Author: Chloe Neill
Series: Chicagoland, #12
Released: March 1st 2016
Length: 368 pages
Source: Publisher for review
As the Chicagoland Vampires series continues, Merit and Ethan find themselves in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse, where winning may require the ultimate sacrifice...A vampire’s grudges don’t stay dead long...Merit is one of Chicago's most skilled vampire warriors; these days, she doesn't scare easily. But she and Master vampire Ethan have made a new and powerful enemy, and he won't give up until he owns the Windy City.With his last plan thwarted, he's more determined than ever to watch Cadogan burn. Ethan has put the House's vampires on high alert, but their enemy will stop at nothing, including pitting vampire against vampire...In this deadly game of cat-and-mouse, the stakes are life or death—and winning might mean sacrificing everything...
As the Chicagoland Vampires series comes closer to its big finale, the excitement is reaching an almost unbearable level. Midnight Marked, the penultimate book in this excellent, beloved series, brings just a tiny bit more of everything: more romance, more action, more friendships, more enemies, and more danger than ever before.
Ethan and Merit are still right in the middle of a supernatural war, and as they fight prejudice, misunderstandings, and outright malice coming from all sides, they somehow always come out on top and learn alongside each other. At this point, they are a well established couple, comfortable around each other though not always harmonious, and it’s good to see them growing stronger and finally working together.
I always mention the timeline of this series because it makes me somewhat uncomfortable. I would have preferred a much longer period between the events of the first book and now. Only a year has passed since Merit has become a vampire, and considering everything that’s happened to her, I have a hard time believing everything from her character development to her romance with Ethan. It’s just too much for such a short time – the intensity of their emotions would have been far more credible had they been given enough time to develop. As it is, they jump from one supernatural battle to the next, twelve total at this point, and they still have time for friendships, prophecies, resurrections and forgiveness.
Merit is finally learning to accept her family, flaws and all, and perhaps even making peace with the fact that they are who they are and that they’re highly unlikely to change. I love that this aspect of her life isn’t at all black and white, that her father has horrible flaws as well as redeeming qualities. It adds an extra layer to her character and brings complexity to her actions that otherwise wouldn’t exist.
Ethan, for his part, remains the stubborn, high handed, secretive idiot, but I find that oddly comforting. Having him change his ways in asingle year after 400 years of existence would have been almost ridiculous. As it is, he infuriates me, but I understand, and the tiny improvements I notice make me absurdly happy.
I’m already dreading the goodbye that’s ahead of me. I’ve spent so much time with these guys, learned to love them and even despise them at times (Ethan, ahem), and I already know I’ll miss them like crazy. But let’s not borrow trouble or grief. There’s the big finale ahead of us and I just know it’s going to be spectacular.
A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.