A review by Maria.
I would like to thank the wonderful author Chloe Neill for allowing me to be apart of the blog tour for her new novel Midnight Marked, the 12th book in the Chicagoland Vampires series.
Midnight Marked is the 2nd to last book in a 13 book series featuring the vampires of Chicago. Merit was turned into a vampire against her will over a year ago; Master vampire, Ethan Sullivan, did it to save her life after she was attacked by a rogue vampire. She became the Sentinel, the warrior, for Ethan’s house of vampires, Cadogan House. Slowly her hatred of Ethan turned into love. The book picked up where book 11 left off, with best friends Mallory and Catcher getting married and with Merit and Ethan still on the hunt for Adrian Reed.
This novel starts with a shifter being murdered by a vampire. Merit and Ethan must find the killer before a war breaks out between the two supernatural races. Incredibly, they discover that the murder has ties to an old enemy from the past, Reed. This time Reed has the aid of a powerful sorcerer and the old magic of alchemy on his side. Merit believes they might finally have a chance at Reed until she discovers he has the biggest card of all still left up his sleeve . . . her rogue attacker.
Merit went from being an unremarkable college student in the beginning, and over the course of the series was turned into a warrior. This novel might have been her greatest character arc yet as she faced down the man who ended her life. She fights as hard as she loves and despite being immortal still cares for all the humans and supernaturals around her, and will fight for them even if it causes her life to end again.
Ethan is still very much the epitome of heroic perfection. He’s gone from being a stoic, gruff Master for hundreds of years to someone capable of loving. Through Merit, he’s found family, friends and supernatural alliances outside his own house. And even though her job, as Sentinel, is to protect him, they continue to adorably argue about who should be protecting who. Ethan may have learned to love, but he’s still navigating the bounds of personal space in his relationship with Merit. He makes a mistake that results in one of the most devastating fights they’ve ever had. Their fight might have been rough, but it also made their arc as romantic leads more believable and human. Since these two have very strong personalities, and are immortal, it’s likely that they would have some blowouts.
The enormous cast of memorable side characters all return in this book. I was pleasantly surprised to see so many favorites return and have them still fit into the flow of the story. The standout characters continue to be Catcher and Mallory. I’ve always felt like their relationship was a sign of what Ethan and Merit could have. Now that Catcher and Mallory are married it gives readers hope that a certain proposal could happen. The prophecy that Merit and Ethan will conceive the first vampire baby continued to be brought up in this book. When Mallory finally found out about it, her reaction made the wait totally worth it.
Like the other books in the series, Midnight Marked was very fast paced with plenty of magic, action, heroic battles, and life-altering choices. I did find that the part of the novel that introduced and discussed the workings behind alchemy dragged a little bit. I didn’t find that type of magic as interesting as other magics featured in the book.
This book is recommended for adult audiences. My rating: 4.5/5 stars.
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The fun doesn’t stop here. Want more chances to win? You can also enter the Midnight Marked Grand Prize Giveaway, which runs February 11 through March 4 on Chloe’s web site.
What is the Grand Prize Giveaway prize?
- Engraved Cadogan House medal pendant
- Lou Malnati’s Tastes of Chicago package, featuring hot dogs, pizza, and cheesecake
- $25 Amazon gift card
- Tote bag containing Chicagoland Vampires and Devil’s Isle Swag