Thursday, May 3, 2012

Audiobook Review - Hard Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires, Book 4) by Chloe Neill (4/5 stars)

Reading level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Size: 368 pages
Publisher: New American Library
Release Date: May 3, 2011
ISBN: 978-0451233325
Stand Alone or Series: 4th book in the Chicagoland Vampires series
Source: Audiobook from
Rating: 4/5 stars

This is a hard book to rate. Those who’ve read it know why and it is going to be a whopper to review without giving away spoilers but I will try. Definitely not my favorite book in the series, in fact after some things that happen in the end I almost decided to completely give up the series. That being said, I guess the fact that it still elicited strong emotions says something.

I listened to this as an audio book and the audiobook was exceedingly well done. This is a series I highly recommend listening to; the narrator does an absolutely stellar job reading it.

Merit is still serving as Sentinel of Cadogan House. Vampires are being picketed against and are in a very precarious political position within in the city. Mayor Tate has reports of rising vampire violence against humans. Tate issues an ultimatum; Merit and Ethan will get to the bottom of the violence and stop it or else. Merit is left to unravel the mystery while Ethan deals with unwelcome visitors from the European Vampire Council. As more violent vampire situations arise and Merit learns of an illegal drug on the streets, things start to spin out of control.

This was a very well done book. It was also a very emotionally wrenching book. As with all of these books all the little things that have happened in previous books are starting to come together. Secrets from Merit father’s past, from Ethan’s past, and from Mayor Tate’s past all come to light and they are not pleasant.

We get to spend a lot more time with the Red Guard Jonas; he is an interesting character and was entertaining to read about. We also spend a lot of quality time with Ethan and Merit and their banter continues to be highly entertaining.

This is one of the darker books in this series, that being said there is still a lot of humor here. Merit is as snarky as ever. Mallory is finally back in the story some, if not a ton, and it was nice to have her back. We also meet some interesting new characters.

This book is definitely more of an investigative urban fantasy. Merit spends large amounts of time running investigations and dealing with politics. There are plenty of twists and turns that are unexpected but tie in well with the overall storyline. Lots of great action scenes like the previous books and I continue to enjoy those a lot.

The bad thing thing that happens late in the book bothered me not only because it was bad, but because it was so sudden and seemed so out of the blue. I know there must be more behind it and it is killing me to not know why that happened and how it will be dealt with.

Overall a great book in this series. Highly entertaining with lots of twists and turns to keep the reader guessing. Lots of fun banter between the characters like usual. The ending will rip your heart out and stomp on it though so beware. The fact that this series gets me so emotionally involved really says good things about the writing. I highly recommend this series to all the vampire urban fantasy fans out there. This series reminds of the Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost; so if you like that series I think you will enjoy this one as well.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- Horror and Urban Fantasy Challenge
- 150+ Books Reading Challenge

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