Title: Dark Debt (Chicagoland Vampires, 11)
Author: Chloe Neill
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Gollancz Fiction (5th March 2015)
A vampire never gets old. But neither do his enemies. When a figure from Ethan’s dark past makes a splashy debut in Chicago, Merit and her Master don’t know whether he’s friend or foe. But they’ll have to figure it out soon, because there is trouble brewing in the Windy City.
At an exclusive society soiree attended by the upper echelons of the human and supernatural worlds, Merit and Ethan barely stop the assassination of a guest. When the target turns out to be a shady businessman with a criminal edge, Merity suspects a human vendetta. But the assassins have fangs.
The connections to Chicago’s Houses go deeper than Merit knows, and even one wrong move could be her last . . .
Rating: **** (4 stars)
DARK DEBT is the eleventh book in Chloe Neill’s fantastic Chicagoland Vampires series. This book continues Merit’s story, as she and her Master, Ethan, get drawn into some more trouble. A figure from Ethan’s past makes a dramatic reappearance, and there is trouble brewing in Chicago that could mean problems for all the Houses.
In DARK DEBT Merit is back, and unfortunately nothing stays quiet in her life or in Chicago for long. I believe Neill has written a short story to cover the time between the previous book, BLOOD GAMES (review), and this one, but I haven’t read it – and honestly, I don’t feel like I’ve missed anything although the time is referenced in the book.
DARK DEBT is a brilliant, fun, and complex addition to the Chicagoland Vampires series. It has everything I would expect from a book in this series, but Neill still kept me guessing about what was going on in this book. If you have enjoyed the previous books in this series, then you will undoubtedly love this one too. Neill keeps her kickass heroine on her toes in this book, and there are a few interesting revelations.
Merit is en pointe in this book; I loved reading about her relationship with Ethan, her friendship with Mallory, and the difficult relationship she has with her father. Neill also reminded me why I first loved Merit: the fact that not only is she a good fighter, but she has brains and uses them. Ethan was brilliantly suave for the most part, and I think Neill writes his vulnerabilities beautifully so that he seems as real and vivid as Merit does on the page.
The plot of DARK DEBT is pretty typical for a book in the Chicagoland Vampires series – there’s a big bad causing trouble, and Merit’s got to figure out what’s going on and stop them. That being said, I think Neill executes the story brilliantly. This book did not feel formulaic, and I enjoyed the touch of humour. DARK DEBT is a brilliant addition to the series, and I look forward to reading book twelve.