Rummanah Aasi
  I've had the Chicagoland Vampire series by Chloe Neil on my to be read pile for quite a few years. At the time, I had just finished reading a slew of vampire books, both good and bad, either while the Twilight Saga was on going and/or had just finished. Since most of the books had the same cookie cutter format, I got burnt out in the genre and had to move on to something new. There are currently 4 books out in the Chicagoland Vampire series, with the fifth book coming out in November. After reading several great reviews from trusty bloggers, I thought to give this series a shot and I'm so glad that I did.

Description (from Goodreads):  Sure, the life of a graduate student wasn't exactly glamorous, but it was Merit's. She was doing fine until a rogue vampire attacked her. But he only got a sip before he was scared away by another bloodsucker-and this one decided the best way to save her life was to make her the walking undead.
  Turns out her savior was the master vampire of Cadogan House. Now she's traded sweating over her thesis for learning to fit in at a Hyde Park mansion full of vamps loyal to Ethan "Lord o' the Manor" Sullivan. Of course, as a tall, green-eyed, four-hundred- year-old vampire, he has centuries' worth of charm, but unfortunately he expects her gratitude- and servitude. But an inconvenient sunlight allergy and Ethan's attitude are the least of her concerns. Someone's still out to get her. Her initiation into Chicago's nightlife may be the first skirmish in a war-and there will be blood.


Review: Some Girls Bite is a entertaining, smart, sexy, and delightful read. I was completely sucked in right away. This is definitely a book where you want to put up the "Do Not Disturb, I'm Reading" sign. Yes, it's that good and now I'm kicking myself for waiting so long to read this series!
  As the series title suggests, this series takes place in Chicago. Since I live in the Chicagoland area and lived in the actual city for several years, I know the area where most of the action takes place. The attention to the architecture, sports, culture, and dialogue of the Windy City makes it obvious that Neil knows the city really well. I loved how the city became a character itself in the book. 
   Unlike many paranormal books I've read, our heroine, Merit, does not choose to be a vampire nor does she really have any desire to become a creature of the night. She is changed and given a second chance at life. Though she's not happy with the changes in her life, she adjusts with as much dignity as she can muster. I actually liked how Merit did some soul searching and not immediately accept her new identity. She had everything from her normal life taken away from her and was within her rights  to be completely upset by it. I know I would feel the same if I was in her situation. While some readers disliked Merit for whining too much in the first half of  the book, I actually thought it made her believable and endearing. Merit deals with her problems intelligently and confidently, though she may be unaware of the taboos she crosses. As you can tell, I loved Merit right away. It is so refreshing to read a character so mature and who holds herself up with grace. She is definitely far from perfect, but nonetheless a character that I would want as a best friend.
   I also enjoyed meeting Ethan Sullivan, the 400 year old vampire and Master of the House of Cadogan, who turned Merit into a vampire. Ethan is incredibly sexy, an enigma that is hard to figure out. I think the best way to describe would be a male personification of Pandora's box. So tempting to open yet you are terrified about what demons that are stored inside. Due to his age and his political ranking, Ethan is not prone to easily accept emotions and humanity. He is constantly thinking as a political figure, using his people in ways that are most helpful to his House. 

   I loved watching Ethan and Merit interact. There is obvious attraction between both of them, however, Merit does not quickly submit to Ethan. In fact, she constantly questions whether he is a good part of her life, how her relationship with him might change her, and most importantly whether she wants to change. Despite whatever role Merit plays, she doesn't see herself as Ethan's subordinate and she stands up to him in numerous occasions much to his frustration. This kind of self reflection was an absolute delight.
  In addition to Merit and Ethan, there are several secondary characters like Mallory, Merit's best friend who is more like a sister, and the mercurial Catcher Bell that are integral to the story and move the plot forward. Each of them come alive and add something to the story. The characters work well together and balance each other out quite well. Their banter is hilarious and makes them appealing, it's clearly evident that they have an affinity towards one another. Neil gives them vulnerabilities that mirrors our own which makes them not only more human but also relate-able and approachable. None of the characters are absolutely good or bad, but each contain shades of gray that makes us ponder when they do something that is completely unexpected.
   The political maneuvering between the supernaturals, humans, and other various groups is interesting and thoughtfully executed. I loved how the vampire houses, which are very much like college fraternities in a way, use the feudal system as their political and social structure. I've never seen that before. Neil sets a good foundation as to the origin of the Houses and their rules. I'm definitely hooked and want to know more as we discover a great battle is now brewing.    

    Readers looking for a kick-butt heroines and sexy male leads with lots of snark and action should not miss this series. I'm already itching to read the next book!
 
Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There are some sex scenes in the book and strong language. Recommended for mature teen readers and up.

If you like this book try: Friday Night Bites (Chicagoland Vampire #2) by Chloe Neil, Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead, Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris, Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews, Fray by Joss Whedon, Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs
8 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    "I think the best way to describe would be a male personification of Pandora's box. So tempting to open yet you are terrified about what demons that are stored inside."

    That is probably the best description of my feelings toward Ethan ever. Absolutely brilliant Rummanah! So glad you enjoyed this book, I love this series so much! Looking forward to seeing what you think of the next 3:)


  2. Annette Says:

    Kind of interesting that I just started the Vampire Academy and you just started this series. I'll be following your reviews, and hopefully will get to read these some day! (Too many books; so little time!)


  3. Missie Says:

    Oooh! This review helps me a lot. Strangely, I haven't really notice myself getting 'tired' of vamp fiction, even if they are kind of cookie cutter. Yeah, I'll take small breaks, but when I become invested in a vampire series, it's mainly because of the characters. I wanted to know their stories and know that they found what they were looking for, even when I know how it will happen. LOL

    Something about the way you have described Merit reminds me of Cat from the Night Huntress series, especially with how she isn't afraid to stand up to Ethan. I really enjoy that kind of tension.

    Okay yes! You have completely convinced me to give this one a try! Can't hardly wait. Thanks for the review, Rummanah. Though I have seen this series everywhere, I don't think I have ever really stopped and read a review for it. :)


  4. Jenny: I found myself simultaneously attracted and repulsed by him. LOL, I haven't felt that way about a male lead in quite some time.

    Annette: I know, right? I'm curious as to your reactions as the VA series continues as well. I think a lot of older teens would enjoy the book. I just love the fact that it takes place in Chicago!

    Missie: I'm the same way, the characters are integral, even so if it's a series. I was just reading the same "human/slayer falls for the vamp" storyline. By the way, I've heard lots of great things about Cat and that mysterious Bones. I'll have to get to that series too. I really think you'll like this series and hope you give it a shot. :)


  5. Rummanah I don't think I could have written my own feelings on this book any better than you so eloquently just displayed. I LOVED this review so much! It's like you said everything I was feeling I didn't quite know how to spit it out. Merit is a character with so many layers to her that it's impossible to peel them all back and see what she is thinking and where she'll go. And, while sometimes we want to kill Ethan ourselves, we can't help but have this dangerous attraction to him at the same time. *big sigh* I love this series so much. I hope you enjoy the rest of it. Beware of that book 4...it's a DOOZY!

    Jen
    In the Closet With a Bibliophile


  6. Jen: Thank you! I loved all the characters so far. I've heard about the infamous ending of Book 4 and I'm already scared. LOL!


  7. What a fantastic, insightful review! I've honestly yet to read a review of this one, but it seems as though the characters have depth, and that alone appeals to me - it's lacking in a lot of what I read. Fantastic thoughts :)


  8. Awesome review! I enjoyed this book too especially Merit and Ethan's banter :)


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