May 9, 2017

REVIEW: Blade Bound (Chicagoland Vampires #13)

Blade Bound (Chicagoland Vampires #13), by Chloe Neill
Publish Date:
April 25, 2017
Publisher: Berkley Books
Format: e-ARC, provided by the publisher via Netgalley
Genre: adult paranormal romance
To Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rating: 5 STARS

(Synopsis) Since the night of her brutal attack and unwilling transformation to vampire, Merit’s stood as Sentinel and protector of Chicago’s Cadogan House. She's saved the Windy City from the forces of darkness time and again with her liege and lover, Ethan Sullivan, by her side.

When the House is infiltrated and Merit is attacked by a vampire seemingly under the sway of dark magic, Merit and Ethan realize the danger is closer than they could have ever imagined. As a malign sorcery spreads throughout the city, Merit must go to war against supernatural powers beyond her comprehension. It’s her last chance to save everything—and everyone—she loves.

I read Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires #1) a bunch of years ago when I was looking for something to fill the Sookie Stackhouse-sized hole left in my vampire book loving heart. I fell in love with the strong, plucky, bacon-loving Merit and her sire, the enigmatic Ethan Sullivan. Over the years they have been through more than any one couple should ever have to go through. No really. It's been RIDIC. But here we are, at the final Chicagoland Vampires book, and it seems that their future might be happy, full, and pretty damn perfect after all. 

This last book is absolutely everything you could want or need in a series ender. With thirteen books under her belt, Chloe Neill has brought back nearly all of the side characters that made the Chicagoland world so full and rich, for at least a little glimpse. There are at least a few mentions of the other Chicago vampire masters, Scott and Morgan as well as Merit's Red Guard partner Jonah. We get to see Gabriel, the Apex of the North American Central Pack call Merit "Kitten" one last time. The Ombuddies - Jeff, Catcher, Mallory and Merit's grandfather - are on hand to solve one last Chicago plight. And the Cadogan vampires who we've come to expect to have Merit and Ethan's back - Malik, Luc and Lindsey - are kicking ass and taking names. 

Every one of the loose threads are tied up. Even threads I didn't realize were loose were tightened to an incredibly satisfying degree. Weeks after I finished reading Blade Bound, I thought back on the events that unfolded during the course of the book, and I realized how masterfully Chloe Neill wove those finalities into the story. I didn't even realize they were happening until later when I was thinking about all the characters I had grown to love and how they had all found this amazing life alongside Merit and Ethan. 

And, of course, Merit and Ethan are going to have an amazing life. We get to see them fight side-by-side, and puzzle out a new problem, and argue and make up and GET MARRIED. And yes - the big question that we've all had for years now about the prophecy that Gabriel made is answered. And I promise, it's a satisfying resolution to a story line that's kept us hanging for a long time now. 

I realize I'm being rather vague with my review, but the events that unfold in Blade Bound are a continuation from the events in Midnight Marked (Chicagoland Vampires #12). So, I can't go into specifics without giving away some pretty big spoilers. Suffice it to say that Blade Bound has tons of action, danger and humor. And the romance pegs the swoon meter. Merit and Ethan have found this incredible love and respect for one another that can only be borne from all that they have encountered and survived together, and that shows in their words and their actions. 

Thankfully, Chloe Neill seems as reluctant to leave the Chicagoland Vampire world as we are, and she announced at the end of Blade Bound that there will be a spin-off featuring certain characters from the series. If you want to know who they are, well... you'll have to read the book. :)

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