Publisher: Gollancz (2012)
Format: Paperback | 337 pages
Genre(s): Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Description (GR): "Turned into a vampire against her will, twenty-eight-year-old Merit found her way into the dark circle of Chicago’s vampire underground, where she learned there was more to supernaturals than met the eye—and more supernaturals than the public ever imagined.And not all the secrets she learned were for sharing—among humans or inhumans.Now Merit is on the hunt, charging across the stark American Midwest, tailing a rogue supernatural intent on stealing an ancient artifact that could unleash catastrophic evil on the world. But Merit is also the prey. An enemy of Chicagoland is hunting her, and he’ll stop at nothing to get the book for himself. No mercy allowed.No rules apply. No lives spared. The race is on."
WARNING: some spoilers for earlier books.
So, what went wrong? I was liking the series well enough (although Neill's plots are pretty easy to figure out. I figured out who was the villain in all the books. The world building is also nothing to write home about, but I like the fact that these books are light and somewhat funny.
This latest book... was not so good in my opinion. Why? The biggest reason is Ethan. He's back and he's having exactly the same attitude towards Merit he had before (avoidance, let's break up because of... reasons and all that crap). It's the same situation again and I kind of got tired. It does help that I never understood the chemistry between Merit and Ethan. It also helps that Ethan never fully developed into something more than a stereotype.
So Ethan... go away. You're annoying (I doubt that will happen but oh well).
This series isn't exactly characterized by inventive plots and deep mysteries. Every single time I knew who the villain was quite early. Person behind the drugs in book 4? Yeah, figured it out. Person behind the black magic in book 5? Very easy, knew it. Seth Tate's identity? Since he was revealed to be a supernatural I had a suspicion about which type he would be. I kid you not. I'm being totally honest here.
So why, you ask, did I keep reading? Because Neill seemed willing to take some risks with her characters. I mean what happened in book 3 and book 4. Sadly, she always fixes these "dramatic events". And that really annoyed me and made me dislike this book. The events in books 4 and 5 would have been great ways for Merit to grow as a character... but she doesn't because these huge, traumatic events are... fixed and everything is alright and back to normal in the end.
Overall, this book was pretty boring. The world building is rather cliche and not very detailed, the mystery was too simplistic and the romance felt flat (as it has felt since the beginning). I lost interest in reading the rest of the series, at least for now.