November 7, 2012

Review: Hard Bitten, by Chloe Neill

Author: Chloe Neill
Title: Hard Bitten
Series: Chicagoland Vampires (#4)
ISBN: 9780451233325
Publisher: NAL Trade (April 12th 2011)

Buy your copy: Paperback | Kindle

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Meet Merit, a "wonderfully compelling vampire heroine" (USA Today bestselling author Julie Kenner).

Chicago is beset by supernatural tensions, and Merit-vampire protector of a safe haven called Cadogan house-is worried that the humans will be reaching for their pitchforks any minute. It doesn't help that yet another vampire rave is broken up by the mayor, and a new inhibition- reducing drug is circulating through the community.

It's up to Merit to put her house in order-literally. And if that takes getting a little blood on her hands, so be it.” GoodReads’ blurb

Good things, bad things happen in Hard Bitten. I’m still not sure which side outweighs the other in competition, though.

Vamps have lost their glamour. After the events at the end of book 3, humans begin to see the bloodsuckers like a liability rather than a celebrity and mobs start to appear. There’s even organized groups, militar-like, who want Cadogan out of the Windy City (because, of course, the protesters only camp in front of Cadogan...) The fact that the raves we heard about in book 2 not only didn’t stop, but escalated in size and violence is only the reason the scared humans need to pounce. Enter Merit, playing detective and trying to wrestle some semblance of order into her city...

I very much liked this part!

The one behind the raves is none other than Celina. Big surprise. I still can’t figure out her motivations, why she’d think that what she’s doing is smart or will conduct to a new order of things with her at the top. The thing is, the Old World vamps, the rulers among superhumans, don’t care about what she does, what it costs, or what the consequences will be: like a spoiled child, they prefer to leave her alone to throw her tantrum at best and just approve of her tactics at worst. Since Merit and Ethan are being a pain to Celina, the BIg Bad Boss comes to Chicago to tell them to lay off... or else.

I didn’t particularly enjoy this part. I got where the leader was coming from, but I didn’t understand the way he refused to take action himself. If vamps are such great politicians, he had to understand that Celina’s actions were costly for all vampires, and that they couldn’t afford it. As I said, I didn’t get Celina, but I’ve mostly given up on her by this point—the story was entertaining, even if the author chose to rely on the villainous villain once more.

The ending. Oh, the ending. It turns out the puppeteer has strings attached, and her puppeteer has grand plans... again for the sake of villainy. There might be motivation, even if I believe that a man of such resources would find a better way to handle the situation, but frankly? If Celina’s such a bad ass, as we’ve been led to believe, then I don’t see the means. The whole final scene felt rushed, shallow, convenient. So much so that instead of sharing Merit’s pain I rolled my eyes. So much so that I don’t know how, but I know the situation WILL be fixed. And, if you take the pain from the drama, you only have so much melodrama, you know?

I liked Hard Bitten better than I did Twice Bitten, perhaps because there was more action, more stuff going on, but... The series is still an entertaining, light Urban Fantasy, nothing more. Depending on how Neill fixes the situation, I might have to retract that statement in the nest review, though.


  1. Did you read these one after another? Dang, I still need to read the 2nd book! :D

    1. This was an audio-marathon, Christy! I honestly don't even know how/why I did it, but I listened to all four book one after the other.

      Then I went a took a break of it all with Harry Dresden (who will be visiting the blog enxt week...)

      Hehehe! I hope you'll enjoy book 2 when you get to it!

  2. Cool review! I'd certainly like to read it. Thanks for sharing :)


    1. Thanks! Hope you enjoy it if you do get to read it--not the best series ever, but good fun.

      Thanks for the comment, Danielle!

  3. Oh my, this ending hit me so hard, mostly because I had no idea how Neill intended to get out of the mess she'd made. What's more, I read it as soon as it came out, so I had a lot of time to be grumpy about it.
    This is where the series lost me as a huge fan, now I only moderately enjoy it.
    I really loved reading your thoughts, Ron!

    1. Exactly! No idea how she's going to fix it, but I just know she will. But... Ouchie! That's a lot of time to be pondering, from release to release--I don't envy you there!

      Thanks for dropping by ;) I really enjoy comparing comments about this series, too!

  4. This series has been on my to read list for so long... Do you suggest listening or reading it, or do you think it would make a difference?

    1. Mmmh.... I don't think it'd make a different. I listened to it because that way I could fir the book into otherwise occupied periods, but while the performance is good (please, PLEASE, do NOT listen to anything Mortal Instruments related...) I don't think it made me like the book more (like the Dresden series).