Title: Midnight Marked (Chicagoland Vampires, 12)
Author: Chloe Neill
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Gollancz Fiction (3rd March 2016)
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 . . .
Rating: **** (4 stars)
MIDNIGHT MARKED by Chloe Neill is the twelfth book in her brilliant Chicagoland Vampires series. Continuing events from DARK DEBT, Merit and Ethan have to deal with the repercussions of having made a powerful new enemy who wants total control of Chicago. Having already shown his hand and been thwarted by Cadogan, he will stop at nothing to win this time.
MIDNIGHT MARKED brilliant continues the story from DARK DEBT (review) and takes the tension to a new level, with Neill upping the danger. You will know from reading DARK DEBT who the bad guy is, but Neill adds enough twists and surprises that this doesn’t disappoint: there are plenty of revelations in this book, and the ending is brilliantly done and has left me looking forward to the thirteenth book – which I’ve heard (though I can’t find any proof) is the final book in the series. I really enjoyed reading as events unfolded on the page, and I found it difficult to put the book down once I’d started. Merit and her friends have come a long way since they first appeared in SOME GIRLS BITE and this book shows it. The use of humour to break up the tension was brilliantly done, and really added to the reading experience for me.
A lot of the pleasure of MIDNIGHT MARKED comes from the fact that you know something is going to happen you just don’t know when or what. Neill does a brilliant job in keeping the tension up, and slowly revealing what is going on – there are plenty of surprises throughout the narrative, and I really enjoyed reading as things were slowly revealed. There are a few subplots that weave through the narrative, which I think really add to the story; some of which are new to this book and others tie in with things that happened in previous ones.
Merit is, as always, a brilliantly sassy main character. Despite events, she is happy in this book, which was nice. As always I loved the way Neill wrote her friendships – particularly with Mallory – and of course her relationship with Ethan. Ethan seemed more relaxed in this book, and as strange as it is to say I found him to be more charming. Mallory has come a long way and it was nice to read about her easy friendship with Merit. I really enjoyed the return of a lot of familiar faces in this book; Neill wrote the secondary characters brilliantly.
If you have enjoyed the previous books in the Chicagoland Vampires series, then you will love this one too. Neill does a brilliant job continuing Merit’s story, and letting us know once more what is going on in this world. MIDNIGHT MARKED is, as I have already said, a fantastic addition to the series.