Cover Image: Wild Hunger

Wild Hunger

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Elisa Sullivan finds herself in the middle of a murder mystery when she returns home in this spin-off to the popular Chicagoland Vampires series.

Wild Hunger is mediocre spin-off with too many details and little character development. The first third of the novel is an information dump on the previous series and general world-building. Elisa is a well-defined character, but she is not all that interesting. I can already tell this series will be about her learning to accept herself while understanding her place in the world. She has a romantic connection with Connor, but it’s really not explored in this novel. While I didn’t feel the chemistry between the two, others might pick up on it. I perhaps would have liked the two together if any time had been spent developing their relationship.

My biggest issue with the book truly comes down to the genre. I love fantasy, especially fantasy mixed with romance, but none of the urban fantasies I’ve read have ever really captured my attention. Sadly, Wild Hunger fails too. I think the genre lacks focus. It’s not quite a romance and it’s not quite a fantasy meaning both elements lack depth and substance. Those who love the genre, though, should still give this book a chance.

tl;dr A spin-off bogged down with too much backstory and too little character development for me. Urban fantasy fans, particular those of the Chicagoland Vampires series, should still give it a try.
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Neill's spin-off of her popular Chicagoland Vampires series starts off strong and continues the story of Merit and Ethan through their daughter Elisa, who recently returned from Paris and reunited with her longtime arch-nemesis Connor, the son of  werewolf pack leader Gabriel.  Harboring a secret that only Connor knows, the two find themselves working together when a diplomat is assassinate and a pack member is falsely accused.  
Neill always knocks it out of the park, and this was no exception.  A really great start to a new series.
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between honor and obligation, before Chicago disappears forever.

Release Date: August 14, 2018
Heirs of Chicagoland #1
Berkley Books
Urban Fantasy
Review copy provided by publisher

Liza's Review:

So the Chicagoland Vampire series might just be one of my favorite series of books I've ever read, even with some of the craziness that occurred. I was so sad to see it end last year, but super excited to find out we would be getting a spin-off to the series with Merit and Ethan's daughter Elisa Sullivan. Wild Hunger was a great start to this spin-off series. While I think readers would be able to understand the world a bit better if they had read the original Chicagoland series, I think the world is set up well enough to jump in if you want to start this series with this book.

I loved meeting the kids of the next generation. Between Elisa, Connor, and Lulu I almost felt like I was back with their parents. OMG Lulu is so much like her mom Mallory and Connor made me think of is dad Gabriel. Elise is so much like Merit and Ethan it made me laugh at times. Much as their parents before them, they really did come together to protect Chicago. 

Wild Hunger pulled me in pretty much from the first page. I never felt like the pacing of the story slowed down, and I loved being back in this world. Yes we had new players now, but I loved we also got to see so many of my favorite characters from the original series. They are all explained along the way, so new readers will have no issue following who they are as they are introduced.

I really enjoyed Wild Hunger and really can't wait to see where Chloe Neill takes this new series. I absolutely adored the action and the mystery in this story and loved the budding romance between Elise and Connor. They had such great chemistry between them and I absolutely loved their banter. I also loved every minute of the friendship between Lulu and Elise and have to say their time on the page together absolutely were some of my favorite parts ever. I loved being back in Chicago with favorite characters and some brand new favorite characters. I highly recommend Wild Hunger to fans of Urban Fantasy books.


Rating: 4 Stars (B)
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I loved Ethan & Merit in the Chicago Vampire series & I was super excited for their daughter to get her own book! And Chloe Neill did NOT disappoint!! This book kept me on the edge of my seat!!
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Full disclosure: I didn't read the Chicagoland series that this is a spin off from. Therefore, I'm not familiar with the older generations within this book, nor the writing style of this author. That being said, please note that my review is based solely on THIS book and my opinion. 

Elisa is the first, full bred, vampire born to Ethan and Merit of the previous series. Although she's technically the princess, she needed to find her self worth. Why? Because there's something different about her. Not just being full blood born. There's something, someone, within her that she's been hiding. After living and studying in France for four years, she's volunteering a year of service to the French vampire House/Delegates. So she finds herself returning home to Chicagoland to assist in negotiations for peace among all vampire Houses. But returning home has stirred the monster within. And running in to old friends have sparked new emotions. 

Conner is the prince of the shifter family that has been a part of the Vampire House for many years, due to the peace treaty in Chicagoland. He was also the annoying young boy who grew up with Elisa, constantly teasing and torturing each other. But he's all grown up now. In fact, he's vying to be Apex when his father decides to "retire". Part his Pack's agreement with the Vampire House has been to provide security during events. It's at one of the events that he sees Elisa again and it appears that she's not the only one who's grown up over the last four years. But there's a job to be done and a trip he has to prepare for. 

As you read the story, you'll meet additional characters, but I'll stick to these two since they are the focal point in the blurb. I mention this because although they interact with each other throughout the story, I found that the "romance" and/or build up toward the romance was more about friends than lust or "attraction". 

I have read many PNR books. While this one's POV is mainly focused on the vampire side, there are shifters and faeries in this as well. But I'm sad to say that while Conner is a shifter, we only witness him (or anyone else for that matter) in his shifter form ONCE. ONCE!!!! And he's supposed to be one of the main characters? I also felt that the climax was a bit anti-climactic, only to leave me hanging with a cliffhanger Epilogue that of course pulls me in a little because, OMG, there might be some romance!!! And then.....

All in all, the building of the characters took a while, but worth understanding. Once the story started to take, it sparked my interest. But right when I was starting to get in to it, it unfortunately fizzled for me. But the writing was very well done and I can see that the series has the potential to draw me back in. Here's to crossing fingers..... 

reviewed by Chris
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3.5 Stars

If you love the Chicagoland Vampire series and you need more with a new generation of characters than this book is for you. Familiarity abounds in Neill’s Wild Hunger, which wraps the reader up in a warm cozy well worn sweater of characters and locations. Mystery takes precedent over romance in this taunt Urban Fantasy novel.
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*Source* Publisher
*Genre* Urban Fantasy
*Rating* 3.5-4

Series Overview: Vampire Elisa Sullivan and shifter Connor Keene must overcome paranormal feuds in the city of Chicago.

Wild Hunger is the first installment in author Chloe Neill's Heirs of Chicagoland spin-off series. 

Series: Heirs Of Chicagoland # 1
Format: Paperback, 352 pages
Release Date: August 14, 2018
Publisher: Berkley
Source: Publisher
Genre: Fantasy / Paranormal / Urban


WHAT'S GOOD
-World-building
-Characters
-Takes place 23 years after the finale of Blade Bound

WHAT'S BAD
-slow burn romance
-political intrigue and players are not subtle
-real action takes place in the final 1/3 of the story
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Chole Neil is back with the spin off of Chicagoland.  It checked all the boxes, it was entertaining and enjoyable. It made  me miss the older novels in the Merit /Ethan series, but  I'm in  for the next novel. Neil writes great urban fiction.
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THE BLURB
As the only vampire child ever born, some believed Elisa Sullivan had all the luck. But the magic that helped bring her into the world left her with a dark secret. Shifter Connor Keene, the only son of North American Central Pack Apex Gabriel Keene, is the only one she trusts with it. But she's a vampire and the daughter of a Master and a Sentinel, and he's prince of the Pack and its future king.

When the assassination of a diplomat brings old feuds to the fore again, Elisa and Connor must choose between love and family, between honor and obligation, before Chicago disappears forever.

MY REACTION
Wow! What a way to start a new series. I've been a fan of Chloe Neill for quite some time now. In this new venture, which is filled with ALL THE SNARK, we meet Elisa, the daughter of vampires from the Chicagoland Vampire series. While I would absolutely recommend reading that series first (mainly because it's amazing but also because this is technically a series spin-off), Neill does a fantastic job reminding the reader of all the important bits we should remember from the series' predecessor. I really enjoy the characters in this series, and I appreciate the cameos from past stories. I absolutely recommend this series if you enjoy urban fantasy and snarky heroines.
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Elisa Sullivan and Connor Keene have fought since they were merely children. Elisa has been training in Paris for four years before returning home to Chicago for peace talks. The four Chicago vampire houses are hosting peace talks in an effort to stop the ongoing warring occurring overseas between Western European vampire houses. Unfortunately, the talks go awry when a diplomat is assassinated. Can Elisa and Connor put their childhood differences aside and work to stop a dangerous plot?

WILD HUNGER is the first book in the Heirs of Chicagoland series, a spin-off series from the oh-so-fabulous Chicagoland Vampires series. I won’t deny that I approached WILD HUNGER with some trepidation. I absolutely love Ethan Sullivan, Merit, Gabriel Keene, and all the other characters featured in the original series and I just wasn’t sure how I would adjust to them taking a back burner on any new adventures. However, Chloe Neill doesn’t disappoint as I love this next generation of the vampires and shifters!

Elisa Sullivan is our main heroine and she has all the spunkiness you would expect from the daughter of Ethan Sullivan and Merit. Elisa has a secret she keeps hidden from her parents, one that Connor has kept for her despite their love/hate relationship over the years. And oh… Connor Keene! He stole my heart in WILD HUNGER as he appears to be every bit the sexy bad boy biker and yet he has a soft spot for Elisa. 

At its core, WILD HUNGER is more urban fantasy than paranormal romance and Chloe Neill shines in this genre. WILD HUNGER digs deep into supernatural politics worldwide as Chloe Neill tackles a whole new generation of vampires, shifters, and fairies. Chloe Neill is an instant read for me and WILD HUNGER is yet another prime example as to why.  If you love your urban fantasy full of kick butt action, then WILD HUNGER is a great place to start with Chloe Neill’s phenomenal books.

*review is in the editing queue at Fresh Fiction*
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Wild Hunger is the first book in Chloe Neill's new Heirs of Chicagoland series, a spin off from her popular Chicagoland Vampires books but set 20 years in the future and staring the next generation. While I do think you could start here if you've not read the previous books you will pick up spoilers for the original series and since I love the books so much I'd definitely recommend starting at the beginning and working up to the spin off.

This story is narrated by Elisa Sullivan, daughter of Merit and Ethan, and the only ever born vampire so Elisa's life has always been watched closely by the vampires of Chicago. As much as she loves her family she has spent the last 4 years living in Paris to get away from the spotlight and the only reason she is returning to Chicago now is to help run security for peace talks between the European vampires that Cadogan and the other Chicago vampires are hosting. Elisa is keeping big secrets from her parents about the magic she was born with and how much she struggles to control it. The only person who knows her secret is her childhood nemesis Connor (wolf shifter and son of Gabriel Keene, Apex of the North American Central Pack) and that's only because he's seen first hand the damage she can do if she loses control. When an assassination threatens to bring the peace talks crashing down it is up to Elisa and Connor to figure out what is really going on but they're going to have to put aside their childhood animosity to do it.

I love it when authors put a fresh spin on much loved series so I was really looking forward to this spin off and it was just as much fun as I hoped it would be. It was nice being able to dive back into a familiar world and see a few of the old faces but it was also great to get to know the next generation and see the story go in a new direction. Elisa was great, it was a little frustrating that she wouldn't ask for help with her magic but I could understand her desire to stand on her own two feet and I liked her independent streak. She has a pretty good relationship with her parents but I was glad that they didn't have a huge role to play because this should be Elisa's story not a continuation of Merit's. Connor was a fun character too and I enjoyed the way they teased each other constantly, they grew up together and at times they still bicker like the children they once were but you can tell there's a nice amount of chemistry bubbling along under the surface so I've got high hopes on the romance front.

Alongside Elisa and Connor we also get to meet Mallory and Catcher's daughter Lulu and I loved the friendship between her and Elisa. Lulu is afraid of becoming addicted to dark magic like her mother did so she's refusing to use her powers at all and instead focuses on her art but she still steps up to help when Elisa needs her. There are plenty of other characters introduced, particularly from the NAC Pack, who I think will have a larger role as the series continues and I'm also very curious to find out whether we'll see more of the vampire house that Elisa had been living with in France.

Wild Hunger was a great start to the series and I'll be preordering the next book just like I did with the original series.
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This was good.  I decided to read this book largely because I have been enjoying Chloe Neill's Devil's Isle series and I noticed that this book was the start of a new series.  I didn't initially realize that this series is a spin off of the Chicagoland Vampires series so I was a little nervous after I made that discovery since I have only read the first book from that series.  I am happy to report that this book works perfectly fine as a starting point and there is no need to have read the Chicagoland Vampires series to enjoy this novel.

This book starts out very strong.  Elisa is in Paris with a friend when the area is attacked and she springs into action.  Tensions are high among the European vampires so representatives from the areas go to Chicago to discuss peace.  Elisa hasn't been home to Chicago in years but she is determined to help make these peace talks successful. 

I really enjoyed the characters in this book.  Elisa was very smart and resourceful.  She knew how to handle herself and was willing to take necessary risks.  She did have fears and worked hard to hide certain things from others.  Connor was absolutely wonderful.  He is the son of the local werewolf pack and has known Elisa since they were kids.  He was smart, tough, protective, and incredibly sexy.  Lulu, Elisa's best friend, added some laughs to the story.  She was very competent and seemed to be exactly what Elisa needed at times.  Theo worked very well with Elisa and proved that even humans could hold their own with all of the supernaturals in the area.

There was a really well done mystery at the core of this story.  There is a murder that needs to be solved but nobody in charge seems to want to look beyond the surface.  Elisa knows that there is more to the story so she works to figure out what is really going on.  There is plenty of excitement and a few twists and turns that kept me guessing.  I thought that there was a really nice balance of creativity, action, character development, humor, and a touch of romance.

I would recommend this series to others.  Elisa and her friends were all really strong characters trying to solve a rather complex mystery.  I do look forward to future installments in this series.

I received a digital review copy of this book from Berkley Publishing Group via NetGalley.
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I have been on a UF kick lately, and Chloe Neill definitely contributed to my obsession. I'm still trying to get bearing in her world since this is my first book by her but I am definitely in. 

So good! Great action and great heroine!
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This was a 3.5 for me. I loved the Chicagoland Vampire series, but this one was a bit off. I love Merit but Elisa just didn't measure up. Not to mention that the romance didn't quite fit. Don't get me wrong, I'll still read the next one but I was just disappointed. 

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book, which I voluntarily chose to review.
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Elisa Sullivan is the first child of a vampire couple and she is just returned to Chicago to negotiate a peace agreement  among the European vampires in Wild Hunger by Chloe Neill.  All hell breaks loose as the elves try to  
upend the negotiations and a murder occurs.  Read an enjoyable paranormal romp, the first in a new series.
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WILD HUNGER was a fun return to the world of the Chicagoland Vampires series featuring the next generation of paranormal or paranormal adjacent characters. I liked that while you see many of the same characters from the Chicagoland Vampires series, it is it's own thing with characters dealing with different, more complex issues. The story is darker and delved more into the inner workings of the faeries, a paranormal group who weren't that front and center in the previous series. I felt like the murder mystery plot was decent with a lot of set up for some other more interesting plot points in future books.

Elise Sullivan, the daughter of Ethan and Merit from the previous series is an excellent mix of her parents. She also has some of Merit's food obsessions. I felt like she was a bit more serious than Merit which lead to the darker feel of WILD HUNGER. She's dealing with some bigger issues both internally and externally so it makes sense that she's a bit more angsty at times. It would be really easy to fall into the same relationship patterns that Merit had with her friends and Ethan but Elise is truly her own person with very different relationships than her mother had. I liked her relationship with her best friend, Lulu which seemed very realistic. I am also enjoying the very slow burn romance between Elise and Connor.

WILD HUNGER is a good start to a new spin-off series that has echos of the former without feeling like a rehash of the same plot points but with different names. I'm excited to see what trouble Elise gets into and what new revelations about this world come about.
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I hadn’t read any of the books in the Chicagoland series, but since this is a spin off it wasn’t necessary. The story was a bit slow to start, but once the conflict got underway the story picked up the pace and kept it up. All of the characters were likable, and the villain was just heinous enough for a starter heroine. There was one minor issue and one major issue for me. The minor one being semi-instalove. I say semi because Elisa and Connor did grow up together. However it was instalove because they went from being contemptuous to hard core making out. But there was no event that prompted the shift in their relationship. It would’ve been nice to have a moment between their fighting and kissing. It didn’t need to be sappy, just something a bit deeper than wow you got hot. Especially since Connor had a girlfriend, who he just dumped again without us seeing any reasoning or motivation to do so. 

The major issue was Elisa. She was likable, but her whining was annoying from the start. Her being a young adult trying to figure out her place in the world was normal. Her whining about her privileged background as if it was some obstacle was annoying. Her childhood was loving in a peaceful Chicago. Her parents are awesome and encouraging. She did not grow up in a gilded cage bogged down by expectations. She had great friends and an extended family of amazing aunts and uncles. Her family is rich, so money was never an issue. When it was time for her to spread her wings no one held her back, and she left at the same age her peers who finish HS do to head off to college. So what was her damage? I know that many of the characters that made an appearance are beloved from the original series, but she could’ve used a major loss. She needed something to snap her into reality. Her life is amazing, she needed something to make her appreciate it not complain about it. Also considering who her parents are I had a hard time believing that they had no idea about her “monster” and that she never felt comfortable talking to them so they could figure out as a family what exactly was going on. But that aside I did enjoy the book and will be reading the next in the series.
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Three stars: A book that is mired down in too much detail.

Elisa is headed back home to Chicago after being in Paris for almost a year. Elisa is the only vampire child ever born. She is the daughter of Ethan and Merit, the powerful heads of Cadogan House in Chicago. One of the reasons Elisa ran to Paris is because she is hiding a dark secret, one that she hasn’t even told her parents. A powerful magic lives inside her, fueled by anger and rage. Elisa must work every day to keep it in check. Once back in Chicago, disaster strikes at the peace talks. A powerful vampire is murdered, and a shapeshifter is blamed. Elisa doesn’t believe that a shapeshifter is behind the murder. She endeavors to find out who really killed the vampire, and she receives help from an unexpected source. Connor, the son of the Central Pack Apex, her childhood nemesis, steps up and helps her out. Will they find the truth?
What I Liked:
*I picked up Wild Hunger having only read the first book in the Chicago Vamps Series. I will say that I never felt lost not having read the preceding series because Ms. Neill does an excellent job of filling in all the details so the reader is up to speed. 
*Elisa was a kick butt character, and I enjoyed getting to know her. She is a powerful vampire, she kicks butt and takes names. I liked that she was a take charge girl and that she didn’t use her parents influence to help her. She is fierce and deadly. I was curious about the Monster, and I am even more interested in seeing how she learns to wield this power. 
*I enjoyed getting to know Connor and Lulu, Elisa’s best friends. Connor is all kinds of hot and sexy. 
*I am sure fans of The Chicago Vamps Series will love catching up with all the old characters from the series. It seems like most of the gang is here. It made me want to go back and read the first series. 
*The mystery was good even if it was easy to surmise who was behind the murders. It was interesting to learn the how and why and see it all play out.
*The book ends in a good place. No cliffhanger, but some interesting clues are dropped for the next book. 
And The Not So Much:
*While I appreciated that Ms. Neill took time to catch the reader up to speed, it got to the point where all the info dump bogged down the story. The first third of the book is mostly introductions and catch up as she introduces characters and all that. The first portion of the book was slow going and dull. Not to mention, there are so many characters to keep track of, it became overwhelming. 
*The romance comes out of nowhere. Yes, it was set up from the first pages, but it goes from Elisa being rescued by a hot shapeshifter whom she used to not be able to stand, to her suddenly professing that she might be falling in love with him after only hanging out three times? What?? I was expecting banter and antagonistic meetings before it turned into a romance. As it stands, the romance was rushed. A big disappointment. 
*It was easy to piece together who was behind the murder. No big surprise there. 
*Elisa’s big secret was weird. I don’t understand how she managed to hide it from her parents all those years, nor do I get why she didn’t confide in them. It was kind of lame.
*This is my opinion, but I felt like Ms. Neill slowed the story down with lots of unnecessary detail. For instance, I didn’t need the wardrobe of all the females described in excess over and over. I don’t really care what they are wearing all the time. 

Wild Hunger is a book that I am sure devout fans of Chicago Vamps will love, but if you are a new comer, it might be a tougher sell. There were things I liked about the book, but I found it hard to get into as the first part of the book is a big information dump as Ms. Neill tries to catch you up to speed. The romance was also a disappointment, it was rushed and lacked the buildup and chemistry that I craved. I think this one would have been better if I had read the other series first. 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review. 
Posted@Rainy Day Ramblings.
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I think that you’re either a vampire person, or you’re not. They’re doesn’t seem to be a lot of gray area there, in my experience. I’ve been a vampire person since I first saw Buffy the Vampire Slayer and realized that it was possible to save a gymnasium full of people in an impossibly huge dress and win the love of a 90s era Luke Perry. I’ve covered a lot of vampire ground since then and I’m happy to report that we have a new smart, fierce vampire story to add to the conversation: Chloe Neill’s Wild Hunger, the first book in her Heirs of Chicagoland series—a spin-off of her wildly popular Chicagoland Vampires series.
 
In Wild Hunger, we get Elisa, vampire daughter of Ethan and Merit, and Connor, shifter son of Gabriel and Tonya. They kinda sorta can’t stand each other at the beginning. Elisa and Connor have grown up teasing, taunting, and fighting each other, but Elisa’s return from a long sojourn in Paris gives them opportunity to get to know each other again.
 
What they find is surprising.
 
But they don’t have a lot of time to dwell on that, because Connor is heading to Alaska to re-commune with the Earth and his Pack, and Elisa is headed back to Paris, but first they have to prove that Riley, one of their friends and a member of Connor’s Pack, didn’t murder a vampire at a party celebrating the beginning of European vampire peace talks.
 
Whew.
 
Complicating everything is the monster living inside Elisa.
 
Elisa’s the only existing offspring of vampires, and so it’s easier to hide her little problem: there’s also huge magic inside her. It feels dangerous and deadly, and she tries to suppress it because she knows it’s related to a wicked sorceress and how her mother Merit became pregnant with her in the first place.
 
Only Connor has seen the monster inside Elisa that she tries to ignore. Will it bring them together or pull them apart?
 
Told in first person from Elisa’s perspective, Wild Hunger is deftly told—it’s vivid and gripping. I love a fierce heroine, and Elisa is strong and compassionate, not afraid to risk herself if it might help someone she cares about. It doesn’t hurt that she’s skilled with katanas and has a monster inside her. Elisa's relationship with Connor is pretty chaste and straightforward at this point, but I have my doubts that will last long, particularly since the tension in this world is so high already. Elisa is a vampire and Connor is a shifter, and though they are wildly attracted to one another, a lot of people don’t want those to mix. Add to that volatility fairies, and you’ve got a real powder keg situation.
 
Like in her other books that I’ve read, Neill offers us in Wild Hunger a thoroughly and thoughtfully created world. Though the stakes are always high—we’re talking world domination and peace on Earth, people—Neill doesn’t forego the personal either. Defeating enemies and preventing them from subjugating others to their terror-filled reigns is important, yes, but so are relationships and love.
 
When I left this book—regretfully—I was both satisfied with how the plot worked out and already looking forward to the next one. I have my suspicions about where it will all go, but since Neill is the author, I know I’ll also be surprised.
 
I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley but all opinions provided are my own.
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As an avid fan of the Chicagoland Vampires, I was super excited about this book! First off, I definitely recommend reading the other series in full as well as book 13.5 Slaying It (a novella of an adventure during Merit's pregnancy with Elisa).

So, some twenty odd years have passed. Elisa is all grown up, so is Connor (and Catcher and Mallory's daughter Lulu). Elisa has returned to Chicago after leaving for Paris to finish school and on a quest to find herself.  As the only person ever 'born' a vampire and as Ethan and Merit's kid, it hasn't always been easy. Plus, she's never told anyone but Connor about the dark magical secret that dwells inside her. 

Neill does what she does best. She's built an intriguing narrative rife with romance, action, adventure and tension (both political and inter-species). I'm really looking forward to future books to see how the characters develop and what is in store for Chicago!

Final rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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