Title: Friday Night Bites (Chicagoland Vampires #2)
Author: Chloe Neill
Publisher: Gollancz (UK) | New American Library (US)
Publication Date: April 2010 (UK) | Oct 2009 (US)
Paperback: 357 pages
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Own Copy
Reviewed by: Carolyn
RATING: 5/10 – meh
Ten months after vampires revealed their existence to the mortals of Chicago, they’re enjoying a celebrity status usually reserved for the Hollywood elite. But if people learn about the Raves-mass feeding parties where vampires round up humans like cattle—the citizens will start sharpening their stakes.
So now it’s up to the new vampire Merit to reconnect with her upper class family and act as liaison between humans and bloodsuckers, and keep the more unsavory aspects of the vampire lifestyle out of the media. But someone doesn’t want peace between them—someone with an ancient grudge…
After reading ‘Some Girls Bite’, which I really enjoyed and thought was a great debut, “Friday Night Bites“ is a bit of a disappointment. I was hoping to see the characters grow a lot more, relationships moved to the next level, more action. Instead I got a rather lack lustre tale.
Merit has moved into the Cadogan House and is reluctant to leave her best friend and roommate Mallory, not to mention having to be in close proximity to Ethan Sullivan, her vampire master and maker, who she loathes and lusts after in equal measure.
I found Merit difficult to like in this book – she’s quite shallow at times, which is evident from the onset with her rather judgemental, if not a little bitchy, opinion of her gym instructor:
“Although I loved to dance, hip thrusting under Barbie’s bubbly instruction and ever-bouncing bosom involved too little actual dance and too much cleavage. I needed to respect my dance master. Respect wasn’t exactly the emotion Barbie inspired.”
Really? Now, I know that this is probably meant to be light-hearted and in jest but it didn’t give me a warm feeling about my heroine.
I also didn’t get to know any more about Merit than what I was told in the first book – there’s no real background to her, nothing in her past that makes her interesting. It’s all in the “now” and the only interesting thing is that she was made into a vampire, but even the animosity and anger she so rightly felt towards Ethan for converting her without her consent (even if it was to save her life) is now gone with the bite of burger & fries:
“Thank you…because if I hadn’t been changed, I couldn’t eat this incredibly unhealthy food.”
Some of Merit’s snarky dialogue, which should have made me chuckle, didn’t, and what was meant to be funny didn’t really work and felt forced.
Ethan is an interesting character and there are moments when I think there’s something quite special about him, but it’s fleeting. He hasn’t moved on in any way since Some Girls Bite. He’s still grouchy, aloof, and not in the sexy, mysterious way.
The relationship between Merit and Ethan is also static and hasn’t developed in any way. There’s still a fair amount of sexual tension between them but it’s all a bit dull, although the delicious scene in the library nearly made up for it – but not quite.
I really liked Morgan, Merit’s other love interest. He was warm and sweet and said all the right things, that is until the second half of the book, when he became jealous and possessive – but then Merit was kind of leading him on. Flirting and kissing while wanting to be with another isn’t cool and I can understand where Morgan is coming from.
Merit’s best friend and upcoming sorceress, Mallory is being sent away to hone her skills. I like to think of Merit having some friends but it’s a shame Mallory’s character isn’t fully developed and feels a bit surplus, as though she’s there just to flesh out what is basically a fairly thin plot, a plot which contains much of the same as Some Girls Bite: Ethan is betrayed by one of his own. There are moments when things liven up and my interest piques but it soon fizzles away.
All in all, “Friday Night Bites“ isn’t a great second book. It doesn’t include much romance, excitement or really that much of a storyline – there’s no snap, crackle & pop! I was bored and disappointed. I just wish there was either more romance or more action because in there was neither.
Although I didn’t particularly gel with any of the characters and found the plot to be lacking, the author does have an easy writing style that I like. I pray that things move on considerably in ‘Twice Bitten’, the third book in the series, otherwise it will be the end of the road for me and Merit…
You can find more about the author here:
Books in Series Order:
2. Friday Night Bites
3. Twice Bitten
4. Hard Bitten
5. Drink Deep