PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR THE CHICAGOLAND VAMPIRE SERIES AS HOUSE RULES IS THE SEVENTH BOOK IN THAT SERIES.
Title: House Rules (Chicagoland Vampires #7)
Author: Chloe Neill
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Gollancz Fiction (14th February 2013)
In a city full of vampires, trouble never sleeps. At the tender age of 27, Merit becomes a sword-wielding vampire. Since then, she’s become the protector of her House, watched Chicago nearly burn to the ground, and seen her Master fall and rise. Now she’ll see her mettle – and her metal – tested like never before.
It started with two . . . Two rogues vanishing without a trace. Someone is targeting Chicago’s vampires, and anyone could be next. With their house in peril, Merit and her Master, the centuries old Ethan Sullivan, must race to stop the disappearances. But as they untangle a web of secret alliances and ancient evils, they realise their foe is more familiar, and more powerful, than they could ever have imagined.
Rating: *** (3 stars)
House Rules is the seventh book in the Chicagoland Vampires series, and it continues Merit’s story. I think Merit is a really interesting character, not at all what you would expect to find as a main character who is a vampire.
House Rules starts with the results at the end of the vote in Biting Cold coming to fruition in mid-December. I’m not exactly sure how much time has passed between the two books, Neill doesn’t make that particularly clear and it’s been a while since I’ve read Biting Cold. There is a definite tension at the beginning of the book, as House Rules marks the beginning of a new era for Cadogan House.
Once I picked up House Rules I fell straight into Merit’s world; like the rest of the series, House Rules is a very readable book. I really like Merit both as the narrator and the main protagonist because I can really relate to her, and I like the fact that despite her inauspicious start at the beginning of the series by this point she has embraced who she is now and has become a force to be reckoned with.
The plot of House Rules was surprisingly convoluted. I didn’t realise who the bad guy was until Merit did, and his motives completely bamboozled me. Once Neill explained them, I could kinda understand why the bad guy did what they did. I think this time Neill picked a really interesting bad guy to focus on. The outcome of the vote in Biting Cold also played a really important role in the plot of House Rules. I found it really interesting to watch it play out, and I liked the way that Neill combined the two plots at the end of the book.
House Rules is an interesting addition to the Chicagoland Vampires Novel series. I think it does a good job at moving Merit’s story forward, whilst at the same time keeping the feel of the series. I am really looking forward to reading book eight, which I believe is out later this year.