First in a brand new series about a Chicago graduate student's introduction into a society of vampires.Sure, the life of a graduate student wasn't exactly glamorous, but it was Merit's. She was doing fine until a rogue vampire attacked her. But he only got a sip before he was scared away by another bloodsucker-and this one decided the best way to save her life was to make her the walking undead.Turns out her savior was the master vampire of Cadogan House. Now she's traded sweating over her thesis for learning to fit in at a Hyde Park mansion full of vamps loyal to Ethan "Lord o' the Manor" Sullivan. Of course, as a tall, green-eyed, four-hundred- year-old vampire, he has centuries' worth of charm, but unfortunately he expects her gratitude- and servitude. But an inconvenient sunlight allergy and Ethan's attitude are the least of her concerns. Someone's still out to get her. Her initiation into Chicago's nightlife may be the first skirmish in a war-and there will be blood.
Paperback, 341 pages
Published April 7th 2009 by NAL Trade (first published January 1st 2009)
Four stars: An engaging, witty intro to a fun new series featuring the ever present vampires.
Merit scurries across the University campus. It is late and dark but she usually feels safe on the campus grounds. All that changes in an instant when an unknown assailant attacks from the dark shadows. A vampire nearly rips out her throat. It is her lucky day (well unluckiest and then luckiest), a master vampire comes upon the scene in time to save the fading Merit. The attacker flees into the dark, while Merit gasps her dying breath. Gently, Ethan cradles her and coaxes her back to life by turning her into a fledgling vampire. Merit wakes a couple of days later to find life as she knew it obliterated by the change. As a vampire she can no longer pursue her degree or finish her thesis. All the hours toiled over the books are for naught. She is thrust into the middle of the powerful Cadogan Vampire House, led by her savior, Master Vampire, Ethan. Merit discovers she must pledge her allegiance to serve Ethan. As a girl who spent her entire childhood squelched under her father's authoritarian thumb, the last thing she wants to do is conform and succumb to Ethan's rule. As she struggles to find her footing in her new life, she realizes, much to her dismay, that she is fiercely attracted to Ethan, the same man she is trying to avoid. Merit begins to navigate the new world of vampire politics, with a little help. Luckily, she retains the loving support of her best friend and roommate, Mallory and her beloved grandpa, while gaining some unexpected help from the ripped sorcerer, Catcher Bell and the cute, nerdy, computer geek and shape shifter, Jeff (my favorite character). While Merit attempts to move forward in her life, the attacks continue. Several more girls, who are similar in age and looks are assaulted and murdered. Can Merit accept her vampiric change and find a place in the Cadogan house while attempting to help solve the murders?
What I Liked:
- I know there are hundreds of books out there featuring the ever popular vampires. Thankfully, Ms. Neill in this novel, offers some new twists on the dusty, old creatures of the night. My favorite concept presented, was that vampires don't lose their appetite for human food. Yes, they do indeed drink blood but most abstain from drinking from humans, instead they drink from blood pouches provided by donors. Merit, gorges herself on all the fantastic food that Chicago has to offer. There are countless scenes where the characters are engaged in eating and I can tell you, some of the food descriptions made my mouth water. Don't read this book hungry.
- I loved many of the characters in this book. Merit, is strong willed, stubborn and tends to get herself into sticky situations because she can't control herself. This girl has got a back bone. She is also witty and a bit sarcastic, a spicy, pepped up vampire, that will make you laugh. She definitely lacks taste in the fashion department. Mallory, her best friend and roommate, is supportive and amazing. Exactly the kind of best friend every girl wants. She is there to offer advice as well as provide some fashion tips. Merit's grandpa is terrific, wise and loving, plus he has a few secrets up his sleeve. Catcher, her new trainer, is kick butt awesome. He makes the girls drool. Finally the geeky, Jeff, who I found adorable. This book needs more Jeff!
- I liked that the vampires had come out of the shadows and revealed themselves to the humans. The vampires are organized into separate houses with their own hierarchies. I enjoyed learning my way around Ms. Neill's vampiric society.
- The best part of reading this book for me, was that I read it as part of a month long blog read along event. I had so much fun reading and answering the questions and then comparing my answers with the other bloggers in the event. I met some fabulous new blogger friends during my read.
And The Not So Much:
- This book opens with a murder mystery element, but soon solving the crimes takes a back seat to all the vampire politics. I found myself wishing this story line was better developed. The answer to the murders comes at the end, but to me the ending felt a bit rushed and not everything was explained.
- This book feels like a building block novel for a series. Much of the book is devoted to establishing the characters and explaining the vampire lifestyle. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I found the pace of the novel dragged a bit. I would have liked a bit more action.
- Ethan, I don't have a good read on his character or motives. He needs more development. I found myself a little aggravated over the constant tension between he and Merit. They were attracted to each other but neither wanted to admit it. It was one of those situations where I wanted to reach into the book and slap some sense into them and tell them to make up their minds already. I have a feeling that this turmoil between the two may continue for some time.
Some Girls Bite, was a fun foray into the vampire genre. I enjoyed some of the improvements on the vampire characteristics. This book takes time to craft characters that will continue to engage the reader in future novels. Merit is an entertaining and energetic female lead. The sexy, male characters, Ethan and Catcher will delight the ladies. All in all a pleasant beginning to a series.
“That was how the exhaustion came. It crept in, silent but assuredly there, and covered me like a heavy velvet blanket.”
“Heavy drops of spring rain patted against the glass. It was seven thristyish, and the evening stretched before me.”
“Asking someone’s animal is the shifter equivalent of pulling a ruler and asking a guy to whip it out.”
“Uh, who ate her weight in sausage earlier today?”
“There’s not much wrong that a chunky monkey can’t fix.”
“even if you can’t be what you want, making the most of what you can be isn’t a bad second choice.”
“The song ends, and you stare at the quiet, dark house in front of you, and you grasp the doorknob, and walk back into your life.”