ARC Review: Wild Things by Chloe Neill

It happened again. I received a copy of Wild Things, the ninth Chicagoland Vampires book, more than six weeks before it was released to the masses. And, again, that was it's own form of torture, because I have no one with whom to discuss this book. And I NEED to discuss this book. Like, events are rattling around in my head, I can't let them go, it is going to make me insane, need to talk to someone about this book.

Collage by Olga Daniels
So, I've decided that I will do my best to give you a non-spoilery review of the book now, letting you know simply what I thought of it. And later, a couple of weeks after it's released and all of the Wenches have had a chance to read and discuss, Zee and I will do one of our epic discussions of the book. Because I NEED TO TALK ABOUT IT!!!!

So click through to find out whether I'm still on Team Methan or whether I'm packing up and leaving Chicagoland for good.

This will be spoilery through Biting Bad, but you've already read that one, of course.

If you know the Wenches at all, if you've followed my reviews, you probably can already assume that I loved this book. And you'd be right. I loved this book. It felt very much like a transitional chapter in Merit's story, where her personal life, her relationships, have settled into place after a tumultuous year, but things are about to get bigger than Merit. We've spent eight books with Merit, watching her learn what she is, who she is, her place in her new world, her place by Ethan's side. And it has been an amazing journey. But methinks the journey has just begun.

Once again there are three basic problems in Merit's world: continuing from Biting Bad, Mayor Kowalcyzk has filed trumped-up charges against Ethan, so they flee Cadogan House for refuge with their shifter allies. The shifter allies are attacked while our vamps and their sorcerer friends are present, dragging Merit, Ethan, Mallory, and Catcher into investigating the attack. Meanwhile the GP sends Lakshmi to request compensation for the death of Harold Monmoth. The shifter problem is solved, while the other two are advanced, but not solved, leading to a stunning set-up for the next book.

The shifter shenanigans were interesting enough, but with so much Methan/Cadogan/vampire politics deliciousness in the book, I wasn't fully invested in that storyline. I'm sure it will grab me when I read again and can focus on it, but mostly I was just pissed, again, at Gabe. I am well and truly fed up with one Gabriel Keene, and his dissembling when it comes to committing to Cadogan House, and his secret keeping, and his alpha posturing. I am also well and truly fed up with his blackmailing Merit and Ethan into helping him. They would help anyway, even without the threats. Because that is what friends do, and despite Gabe's questionable choices where Cadogan is concerned, they are friends of the Pack. But I was almost relieved to see that he doesn't really behave much better within the Pack, keeping secrets and manipulating them as well. So maybe Gabe is under tremendous pressure as the leader of so many. Or maybe he's just a douche. We'll see. (Although he was pretty douchey in Howling for You, too. Hmmm)

The situation with Mayor Kowalcyzk is just tiresome to me. Another Mayor attempting to do despicable things to the supernaturals of Chicago. I don't understand how she gets away with the shit she gets away with. I'm done with her and ready to move on to bigger, and better, foes.

The very best part of Wild Things is the same thing that was the best about Biting Bad: Methan. Merit and Ethan together, in a relationship, partners, is an absolute glorious joy to behold. I can't say it any better than Merit can, how beautiful and astonishing their love is, so I'll just let her say it:
 "And I was more in love with him than I'd imagined was possible. Not just infatuation. Not just lust. But love--complex and awe inspiring and utterly frustrating.
Nearly a year ago, I thought my life was over. In reality, it was just beginning." 

Two things left me completely stunned in this book. First, Chloe Neill has been teasing us for months on Facebook and Twitter, noting that the prophecy about green "eyes that looked everything--and nothing--like Ethan's" would be discussed in Wild Things, and discussed it is. We learn exactly what the prophecy means, and what its fruition will mean to the vampires of Cadogan House, Chicago, and the world. It's a BFD and I can't wait to discuss it with someone!

Secondly, Lakshmi calls due the favor that Merit owes her. And, again, it's a BFD. Like a giant, huge WHY-IS-THERE-NO-ONE-TO-TALK-WITH-ABOUT-THIS deal. I finished the book two weeks ago, have read three books since then, and I still can't stop thinking about it. Wondering about the implications, ruminating on how perfect it is, and why I didn't see it before. Because I totally didn't see it coming.

So, there you have it, Saucy Readers. Bottom line: if you are a Chicagoland Vampires fan, you'll want to pick this one up and fly through it right away. It's a game-changer, and I'm so glad I'm along for the ride. Now, when is Blood Games due out? The next six or seven months are going to be torture thinking about this one! 

Wench Rating:
You have to love a book that has you stunned weeks later!

Have you preordered? Are you dying, like Wench Zee, because you still have two more weeks to wait? Sound off, in the comments below!


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