Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Review - House Rules (Chicagoland Vampires, Book 7) by Chloe Neill (3/5 stars)

Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Size: 352 pages
Publisher: NAL Trade
Release Date: February 5, 2013
ISBN: 978-0451237101
Stand Alone or Series: 7th book in the Chicagoland Vampires series
Source: Borrowed from Library
Rating: 3/5 stars

This is the seventh book in the Chicagoland Vampires series. The eighth book will be titled Biting Bad and is scheduled for an August 2013 release. This book was a bit of a transition book again and not as engaging as previous books.

Cadogan House is finally, formally breaking away from the GP. This will make them the first House to claim Rogue vampire status. Things are uncomfortable to say the least. Then a rash of vampire murders start happening and Merit is called to help figure out who is killing these vamps. To add to the complexity Merit is finally called in to formally join the Red Guard.

This was an okay installment in this series. Basically this is the book about Cadogan House breaking away from the GP. A lot of time is spent trying to find legal loop-holes and in the original contract with the GP in order to ensure that Cadogan can break away from the house cleanly. Things get complicated when Dorian tries to make a grab for the house in a power play. Additional complications arise when Ethan invites his ex, Lacey, over to smooth things out with Dorian.

I did like that Merit was finally inducted into the Red Guard. I also liked that she ended up coming clean with all her secrets to Ethan. Having Lacey there to throw Merit and Ethan’s relationship into turmoil was obnoxious and made me roll my eyes a bit. Still I was impressed with how much Ethan and Merit have grown as characters and how reasonable they were about everything.

The vampire murders added a heavy investigative bent to the story. It seemed like a very interesting plot line, but I felt the way it was all resolved felt a bit anti-climatic and contrived.

Mallory was in the story a bit, she is making progress in dealing with her addiction to black magic. Still she is far from the entertaining and bubbly person we meet early in the series. She isn’t in the story much but when she is the tone is tentatively hopeful.

While this book was an okay read, but I felt like nothing all that interesting happened. This felt like another transition novel for me and I am beginning to wonder exactly where this series is going. I feel like after the whole Mallory/Tate storylines were resolved this series lost a lot of momentum that it has yet to pick up.

Overall an okay addition to the series. The whole plot around Cadogan House leaving the GP felt like something that had to be done, but wasn’t all that interesting to read about. It was nice to see Ethan and Merit acting like mature adults, but I felt like a lot of the heat between them was missing. I did enjoy that Merit was finally and formally inducted to the Red Guard. I am curious to see what will happen to Cadogan house as it tries to stand on its own.

The last couple books in this series have been somewhat disappointing to me. I will probably read one more book in this series before I decide whether or not to stop reading it completely. I tentatively recommend this series to fans of urban fantasy featuring vampires...the first four or five books in the series are very good.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- 150+ Reading Challenge
- Paranormal Reading Challenge

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