Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Chicagoland Vampires Series #1: Some Girls Bite by Chloe Neill

Published: April 7th 2009 by NAL Trade
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Goodreads Summary: They killed me. They healed me. They changed me.

Sure, the life of a graduate student wasn’t exactly glamorous, but I was doing fine until Chicago’s vampires announced their existence to the world. When a rogue vampire attacked me, I was lucky he only got a sip. Another bloodsucker scared him off and decided the best way to save my life was to make me the walking undead.

Now I’ve traded sweating over my thesis for learning to fit in at a Hyde Park mansion full of vamps loyal to Ethan “Lord o’ the Manor” Sullivan. Of course, as a tall, green-eyed,
four-hundred-year-old vampire, he has centuries’ worth of charm, but unfortunately he expects my gratitude—and servitude. Right…

But someone’s out to get me. Is it the rogue vampire who bit me? A vamp from a rival House? An angry mob bearing torches?

My initiation into Chicago’s nightlife may be the first skirmish in a war—and there will be blood.


-MY THOUGHTS-

I was excited to read Some Girls Bite. Many reviews I saw described it as “a solid urban fantasy book”, “a bit like the Kate Daniels series but more focused on politics” or even “one of the best urban fantasy series out there”.  To be honest I can understand their opinion, Chloe Neill’s isn’t actually a bad writer, and there are some elements in the Chicagoland series that are attractive.  But it simply didn’t do it for me, at all.

To me Some Girls Bite was a generic urban fantasy novel of the blandest kind: headstrong heroine who’s life is on the line surrounded by sexy members of the supernatural and oddly attracted to a charismatic vampire. Add some action scene here and there and TADA! you’ve got the novel pictured.

So, in Some Girl Bite, we meet that girl Merit, she lives in a fictional Chicago where supernatural creatures recently came out. One day as she was going back to her uni at night because she forgot an important piece of work there, she’s attacked by a vampire. But luckily for her the Liege of Cadogan House, Evan Sullivan was around and prevented her death by turning her into a vampire. 

I might have liked the first book in the Chicagoland Vampire series, if I could identify with Merit or connect with her a tiny teensy bit. But alas, the Gods of Fantasy choose otherwise. By the way, a Liege is the head of a vampire House.

It was impossible for me to emphasize with Merit’s hardships because I couldn’t see any. 

Within a few days of her “awakening”, Merit goes from your typical dorkish 27-year-old to wonderwoman’s vampiric version. I wouldn’t have been annoyed by that if Chloe Neill’s vampires could actually come into their full strength overnight, but it isn’t the case. It takes time for her vampires to gain superhuman strength, to have enhanced senses and to be preternaturally fast.

Even though Merit awakened like two days ago, she can withstood the power of century old vampires, unbeknown to Merit before turning, her grandfather is Chicago Ombudsman, the liaison between human and supernatural creature, she’s beautiful and isn’t aware of it, the superhot guy that is Ethan, the Liege of Cadogan House has the hots for her, there’s another hot vampire guy who swoons around her and her father is one of the wealthiest man in Chicago. 

The girls’s got everything lined up for her, but you know what? During the majority of the book Merit is whining like she was homeless and had to care for a sick child. Poor Sad Rich White Girl *cries*. 

Despite the author’s laborious attempts at making Merit seems like she’s an outsider or as if she was challenged or in a difficult position, her main character remains nonetheless a ridiculously talented and gifted girl who cruises through her “problems” effortlessly. 
Even her struggles with her new nature weren’t believable. 

Whether it’s on a moral or genetic level I never felt like Meritt was truly bothered by her vampirism. She didn’t seem terrified by the fact that she was going to outlive the human friends she had and the one she will make in the future, not being able to go under the sun didn’t sadden her that much and it wasn’t as if she believed that vampires were soulless monsters. Well, drinking blood grossed her out. I’ll give her that.

Merit is reluctant to be a vampire not because she’s scared or disgusted by the type of creature she became but because she’s pissed that the sexy Liege of Cadogan House Ethan Sullivan made her a vampire without her agreement. Ok, I know that Merit had other projects than becoming a vampire, but come on girl!  It was either growing some fangs or dying. What choice did he have? 

Ethan is a jerk. The guy is like perpetually stuck in the 18th century (asking a girl to become your mistress, who does that? *shake head*), for that Merit is right to stand up to him. However, she can’t fault him for doing the only thing that could possibly save her life.
As for her family, well her parents are definitely not a piece of cake. Their reaction when she turned was sad, very sad, but isn’t Merit almost thirsty? If she can stand her ground with a very ancient supernatural creature, I think she can stand up to her human parents. Besides, there are way worse things than having emotionally cold, selfish parents.

An endearing or interesting personality might have saved Merit for me, but she didn’t even have that going on for her. She was everything you can expect from an urban fantasy heroine: witty, smart, headstrong, and independent *yawn*. Oh and Ethan her main love interest was an Alpha type of guy, you know sexy, controlling, powerful and...well I guess you get the picture.

These two fell in love at first sight. They had zero chemistry. And I couldn’t have cared less if they ended together or not.

Curiously, I kind of liked Ethan. I mean he’s smug as hell and he asked Merit to become his mistress and in exchange he would give her money, expensive clothes, cars...etc. That was so random and weird. Yet, I was still a bit intrigued by him. I suppose that it’s my female hormone reacting to his Alpha sensuality.

There were other characters than Merit and Ethan in this book. There was Mallory, Merit’s best friend who’s into anything supernatural and who turns out to be a powerful witch. Why are this author’s characters always so extra? There were also a bunch of other characters for whom I had from little to no interest.

After Merit was attacked, several woman that looked like her were murdered. So, she’s looking for her aggressor. Two third of the book was focused on boyhunting (I’m not kidding) and whining.  I swear if it wasn’t “Do you like him?”, “You definitely look horny”, “Boyyyys!” it was “Poor me, I’m a vampire”, “Who told him, he could make me a vampire?”.

The remaining of the book was actually about the plot. The ending was alright, everything was wrapped up nicely. However, it was fairly easy to guess who the culprit was.

It doesn’t come as a surprise if I say that one book of The Chicagoland Series was enough for me. I’m giving up. If it wasn’t because I was planning to review Some Girls Bite, I wouldn’t have finished it in the first place. I read half of Some Girls Bite book rigorously, the rest I skimmed through because I couldn’t take it anymore. Anyhow, It took me about SEVEN months to turn the last page of this book. Even Storm Front that I slammed left and right and Magician that bored me to death didn’t take me that long to finish. 

I didn’t dislike Some Girls Bite, I hated it. However, I don’t discourage anyone from reading it. Even though it wasn’t for me, I’m sure it can work for other people.


7 comments:

  1. Carla, this review was phenomenal! You really critiqued the heck out of it and I definitely enjoyed reading it. Would you say this is a definite Urban Fantasy or does it fall more in the Paranormal Romance realm?

    "To me Some Girls Bite was a generic urban fantasy novel of the blandest kind: headstrong heroine who’s life is on the line surrounded by sexy members of the supernatural and oddly attracted to a charismatic vampire. Add some action scene here and there and TADA! you’ve got the novel pictured."

    Bahahahaha. Sounds like this book might be good for someone with no experience reading UF or PNR. I love those genres, though, so this might not be for me.

    Seriously great review!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank You!!!! You have no idea how much I despise Some Girl Bite. Out of all the book I've read in my life, it was definitely the hardest one to finish. There's absolutly nothing I liked about this book. Some parts were ok, but most part of this book were completely WTF. I'll say that the author tried to write Urban Fantasy but ended up publishing Paranormal Romance.

    Strangely, this book is quite popular even among people who regularly read Urban Fantasy. But personally, I wouldn't recommend it to you except if you were a die hard sexy vampire fan and if you were into Urban Fantasy that flirts with Paranormal Romance.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh no I don't like whiny main characters at all! Especially as in this case it doesn't seem like she has anything to whine about at all - seeing as everything has been so conveniently lined up for her as well. I think this is going to be a hit and miss for me. Thanks for warning me away from it!

    I like the blog name change :3

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you for commenting!! I'm glad you enjoyed the name change, I wanted it to be funnier. Some Girls Bite would have been a much better book, if the main character wasn't so annoying. She had nothing to complain about. Beauty, wealth, supportive friends, intelligence, she had it all. Besides, even though the book is supposed to be urban fantasy, it reads more like paranormal romance. If you like stories with sexy vampire, you might want to give it a go. But don't expect much in terms of characters and plot development.

    ReplyDelete
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