This review contains a big spoiler for the previous book, Hard Bitten. If you haven’t read Hard Bitten yet, hit “Page Up” now — and then get caught up on the CHICAGOLAND VAMPIRES as soon as possible, because these books are fun!
There’s a more somber tone this time around, though. It’s been a few months since Ethan Sullivan’s death. Merit and Cadogan House are recovering, but both heroine and house are still keenly aware of the Ethan-sized hole left behind. Merit is feeling a tentative attraction toward her friend and partner Jonah, but she’s not sure she’s ready to date again and is still haunted by disturbing dreams of Ethan. Malik has taken over Cadogan House, but a supercilious Greenwich Presidium bureaucrat is making everyone’s life miserable. Public opinion of vampires is at an all-time low. And that’s before Lake Michigan turns black and the sky turns blood-red…
Now, all the supernatural groups are blaming each other, the humans are blaming the vampires, and Merit has to figure out what’s really going on before it gets worse. Because Chicago has seen phenomena like this before. The year was 1871.
Chloe Neill gives us another entertaining urban fantasy in Drink Deep. We get to meet new supernatural characters and groups, and the escalating disasters in Chicago are appropriately creepy. Merit’s emotional struggle is compelling and realistic, as is her interaction with the rest of Cadogan. As the series has progressed, Merit has gone from being rather isolated among the other vampires because of her unusually strong powers and odd relationship with Ethan, to being truly part of the organization and forging strong friendships. In Drink Deep, these friendships are one of the best and most touching aspects, and inspire a great act of heroism by Merit. The humor that has peppered this series is still here too, despite the thread of sadness that runs through the book.
It was clear to me pretty early — maybe too early — who was really behind the ominous events. One great twist I didn’t see coming, though, was the way Merit’s dreams tied in with the rest of the plot.
Drink Deep, whose title could apply to several characters and plotlines in this novel, is another enjoyable installment of CHICAGOLAND VAMPIRES. The ending sets up some interesting conflicts for the next book, and I’m looking forward to it.
Then magic rears its ugly head when Lake Michigan turns black. The mayor insists it’s nothing to worry about, but Merit knows a panic is coming. 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 both the vampires and humans.