Review: Drink Deep by Chloe Neill

Posted January 14th, 2012 in book review / 15 comments

Drink Deep

Book #5 of the Chicagoland Vampires Series

by Chloe Neill

Publisher: New American Library (November 2011)
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 321 (paperback)
Source: Personal Library
Purchase at: Amazon / Book Depository
Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3 stars)

Clouds are brewing over Cadogan House, and recently turned vampire Merit can’t tell if this is the darkness before the dawn or the calm before the storm. With the city itself in turmoil over paranormals and the state threatening to pass a paranormal registration act, times haven’t been this precarious for vampires since they came out of the closet. If only they could lay low for a bit, and let the mortals calm down.

That’s when the waters of Lake Michigan suddenly turn pitch black-and things really start getting ugly.

Chicago’s mayor insists it’s nothing to worry about, but Merit knows only the darkest magic could have woven a spell powerful enough to change the very fabric of nature. She’ll have to turn to friends old and new to find out who’s behind this, and stop them before it’s too late for vampires and humans alike.

The Good
Merit has a lot on her plate. Her House has tasked her with the nearly impossible: finding out who is bringing down Chicago, one magical element at a time. No pressure, right? But that’s not all. Merit, along with the rest of Cadogan House, is also dealing with the after effects of the untimely demise of her Master, Ethan Sullivan. One of these nasty after effects happens to be Frank Cabot, the vampire who wants to see the House fall then rise under his name.

When I started this series, I was pretty much an obsessed fan from the get go. I was team Merit and Ethan all the way. I loved the story, the action, and the politics. But my obsession has slowly dwindled down to just a fond liking of the series as it stands. I feel each book is slowly losing the quality that I hoped would continue from book one. That being said, I still enjoyed Drink Deep, but not with as much vigor as the first few.

I do and always will love Merit. I love her personality, her tenacity, her drive. Plus, she has kickass skills with a Katana sword. Gotta admire a girl with steel. Reading about her and Ethan has been quite entertaining, even when it was sad. Like many, I was devastated when Ethan died. However, I like when people die. Wait, before you call the Po-Po on me, I meant to say, I like when authors kill off main characters. It may be heart-wrenching, I may be depressed for a couple days, I may eat waaaaay too much chocolate to drown my sorrows, but I think it spices thing up, makes the series unpredictable.

So with Ethan dead, I was super excited when Jonah and Merit started getting close in this book. Ethan’s bipolar tendencies when it comes to loving Merit always bothered me, so I was glad to see someone more stable getting his flirt on with our girl.

The action was okay. I did like the hairy situations Neill placed Merit in. I truly didn’t know what was going to happen next. I like to be surprised, especially since I’ve noticed that many books in urban fantasy have become a little predictable.

Personally, Frank Cabot was the best part of this book. He is such a great villain because he isn’t an obvious bad guy. We all know what he is doing is super devious and underhanded but he maintains an outer shell of righteousness. Even though it frustrates the hell out of me, I enjoyed watching Frank’s plans reveal themselves ever-so-slowly.

We get to meet a couple new supernatural characters in Drink Deep, which I think was a nice touch. I like my urban fantasy packed with various creatures and species.  

I wasn’t too surprised by the ending but, even though I saw it coming, it was still shocking. I can’t believe Neill went there. But I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. She has made it apparent that she has no limits on what she does to her much beloved characters.

The Bad
I am kind of getting tired of Merit not really doing anything. Yeah, she researches the problem and talks to people in the know, but she rarely has anything to do with defeating the bad guy anymore. I felt like I was reading The Day in the Life of Merit this time around, not an action packed, urban fantasy novel.

Um, can anybody say ‘convenient?’ That’s how I classify the big “reveal” at the end of this novel.

I think this novel was simply dragged out. I could easily put it down time after time and not pick it up for a day or two. For me, the only really exciting parts were when Frank Cabot got his nails deeper into the Cadogan House.

The Snuggly
We don’t get any good snuggle in this book. Just kisses. Though, I loved the kisses.

I want Merit to have more to do with getting the bad guy or saving the day. It’s like she’s always the forerunner but someone else always arrives and does the dirty work. I can’t say this book wasn’t entertaining in it’s own way, but the spark has fizzled a little. For people who are already following this series, this is a must read. Too many important things happen that you need to be aware of. I am just hoping the next book has a little more flare.

Memorable Quotes (I am a total, full-on, Evil Dead fan, so…)

“What’s your schedule tonight? We’re thinking about an Evil Dead and Army of Darkness marathon.”

I blinked. “Like, the Bruce Campbell movies?”

The table went silent.

“Show a little respect, Merit,” Lindsey said with more than a little offense. “Have you ever been overtaken by a Candarian demon?”

I glanced among them all, trying to ferret out whether they were joking or I had stepped into some kind of Bruce Campbell cult. “Not in the last few hours.”

“Yeah, well, it’s not really funny, is it? With the crazy eyes and uncontrollable limbs.” She shivered, and I honestly couldn’t tell if she was serious.

A special thanks to saz101 (Sarah) for being made of the most premium awesome sauce known to man.

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15 Responses to “Review: Drink Deep by Chloe Neill”

  1. Kate

    I didn’t think this book was as fun as the rest of the series. You’re right about Merit not really being part of the climactic action. Good review.

    p.s. I had fun hating Frank too 🙂

  2. Sarah (saz101)

    “my obsession has slowly dwindled down to just a fond liking of the series as it stands.”
    *sigh* I don’t want to admit it, but I’m kind of in agreement with you here :*(

    Having said that, so far it’s only been Drink Deep than really dissapointed me. I enjoyed it, but not that much more… you’ve basically hit the nail on the head for me… the series–and Drink Deep in particular–could be so, SO much more… but yeah :/

    Ugh! I freaking HATE Frank. Like the loody bureucratic ASS that shows up in One Grave At A Time–what was his name? Jason something?–I can’t stand paper-pushing villains, hiding behind rules and twisting the systems there to protect the people they should be protecting to prosper themselves. *shakes with fury* But… uh, I kind of think anything that can ellicit that level of reaction in me? Awesome 😉

    I have high hopes for Biting Cold. Maybe with Merit out of the house, and on the road, she’ll have the be more independant and solve this. Aaaaannd… I’m sad about the BFF situation. The relationship between Merit and Mallory has always been one of my fave parts of the series, so I hope this finds a happy ending.

    *sigh* That pretty much sums up my feelings about the book. It had so SO many fantastic parts, but altogether? The spark just wasn’t burning as bright as I wanted.

    OMFG! You’re and Evil Dead fan? *thumbs chest* ME TOOOOO! I frigging love Bruce Cambhell! Seriously! I squeal like a Justin Bieber fan whenever i see him in ANYTHING, and EVIL DEAD! EVIL DEAD!

    “It got into my hand, and it went bad, so I cut it off at the wrist — AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!” <33333

    ALSO ALSO! EEEE! Glad your box it working 😀

    OK! I’m ending my essay/commment now. Promise 😀

    • Jennifer L. Bielman

      Oh yeah, I’m totally a part of the Frank Hating Association too but he did make things exciting.

      I didn’t want to mention too much about Mallory, but I agree, their relationship as it stands now makes my eyes sad. 🙁 Their humor and banter back and forth totally made me love this series.

      OMG, we need to start a EVIL DEAD club. I have huge love for Bruce. Anyone who can cut off their own hand cuz it’s possessed by a demon is my kind of guy. HAHA.

      Thanks again for all your help. 🙂

    • Sarah (saz101)

      Yesss, the Mallory thing breaks my heart. The banter between them and the getting-each-other-without-saying-a-word was one of the things that made me fall in love with the series. I hope it gets betterr… and I’m sorry–I didn’t mean to be spoilery :S

      OMG! YES! If you start an ED fan club, I am IN! I love love LOVE THE BRUCE. Have you seen Bubba Ho-Tep? He’s HILARIOUS.

    • Jennifer L. Bielman

      No, you didn’t spoil anything. Don’t worry. No, I have not seen Bubba Ho-Tep. And just knowing I missed out on one of THE BRUCE’s movies makes me sad. Now, my sole purpose in life will be seeing that movie. Thank you so much for telling me about it. 🙂

    • Sarah (saz101)

      Hahaha! You’re welcome… but keep in mind you’ve not seen it yet. Oh my word. Read the synopsis. It ALONE is hilarious.

      Oh goodness, there are a few Bruce movies. I LOVE his cameos in the Spiderman films, and I used to watch Xena: Warrior Princess growing up, and he was HILARIOUS in that. ALSO! He did an AWFUL movie called Tornado! Yes. The exclamation mark is part of the title 😐

    • Jennifer L. Bielman

      Yup, seen the cameos for Spiderman. OMG, you watched Xena? I loved Xena. Bruce was GREAT in it. Never seen Tornado! though. Have you seen My Name is Bruce? Oh yeah, horribly “good” movie. Must see if you love Bruce.

  3. Lovey Dovey Books

    When I first heard about this series I was all about YA, and hardly read any Urban Fantasy. I’m still on the fence about reading it, but more than likely I’ll cave and read it, lol.

    Thanks for the review!
    Candace @ Lovey Dovey Books

  4. Zeenat

    I read this book awhile back, but almost all my friends who are fans of the book loved this last installment for the “obvious” reason. I hated it for that obvious reason.

    I agree with you about Ethan–He just drives me insane.

    I personally gave the the four books before this one a 4 or 5 stars. Drink Deep I gave 2 stars. that’s how much I didn’t like it (and the ending. . . . )

  5. Canada

    The first three books of this series I loved and adored. I recommended them to many based on their snark and action appeal. But then Hard Bitten came along, and at the end, the vampire hero Ethan dies. Stake in the heart, turns to ashes. The end.

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