Review: Dark Debt by Chloe Neill (Chicagoland Vampires #11)


Dark Debt by Chloe Neill // VBCDark Debt (Chicagoland Vampires #11)
Chloe Neill
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

Note: While review will be spoiler free, it does make reference to previous books in the series. If you haven’t started yet, check out VBC’s review of Some Girls Bite.

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

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10 Responses to “Review: Dark Debt by Chloe Neill (Chicagoland Vampires #11)”

  1. Michelle Sanders says:

    I want to see Ethan finally propose to Merit FOR REAL!! No more bending down to help her with her shoe moments that leave my heart fluttering. Get on with it already, there are still plenty of opportunities for angst, but their relationship has felt stalled to me.

  2. Amy says:

    Great Review!

    I completely agree about how Dark Debt feels like an earlier book in the series. I think this comes through especially well with Mallory and Merit finally getting back to their fun and snark which was something that always stood out for me early on before Mallory had her evil episode or whatever you want to call it.

    I also agree that Chloe Neill has done a good job of setting up what I’m assuming will be the final story arc of the series, I’m just wondering how everything will play out in the final two books. There’s been a lot set up (with prophecies and proposals) I’m hoping that we actually get to see page time with it and not take it on good faith that these things will happen just off page.

    • Margaret says:

      Right? She’s got a lot to cram in to those last two books. I hope it works as well as this one did.

  3. susan emans says:

    I just finished Dark Debt and really enjoyed it. There were changes, surprises… but no Berna 🙁

  4. Jeanette Rivera says:

    I want to see ethan and merit happy. Maybe see Jonah pursue merit and ethan fight for her

  5. Shannon says:

    Love this series from the beginning! Chicagoland Vampires have brought back what Urban Fantasy should be.

  6. Mariana says:

    i loved this book!
    The old gang is now together again, i totally agree the it feels like the older books with the friendship but the characters are more grow up.
    my only problem was: how chloe neill will end this in two books?

  7. Carly says:

    I want to see ethan and merit married!

  8. Emalie says:

    I’m currently reading my way through the series, so I honestly have no idea what I want to see happening in Dark Debt.

  9. Vicki W says:

    I want to see Merit spend more time with Mallory & Ethan….but separately of course.

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