H B I C R E V I E W - by Parajunkee
Preconceived notions were ablaze when I downloaded this much anticipated novel to my handy-dandy kindle. For one I had been already following Chloe Neill's blog and twitter posts, so I had an idea of her writing skills, I had read a few reviews and all had me excited to read this novel. I was pretty sure all that it would entail - I guess, how can I put this - I was pretty sure what the flavor of the book was going to be. Whoa, boy was I wrong. First off it wasn't a bad surprise, not at all, much like if I bought Winn-Dixie brand chocolate ice cream, cause I couldn't afford the good sheet, and instead got me some Half-Baked Ben & Jerry's happiness inside the box instead. (I'm on an ice cream analogy kick) Definitely a happy moment.
I had judged the cover. Typical vampy girl cover. I had judged the title. Witty, with a little sex for spice. I had judged the synopsis - and expected just your typical, girl becomes paranormal unexpectedly, girl is like the super-paranormal variety, girl has hots for maker...hijinks ensue. I'm glad I was proven wrong. This novel was so much more than the other typical vamp novels out there. There was a depth to this novel that explored aspects that other urban fantasy novels don't even come close to tackling. The relationships were deeper, emotions ran deeper and even the thought processes of the characters were more in-depth. Chloe Niell knows how to spin an in-depth tale, from her background, to her sub-plots everything was tight and entertaining. It had me thinking and guessing and never once coming to the right conclusions.
Merit, the main character has what she believes is a good solid life. Graduate student, working on her dissertation, living with her best friend in a great house. Her parents aren't that supportive but her gramps is there for her. Everything changes for her when she is attacked on campus and luckily, or unluckily she is found by one of Chicago's master vampires and he changes her into one of them.
Vamps are out of the closet in this novel, so her change is made public. Merit isn't too happy about this either, since vamps aren't exactly accepted and the college where she attends doesn't allow vampires to enroll, bye bye dissertation. On top of it, the master vamp, Mr. Hottie Ethan Sullivan, who is very attractive - and also attracted right back is trying to put the moves on her. His mistress is giving her the evil eye - the rival house is baiting her - and she is finding out some weird stuff about her family and friends. Merit's world is really going off kilter. Yet, Merit just might manage to make it, with the help of some old friends, family and few new friends she makes along the way.
A must read book for my fellow fang fans. Recommended for readers of LKH, Briggs and Mead. Also a great place to start an urban fantasy addiction. I can't wait to move on to the next installment, Friday Night Bites. Blog with Bite Rating: 4/4
Chloe Niell's Website
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Discussion Questions for Blog with Bite:
- Obviously the issues of social status and class are used in this story, do you feel Merit is above the simplistic ideology in this book, or is she the typical character: shuns away from the idea of being better than others but loves her status, in both the vampire and human worlds?
- While yes, the book gives a very simplistic view on class status - it is rather true to life. Families do tend to put appearances before well being in a lot of things, and while Merit shuns away from this, status like a lot of vices is a love/hate relationship I believe. You love it when it works in your favor, hate it when it defines you and puts you in a box. I really believe Merit is trying her hardest to step out of that box. She doesn't seem to be using her parents money for anything, or using their name to get her any places. Yet, the one big BUT is that she retains the family name as her sole name - why?
- What motivations do you believe pushed Amber to behave the way she did? Her cattiness seemed rather shallow, but could it only be cattiness that had her acting the way she did in the end?
- Amber was kind of an enigma for me, her shallow responses to Merit were just typical stupid girl tricks. Yet, the ending through me off. This was the one part of the book that I was unsure about. SPOILER. Why did Amber assist Celina? It seemed to be Celina's intention to kill Ethan. Yet, in the end Merit believes Celina's knew Merit was there the entire time. I was very confused. Why if Amber was the jealous mistress would she want Ethan dead, you would think she would be plotting to destroy Merit not Ethan. Or was she so distraught over Ethan's wandering eye that she decided to be rid of him?
- Do you see a House of her own in Merit's future?
- Yes, in face I thought maybe Navarre House might be in her future, since it seems to be lacking real leadership.
- Which vamp are you hoping Merit ends up with?
- I banking on option #3. While Ethan has the hots down pat, he is rather stoic and simplistic. Mason, well I think he might have something up his sleeve.