Dark Debt (Chicagoland Vampires #11)
Published: Mar. 3, 2015 (NAL)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review
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Reviewed by: Margaret
Rating (out of 5): 4.5 stars
Remember that cryptic note Ethan found at the end of Blood Games? It appears that his maker Balthazar is back from the dead to cause trouble in Chicagoland. And he wants to claim everything Ethan has for himself—even Merit.
As if her plate wasn’t full enough, Merit’s dad forces her and Ethan to attend a charity gala at the home of a high-profile business associate. During the party Merit and Ethan foil an attempt to murder a crime lord and discover the assassins are Navarre vampires.
Dark Debt feels a lot like early books in the series. Balthazar is terrifying and manipulative and messes with Merit’s powers in a similar way to how Celina did. There’s also at least one other character acting behind the scenes much like Tate did, but with ties to The Circle, a shadowy international crime syndicate that looks to be the main villain for the rest of the series.
The original gang’s all here too, with the Ombuddies heading the attempted murder investigation and Catcher and Mallory providing magical back up for Merit. It’s nice to see Merit and Mal’s relationship getting back to normal after everything they’ve been through. I really enjoyed their girlfriend moments in this one. And I’m looking forward to the sorcerers possibly playing a bigger role in supernatural Chicago.
I’ve been Team Jonah for a long time, but he’s not very likable right now. I’m curious how (or if) he and Merit are going to resolve their differences. Morgan, on the other hand, has been a standoffish pain in the ass for quite some time but manages to redeem himself somewhat. And we finally get an explanation for his bad behavior.
Though a lot of elements felt nostalgic, Merit’s also moving forward. She seems to be trying to figure out how to be a better partner to Ethan. And not just because of the prophecy or his continued threats to propose. She gets this crazy idea that I’m quite curious about. She also has an extreme makeover moment that stands out for a few different reasons. She still gets plenty of opportunities to beat up the bad guys too, which are always some of my favorite scenes.
Plot wise there were a couple of big reveals, one of which I had figured out and one I didn’t. But there are still some unanswered questions about who The Circle is and what they’re plotting. I wonder how long I’ll have to wait to find out if I guessed right.
There are only two more books planned in the series and Dark Debt does a good job setting up what I assume is that final story arc. But it also reminds me of why I loved this series from the beginning.
Sexual content: sex, attempted rape