“My first few weeks as a vampire had been inordinately busy. Like The Young and the Restless, but with slightly dead people.”
Color me surprised - this was much better than I figured. I'm not sure why I was hesitant for so long to pick this up from my dusty shelves; it's sat there a few years. You'd think I'd be burned out by Urban Fantasy by now, but it's always a joy to find books that still inject that special magic into my reading veins.
Characters carry it more than the plotline (which is rather basic). The MC is sassy and funny but also good-natured and with heart. She doesn't put on attitude just to prove something and she's not so jaded that she's unapproachable. She's pretty but not physically perfect either - big plus. There IS that something special about her that makes her stand out power wise, as a common trope used in supernatural books, but it happens to be a trope I still like and follow rabidly.
I liked both of the guys in the book that were potential dating partners (kind-of anyway), but there is no competition such as to actually having real feelings just yet. It's not a cloying triangle right now but that possibility may be in sight. There's supe political maneuvering involved, but it's not aggressively obnoxious. The way the houses are set up works well enough - nothing too deep with the world building yet - they came out in the open recently - but maybe more depth will be added in future books.
Humor works without feeling forced - especially when it comes to the friend Mallory. Without the humor, the book wouldn't have worked nearly as well, but it held its own against needing to get down to the serious nitty-gritty sometimes. It was fun seeing banter between Ethan and Merit.
Plot-wise it's kind of basic - Merit's turned when she's unconscious, saved from a vicious attack, and has to adapt to her new life. Where the author adds a little ingenuity is having the houses differ from each other in that they have their own snobbery against different ways of vamp's life. Some of the houses feed on humans and each other, some only feed through bags - and not because they want to be politically correct. It's because they want to APPEAR politically correct, but they actually despise humanity so much they want to distant themselves from interacting with them, even to feed.
Merit is learning combat training and all that jazz - another decently common staple in UF. This doesn't excite me about the books and I kind of skimmed over that. It's fun that she bonds in a sense with a loner sorcerer, although the more amusing area is his bonding with the roommate Mallorie.
Issues I had was it was inconsistent on the treatment with Ethan, the 'liege' of the house. While it may be fine he doesn't get as much respect from Merit and accepts that for now, he doesn't get much respect from Cannon either. Who does he get respect from? And it was unrealistic how easily Merit accepted moving into the house. I would have thought their would be more of a fight/inner struggle, but apparently not. The author explained it because Mallorie and Cannon needed their mating privacy, but with how Merit stated Mallorie goes through men quickly, how she'd know right away this would last doesn't make much sense.
I'm not sure where the books can go from here on terms of staying as good, but I'm willing to check out the next few and see. It wasn't 100% perfect but it was almost a five star read for me in terms of how little I wanted to put it down. It was easy to fly through, the writing worked well with my chemistry, and the fun characters kept me entertained. On to the next!
The things that go bump in the night...are probably registered voters in Cook County