Author: Cloe Neill
Title: Friday Night Bites
Series: Chicagoland Vampires (#2)
Publisher: NAL Trade (September 2nd 2009)
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
“The story of a young heiress's initiation into the dark society of the Chicagoland Vampires continues:
Ten months after vampires revealed their existence to the mortals of Chicago, they're enjoying a celebrity status usually reserved for the Hollywood elite. But should people learn about the Raves--mass feeding parties where vampires round up humans like cattle--the citizens will start sharpening their stakes.
So now it's up to the new vampire Merit to reconnect with her upper class family and act as liaison between humans and bloodsuckers, and keep the more unsavory aspects of the vampire lifestyle out of the media. But someone doesn't want peace between them--someone with an ancient grudge.” GoodReads’ blurb
I’m beginning to see a pattern with me and this series: basically, for the first two hours and a half or so of listening, I fall promptly asleep. For the last two and a half hours or so, I can’t disconnect. The middle is interesting enough, even if I’m beginning to find bothersome bits.
The bit that bothered me most was Morgan and Merit. And you probably don’t want to read the following paragraph if you haven’t read book one, but I’m going to complain anyway:
Merit, why the hell are you leading on this poor guy? He’s all vampire and very human at the same time; he’s trying really hard to get a relationship with you, even if the way he started it was unconventional and sneaky, and this half-hearted attempts, without hope and without explanations, are the best you can do by him? Granted, when the book ended, Morgan had taken a turn for the petty and childish (which I found uncharacteristic, but... let’s go along, shall we?) but for the first two-thirds, he was just trying to be the perfect boyfriend while you pined after Ethan... Ethan, who appreciates you so much he ordered to date Morgan in the first place!
Okay, rant over. Ahem. Sorry.
The rest of the book (the actual plot) involved getting back with old acquaintances of Merit’s and I kind of hoped this would unveil a lot about her past and how she got to where she was in life before the bite, but it didn’t clear out that many mysteries. It did bring Shifters into play, and while I like the way they are portrayed in this series, the old vampire-shifter animosity trope is starting to get old. (Where does it come from, anyway?)
The funny thing is that the problem, the issue, isn’t solved at all. Merit and Ethan find a way to keep the metaphorical shit from hitting the fan, but it’s still there, stinking and attracting flies, by the time the book ends. And what a way to end! I guessed who the ancient one with a grudge was, but I couldn’t fit her into the plot—or rather, I still can’t see the point behind all her plotting. It’s as if she didn’t have a real goal; or, if she did, as if she was really clumsy trying to manipulate people into getting there because I see neither rhyme nor reason to her villainy.
All in all, the series is interesting for Urban Fantasy fans, especially those who like sexual tension to be an important part of their stories. But if you go into Chicagoland Vampires expecting Harry Dresden, you won’t find it.