Along with my (not so) mini reviews, I am linking to both Book Beginnings, a meme in which readers share the first sentence of a book they are reading, hosted by Gillion Dumas of Rose City Reader and Friday 56 hosted by Freda of Freda's Voice, in which readers share a random sentence or two from page 56 or 56% of the book they are reading.
I hope you all are enjoying your week, and that my American readers had a nice Thanksgiving! I am still playing catch up. This week I am featuring the first two books in Chloe Neill's Heirs of Chicagoland series, which I read recently.
I have not had much of an opportunity to read as of late, sadly. I had hoped the quiet of the holiday week would allow for some reading time, but it wasn't as much as I would have liked. I have been getting some much needed cleaning and straightening done, and Mouse and I went into my office on Wednesday to deliver the fundraiser products my coworkers were kind enough to buy. We are in the final stretch before The Nutcracker performances, which will be next weekend. We have three more dress rehearsals before that, and picture day is this Sunday.
Science Fiction; 352 pgs
"Noooooo! A little girl's voice echoed through the hallway. The cry was followed by footsteps, more yelling, and a petulant squeal.Friday 56 (excerpt from 56%):
"We don't have anything," Connor said. "We have a pin, some speculation"--he glanced up, gaz settling on my face--"and a bruise. None of that is going to free Riley. None of it is going to convince the Ombudsman that he's got the wrong man, especially if the other option is creating a supernatural war."My thoughts:
I am sure I have the first book of the Chicagoland Vampires series on my TBR pile somewhere. I was in the mood for vampires this Halloween season and starting with the first book in Chloe Neill’s Heirs to Chicagoland series seemed a more promising start since I won’t have far to go to catch up, with only two books in the series out so far. Although this book stands well on its own, I would not have minded having the background the original series offers, especially in regards to many of the past characters referenced. Something to look forward to, at least!
Elisa Sullivan is the first and only vampire born to vampire parents. She had left Chicago to strike out on her own, attending school in Paris, France with the well-respected Dumas House of Vampires, where no one cares whose daughter she is—or what she is. It’s also where she has been able to keep her inner demon at bay—a secret she’s managed to keep from everyone so far, with the exception of her childhood friend, Connor Keene, son of the king of the werewolves. And so it is with a little bit excitement and nervousness, she returns home to Chicago where peace talks hosted by her parents’ House are being held. The hope is to bring peace between the European Vampires. But when a diplomat is murdered, all bets are off. A shapeshifter is accused of the crime, but Elisa does not believe he could have done it. Joining up with a childhood friend, Connor Keene, and her best friend, Lulu Bell, she sets out to prove his innocence and find out who wants to foil the peace talks.
It has been awhile since I last read a vampire novel like this. I have drifted more toward shapeshifters, witches, and fae urban fantasy—although there are plenty of all of those in this one as well. The world building in this novel is detailed and well done. I imagine it helps that this new series has roots in an already established one. I enjoyed my first foray into it through this novel, however. Elisa is still very young, but is strong and skilled when it comes to fighting. She is also very smart and insightful. She knows when to play the diplomat and when to strike. At least most of the time. I am really curious to know the direction Neill will take Elisa’s best friend. Maybe it is because I am a sucker for anything witch-y—but I really like Lulu Bell’s character and am guessing her non-magic stance won’t last. The romance between Connor and Elisa takes a while to get off the ground, which worked well for both of their characters given the circumstances. I imagine they will have a difficult time of it given the politics of their species, in future books. Wild Hunger is high in intensity and action-packed. It was a lot of fun to read.
Fantasy; 352 pgs
While the humans slept, monsters raved.Friday 56 (excerpt from 56%):
"You are in my territory." Ronan's voice was low and dangerous. His eyes silvered, and his fangs descended, ad magic rose in the air, peppery and hot. I braced myself against the coming blow--and prepared to meet it.My thoughts:
Not long after I finished reading the first book in the series, I decided to read up the second. Wicked Hour picks up soon after the previous book leaves off. Elisa, the vampire born to vampire parents, finds herself at loose ends. She isn’t sure what her place is and exactly what she wants to do. For the time being, she is working with the Ombudsman’s office, but even that is not proving to be very satisfying. She is not sure what to make of shifter Connor Keene’s offer to accompany him to a private pack celebration. Is it personal or business? Probably a little of both. Connor wants Elisa there for her insight and to have someone extra he can trust on his side. Not to mention, it is an opportunity to start introducing his love interest to the pack he one day hopes to lead.
Upon arrival in Minnesota, it becomes clear that the situation there is somewhat volatile. The elders and the younger shapeshifters are on uneasy ground, one wanting to hold on to tradition and the other seeking change with the times. In addition, there appears to be a monster in the woods that is preying on the shifters.
I thoroughly enjoyed Wicked Hour and another visit into Neill’s world, this time in the north forest among the shapeshifters. Politics can be contentious at best, and it was interesting to delve more into pack politics, as well as get to know an outside faction of vampires. Connor and Elisa’s relationship continues to heat up in this second installment, but they are still taking in somewhat slow, feeling each other out. A lot takes place in Wicked Hour. Like the book before, it is high in action, and we see some familiar characters return. By the end, the reader gets an idea of what direction the series will take from here, and I am eager to find out what Elisa and Connor get up to next.
Have you given this series a try yet? If so, what did you think? Does it sound like something you might like?
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Be sure and tell me what you are reading and are up to!
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