Guess what everybody?! I love Ethan now!
Drink Deep is the fifth book in Chloe Neill's Chicagoland Vampires series. Spoiler-free summary: it's about an English lit grad student called Merit who is turned into a vampire against her will, then has to deal with a whole bunch of supernatural drama. In Drink Deep, Chicago is being threatened by an unknown magical force that's turning Lake Michigan black, the sky red, and so on. Naturally, vampires are being blamed for everything, so Merit rides to the rescue.
After Hard Bitten (review here), like most readers I was hoping for some explanation about wtf just happened??? Because wow, that came out of nowhere. Unfortunately, Drink Deep brought on only more head-scratching. All the things that bugged me about Hard Bitten are present in Drink Deep, only they're magnified by the force of Very Weak Plot. After about fifty pages of long, pointless conversations, the obvious villain being obvious, and endless descriptions of eating, I realized that I either had to DNF this book or skim through it like a mutha. I chose the latter, mainly because I was dying to read the ending.
Here are some patterns I noticed while reading:
- Ethan, Gone But Not Forgotten Hey, did you know Ethan's gone? What are you feelings on that, Merit? We all know how close you two were. I swear to GOD every character has this conversation with Merit at some point in the book. Mallory. Lyndsey. Luc. Dolores Umbridge guy from the GP. Catcher. Jonah. I mean, a conversation reminding us that, yes, Ethan is gone, is one thing; but after the fourth, I started to get a little excitable. And by excitable I mean throwing the book on the floor and running through the house going, "It's happening again! Again again!" and laughing hysterically. It got to the point where I would drink every time the exact phrase "Ethan's gone" appeared in the dialog--and if I'd been drinking something other than water, I'd have gotten really drunk. Instead I just needed to go to bathroom.
- Food I love food as much as the next person, but the food mentions are getting out of control in this series. I don't know what a "red hot" is, but I do know I don't need to read about them every twenty pages. In previous books, the noshing was amusing because it highlighted that Ethan was 1. a prig, and 2. not of this century. Now it feels more like these novels should be renamed Caroline Merit: No Reservations.
- Jonah As we all know, I'm not a fan of Ethan (see here and here and also here), but he did make the books interesting. He had personality. Jonah, Drink Deep's boy toy du jour, has ZERO personality. I liked him better when he was all grumbly and hated Merit. Does she HAVE to be attractive to every single person with a penis she comes across?
- And speaking of characters... Inconsistency much? It seems like there have been major personality transplants in some of these characters. Take Morgan, for example--he's supposed to be the nice guy option, or at least he was in Some Girls Bite (review here). Now he's being described as having "the attitude of a sulking, bitter teenager." Say what? Mallory, Merit's practical bestie, is suddenly a raving lunatic; and Ethan was apparently off on a retreat to pick up male sensitivity in the twenty-first century. It seems like there are a lot of changes with the characters, but not much development leading up to it.
Am I going to read the next Chicagoland Vampires book? Of course! I need to find out if Ethan starts hungering for brrrraaaaiiiiiinnnssss. I hope he does.