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Blade Bound by Chloe Neill
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BLADE BOUND was a thrilling conclusion to Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampires series. The story starts out with Merit’s and Ethan’s wedding. After an attack, Merit, Ethan, and friends once again help to save the city from a sinister supernatural onslaught. This contemporary urban fantasy is suitable for adult audiences.

I love Merit’s character. She grew tremendously throughout this series. She is an admirable character that makes an amazing Sentinel for Cadogan House and protector for Chicago. She and Ethan make an astonishing couple that support one another.

I love that Mallory played an important role in this story. The series began with her and Merit as roommates. I think it is appropriate that she played a pivotal part of the final story in the series. I love Merit’s network of friends. They are all unique and have an instrumental function in Merit’s life and adventures.

The plot was exciting and full of unexpected and creative twists. I enjoyed this story from start to finish. Being a Chicagoan, I have always appreciated the hometown references that Chloe Neill includes in her stories. It makes me feel a bit nostalgic.

Chloe Neill did a remarkable job with the Chicagoland Vampires series. Her character development and writing style are noteworthy. I’m really hoping that there is going to be a spin off series with Elisa, Lulu, and Connor. I am going to miss this series, and am sad that it is ending. I will be re-reading it. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book. ( )
  dlynch | Apr 26, 2017 |
The end is here and I'm not ready for the series to be over!

I have enjoyed every moment of Merit's story since she was introduced in SOME GIRLS BITE. Merit is just really easy to like and relate too and the stories are written in such a way that it was so easy to bring everything to life in my mind. I have laughed, I've cried, I've screamed and and I have wanted to throw my book—sometimes at the author even— several times over the series, but I have never wanted to stop reading and finding out more. It has always felt like everything was happening for a reason.

Following Merit and Ethan's love story was just as great. They are such a strong couple and although they butt heads—often—it's clear that they were made for each other. I didn't always love Ethan, but he has grown so much since we first met him and they both make each other better people.

A lot happens in BLADE BOUND and a lot is concluded. Honestly there hasn't been one installment of the Chicagoland Vampires series I didn't love—even though one in particular made me REALLY mad at the author. No matter how you feel about the series, if you have made it this far, you can't stop before finding out how things end.

*Spoiler Alert*
My only real disappointment about BLADE BOUND has to do with the one thing I couldn't wait for since the moment it was mentioned. After all the lead-up to the whole baby thing, I kinda wanted more out of it. I am glad we got a little epilogue, but I would have LOVED to see Merit pregnant and watch the way that Ethan and all the vampires treated her and her response to being handled like a fragile princess. It would have been epic! I am of course very glad that it finally happened and in such a way that made it believable.
*End Spoiler Alert*

All in all, I'm happy with how things ended for Ethan, Merit and the rest of the Chicagoland gang. I don't want to spoil the spin off news for you—so I will let you read what it's about for yourself at the end of BLADE BOUND—but you can bet I will be reading it!

* This book was provided free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  STACYatUFI | Apr 23, 2017 |
Merit and Ethan are finally getting married. Everything is finally going her way

Until Sorcha returns, bringing winter to summertime Chicago, threatening the entire city and having one terrible demand: that the city and over Mallory and Merit

But no-one believes that her ambition is so simply satisfied with revenge

I am a little bemused about the mayor taking the lead so much. In fact, this has been a thing that has bemused me throughout this series: why is the mayor all powerful, how come they have so much authority and why is no-one else involved? I mean, if the third biggest city in America is evacuated because of a supernatural menace isn’t the president obliged to make a speech or something? Shouldn’t the governor of Illinois actually notice?

The story gets more and more epic but at the same time it’s clear the author wants this to be very very local. This is the Chicagoland vampires, it’s a story about Chicago so even when we probably should spill a little beyond the borders.

I think this probably centres on a general underlying issue I’ve had with this series from the beginning. It has an element of simplicity that kind of hangs on the story. Like keeping the story focused only on the Chicago authorities, making the mayor pretty much a complete authority within her realm and having her and her minions make decisions which are pretty dubious. It serves very much to make our main characters look intelligent, insightful and martyred but it’s a little clumsy (we see something similar ion how this series is pretty disjointed in how vampires are treated, flirting between viciously hated and violently oppressed minority to moderately tolerated/ignored other and back again within a pretty short space of time).

This bleeds over into the plot as well – it’s quite predictable with a lot of conflict resolved quite easily. Ethan makes a speech. Mallory manages to translated a centuries old mystery in a couple of hours. It adds to the story being a trifle… predictable? The arc is not one that surprised me even once and there was nothing resembling a twist

But… it’s still very fun. It’s one of those books that asks me to question whether twists, originality or a great deal of complexity is necessary. The story was predictable and simplistic – but still emotionally engaging: invoking anger at the terrible way the vampires are being treated. Excitement from the battle scenes and some decent, engaging development of Ethan and Merit’s relationship and their concerns over the prophecy that says Merit will become a parent. None of these are original and, yes, a lot of them are very predictable – but that didn’t make the characters any less engaging. These same patterns have been continuing for a long time in this season – but I still largely enjoy them. I like Merit, she’s fun, capable, not as bright as she’s written but still nifty without being overpowered. She also has some excellent female friends – which has been a major issue in the series before now: other women were demonised or occupied a relatively small role in the story. But increasingly we’re seeing Mallory move to become her own, skilled fun character who is taking a prominent space in the story and not constantly tormented by her own guilt which is an excellent step forward

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  FangsfortheFantasy | Feb 20, 2017 |
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