by Terrance Mc Arthur
This week we have a review & giveaway of Midnight Marked. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book, along with a link to purchase the book from Amazon.
Midnight Marked is the twelfth Chicagoland Vampires novel by Chloe Neill. Some sources are saying it’s the next to last. In book time, Merit has only been a vampire for a year. A lot has happened in that year. After being attacked, then changed to a high-hemoglobin diet to save her life, she has become the Sentinel of the most powerful house of vampires in Chicago, guarding Ethan, now sharing his bed and life, but he still hasn’t put a ring on it—it can be a wild life.
On the way to a night game at Wrigley Field, she finds a dead shifter, killed by a Rogue vampire who escapes her, and a message of strange symbols. This leads her onto a trail of alchemy, sorcerers, a supernatural fantasy bordello in a toxic neighborhood, ritzy parties, jail cells, death threats, and a shocking meeting with her past.
Recent installments of the series have featured larger and larger combinations of supernatural folk, but Midnight Marked tools it back to the basics of the fanged, the furry, and the magical—vampires, shapeshifters, and sorcerers, which Neill turns into a rock/paper/scissors-type game—with a few cameo appearances like river trolls, water nymphs, and a pregnant necromancer who keeps the dead from walking.
The shifters blame Cadogan House for the murder, the vampires want to find the fedora-wearing magic-user tagging alchemical equations in the city, and a criminal millionaire with an ice queen of a trophy wife is out to get Merit and Ethan—I’m sure that any resemblance to a power-seeking rich guy is coincidental. Yeah. Right.
Merit isn’t as snarky as Mercy Thompson, but she’s more graphically sexual than Jane Yellowrock. She has a more powerful posse than Buffy, a whole vampire war room that rivals GI Joe for organization, includes a gourmet-level chef, and Ethan drives vehicles that would leave Scooby-Doo’s Mystery Machine in the dust.
There are some where-did-THAT-come-from coincidences that actually reinforced the mortal nature of some characters. Merit’s BFF Mallory, a no-longer-dark sorceress, and her hubby Catcher get some good page-time to provide support, scold, and make wonderful toys.
Neill is comfortable with her characters, but she knows how to keep them on edge, and the readers, too.
To enter to win a copy of Midnight Marked, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “marked,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen June 4, 2016. 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.
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