Biting Cold by Chloe Neill

CNeill-Biting ColdIf you don’t want to see all my thoughts about Biting Cold, I’ll give you the quick review I posted on facebook awhile back:

Needs more Jonah; yeah shifters & fae; colonial power; dirty minds prevail; lots to see w/quick action; future is shaky.

However, if you want to know more, keep reading. *grin*

Ass-kicking warrior garden gnomes. How can you not love a story that has ass-kicking warrior garden gnomes. That’s just one of the freakishly fantastic things you can expect out of the sixth Chicagoland Vampires novel, Biting Cold, by Chloe Neill when it hits the shelves on August 7th. While this book doesn’t come out for awhile yet (and I was seriously going to wait to post this a little closer to it’s release date), it’s been sitting on my mind too much to not talk about it. But don’t worry, I won’t include any spoilers (except from Hard Bitten and Drink Deep) – and there’s one major one I could’ve done if I hadn’t been thinking.

Turned into a vampire against her will, twenty-eight-year-old Merit found her way into the dark circle of Chicago’s vampire underground, where she learned there was more to supernaturals than met the eye—and more supernaturals than the public ever imagined. And not all the secrets she learned were for sharing—among humans or inhumans.

Now Merit is on the hunt, charging across the stark American Midwest, tailing a rogue supernatural intent on stealing an ancient artifact that could unleash catastrophic evil on the world. But Merit is also the prey. An enemy of Chicagoland is hunting her, and he’ll stop at nothing to get the book for himself. No mercy allowed. No rules apply. No lives spared. The race is on.

So Biting Cold picks up right where Drink Deep leaves off – with Merit and Ethan in a car, zooming to Nebraska to stop Mallory (this shouldn’t be a spoiler since the first chapter has been posted for awhile).  Honestly, I thought this was going to be a bigger part of the story, but it wasn’t.  The whole Mallory issue was resolved pretty quickly, but don’t take this to be a bad thing, because it’s not. Instead of a big drawn out fight, we actually end up seeing Seth Tate’s true form as well as Mallory beginning to deal with what she has done.  So I shouldn’t say the Mallory issue is resolved, because I doubt it will be for a long time, not with what she’s done.  Instead we get to see Mallory facing the consequences, trying to find redemption.  That is one of the things I love about Neill’s Chicagoland Vampire series, in other stories, this idea/concept would get swept to the side and finished rather quickly; but Mallory won’t be that lucky.  If you were Merit, how quickly would you be able to forgive your best friend for stealing your boyfriend’s ashes, raising him from the dead to be your familiar, and just out right causing a world of trouble?  The magic was an addiction for Mallory and Neill portrays it in such a fashion. So no, while the conflict with Mallory doesn’t last as long as I thought it would, the issue is far from over.

However, that is not the whole story.  Did you see where I mentioned that we get to see Tate’s true form?  Oh yeah, it would be so easly to spoil that just by using the categories in the sidebar, but I am so not going to do it. He is definitely old and he plays a huge part in Biting Cold. I’m not going to say as what though, because that is complicated and it would give things away.  Let’s just say that if you’re a fan of Tate, then you’ll get to see a lot more of him in Biting Cold and something tells me he could quite possibly be showing up in future novels as well.

If you a fan of Jonah, I’m sorry to report he is just not in Biting Cold enough. *grin* I was seriously hoping for some Merit/Jonah time, especially considering Jonah’s reaction in Hard Bitten. Wait a minute….now that I think about it, we don’t see a lot of the main side characters either.  Jeff is rarely seen and Merit’s grandfather is pretty nonexistent.  Plus there is this really great scene with Lindsey and Luc, but again, they’re not in the thick of things.  Here’s the thing though, this isn’t a case of too many characters, the story is getting crowded.  No, Biting Cold is really focusing more on Merit and Ethan than anything else.  Yes there is this big bad going on and situations needing to be resolved, but we get to see a lot of the emotional issues both Ethan and Merit have.  Yes he’s alive again. Yes they are back together. But Ethan started thinking again, and if you’re a reader of the series, you know what that means.

I’m already feeling like I’m revealing a bit much, so I’m not sure I want to say too much more.  The shifters and the fae are definitely involved in Biting Cold, but just like the main side characters, they come and go rather quickly. Again, this isn’t a bad thing. Biting Cold is definitely a game changer for the Cadogen Vampires as the ending leaves the House with a shaky and chaotic future. Well, maybe not shaky and chaotic, but it’s definitely going to see some hard times in the next book, House Rules.

Biting Cold definitely has a different feel to it compared to the previous novels in the series. Neill focuses more on the emotional tangles Ethan and Merit are involved in, all while a big bad is wrecking havoc all over Chicago. However, don’t let this fool you.  There is still plenty of action that gets Merit in trouble and we do get to find out exactly what our favorite ex-mayor is.

Overall, Biting Cold is going to be one of those novels that will keep you thinking for some time.  The complexity Neill gives her characters never ceases to amaze me and Biting Cold is definitely one that shows that even more. We’re not just seeing Merit struggling with physical conflicts, but with emotional and political ones that will influence her later.  And it’s not just Merit who’ll be affected either.  We get to see how Chicago reacts to the news that supernaturals exist; how Mallory and Catcher fares after the major crash Mallory’s life has taken; and more importantly, how the Cadogen Vampires will rise to the challenges they have and will face.  Neill doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to her characters and that gives them such depth that it’s hard not to be there rooting for them.  Neill consistently tells a freakishly fantastic story and Biting Cold is one more piece of evidence to that.

Biting Cold comes out on August 7th and you’ll definitely want to be at your bookstore getting a copy.  If you haven’t started the Chicagoland Vampire novels yet, do so now.  You won’t regret it.

One last tidbit that I can’t resist sharing…the ending to Biting Cold will definitely have fans screaming in their seats.

Read Order:
Some Girls Bite
Friday Night Bites
Twice Bitten
Hard Bitten
Drink Deep
Biting Cold
House Rules (2013)

About Jackie 3282 Articles
I am a 30-something SAHM with two adorable boys and a supportive husband who is very tolerant of my reading addiction. I love to read and easily go through about a dozen books a month – well I did before I had kids. Now, not so much. After my first son was born, I began to take my hobby of reviewing a little more serious and started Literary Escapism to help with my sanity. I love to discuss the fabulous novels I’ve read and meeting all the wonderful people in the book blogging community has been amazing.


  1. Not sure how I feel with all this new info. Love that it’s a bunch of Merit and Ethan, but Ethan thinking again, not good. I am a huge Ethan fan, but…..are we going over the same ground with him again? Sigh, now I am worried! I am glad to hear that it’s not all sunshine and roses with Mallory, right now thats not what she deserves. Tate, Tate, Tate, glad to know we find out his deal, been so curious! Can’t wait to read it, I love this series. Just worried about where we go from here! :-)

  2. Cindy – if you’re curious, there’s two hints as to where the next book will be going. I’m not going to say what though. *grin*

  3. Woo hoo! Biting Cold sounds good! I’m going to pre-order it.

    I’m keeping my fingers crossed we see more of Jonah in the next book. Him and Merit make a terrific team. Plus, he seems to have better mate qualities than Ethan. *ducks*

  4. ooh !! can’t wait to read it !! That’s sounds very, very good and i’m glad that Ethan and merit relationships is in the front of this book!
    But I wonder why we’re gonna scream at the end…? is it because of a cliffhanger? and is it a sream of joy, frustration,…?
    Oh and I can’t wait to see what Tate is !!

  5. Sounds good to me. Jonah can stay gone as far as I’m concerned. But Chloe has said on her forum that she doesn’t like to read about love triangles so she doesn’t write them. Ethan is the man that Merit loves and they make the perfect team, as they’ve proven time and time again in these books. Team Ethan/Merit all the way!

  6. Warrior Garden Gnomes! Sounds great!…ahem, except for the “Ethan started thinking again” part. I really hope the result of this isn’t the Twice Bitten scenario recycled, negating the character development in the later part of that book and in Hard Bitten. Just not that. After my favourite book couple have come so far, this’ll be beyond tiresome.

    Tate? Fallen angel, I reckon. :)

    • Barbara – Don’t worry, there is definitely character growth, it’s just not an easy road. *grin* As for Tate, it is not as simple as saying ““.

  7. I love spoilers, they never ruin a story for me! Is there any sex in this book? Ethan & Merit are so explosive! I hope we don’t have to drag out another 2 or three books to get the sexy back in this series…

    I am on the fence with this whole emotional tangles between Ethan?Merit. This is book 6 and we are still dealing with this mess? It starts to get annoying and no longer interesting. They should already be in a decent relationships and move on to face OTHER challenges…

    So yay or nay with the hot Ethan/Merit sex?

    lol Oh and I am glad Jonah is not front and center. lol

    • Sheena – you will definitely be happy at the end with the Ethan/Merit relationship. *grin* As for the sexy….I think it happens, but I would need to re-read it to be sure. Wait….there is A LOT going on during BITING COLD and they both get a little preoccupied. So there is definitely intent.

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