to her main character that I have always wanted to do in my own work. The amazingly unpredictable finish to this story made me grab for the next book immediately – I just couldn’t believe that Neill would actually do that in her story. But, I digress, you’ll just have to read this book yourself to gain a true understanding of how amazingly potent and powerful a finale Hard Bitten had.
Ethan honestly irritated me – a lot in this story. I understand the tension between the characters, and his damage does make the tantalising love story in the background all the more spine-tingling and breath-taking. But, he was kind of an ass throughout. Partly that very frustration kept me turning the pages of the book, but it also made it easier to put down and walk away from. Being so frustrated with a literary character that you kind of want to hurl the book across the room might indicate that I get a little too attached, but it is also a great indication of how crappy they are being.
Some Girls Bite left Merit in a bit of an uncomfortable position. She had a lot of power, and a new place in the world – but it wasn’t one of her choosing and this very circumstance left her unhappy and in an emotionally compromised position. Friday Night Bites may primarily be about flinging her back into a world of political intrigue, but it is also about Merit coming to terms with this new turn in her life.
I read this book in one night, which is always a great sign of its ability to hold my attention and fascination. This story has a good, easy pace with just the right amount of intrigue within the story. It is also based around a university student who is working towards her postgrad – the realm of study and no money one that I am all too familiar with.
I would love for this short story to be part of a much bigger series – it caught me and fascinated me in the first paragraph. I thoroughly enjoyed the urban fantasy setting and the idea of witches each having his or her own type of power – they have limitations, just like everyone else. Caine was able to build a wonderfully realistic world that sat perfectly within our own.
Another great short Holly & Andrew story, but this time, it’s their relationship that is tested. Hanging on to life for the sake of someone you love is admirable, but it also means that there can be some pretty severe consequences if something goes awry. Caine uses Holly’s Balm to test the limits of love and trust in a uniquely trialled way.
The overarching message in this short story is that love can conquer all – even death. That is, if you have enough power to try. The concept and the story itself is incredibly sweet, and enough to make anyone believe in true love again.
Fairy Gifts is a really good mix between an origin story and a modern tale of caution against the fae. Although Thomas Hao doesn’t appear in the Mercedes Thompson books until much later in the series, Hao is a bit of an enigma when he eventually does – so discovering more about his past and the source of his unique condition was a thoroughly enjoyable journey to be swept away with.
Although vampires have been quickly rising in popular culture, I’m still not 100% sold on the idea of a good vampire. One of the many reasons why I love the Mercedes Thompson series – the vampires aren’t purported to be anything but blood-sucking creatures that must kill humans to survive; regardless of their friendliness and moral compass. So it was a stark change of pace to read a short story where Briggs promotes sympathy for one of the living dead.