by Terrance Mc Arthur
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an e-copy of Lucky Break, along with a link to purchase the novella.
Small has gotten big. With the popularity of e-readers has come the growth of the e-novella, mini-books that are too short for a full-length novel, too long for a short story, but the right size for on-the-go reading, easily finished in a week’s worth of lunch hours. Authors can develop a minor character from a series, explain what happened between books, or tell a story that only wants to be a hundred pages long.
Chloe Neill’s Lucky Break is a novella that takes place between her Chicagoland Vampire books Blood Games and Dark Debt. Merit, the Sentinel of Chicago’s Cadogan House, goes with Ethan, Master of the House and Merit’s lord and lover, to the wilds of Colorado on a much-needed vacation after a year of her rather-exciting vampirehood. Of course, they aren’t in for a lot of rest, because they have landed in the middle of a vampire/shapeshifter version of Montague/Capulet and Hatfield/McCoy family warfare.
Their host, a lovely vampire who married a shifter, is accused of murder, the latest in a string of incidents leading back more than a century, beginning with a shifter girl who ran away or was killed by one side or the other. There are accusations and counter-accusations, fights and attacks, visiting support from regional Pack leaders, a semi-rogue clan of vamps, lovingly-described log-mansion architecture, and dangerous mineshafts (plus a preview of Dark Debt).
Because it’s a novella instead of a novel, there isn’t a lot of room for complicated plots and detailed characterization; a shifter is angry and built like a linebacker, a vampire is voluptuous. Still, Neill is able to keep much of her usual lighthearted tone and the psychic banter of Ethan and Merit’s silent communication.
For readers new to the Chicagoland Vampires, it’s a low-impact introduction to some of the main characters and their cultures. For series fans, it can be a break from the standard situations, an interesting set of mystery puzzles, or a glimpse into how the rich and fanged try to have fun—when they aren’t fighting for their lives.
E-novellas can be a lot of fun. Maybe I’ll break down and buy one…or not, as long as they keep sending me free ones to review.
To enter to win a copy of Lucky Break, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Lucky,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen April 25, 2015. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address.
Check out more fantasy book reviews in our fantasy and fangs section.
Use this link to purchase this book: