It defies reason, really. Book series are supposed to slow down, get stale as they go on, particularly when installments reach double digits. But with the Chicagoland Vampires Series, the opposite has happened. These books were wonderful from the start, but they have continued to get better and better with each successive book. Midnight Marked is no exception.
I'm not even going to pretend that I didn't love it, or tease what I thought and tell you to come through the jump to find out. No, I can't do that because this book was so spectacular that I cannot, even for a second pretend that it wasn't. So come with me through the jump and I'll gush in the most embarrassing fashion about this fantastic book, and probably about the author who gave us Methan and the gang and who can pretty much do no wrong as far as I'm concerned. Spoiler free, of course!
This is the penultimate book in the Chicagoland Vampires Series, and while that makes me a little sad, I'm okay with it, because Chloe Neill is wrapping up in the most satisfying way. I've seen more than one beloved series fall apart at the end, but I have nothing but complete confidence that our favorite Chicago sups are going be left in a place that makes sense and is satisfying for the readers. We've been with these characters for twelve books and seven of our years; we are deeply invested and want nothing but the best for all of them. And Chloe Neill is poised to give us and them just that.
But first, Midnight Marked. This one was a bit of a departure from CN's usual style, in that it only had one problem. Typically with a Chicagoland book, we get three problems: one supernatural problem, one Chicago problem, and one House or Methan problem. In this book there is one main supernatural problem, although it affects Chicago and Methan. I loved this plot choice, because I felt that is made the emotion and the action that much more intense, since we weren't distracted with other things. I've enjoyed the three problem style all along, but I loved this choice for this book.
This is going to be a pretty short review, because I'm giving away nothing (look for Zee's and my trademarked super spoilery discussion in a week or two for all the dirty details) except to say that this book fulfilled at least four of our Chicagoland wishes. As I was reading, I repeatedly had to stop and scream my joy or set the book down because something happened that I, or one of my friends, have been hoping for for ages. And as usual, there were a few things that I never knew I always wanted, but were absolutely, gloriously perfect.
Midnight Marked is the perfect set-up for the final book. It's a year out, so I feel like I have plenty of time to prepare myself to say goodbye to my favorite heroine ever, one of my favorite heroes ever, and one of the two best U/F series I've read. I have utter faith in Chloe Neill. She has given me a series of books that feels like coming home every single time I open one up, she has ripped open my heart, and then patched it back up, and she has shown how riveting the evolution of a group of characters can be. But possibly my favorite thing that she has done is write a couple that are committed, madly in love, and still interesting after twelve books. She's shared Merit and Ethan's vulnerabilities, the painfully real ways that they fight and how they make up, the way they take care of each other and push each other to be better. It feels real and natural and not forced at all and I LOVE that! No ridiculous love triangles here. Thank you for that.
Now we begin the long wait until the final Chicagoland Vampires book. This will probably the most interminable wait for a book I've ever endured, but I don't want to rush it, either. I'm going to spend the next year rereading every page of every CLV book and novella we have, and I'm not going to speculate about how it's going to end. Because I am certain, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it will end perfectly.