I have been reading this series since early 2012 (although book 1 was published in 2009). This is the very last book in the series. I read twelve full-length novels and a few novellas to get to this point.
First of all, I’d like to make it clear that no author (except for yours truly, obviously) has any right to end a series before I tell them they can. BUT fine. Whatever. GO AHEAD CHLOE NEILL. Deprive me of Chicago food and Ethan and more descriptions of Chicago food. (Eleanor is almost as hungry as Merit.) Also, Catcher & Mallory & Luke & Jeff & Lindsay & GRANDPA MERIT!
Ahem. I’m fine. *wipes away tear surreptitiously*
I am not going to lie, readers. I was worried about this book. Worried a lot. There has been an elephant hanging over the story-line (what? who doesn’t love a mixed metaphor?) for lo! at least two-thirds of the series. I don’t want to give away too much in case you’ve not read the series, but honestly, telling you about the elephant gives away exactly jack shit, because it’s just a random fucking prophecy. (A BABY prophecy. A vampire baby prophecy.)
I hate “having a baby to wrap up a series.” To me, it smacks overmuch of “now our lives are complete and wrapped up in a bow.” (Ahem, Cat & Bones-Jeaniene Frost.) So, having a baby elephant for most of the series was upsetting. You can’t just have secret prophecies and then wrap them up in the epilogue of the last book.
OR CAN YOU?
Since the night of her brutal attack and unwilling transformation to vampire, Merit’s stood as Sentinel and protector of Chicago’s Cadogan House. She’s saved the Windy City from the forces of darkness time and again with her liege and lover, Ethan Sullivan, by her side.
When the House is infiltrated and Merit is attacked by a vampire seemingly under the sway of dark magic, Merit and Ethan realize the danger is closer than they could have ever imagined. As a malign sorcery spreads throughout the city, Merit must go to war against supernatural powers beyond her comprehension. It’s her last chance to save everything—and everyone—she loves.
I was prepared to be angry. Or disappointed. But I wasn’t! (I realize that’s not a shining endorsement since I went into it with such low exceptions, but I liked it, I swear!)
Because my PSM is not as brave as I am, she let me finish it first before diving in. I texted her at various points to say things like “this isn’t a spoiler, but if it was snowing on me in August in Chicago, I wouldn’t be outside trying to catch snowflakes with my tongue,” and “when I get married, I’m going to have trousseau.” (Also at my wedding? WEDDING LLAMAS! AND A MINI-WEDDING-UNICORN!)
The book opens with Ethan and Merit’s wedding. What’s kinda funny is that this book, as I mentioned, is the 13th in the series. And Ethan and Merit have only known each other for a year. That is one hell of a year.
Things, of course, went south quickly. (Although I understand why a full-length novel about how their wedding and honeymoon were perfect except her stupid dad was stupid and GROW UP MR. MERIT AND ALSO MERIT’S DOUCHEY BROTHER, and then they had a peaceful few months where they ate many delicious foods and had lots of sex isn’t your typical book, I still would’ve read it.)
So then, magical badness. Of course. And way less Gabriel shifter presence than I would’ve liked.
Overall, though, I really did like the way this was wrapped up. Except for the damn epilogue, of course.
I imaged she’d tried to pick an outfit appropriate for the Busy Dragon Rider on the Go. Bummer she hadn’t added a pointed hat.
“Girl takes her role as DM a little too seriously,” Catcher murmured.
heh. Who doesn’t love a D&D reference?
“Is it better if we’re objectifying his body and his brain?” Margo asked.
Yes, Margo, it is. So sayeth the Amy.
The French may make irritating vampires, but they make very good bubbles.
I do love me some bubbles. And last, but not least…
“You were born Caroline, and you made yourself Merit. I demand your love and your faithfulness.” He smiled slyly. “Your identity is yours to keep.”
I am sad that it’s over. I’m gonna miss Merit and Ethan, and rather than wrapping up the elephant, I wish they’d wrapped up Merit’s crap family and dropped them in the Chicago River.
Whether you’ve never read the series or you’ve been waiting for this one as anxiously as I did, you really can’t go wrong if you enjoy urban fantasy, sexy Scandinavian vampires, and a group of friends that can crack wise at every opportunity.