Release-Day Review: Drink Deep by Chloe Neill (Chicagoland Vampires #5)


Drink Deep by Chloe NeillDrink Deep (Chicagoland Vampires #5)
Chloe Neill
Published: Nov. 1, 2011 (NAL)
Purchase at: Book Depository, B&N or Amazon

Rating (out of 5): 3 stars

Note: This review will give away the ending to Hard Bitten. If you’re not up-to-date, do not read this one, guys. I mean it. If you’re new to the series, read the VBC review of Some Girls Bite.

Chloe Neill said to trust her about the ending of Hard Bitten. Every fan was floored (and many justly pissed off) when Ethan died. And she promised it would be OK. Within the first couple chapters of Drink Deep, Merit is having dreams with Ethan in them. They feel real. They also happen to be nightmares where he’s torn away from her in some cataclysmic event. This happens a few times in the book. Not often enough to ever feel like Ethan is actually present.

Merit feels plenty of guilt about his death and ruminates on that, particularly as she grows closer to Jonah. In lieu of a partner inside Cadogan House to solve supernatural crises with she turns to the Grey House guard captain and Red Guard member. And he totally wants her to be over Ethan so they can get their smoochies on. The idea damn near gives her stress hives. He’s a hot guy and smart blah blah blah, but he’s not Ethan. No one is Ethan. And this, my friends, frustrates me. I expected to get some Ethan-related satisfaction at least by halfway through the novel, based on Neill’s word, and that wasn’t the case.

The GP has essentially taken over Cadogan House. Their representative goes so far as to ration blood (to vampires, yeah, I know), limit gatherings and put its guards in impossible situations. It’s painful to see the House beat down. They’ve lost Ethan and now they’re losing their identity one rule at a time. Mayor Tate is locked up, but his replacement is very anti-vampire. She’s calling for a registration act (which totally made me think of the first X-Men movie). And when supernatural badness descends on the Windy City yet again, she tells the public it’s all the vampires’ fault.

There’s magic at play, but with more bad press and protesters on the way, Merit has to try and solve someone else’s problem again. She works with Jonah, and gets alternately blamed and praised for the magical goings on that she has no control over. Mallory refuses to help her at all. Catcher is irritated but gives answers. Mostly, her sorcerer resources are damn limited.

I flew through this book, dying for answers. It kept me gripped to the pages, and engaged with the characters. I waited for this big reveal. Things had to be messy right? There was no way this could tie up neatly. And a few hundred pages in and we’d only had a handful of Ethan dreams. Where is Mr. Green Eyes?

I’m doing my best not to give this away for you guys, but Neill employed a deus ex machina. Suddenly it came together, and we get answers, but they just feel sudden and too easy. The resolution wasn’t worthy of the build up. Usually Neill tortures us and Merit. The resolution this time didn’t leave me sated.

Was it worth my Sunday afternoon to read Drink Deep? Totally, but the book left me conflicted. It’s heavy on politics, and was more a foray outside the tone and format of earlier Chicagoland Vampires novels. Additionally, the book just didn’t meet my expectations in terms of the Ethan part of the equation. Merit’s emotions were dead-on throughout the novel, but plot-wise we were still missing some key steps.

Sexual content: Kissing, references to sex

16 Responses to “Release-Day Review: Drink Deep by Chloe Neill (Chicagoland Vampires #5)”

  1. Carol says:

    This review depresses me a bit. I had this on the very top of my TBR pile this week. Maybe I’ll put Flesh and Blood in front of it.

    • I know, Carol. Oh, do I know.

      And I’m sorry about depressing you. I wish I hadn’t built this one up so much. A big part of me thinks it may be more enjoyable knowing that it’s not going to be an Ethan-fest.

      • Carol says:

        Yea, maybe your warning will set my expectations level a little lower so I’m not so discouraged at missing that lovely man. I just hope that Chloe’s recent contract extension for two more books doesn’t mean longer without Ethan…that is IF he is even coming back. Sniffle :-(.

      • You’ll get a more finite answer to the Ethan issue at the VERY end of the book. I won’t say what that is, because spoilers are evil.

  2. Karen Burkhart says:

    I threw the last book down after the Ethan thing. I was crying and yelling at it while my husband just laughed. I am sad to hear that this book isn’t going to be redeeming. I am not sure I would read another series of hers. I don’t like being left with an emotional rollar coaster.

  3. Veronica says:

    Well, not sure what to think now. I will read one book that is Ethan light but I can’t see myself reading more than that if Chloe is going to drag out bringing him back…in whatever manner that turns out to be.

    It’s also upsetting to read how unhelpful Mallory is going to be.

  4. Jess O'Brien says:

    I was in complete and utter shock when I finished the last book. Now i hear that this book isn’t great either. Majorly depressing! Just as i was getting into the series, Ethan has to die and now I’m gutted that this doesn’t get resolved straight away in the new book. Thanks for the heads up though. Maybe if my expectations are low, I will like it more…though I don’t like the idea of Merit and Jonah. Boring.

  5. trixie says:

    Thanks for the heads up on the book. I’m skimming the reviews to see if I am going to get the book from the library and have pretty much decided to skip this one. Hard Bitten left a bad taste in my mouth for Chloe Neill and this one doesnt seen to live up to her “trust me”. I think I’ll just stay in the wait and see mode until she delivers on a better book..and just re-read the 1st three again skipping …#’s 4&5

  6. Amy M says:

    I received the book in the mail yesterday and started it. I did a power read this morning before work and finished it. Having read some early reviews (honestly nothing that revealed any sort of spoiler) I had things worked out in my mind of how it would go so I was striving to get to the end, to the parts I was waiting to see how they played out. I did enjoy the book and there are a lot a loose ends left from Hard Bitten that are addressed and / or tied up. This book (as with all of the books actually) really sets up the next book in the series. I think since I knew kind of what to expect already it made it a better read for me. I don’t know how I would have felt going into it without that knowledge already.

  7. kyatty2007 says:

    I think I agree w/Amy M on DD being more of a setup for the next book, book. I was really left thinking WTH with several things and wondering why a scene happened or what the point of some plot point introduced was. I have some issues w/the ending aside from it seeming to easily resolved. Can’t really share w/out giving away spoilers. But I will say the particular scene I refer to, if you’ve read it, you may have the same ARE YOU SERIOUS?! reaction ;).

  8. Carol says:

    I finished the book last night and completely agree with the 3 star rating. There were some parts that were intriguing. But I agree, the ending was wrapped up almost too neatly. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop.

  9. Anamaria says:

    Thanks a lot for your review, I just started and I felt lost in the reading, not sure if it was worth my time.
    I will make an effort though ´cause I like so much the earlier books, will see.

  10. Shannon says:

    I bought the book when it came out because I needed to know things turn around. I just can not bring myself to read it though. Diving into Jennifer Estep’s newest book first and sulking over Ethan’s demise.

  11. LT says:

    I actually liked the book! I get where Neill was trying to go in terms of character development. Merit needed to come into her own without Ethan. Merit’s relationships with Mallory, Catcher, the House vampires, etc also needed to evolve. Without these frustrating and traumatic changes the series ran a serious risk of growing stale.

    That’s not to say that I wasn’t upset by Ethan’s death and that I wasn’t frustrated that Neill took the whole darn book to resolve the Ethan situation. I actually had to reread the book in order to catch all the things I missed after rushing through it the first time. But all-in-all I thought it was a good book and a departure from where Merit has been. Because of the developments in DD there is great potential for the series to grow in new and interesting ways. I can’t wait for the next book!

    • Allie says:

      See I agree with LT. If you haven’t read the book then this review sounds terrible. Don’t let it turn you off. I was fortunate that I went straight from book 4 to 5 so I was still on my emotion high and I had to know. Stop, take a calming breath, and read the book! It’s not another Ethan-Merit adventure like all the others but that’s fine. Neill still has her twists and at the end I found myself saying “I don’t know what just happened, but wow.”

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