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Drink Deep (Chicagoland Vampires, Book 5) by Chloe Neill
Cover Artist: Tony Mauro
Review by Drew Bittner
New American Library Trade Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780451234865
Date: 01 November 2011 List Price $15.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Website / Show Official Info /

Merit's beloved Cadogan House is in dire trouble. For one thing, the vampire council has appointed a worthless toady to oversee the House and correct its deviancies. For another, Chicago is turning hostile to supernaturals of all sorts, with vampires at the top of the hit list for mayor and vigilante alike. Also, Lake Michigan has suddenly gone black, its waters a magical vortex threatening all sorts of magical havoc.

What's a Sentinel to do?

In Drink Deep, the fifth Chicagoland Vampires novel by Chloe Neill, Merit is facing trouble on multiple fronts. Without the support of her mentor and maybe-boyfriend, she's forced to call upon new resources--including the vampire internal affairs squad known as the Red Guard--to get things done.

When Lake Michigan undergoes a startling transformation, into a Stygian pool that's draining local magic, Merit knows she has to act. Working with Jonah, a vampire of Grey House who seeks to induct her into the Red Guard, she starts to investigate, getting between a gaggle of river nymphs and the goth siren of the lake. Along the way, she runs afoul of Franklin Cabot, the Cadogan House receiver, whose draconian measures seem intended to wreak havoc within the house... and give the Greenwich Presidium a reason to close them down.

Meanwhile, Merit's best friend Mallory is suffering from stress, as she prepares to take major exams on the way to becoming a sorceress. Her teacher Simon is hated by her boyfriend, Catcher, and indeed things start to seem amiss, though Merit hardly has time to follow up. She keeps promising Mallory (and herself) that she'll make it right, but that golden time only slips further out of reach.

Chicagoland by Chloe Neill:
* Friday Night Bites
* Twice Bitten
* Hard Bitten
* Drink Deep

To really make things right, though, Merit is going to have to get to the bottom of some troubling dreams and survive a magical gauntlet that will challenge her to her limits. By the time all is done, Merit's world will (once again) be shaken to its very core.

Chloe Neill amps up the intensity with this novel, putting Merit into even greater danger than before, while offering a prize unlike anything the young vampire could imagine. It's a singular high stakes adventure this time around, with a very heavy cliffhanger set up for the next volume. Neill's fans should be delighted, however, that she has signed for three more novels, thus assuring the ongoing adventures of Merit well into the future.

Merit continues to grow, learning new capabilities (such as free-falling from tall buildings) and making new alliances to compensate for a terrible loss. Her new friends--including Jonah, who proves to have had a prior connection to Merit's life--enrich her world considerably, even as her older friends experience tribulations of their own. It's fair to say that nothing, at the end of this story, is remotely okay, even though something truly remarkable does happen to upend her existence.

Neill has another powerhouse entry to this series with Drink Deep, and her legions of fans are sure to be delighted. While I wouldn't begin reading the series with this book, it is nevertheless a great addition to the narrative.

Recommended.

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