Monday, August 5, 2013

Review: Biting Bad

BITING BAD
Chicagoland Vampires #8
Chloe Neill
Adult Urban Fantasy
368 pages
Releases August 6th
NAL/Penguin
Source: Finished copy from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Merit has been a vampire for only a short while, but she’s already seen a lifetime’s worth of trouble. She and her Master, centuries-old Ethan Sullivan, have risked their lives time and again to save the city they love. But not all of Chicago is loving them back.

Anti-vampire riots are erupting all over town, striking vampires where it hurts the most. A splinter group armed with Molotov cocktails and deep-seated hate is intent on clearing the fanged from the Windy City come hell or high water.

Merit and her allies rush to figure out who’s behind the attacks, who will be targeted next, and whether there’s any way to stop the wanton destruction. The battle for Chicago is just beginning, and Merit is running out of time.


MY THOUGHTS
The eighth installment of the Chicagoland Vampires series, Biting Bad returns us to a world that has become beautifully familiar, the cracking of the spine allowing us to wander into the waiting arms of Merit and company who simply radiate comfort and warmth after such a prolonged relationship with them. While Biting Bad doesn’t introduce any new villains to wreak havoc on Merit’s already infinitely complicated life, it does see the expansion of an already existing problem while giving us plenty of time to enjoy the new stability of Merit’s relationship with Master of Cadogan House Ethan Sullivan. It’s perhaps not the most dramatic or intense of the series, but there’s something hugely satisfying about this story just the same, the romance between Merit and Ethan that was previously defined by gratifyingly high peaks and frustratingly low valleys finally finding even ground.

Merit is someone whose shoes are easy to slide back into no matter how long it’s been since we were with her last, always a woman eager to help in any way she can as she continues growing into herself now that she’s both vampire and Sentinel of her House, as well as girlfriend to its rather stoic and undemonstrative Master. Her sense of humor is charmingly wearing off on Ethan though, the banter between the two of them laced with genuine affection free of the weight of their respective positions in the House, and it brings both relief and joy to see the two of them completely open in their communications, secrets and hidden feelings a thing of the past as they both work hard to ensure they have the future they so desperately want.

Though all is gloriously well on the romantic front for the two of them, things in Chicago continue to deteriorate as public hatred for vampires reaches a breaking point, and while the riots and the reason behind them are significant and have far-reaching implications, our happiness with regard to Merit and Ethan simply overshadows any worries the riot revelations cause. As a result, Biting Bad doesn’t feel quite as action-packed as some of Merit’s past adventures have been, remaining a bit more even keel and thus granting us time to breathe and focus on the two people who are the heart of this series.

We’re left with our couple in a rather precarious position, though it’s not a cliffhanger in the truest sense and given our trust in Ethan and Merit is at its all-time highest by the time we reach the last page, we have little doubt they'll sort out what needs sorting. Overall, Biting Bad is as enjoyable as always if a bit slower than previous books, Ethan and Merit finally shining from the pages in a way we’d been hoping for all along.

Rating: 4/5
 

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This book was sent to me by the publisher  free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

36 comments:

  1. I am woefully behind on this series as well as it was put off in lieu of reading review books. I am so glad to hear that Merit and Ethan FINALLY get a great even ground for their relationship (about time!).
    Fantastic review!!

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    1. Right? It was nice to see them working together and letting each other in all the way. It's been a long time coming!

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  2. I soooo need to read this series. I know, I know. I said it a million times but ugh, my tbr pile is huge. But one of these days I will read it.

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    1. I know the feeling Savy, I say that about so many series! I hope you do get to it one day, I think you'd like it:)

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  3. Ahh!!! coming out so soon! That's awesome! I always listen to the audiobooks. It took me some time to get over book 4 (was it 3 or 4?).

    Anyway, I love this series and happy to finally see Merit and Ethan happy together!

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    1. It was 4. *sobs just thinking about it* It was really fun to see things running a bit smoother for them!

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  4. I see that were are up to 8 already, I think I called it quits at...3?

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    1. Yep, 8 so far:) I'm not sure how many there will be.

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  5. WoW, 8 books already and still going strong. I really need to get on it and start the first book. Glad that you're loving the series, Jenny! Great review :)

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    1. Yes! I so enjoy this series Aman. It's one of those I always look forward to and I never miss and installment:)

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  6. I love couples with great banter:) Seems like it's a filler book of sorts. I have no doubt the next one will pick up its action yet again. I have yet to start this series, but I remember your review for the previous book and I know how much you love this series. It may just be that I'll give grown-up vampires a try with this one:) Happy you enjoyed it, sweetie!

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    1. Ethan and Merit have awesome banter. Ethan didn't laugh much in the beginning, but Merit's sass and her sarcasm are starting to break through that Master intensity and he's finally beginning to tease back. I love it:)

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  7. It's pretty amazing that a series like this is still going solid and strong with it's eighth installment. I'm pretty sure that's incredible. To see a couple that still has chemistry, banter and a great storyline to navigate after all these installments is kind of a rarity and has me wondering if, perhaps, I really should give this series a go after all ;) lovely review, Jenny!

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    1. I agree. There have been some serious ups and downs with this series, but I still love the two of them together after 8 books and am no where near bored of them yet!

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  8. I do so adore this series. Now that it's back on track (in my mind, at least), I'm totally in and can't wait to read this one! I love how Merit and Ethan's relationship is progressing -- it s a foil for all the crap that's being thrown the vampires' way, which seriously frustrates me because the people fanning the flames are SO BAD!! Just kill 'em already!

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    1. I would not be sad if a certain ex-military man who shall remain nameless where to meet an untimely end. I kind of want to punch him in the face:) Love Merit and Ethan as always though!

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  9. Every time I think I'm close to getting caught up in this series, another book comes out. I should fix that soon, Jenny. I SHOULD. Can't get behind Ethan. (Wait. *gets distracted by thoughts of Ethan's behind*)

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    1. Have I ever told you I like the way your mind works? *starts thinking about Ethan's behind as well*

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  10. You know, Jenny, I think I need to stop coming onto your blog because you are constantly reminding me of the series I need to continue!
    Why are there so many books and so little time? *sobs*
    I've read maybe 4 books in this series and I've really enjoyed Merit and Ethan. I'm glad that their relationship is developing nicely. I've always loved them together, so to hear that they are doing good makes me really happy.
    I'm glad that you enjoyed this, Jenny! I should check out the other books in this series soon.
    Lovely review as always! :)

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    1. I KNOW NICK! I feel the same way all the time, I need there to be more hours in the day! I hope can get caught up at some point:):)

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  11. While it wasn't as action packed as others I am glad you enjoyed it. This series has been on my wish list, I just need more time!

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    1. Don't I know it! I would love to only have the blog to focus on, then I could get to so many books I've been wanting to read:)

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  12. I have seen these books around but still haven't read them. It sounds like a great read :) I might give it a try once when I get together with vampires again. Great review Jenny :)

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  13. Darn it! Stop eet! I don't have these books yet and you have just informed me I'm 8 behind. I do have one of them (don't faint, I didn't read it I'm waiting for the others) and I really want to get into this series. Look at what I'm missing!

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  14. I hate when a series slows down - especially when you've set high expectations because of its predecessors. But wow does this series sound good! I haven't heard of it before - I'm not versed in adult fiction - but I'm definitely going to check this one out. Great review, Jenny!

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  15. Ooh excellent review! So looking forward to reading this one! Copy's already preordered so after Tuesday I just have to wait some more! If I wasn't saving money by doing all these preorders I would seriously consider my sanity sometimes with the added waiting I do! ;)

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  16. Ooh, yay! So Merit and Ethan finally get to relax a bit. I've always enjoyed their banter and found the events of the 5th / 6th book to be... "meh." Best way to describe them. Although it's sad that the conflict ends up feeling less than noteworthy due to the couple's happiness, it sounds like that climax will ensure that the stakes remain high, even if Ethan and Merit do usually save the day (that seems to be a pattern in her books, right? That it's not really over until the last chapter).

    Ee!! Kindle pre-order coming in tomorrow and I can't wait :).

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  17. I'm not a vampire gal, but I keep seeing this series pop up on your blog, Jenny, and I'll probably give it a go soon. It seems like I'm really missing out and it definitely can't hurt to try. Lovely review, as always, dear!(:

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  18. Another great series Jenny! Come on! You are killing me here...I just can't aford to add so much to my TBR! lol

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  19. As you probably know, I was sorely disappointed with Biting Cold that I've been avoiding House Rules and this one. I just can't seem to muster up any excitement over them. :( I'll eventually get to them.

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  20. I'm so behind on this series, but I'm glad to hear the romance is satisfying this far in! Even though the action wasn't up to the usual standard, I have no doubt my love for Ethan and Merit will make up for it (if I ever get caught up enough to read this one!). Lovely review Jenny!

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  21. I've only read the first two of these books. I really need and want to read more. Since this was a bit slower, do you think the series is being overplayed. I know you still like it but should it end soon?

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  22. This one sounds a bit slower paced than the other books in the series, Jenny, but I feel like the romance is more rewarding because Merit and Ethan are finally open with each other. It's always nice to come back to a familiar series you love.

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  23. This is another UF I want to pick up. I'm wondering if Merit and Ethan are the main couple throughout the series, if so it sounds like the relationship takes a long time to develop. Great review, Jenny. I'm putting this on the list. :)

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  24. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I love the Chicagoland Vampires. evamillien at gmail dot com

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  25. I've only read the first book and it was okay but I didn't have a strong urge to continue the series. That happens with UF books though, the first in series are often not the best for me. I'll have to try to pick up the 2nd book soon and see if I get more immersed in the world and characters.

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