Drink Deep (Chicagoland Vampires Series #5)

Drink Deep - Chloe Neill This review and others by Berls are also available on Fantasy is More FunMy Initial Reaction...This series continues to be a favorite read for me. I was worried after the events of Hard Bitten that the series would fall apart- how could it survive the death of Ethan and the loss of the chemistry between him and Merit? How could it survive the death of it's chief adversary? Well this book does not disappoint.The Narration...For some reason I thought I had heard that with this book the narrator changes. Well I was wrong - it's still Cynthia Holloway and, since I thought it would be a new narrator, it was even more disappointing. At this point Holloway needs to go - I've patiently listened to five books now of no inflection and no voices, and I'm finally tired of it.The Characters...Merit is trying to pull herself together, because she's still Sentinel of Cadogan, a position she cherishes even more because Ethan gave it to her. Jonah, her potential RG partner and captain of the guards at Grey house, is working with her. He's helping her to continue developing her skills and to deal with the latest big bad hitting Chicago. I surprisingly did not miss Ethan very much during this book. Without Ethan there, Merit is standing up and growing into herself in ways I don't think she was able to do when Ethan consumed so much of her development. I never thought I'd say it, but he was holding her back! In Drink Deep Cadogan needs her, perhaps more than it ever has, and Merit seriously steps up to the plate. I loved seeing her passionately defending her fellow vampires.Ethan is gone, of course, but he's deeply felt. His memory is everywhere, not to mention Merit's dreams on an almost nightly basis. And then there's Jonah. He's a really interesting contrast to Ethan. He's definitely interested in Merit and, while he's respecting her need for time, I see definite potential there. He's quickly becoming a favorite character for me, he's smart, strong, and I love the natural way he and Merit interact with each other. I hope we continue to see a lot of him in the series.Mallory, another favorite character of mine, is going through her exams and it has turned her into a major stress ball. The way Neill writes Merit and Mallory's friendship was great, because if you've ever had an incredibly close friend that you will weather their mood swings still trying to be a good friend - then the way they're relating will feel so familiar. Merit knows she owes Mallory for how supportive she was during her transition to vampire and for her support when Ethan first died, so she's trying to be there for her - even when she gets bitchy. Which she does often.The Story...We pick up in Drink Deep two months after Ethan's death, with a broken Merit and mourning Cadogan House. The house is in major transition as all the leadership positions have shifted; Malik is in charge now, with Luke as his second. To make matters worse, the GP is moving forward with their investigation having sent a truly annoying man, who seems set not to investigate the house, but to bring it down.And then there's Chicago. With Mayor Tate's removal and imprisonment (as a yet to be figured out magical creature) a new, not so vampire friendly mayor has taken over. Her antagonism is only amplified by the many mysterious natural disasters hitting the city; the vampires are everyone's favorite culprit, but they haven't a clue what's going on. So Merit, Jonah, and the Umbud's gang are all working to figure it out.Concluding Sentiments...Rather than falling apart, in my opinion, the mystery is more pronounced without the same antagonist to fall back on (though it was still fairly obvious to me) and new relationships bloom with Ethan out of the picture. For those who find vampire politics annoying, this book will be frustrating, since the politics are perhaps the most pronounced of the series thus far. I found it infuriating, but in the good way that ropes you in and makes you want to slap a few people. I highly recommend having the next book ready as this one leaves you eager for the next..Get Drink Deep on Amazon