ARC Review: Dark Debt by Chloe Neill

It's Chicagoland Vampires time once again, Saucy Readers. It will come as no surprise to regular followers that I adore the CLV series, and Chloe Neill, to the moon and back. And it is with baited breath that I wait for the next installment every six months or so. Well, it was no different with Dark Debt.

The ending of Blood Games left us stunned, wondering what that note meant, who sent it, and dying to find out what was up next for our favorite urban supernaturals. When Dark Debt finally landed on my doorstep, all of my weekend plans flew right out the door, and I devoured that thing in two days.

Did I love Dark Debt as much as I expected to? Is Chicagoland Vampires still going strong, or is this long-running series starting to get stale? Come with me through the jump and I'll tell you whether you should snap up  this eleventh CLV book right away. Spoiler free!

***There will be no spoilers for Dark Debt, but I'm assuming you've read through Blood Games***

Two Thumbs Up for Dark Debt!
Let me start with the bottom line: Chloe Neill is at the top of her game, and the Chicagoland Vampires books keep getting better with each and every book. Dark Debt is an excellent installment with a human problem, a supernatural problem, and wonderful relationship developments, both friendship and romantic, all advanced and/or solved in creative and entertaining ways. We continue to see Merit thriving in her role as vampire, as Cadogan Sentinel, we get a wider glimpse of the amazing Cadogan family, and we get to see Merit learning how be part of the relationships she had before she became a vampire.

Could Not Put the Book Down!
In Dark Debt, we get some more information about Ethan's past, we see the depth Methan's commitment (which is stunning, BTW), we take care of one villain and another slides into the picture, and we stand witness to a major life event for our friends.  We also find out what has been happening at Navarre House, why Morgan has been avoiding Chicago's supernaturals and the shenanigans going on for the past year. There's a chance that Morgan will grow into the position he inherited, and we see that he may not be the douche we saw through Merit's eyes since their break up. I'm rooting for Morgan now. I also have to mention Joshua Merit, because his behavior in this one swung wildly between the awful human being we've seen and come to loathe, to contrition ad acknowledgement that he may have been wrong. Perhaps there's hope, maybe Joshua has a heart after all. Zee and I will have many detailed things to say about all of these events in a week or two when we discuss Dark Debt in very spoilery terms.

The Chicagoland Vampires series is one of my favorite book series, and I believe one of the best out there. It is consistently entertaining and often surprising. We've come to love the characters like old friends, ones who we laugh with, adventure with, and sometimes grieve with. We feel protective of Merit and her compatriots, wanting them all to be happy and safe, and ready to battle with them whenever the bad guys threaten. The pacing is tight, plotlines creative and interesting, characters well developed, and dialogue snappy and quotable.

Thank you, Ms. Neill!
I always start a Chicagoland book with a smile and I finish it with a happy sigh. There are many things that I love about this series, but one of the best things is the joy that is weaved throughout. There has been some angst, but overall this series is happy and fun, with a heroine at the center who is surrounded, and driven, by love, and knows it. Moreover, our favorite characters know exactly who they are, and embrace their uniqueness and strength. They don't brood, they don't lament their lost humanity, they embrace their lives and use their gifts to help others whenever possible. There is a time and place for exploring the darkness of the world, but it just feels really good to read a series of books that makes me happy. So, thank you, Chloe Neill, for giving us a book series that truly brightens up the reader's day.

Wench Rating:


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