Thursday, October 27, 2011

Review: Drink Deep

DRINK DEEP (Chicagoland Vampires #5)
Chloe Neill
Urban Fantasy
321 pages
Available November 1st
Received from publisher for review

Warning: Review/synopsis contains massive spoilers from book 4, Hard Bitten, but no spoilers from Drink Deep.

Things for the vampires of Cadogan House are getting darker by the minute. Master vampire Ethan's death has left them all bereft and uncertain of their future, and the continued scrutiny of the vampire ruling council as well as the increasing fear from Chicago's human residents is only making a difficult situation worse.

Merit is perhaps feeling Ethan's absence on deeper level than her fellow initiates despite her relatively new status as a Cadogan Vampire, with disturbingly visceral dreams of her friend, her Master, and her lover haunting her with more frequency. While she struggles mentally and emotionally however, her beloved city falls under a new supernatural attack.

The lake turns black briefly before returning to normal. The sky turns bright red and back again. The new mayor and all her followers are eager to pin the occurrences on the vampires, but the truth is none of Chicago's preternatural creatures seem to know the cause of the strange happenings. All anyone seems to know is that soon natural and supernatural are going to come to a head, and Merit is going to be smack in the middle of it without the man that has always served as her anchor.

Drink Deep is one of those books that has us staring at the cover sightlessly before reading, lost in our thoughts and caught up in the tumultuous emotional state the previous book left us in, itching to break the spine but also dreading doing so as we wonder if our hearts can endure another shredding and still continue beating. Before the first page is even turned we find ourselves plagued with questions, curious as to whether Ms. Neil will remedy some of the events of Hard Bitten or if each page we read will serve as a single stitch pulling those painful wounds closed, thereby forcing us to move forward with Merit into a life after Ethan. So it is with both a little hesitancy and a great deal of anticipation that we begin this newest installment, hoping for the best but prepared for the worst as we settle into a series that has been shockingly unpredictable and gloriously memorable.

Merit has always been a young woman of strength and substance, free of the entitlement that accompanies her family's name and truly independent by nature. That independence has allowed her to go toe to toe with a Master vampire and not be cowed by the force of his immense personality while also maintaining an admirable caution when it comes to matters of the heart after said Master found himself repeatedly trying to balance his feelings for her with the duty to his house. Post-tragedy Merit is still beautifully recognizable to us despite her obvious pain, dealing with her grief with far more grace than most might be capable of, and returning to her role as Sentinel damaged but certainly not broken. The strength of her emotional loss is tangible without being overwhelming, reminding us of what is missing yet never drowning us in a flood of despondency that prevents us from engaging in the latest of Chicago’s many supernatural problems. She’s strong but still vulnerable, hurting but not closed off or untouchable, and a true leader while remaining humble and so very human.

Drink Deep is a bit slower than its predecessor, and though such a pace is a necessary reprieve from the grueling intensity previously experienced, it does take just a touch longer to get into as a result. Ethan’s absence is glaring, the trademark romantic tension and witty banter between him and Merit something we miss more than we can express in words, but it just proves to us again and again how much of ourselves we’ve invested in this world that the loss of one character could devastate us so utterly. Despite our mourning for Ethan and everything he brought to the Chicagoland Vampire table, Ms. Neill still manages to create some truly fascinating developments for the residents of Cadogan House and the preternatural population as a whole, and she leaves us in a much healthier place at the conclusion of this tale than we were at the same time one book prior. Though our hearts are not quite healed, we find ourselves on the mend by the time we reach the last page, looking forward to the next book with a copious amounts of hope instead of pain.

Rating: 4/5


To celebrate the upcoming release of Drink Deep, Chloe will be stopping by a couple different bookstores with fellow fabulous author Rachel Caine where they'll be hosting a "Bite Night Bash" for their readers. Readers who purchase books at the store will be eligible to win free raffle bags filled with notebooks, pencils, vampire swag, books and other cool Penguin gear goodies!

What wouldn't I give to live in Nebraska or Minnesota right now so I could attend! Details about the events are below for all you lucky people who will be in the area:

Thursday, November 3rd

Oakview Mall
3333 Oakview Drive
Omaha, NE 68144
402-691-4557 (phone)
7 PM

Meet Rachel Caine & Chloe Neill!

Sunday, November 6th

2100 North Snelling Ave
Roseville, MN 55113
(651)-639-9256 (phone)
2 PM
Meet Rachel Caine, Chloe Neill, and Andrea Cremer (author of the Nightshade series)!

Come to the bookstore, meet the authors, have your books signed, and participate in a raffle drawing to receive cool prizes!


  1. I've been meaning to pick up a Chloe Neil book (I think I have one on my shelf at home...)! I'm even more convinced now. Though Drink Deep doesn't sound like the absolute best installment in the series, it still sounds good! :) Thanks for the review, Jenny!

  2. So I was very nervous to read your review for fear that something would accidentally be given away, but breathed a sigh of relief when that didn't happen. I shouldn't have doubted your review skills, Jenny! Thanks for sharing your thoughts... I'm so EXCITED to get my hands on Drink Deep. I'm still shaken up about the ending for Hard Bitten. -.-

  3. I don't know...I think I would have to read this book on my own. Thanks for your early review!

  4. I found this one to be VERY slow. I just had a really hard time getting into it. And I think the emotions at the end fell flat. I don't know...just wasn't what I expected.

  5. I love Chloe Neill, she's so awesome. Her writing is just so good. And this looks so good.

  6. I haven't read anything by this author. Sounds like a good series.

  7. Lauren- I adore Chloe, she's got such a great sense of humor! I prefer this series over her YA series, but both are highly entertaining:)

    Liz - I try not to give anything away:) I was going to try and avoid the Ethan issue altogether for those who haven't read book 4 yet, but there was just no way for me to talk about the book without mentioning it, hopefully I don't spoil anything!

    Anachronist - You're welcome:)

    Mandi - It definitely was much slower than previous books, and though it didn't have me glued to the pages the same way, it was kind of nice I thought since the last one was so much to deal with. I have high hopes for the next book:)

    Nina - So true! I adore her books:)

    Mrs. Q - It's a wonderful series. The first book is Some Girls Bite if you want to try:)

  8. Great review as always Jenny! You captured this book perfectly!

  9. Okay, I admit that, even though there aren't spoilers for Drink Deep, I'm not ready to read any reviews until I read it for myself. Hard Bitten left me in such an emotional state that I don't want to go back there until I have the book in my greedy little hands. (and I'm going to the signing on the 6th of November, so of course I pre-ordered Drink Deep :)

  10. Gosh, I know I have been saying this for a while but I have not read her adult series! I NEED TO!

  11. Awesome Review!

    I have this series on my Christmas list and hoping I get it!

  12. Bells - Thanks!!! Can't wait to read Biting Cold with you:)

    Amanda - I completely understand, the last one really messed me up as well and I had to gear myself up for this one:) Lucky you going to the signing!

    Savy - YOU DO! I love it:)

    Felicia - Thank you! I hope Santa brings it for you:)

  13. I was literally shaking when I finished CV#4. I called up my gf and said "WTF? Did that really happen?" I'm so curious as to what happens next and have my own theories. I just skimmed your review to look at the rating. I've got faith in Chloe and know that Merit's in good hands. Can't wait until I get my hands on a copy!

  14. Rummanah has recently been catching up on this series, so I've been getting updates on the previous books from her. It's one I have on my long TBR, and I hope to get around to it someday.

    I'm feeling Ethan's absence already...and I'm not a happy camper about it. LOL

  15. Yet another series I haven't started yet.... But my aversion to vamps has gotten weaker lately!! Shhhh!!! Don't tell the zombies! ;)

    *adds another series to the list*

  16. So, you totally know my feelings for this bad boy. I doubt I could ever fit them in the comment section anyway. Although, I really wish that whole "beaming" places was really legit because I'd so be beaming to Nebraska for a meet and greet! Hello, VAMPS! Rummanah's comment had me laughing out loud! WTF, is right! I loved your review, Jenny because it so is everything I felt about it all summed up. I'm glad we didn't just have to watch Merit mope the whole book because while that's all I wanted to do, it doesn't make for a very exciting novel. :D

  17. AHHHHHH....I need to catch up on this series, Im only on book 3!!!

    Loved your review. HAHA, lets do a read along for Some Girls Bite...:D

  18. Rummanah - I know. I was a blubbering mess for a while and then I just went numb and had to really shore up my courage to open this book:) Can't wait to see what you think!

    Missie - I think you'd enjoy this series, Merit is hilarious:)

    Jen - I do know! So much fun talking to you about it:) And I wish I could teleport to Nebraska so I could attend, I would love to meet these two ladies!

    Tina - YES LET'S DO IT!

  19. Oh gosh... The synopsis of this book ("magical things a-brewing or whatnot") had lead me to think that there *may* be a chance of Ethan being resurrected somehow, but after reading your review, well it leads me to think that that doesn't happen. WHY, OH WHY?!? Ugh... ;)

  20. I have a few of her books on my shelf and sadly, haven't read any! Hopefully this winter I can pick them up; your review really sparked my interest. I can't get enough of urban fantasies! Great review!

  21. Oh, so jealous that you read this one already! I LOVE this series, couldn't believe how the last book ended -- WHAT?!? -- and have been wondering what in the world was going to happen next. Merit's an awesome character and it's good to hear that, though she's mourning, she's carrying on. A great, strong character.

  22. So glad you're back!! Missed you!


  23. Dude!! If you do a read-a-long, I SO want to be apart of it! o_o

  24. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeek *skimming* I do not want any spoilers. I am yet to read book 3

  25. You've restored my faith in the series, I'll be picking this one up.

    "...she leaves us in a much healthier place at the conclusion of this tale…"
    This line helped also. My friend and I have been a bit worried about DRINK DEEP, I'll let her know it's not another Kisten moment.

  26. Never heard of this one, but the cover certainly has me intrigued, and your review seems pretty good! Thanks for putting this on my radar, Jenny!

  27. I always hear so many good things about Chloe Neill's books, both YA and adult. Mainly about her humour and wit, so sorry to hear that it sounds like that was maybe missing a bit in this installment.

  28. Thank you so much for sharing your review with us today. I am expecting to receive book 1 soon and look forward to the journey with the Chicagoland Vampires :)