by Chloe Neill
Series: Chicagoland Vampires #2
Published on October 6, 2009 by NAL Trade
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Vamps in Chicago!
You’d think headlines like that would have provoked the fine citizens of the Windy City to take up arms against us bloodsucking fiends. Instead, ten months later, we’re enjoying a celebrity status reserved for the Hollywood elite—fending off paparazzi only slightly less dangerous than cross and stake-wielding slayers. Don’t get me wrong, Joe Public isn’t exactly thrilled to be living side-by-side with the undead, but at least they haven’t stormed the castle yet.
But all that will change once they learn about the Raves—mass feeding parties where vampires round up humans like cattle and drink themselves silly. Most civilized vampires frown on this behavior, putting mere mortals at ease with their policy of asking a person’s consent before taking a big gulp of the red stuff. However, that doesn’t make good copy for a first time reporter looking to impress his high society family.
So now my “master,” the centuries old, yet gorgeously well-preserved Ethan Sullivan, wants me to reconnect with my own upper class family and act as liaison between humans and vampires—and keep the more unsavory aspects of our existence out of the media. But someone doesn’t want people and vamps to play nicey-nice—someone with an ancient grudge.
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The first thing I have to say about this book might seem a bit… odd, but it’s worth noting that Neill is consistent. So often sequels either excel above and beyond (the rarer case from what I’ve seen) or they plummet, but Friday Night Bites was pretty equal to the first book, Some Girls Bite, in most regards.
By that, I mean the writing was good. Light and humorous in line with Merit’s character but still drawing on the seriousness of some of the situations the characters got themselves into. The characters were good, but not great, and the story seemed a bit like an in-between from the first book to the third but wasn’t disappointing per say.
I loved Some Girls Bite and saw it as a great opening to a series but where it excelled in developing the characters, this book kept everything status quo. The characters didn’t really show any sort of growth and played up the same issues over and over.
Merit and Ethan have chemistry which they’re continuing to deny and it comes up multiple times with Merit playing the back and forth game between her attraction to her boss/Master, and another Master (Morgan) who’s actually into her for more than just her appearance. I actually really like Morgan’s character and I’m sure Neill will do something to show him in a bad light so that readers can root for Merit/Ethan, which is a shame because he’s thoughtful, sweet with plenty of spice, and has never treated Merit as less than equal.
My issue with this book is that this back-and-forth took center stage. Combined with little character development and a romance that was a bit lackluster while it sets up for the next series installment, it just didn’t quite live up to book 1.
BUT I say that with a grain of salt because while the story was a bit disappointing I still enjoyed it. And it wasn’t a terrible sequel by any means, just had a lot to live up to. The story was definitely setting up for further conflict which is great but I think if the plot had come to the forefront a bit more I think it could have added to the current (i.e. this book) conflict because there was plenty there.
There is quite a lot going on in Friday Night Bites in the background that I think is going to make a huge splash in the upcoming books. This definitely felt more like a filler book but an entertaining one despite its issues. I know I focused more on them but Merit’s sass is still there, that humor and spunk, that makes the writing so easy to devour. So though this book wasn’t quite what I was hoping for, I’ll definitely be reading the next book and likely the rest after that!