February 24, 2016

EARLY REVIEW: Midnight Marked (Chicagoland Vampires #12)

Midnight Marked (Chicagoland Vampires #12), by Chloe Neill
Publish Date:
March 1, 2016
Publisher: NAL
Format: e-galley, provided by the publisher
Genre: adult PNR/urban fantasy
To Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rating: 5 STARS

(Synopsis) 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...

The Chicagoland Vampires series has been a staple on my TBR for a long time. It is one of a precious few go-to series whenever I need a paranormal romance or urban fantasy fix. So, it's hard for me to believe that, after this one, I will only be reading one more new book in this series before we have to say goodbye to these beloved characters for good. 

It's a good thing that Chloe Neill does not go quietly into the night. 

Things are, by no means, winding down for Merit and Ethan. In Midnight Marked, they continue to lock horns with the odious Adrian Reed who has hatched a new plan for Chicagoland's supernatural population. He's made this battle personal by threatening Merit and goading Ethan. And, I can honestly say, I've never hated a bad guy in this series more than this one. 

In addition to getting to the bottom of Reed's plan, there are a lot of other side stories playing out in Midnight Marked. Things between Merit and the Red Guard - and particularly her partner Jonah - are still not great, since she refused to spy on Ethan for them. I absolutely LOVE that Merit refuses to compromise her morals and her relationship with Ethan for anyone or anything. 

Reed's activities put the tentative alliance between Gabriel's shifters and Ethan's vampires to their greatest test yet. Any CLV book that includes a lot of Gabriel Keene is a good one, and there is plenty of him in Midnight Marked. Gabriel and Ethan both have good reason to be angry at one another in this case, and their situation is evidence that sometimes you have to make hard choices when you're in charge of so many others. I don't envy either of them (but I still love both of them).

The two biggest questions that fans have been dying to know answers to are, Will Ethan finally propose to Merit? and When will the prophecy about Ethan and Merit's child come to pass? Of course, I can't tell you if either of those questions are answered in Midnight Marked - you'll just have to buy the book and find out for yourself. But, I will say that both topics are discussed at length, both between Merit and Ethan and Merit and Mallory. 

Mallory - "My God, do I want to see Ethan facing his first loaded diaper. And, can you imagine him dealing with milk puke?"

Merit - "I think he'll be a good dad. I mean, for a four-hundred-year-old pretentious master vampire."

So, yeah - there's a lot going on. But, there's tons of action, lots of mystery solving, some awesome fight scenes, and - the best part - Ethan "Darth" Sullivan. For a vampire who was originally so hell bent on fronting for people in regards for his feelings for Merit, he certainly has gotten over all that. His words are so heart-meltingly romantic, it is impossible to not be reduced to a puddle of goo every time he opens his mouth.

"Fear, my Sentinel, is inevitable. It is one of our more important instincts. It keeps us alive. Fighting through the fear is a choice. That's the choice you've made since that April night one year ago. That's the choice you'll continue to make, because that's what's inside you. I love you, and I believe in you, more than I have ever believed in anyone. And it is absolutely terrifying."

I have my theories on what will play out in the final Chicagoland Vampires book. Waiting for it to come out is so bittersweet. I can't wait to find out what happens, and yet, I don't want it to get here, because then it will truly be all over. 


Jessica @ a GREAT read said...

I am anxious and nervous and scared and sad and excited and all so many emotions over wanting to read this one and the final book. I cannot believe how quickly things are wrapping up! This was a marvelous series! I remember finding the first book at Borders way back when and thought this sounds cool! A heroine wearing jeans and a tank top? Versus the leather look--even though she later dons this outfit--? Lol! I was in love with this series pretty quickly! Glad to hear that you enjoyed this one so! Looking forward to reading it as well! Great review!

Eva @ All Books Considered said...

Great review! I can't believe we only have one left but this one definitely moved things along and I am nervous for what we have in store!!

my review