October 30, 2012

Review: Twice Bitten, by Chloe Neill

Author: Chloe Neill
Title:  Twice Bitten
Series: Chicagoland Vampires (#3)
ISBN: 9780451230645
Publisher: NAL Trade (July 6th 2010)

Buy your copy: Paperback | Kindle

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Shapeshifters from across the country are convening in the Windy City, and as a gesture of peace, Master Vampire Ethan Sullivan has offered their leader a very special bodyguard: Merit, Chicago's newest vampire. Merit is supposed to protect the Alpha, Gabriel Keene-and to spy for the vamps while she's at it. Oh, and luckily Ethan's offering some steamy, one-on-one combat training sessions to help her prepare for the mission.

Unfortunately, someone is gunning for Gabriel, and Merit soon finds herself in the line of fire. She'll need all the help she can get to track down the would-be assassin, but everywhere she turns, there are rising tensions between supernaturals-not least between her and a certain green-eyed, centuries-old master vampire.” GoodReads’ blurb

Short and sweet. Or short, in any case.

By this point, I’m beginning to have some issues with this series. Nothing big, but it’s the kind of stuff that makes me lose interest. The biggest thing, I figure, would be the plot itself. Okay, it’s an overabundance of Weres hate Vamps since most of the storyline is about Merit and Ethan working their way into the folds of the pack, but cliché is cliché because it works. Nope, my problem here (and I admit I might have missed something, due to my inability to stay awake for long during the first hour or two of the audiobook) is... why?

Why is the leader of the pack asking Merit and Ethan for help? Apparently he’s had a dream. So he reaches out to Merit. And somehow thinks that plunging two vamps as security in the middle of a were macro-convention might help their situation. Sorry, but that logic doesn’t really compute. I’d bought it if they had been invited, even, but... It felt odd. In much the same way the attack taking place at the end, against the vamps, felt odd, unnecessary and even forced (just Cagodan? No other vampire house ever gets into trouble, it seems?)

The relationship between the characters (and that this point that means Merit and Ethan) also threw me in for a loop. At some point when I wasn’t looking, they’ve gone quite lovey-dovey. All the sexual tension (which I’m still trying to see, by the way...) must be to blame. Or perhaps the shared humor is pushing them together, I don’t know (and I’m mentioning humor because I really don’t see the quirk and fun in half the supposedly funny retorts). The thing is... I didn’t see this coming. Not at all. It didn’t grow, didn’t develop. When it ended the way it did, I could only think that it had been a weird fluke and we were back to normal.

Except that Merit still seems to have a thing for Ethan, and has trouble keeping her mind from him.

After the way he treated her, I can say that some girls I will never understand.

So, I know this review looks a lot like a rant. It’s not. The series is entertaining, and I’ve listened to the next book and plan to keep getting the audiobooks. It’s just that it had the potential to be not entertaining, but amazing... and it fell short because of silly things. That’s why I’d not recommend it if you’re looking for something new, groundbreaking, different... But I’d certainly recommend it if you’re a vampire fan and are looking for some light entertainment.


  1. HAha, your opening sentence totally surprised a laugh out of me, Ron! TO be perfectly honest, this is my least favorite of the series (or maybe it's the last one, I don't know). Somewhere along the line, Neill lost her place among my favorite UF authors, but I get all nostalgic and emotional whenever a new one comes out because that's the kind of girl (fool) I am.

    1. I had that same nostalgic moment with the Sookie Stackhouse series... I kept reading until well past a reasonable point because well, what else could I do? I had read so much already, they were almost family!

      But yes, Neill started with something great and turned it into something very commercial. Nothing wrong, per se, but it won't make my list of "best books ever", I guess.

      But, and this is the most important part: glad I could make you laugh! ;)