Nov 8, 2011

Posted by in Reviews | 21 Comments

Review: Drink Deep by Chloe Neill (Chicagoland Vampires #5)

Urban Fantasy
November 1 2011
Trade Paperback
321 pages
NAL Trade
Received from publisher

Kick Ass Chick - Merit
Yummy Man - I don't want to talk about it...

From Goodreads -
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.

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This is the third time I have sat down to write this review.  The first time the review made no sense.  The second time it was more negative than it should have been.  (Apparently it’s easy to get carried away when you are frustrated with a certain aspect of the book you just read lol).  Now I know how to solve my review writing dilemma:  I am going to write a review in point form.  I think that is the only way I can write this without driving myself nuts.

The book I’m having trouble with is Drink Deep, the fifth book in Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampires series.  The first three books of this series were amazing.  I recommended them to tons of people and was very excited when I saw someone was about to give them a try.  Merit is a wonderful character – I love her to pieces.  I actually enjoy my love hate relationship with Ethan.  And let’s not forget Chapter 8 in Twice Bitten.  Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series has Chapter 4, Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series has Chapter 32 and this series has Chapter 8.  I enjoyed the last book in the series, Hard Bitten, a lot…until the very end.  I was as shocked as the rest of those who read the book and I didn’t like where she brought the story.  The author told us to trust her, so I did.  I won’t tell you whether or not that particular part of the plot was taken care of this time around – you’ll have to read the book to find out – but I will say this:  For me, when the author did what she did in book 4, it worried me.  Not only because of whom she involved, but because I worried about where the series was ultimately going to have to go.  The interactions between the characters, the overall feel of the series...everything was affected by her decision to do what she did.  I don’t get the feeling that the author realized this.  I sort of get the feeling that she thinks we were more concerned with that ONE part and not the whole series.  This series was amazing.  Fun, funny, smart with action and mystery and wonderful memorable characters.  It had a real magic to it.  And right now it almost feels like some of that magic is gone, replaced by anger and lots of ‘what does that have to do with anything’ and ‘can we see something a little different please’.  But before I make it all sound too dire, let me tell you all I thought of Drink Deep.

What I loved about Drink Deep:

  • I still absolutely LOVE Merit.  She really has grown as a character in each book.  She has matured and is now willing to do what she needs to do for her House and for the city she calls home.  I really like where Chloe has brought Merit.
  • Jonah!  He is so cute!  He is Merit’s partner and he is just adorable.  I don’t see him as a love match for her, but as a friend and a fighting partner, I think he’s perfect.  I am afraid though that if Merit doesn’t ultimately ‘pick’ him, he’s going to get angst-y and annoying.  I hope that’s not the case.  But if previous happenings are any indication, the odds are not good.  You see, that’s exactly what happened with Morgan - now Morgan in a douche when there was a time I loved him more than Ethan.  So hopefully Jonah’s character won’t become unbearable.
  • The mystery of the red sky and the black water.  The ‘who-done-it’ in this book was well done.  Those parts of the books I read on the edge of my seat, wondering what would happen next and how it would all go down.  Very neat.
  • Catcher and Jeff.  Not too much of them in this book but we saw a new side to Catcher and I liked seeing him a little more vulnerable.  And Jeff is just a hoot.  This tiny scene with the Nymphs was fun.  I hope there’s more of him in the next book.  He’s one of my favorite side characters.
  • I really liked how Malik and Luc were in this book.  I think Malik is great in his new position and I like how he ultimately handled Frank (see things I didn’t like for the continuation of this statement).

What I didn’t like about Drink Deep:

  • Frank.  What the f*ck is up this guys a**?  Here he is, a guy from some organization that is supposed to be checking into Cadogan House and seeing why this House seems to be such a mess, making a huge cluster F of a mess himself.  Really he’s just an a** hole.  Yes, this guy deserves lots of cussing.  The fact that I hated him so much shows that the author can write crazy characters well, but there was no clear reason for him being the way he was!  He was sort of explained but it was all speculation and not really clear.  He did horrible things to the poor vampires of Cadogan House and without real explanation it didn’t sit well.  The whole organization that he apparently works for doesn’t make sense, which brings me to my next point…
  • I am really getting annoyed with the “vampires suck and they all have their own agenda and they should all die except for those of us who want to take over the world and Cadogan House is where all the evil and stupidity is taking place.”  The mayor is an idiot who hates supernaturals.  The GD has its own agenda.  McKetrick is in this book and is just annoying (again, no real explanation about this guy, he just wants all vampires to die apparently).  And humans are idiots.  Really, it’s all getting old and I hope it won’t play a major role in the next books.
  • Mallory.  Another What.  The.  F*ck.  Personally, I am not a fan of authors taking long-time well-loved characters and changing their characters by a bunch.  Or killing them off mid-series.  She doesn’t kill Mallory off – don’t worry about that – but I’m not a fan of where she’s headed.  Besides, unless she does get killed off in the next book, I think where she will end up is quite predictable.  And one thing this series usually isn’t is predictable.
  • Morgan.  Again what the hell?  I wanted to kick him between the legs.  (Apparently this book has turned me a little ‘trucker’ lol)
  • Why did Malik take so long to take care of Frank?  If there was more explanation about Frank, maybe it would have made more sense.  But as is, it just didn’t.  If it was that easy, why not do it when he had vampires standing in the middle of the yard on poles?...
  • I know that subsequent books in a series need a recap of previous events, but I am not a fan of the recap chapter.  So for me, this book started out quite slow.  Eventually the pace balanced out – not slow and not fast.
  • And once again with extra feeling, Frank and the mayor!  Why were they so prominent when really they just pissered people off?  They didn’t really move the plot forward.  They just made you want to spit!

It took me quite a while to figure out what to rate this book – and as you can see I wasn’t able to settle.  The parts of the book that I liked were great and the parts that I didn’t like I really didn’t like.  Overall, I was disappointed that I felt more frustrated than anything while reading this installment.  And even though I am not a fan of who the new villain is, seeing how this book ended, the next book shows promise.  But if I still feel more frustrated than not while reading Biting Cold, I will have to reconsider this series.

2.5 stars

Giggle worthy quote –

“She fell back on the bed.  ‘I’m tired, I’m overworked, I’m being forcibly underfed, I’m stressed, and I have a boyfriend – a boyfriend, Merit – with his own issues, and the only thing I want to do is gorge on ice cream.  And let’s face it – the only problem that’s going to solve is the ‘hey, my pants are too loose!’ problem.  And that’s not a problem I have right now.’”

‘About friggin’ time’ quote –

“Take that back to the GP, Mr. Cabot.  And should the urge arise, feel free to tell them to fuck off.”

Books in the Chicagoland Vampires series –
Some Girls Bite
Friday Night Bites
Twice Bitten
Hard Bitten
Drink Deep
Biting Cold (August 2012)

  1. LOL, I was okay with the Mallory plotline, but the Ethan plotline was not a pleasant surprise for me. I’m curious to see where she’s going with all this…

  2. You know what I’m going to be completely honest here.
    First of all great review. I’m sorry that it took you three times to write your review but I think it shows what this book has done to you and what this series meant to you.
    Second you recommended this series and the first book to me with Colette and I wasn’t loving the series but I did enjoy the first two books, I hadnt gotten to read the third book because Ry downloaded it onto his ipad for me and now we’re back at Uni I don’t get much chance to steal borrow it like I used to as he uses it for Uni work.
    But sadly another reviewer ruined book four for me in their Drink Deep review without stating it had any spoilers for the previous books in the series and since reading that person’s review, Smexy books review and now yours I’ve come to the conclusion that unless the next book picks the series back up I won’t be reading the third book or any more books in this series (partly because someone ruined it for me) but mainly because WTF!!!
    No-one seems to know what direction this series is going in now (does the author?) and it all seems to be going very downhill now.

  3. OUCH! While I do completely understand your point of view and felt similar frustrations towards this book I still enjoyed it. It took a lot of thought on my end to write up my review as well. Definitely a tough call.

  4. Patti – It’s…different. I hope it won’t all play out the way it looks like it will. Chloe is usually so good at keeping us on our toes. I hope she keeps that up.

    Ally – Book three is great. My fave of the series by far.

    Carmel – Really tough to write – especially when the reviews used to practically used to write themselves for this series. lol I wish there was more time in the end and more explanation. It all would have made more sense to me if it was all well explained, you know what I mean?

  5. I was trying to decided what to listen to next, this is on my list, but I think I’ll wait until the following book comes out and see where she’s going with this series, I tried not to read spoilers but sometimes are unavoidable, Ethan is as important to me as Merit,I don’t want him gone and I don’t want a substitute 🙁
    I coming down from a big high after listening to Last Breath(fabulous)last in the Morganville vampires series, I don’t want to spoil my high.
    Again, great review!

  6. Vicki Casso says:

    I am in the middle of reading the book and so far I agree with you. I downloaded 3 books read Devon Monk first (you rock Allie) now reading Chloe Neill then I’m reading Eileen Wilks so I can break up the disappointment. It’s sad when you know going in that the book is probably going to disappoint. Will I read the next book, yes, but my level of excitement and expectation will be low.

  7. When I read the disaster at the end of HARD BITTEN I was willing to give Neill the benefit of the doubt, that the series would not be badly affected. However after your review and others, I’m thinking things are in a terrible state and may or may not be salvagable in the next book(Biting Cold). Bummer!

  8. Well, that settles it, I’m not buying this book. I’ve read nothing but negative, “What the hell is Chloe Neill doing?” reviews.

    That said, excellent review. I loved that you just put it all out there and still managed to avoid spoilers. Also, all your cussing was super cute and made me giggle.

  9. “Trucker” still busts me up!!

    I think u have some valid points….the ending was rushed. I wanted more out of the end w/Merit and Ethan. I felt cheated and that she owed us that at least!!

    as far as Mallory goes….i don’t like it. Their friendship was one of the things that drew me to the series.

    that being said….i love LOVE when authors do different stuff other than the same ol same ol….so it has piqued my interest even more.

    i hope the series gets better for u (and me) !

  10. Great review. I have not yet started this series, but after reading all those reviews, I am going to wait for the sixth book to be mindblowing good again.

  11. I have heard the same thing, one person said she would read no more. I do wonder what the F is up with this book

  12. Lupdilup – If you are not sure, waiting may be a good idea. And yay to the reading high. 🙂

    Vicki – I had hopes for this book. I really did. I got nervous about reading it after hearing other bloggers talk about it. As for the next book, I will be going into that one a little more cautious. And WOOT to the Allie love! 😉

    Dot – I think for many of us, the next book will be the decision maker. 🙁

    CdnMrs – I love that you found my cussing cute. lol And “what is Chloe Neill doing” is a great way to describe this book. 😉

    Sharon – I love when authors try something different too – but there’s different and there’s “are you drunk?”. 😉

    aurian – Yes. We fans will be more than happy to let you know whether or not to read only the first three or keep going. 🙂

    blodeuedd – I heard that from a few people. 🙁 I will give it another shot though.

  13. Twice in one day?? I wonder if that puts me in the stalker category? lol
    I went and I read the review of Drink D. on Smexy’s, and she seems to be very disappointed,after two similar opinions, I’m definitely waiting. But anyway I stop because I notice you are reading Devil in Winter, and I adore that book, but I loved one of the main character(Eve)since the previous book, and I wonder if you are going to have the same experienced I did without reading the previous book. I guess I’ll find out when I you finish, but I really hope you do.

  14. I’m sorry it wasn’t for you. It’s a series I really need to read. I’ve the three first ones in my TBR pile. One day I’ll read them!

  15. I’ve been reading your reviews for some time & almost always wholeheartedly agree with your assessments. Color me surprised when I read this review, because I couldn’t disagree more. I think once again Chloe Neill has nailed it and this series remains one of my favorites. Going down your bullet points, I agree with most of what you said, good & bad, however, I believe that a great author is one that gets you to FEEL, whether negative or positive about a character and CN does this in spades. I wanted to squash Frank like the bug he is & absolutely could have kneed Morgan between the legs. Mallory was certainly a shocker & while I an torn between love & hate with what she’s done with this character, I’m excited to see how that plays out. I definitely think that CN knows exactly what she’s doing with this series & while we may be scracthing our heads in wonder at some things, if we have faith & hold on the random, & not so random, pieces of this puzzle will fall into place with a satisfying snap.

  16. Melliane – First three are definite reads!

    Michele – I’ve had that happen before. My friends all LOVE a book and I finally read it and end up rating it low all the while wondering if I was reading the same book as them. lol
    I found that with this book, people are either disappointed in it or just adore it – with very few in between. I found that for me to hate Frank that much, it shows how well Chloe can write. Many things that happened in this book brought out strong emotions in me that again, prove that this author can write. I just didn’t understand why these characters or moments were happening. There were too many ‘why’ missing for me to really enjoy it. But CN certainly has great writing chops. I’m just not 100% convinced I agree with where she is taking the story. To each their own after all. 😉

  17. I just finished reading Drink Deep last week, and I had the same problem trying to review it. Overall, I really enjoyed reading it, but ultimately, it left me kind of unsatisfied? The Mallory thing I could kind of see coming… or more like, it made sense afterwards? But I still hated it. Mal was one of my fave things about these books, and I can’t see any possible way for it to be sorted out well 🙁

    It kind of felt like half a book? Like, OK, so what’s next? The end? Wha? NOES!

    I love your point form. You summed it up nicely 🙂

  18. Julie, I totally agree with you. There are many why’s in this book that leave you scratching your head, thinking “huh”, but I think that’s what I love about it. I have no clue why she is doing the things that she is doing & am surprised by the current path she’s chosen for the characters, but am excited to see where that path is going to lead. It definitely keeps things interesting & unpredictable. I guess its the mystery of it that I love. My favorite series ever has to be KMM’s Fever series & she did many things to the characters that I not only couldn’t understand, but at times was appalled & angry by the choices she made. In the end though, it was a helluva journey & well worth the ride. I’m hoping that the same can be said with this series.

  19. I just finished this book & for the most part totally agree with your review. I gave it 2 stars myself. I read the Kindle version and that’s the only thing that kept me throwing the “book” down at one point while reading. I’m not usually that good at figuring out who did it in mystery novels, but i figured the Mallory issue way to early in the book. Everything about this book just felt like a let down for me. I don’t have issues with authors changing direction in a series (i still love the JR Ward books), but do it well. I’m on the fence about continuing the series. This just didn’t feel like a full book, more like a place holder. SPOILER! BTW i was perfectly fine with the Ethan issue remaining the way it was at the end of the previous book. I definitely won’t pre-order the next one, but wait til a few reviews come out.

  20. I too was a bit disappointed with this book. Having said that, I’m relatively new to paranormal romance and Some Girls Bite was the first book I read after “Twilight” so Chloe Neill can do no wrong in introducing me to some fantastic adult paranormal fiction. I’ve read a couple of hundred since then (Fever, Guild Hunter, Psy-Changeling and BDB being my next favourites) – roll on the next Merit and Ethan adventure!

  21. I can’t do this. Ethan died. I feel like I’ve been stripped a part of my soul. (Sorry, just being over dramatic here. Still hurts though.) I’ll probably not read Drink Deep. She can’t replace Ethan 🙁
    Great Review though 🙂 thanks.

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