Some Girls Bite
Published 2009 341 pages
Summary (from the book jacket)
“Sure, the life of a graduate student wasn’t exactly glamorous, but it was mine. I was doing fine until Chicago’s vampires announced their existence to the world – and then a rogue vampire attacked me. But he only got a sip before he was scared away by another bloodsucker… and this one decided the best way to save her life was to make her the walking undead.
“Turns out my savior was the master vampire of Cadogan House. Now I’ve traded sweating over my dissertation for learning to fit in at a Hyde Park mansion full of vamps loyal to Ethan “Lord o’ the Manor” Sullivan. Of course, as a tall, green-eyed, four-hundred- year-old vampire, he has centuries’ worth of charm, but unfortunately he expects my gratitude - and servitude. Right…
“But my burgeoning powers (all of a sudden, I’m surprisingly handy with some serious weaponry), an inconvenient sunlight allergy and Ethan’s attitude are the least of my concerns. Someone’s still out to get me. Is it the rogue vampire who bit me? A vamp from a rival House? An angry mob bearing torches?
“My initiation into Chicago’s nightlife may be the first skirmish in a war… and there will be blood.”
Some Girls Bite is the first novel of the Chicagoland Vampires, a new urban fantasy series based around the experiences of Merit, an unwilling recruit to the vampire population of America’s Windy City. It is also the debut novel for new author Chloe Neill - and it certainly won’t be her last with Friday Night Bites, the follow up to Some Girls Bite, already scheduled for Fall 2009 plus a YA urban fantasy series in the pipeline for 2010.
Narrated in first person by Merit (like Madonna and Sting Merit only has one name and the reader never finds out her first name during the course of the tale) the story starts when Merit arrives home in a limo, wearing a designer cocktail dress, with little recollection of how she came to be in the limo and dress and even less memory of how she ended up a vampire. She is presented with a book of vampire rules, told to learn them and ordered to present herself to the Master of Cadogan House (the vampire House to which she is now affiliated.)
At this point Some Girls Bite seemed to be firmly heading into MaryJanice Davidson or Michelle Rowen vampire chick-lit territory. It wasn’t hard to imagine that our protagonist would soon don her Jimmy Choos before heading out for some light-hearted social comedy as she humorously annoyed all the fashionable, snobby vamps. The plotline immediately then took a turn for the unexpected with the revelation that Merit’s grandfather is a member of a secret supernatural bureau that keeps the peace between the various paranormal races.
Investigating Merit’s attack becomes all the more important when it becomes clear that someone is murdering young women and leaving evidence to implicate Chicago’s main vampire Houses at the scenes of the crimes. Although Merit’s character narrates the story with a light touch, the focus on solving the murders and Merit’s exploration of her new found vampire powers and responsibilities pushes Some Girls Bite away from chick-lit and into the realms of urban fantasy. Not as dark as some urban fantasy offerings, yet not light and frothy either, Some Girls Bite exists somewhere between the two ends of the spectrum.
The romantic element of the story between Merit and Ethan is a complicated tangle of unresolved complex emotion which by itself is enough to make readers want to explore the Chicagoland Vampires further. When you factor in the story’s fast paced plotline, entertaining characters and lingering mysteries I can just about guarantee that readers will want to read more of this series.
Some Girls Bite is recommended reading for urban fantasy fans who shouldn’t fail to be pleased with its vampire protagonist and the plethora of supernatural creatures that it introduces to modern day Chicago. Vampire fiction fans should be well served by this vamp-centric story too.
LoveVampires Review Rating: