Title: Drink Deep
Author: Chloe Neill
Series: Chicagoland Vampires, #5
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: NAL (Imprint of Penguin)
Date Published: November 1st, 2011
Clouds are brewing over Cadogan House, and recently turned vampire Merit can’t tell if this is the darkness before the dawn or the calm before the storm. With the city itself in turmoil over paranormals and the state threatening to pass a paranormal registration act, times haven’t been this precarious for vampires since they came out of the closet. If only they could lay low for a bit, and let the mortals calm down.
That’s when the waters of Lake Michigan suddenly turn pitch black-and things really start getting ugly.
Chicago’s mayor insists it’s nothing to worry about, but Merit knows only the darkest magic could have woven a spell powerful enough to change the very fabric of nature. She’ll have to turn to friends old and new to find out who’s behind this, and stop them before it’s too late for vampires and humans alike.
*SPOILER WARNING: this entire review contains major spoilers for the series and this book. I thought a lot about it, and while I hate spoiler reviews, I can’t review this book without them. So don’t read unless you’ve read this book or you want spoilers. If you’re curious about the series, I recommend reading my other reviews for it here, which are all spoiler free (or spoilers are hidden).
I went into Drink Deep with a huge chip on my shoulder. Like many others, I was very much pissed at Ms. Neill for the way Hard Bitten left us. I felt betrayed and sick and was truly considering abandoning this series — depending on how this book went.
I’ll first off say that I no longer plan on abandoning the series, but I will proceed with extreme caution and will not hesitate to abandon it in the future. My reason? Sure, she brought Ethan back in this extremely far-fetched, very much reaching, sort of way. But in his place we essentially lost another character. I’m not even sure if we have Ethan back or if he’ll be this slave to Mallory in the future books. So I’m still uneasy about the way he was brought back.
But let’s get back to Mallory. I’ve never been a huge Mallory fan. In fact, I really don’t have much of an opinion of her at all. But where my problem lies is Neill not having a problem killing off or destroying her main cast. I can’t trust her. I can’t trust the fact that I will pick up a Chicagoland Vampires novel and know that it will end with my favorite characters alive. No one is safe. I hate that feeling. I love a good conflict, I love action, but I need to trust the author not to kill or get rid of main characters.
Let me be clear that it would be a different story if this were a trilogy or something with a clear ending in sight. But when I pick up this type of book (an on-going urban fantasy), I want a conflict that will be solved within either the same book, or even multiple books. But this conflict I like to be an outside conflict with the primary cast working together to solve it. People can get hurt or be on the verge of dying, people can break up and leave each other, but I don’t see this type of series as the type of series where main characters should die or be turned evil.
As for the rest of the story (other than the last 15% of the book), it was alright, but like others have said, it just felt like a filler to get to the end of the story. I suppose it all led up to the main event, but I just wasn’t feeling the connection all that much. It also feels like she brought Ethan back as a desperate attempt to win back her fans. Most of us were pissed when she killed him off, and I think she was heading somewhere else with the series by killing him, but then decided to back-track because she realized she made a huge mistake. While I hate the idea of Ethan dead, I feel like this whole book was a waste of time too. Why kill Ethan off, only to bring him back in the next book? It just makes no sense, and it’s a torture device for fans of the series.
That being said, I am happy she did turn it around when it comes to Ethan’s death, and even though the story felt like filler, it did keep me turning the page. But I’m so leery of this series now and where it’s going to go, and I really hate that. I will continue for now, but like I said above, I will tread very carefully and if I am continually disappointed in the next few books (or the main cast keeps disappearing), I will not hesitate to drop this series from my reading list.
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