Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “Parts of the world are great; parts of the world are garbage. I can’t abide optimism.”
Elisa Sullivan is all grown up and ready to take her place in the world, but as the princess of Cadogan House and the only vampire child born to two powerful vampire parents, she has a lot to live up to. After spending the last few years going to school in Paris, Elisa is home to take part in a worldwide vampire summit on peace. When murder and mayhem rocks the summit, Elisa and her nemesis, Connor Keane, prince of the North American Central Pack and it’s future alpha, have to find a way to sort through their feelings for one another to get to the bottom of who or what wants to start a supernatural war in Chicago. Love, family, obligation, and honor are powerful motivators…and sometimes only one will be allowed to triumph.
Adventure is the name of the game in Neill’s latest release. Wild Hunger is a spin-off of her Chicagoland series; featuring the next generation of vamps, sorcerers, and shifters that make up Chicago’s supernatural population. Fans will remember at the end of Blade Bound, Merit was pregnant with Elisa. Slaying It is a small bridge between BB and this story. Wild Hunger opens 23 years later with a fully grown Elisa. We get some mild background information on her childhood though the focus here is on Elisa all grown up and ready for the next chapter in her life. A chapter that will not only test her mettle as a Sentinel but as a daughter, a vampire, and a monster.
“We all carry expectations […] Sometimes our own, sometimes others.”
A steady hand and inviting energy keeps the pace flowing as Neill sets the stage for the arc. The world building marries with well with the original though I felt some aspects were repetitive as Neill strives to keep this series and its characters from becoming copies of Merit and Ethan. The action, adventure, antagonism, and the usual magic infused chaos and mayhem certifies this as a Chloe Neill story.
Told in the first person, Elisa gives readers an inside look as to what Chicago and the Sullivans have been up to for the past 23 years. A combination of Merit and Ethan, she is strong and steady with her father’s quiet intellect and political savviness and her mother’s fighting skills and playfulness. Chosen to be a Sentinel for her house, like her mother, she strives to move beyond her parent’s shadow; hence the need to go to school overseas. Her family issues play a large part in the evolving arc. The arc is two folds-a conflict and a romance. Elisa has issues that stem from her conception and her conflicted feelings for Connor Keene. Her parent’s (mainly her mother’s) relationship with the pack Alpha doesn’t automatically clear the way for her and Connor. There will be hurdles galore for them to overcome.
This wasn’t the boy who’d stolen my toy sword.
This was a man on the edge of power.
So I prepared for battle.
The mystery and the reasons behind it were interesting though unexpected. Not sure why I expected something more directly connected to Elisa and the House. Plenty of action and intrigue though I get tired of the city always being an indirect villain. The investigation is through as Elisa teams up with various new faces to help her friend. Everything comes together rather easily once the villain is unveiled. We receive numerous clues to the future and I for one am interested in seeing what will become of them all. Gabriel Keene and his prophecies. Goodness, I am ready to hear it already. Lol But as he tells it’s son-it’s not his story to tell. I’m very curious to see if Merit’s and Elisa’s prophecies will intersect and how.
“We are proud of who you’ve become. But never forget where you came from.”
A slew of old and new faces make an appearance in here for our enjoyment. We meet Catcher and Mallory Bell’s daughter, Lulu. A powerful sorcerer in her own right and Elisa’s best friend, she has abstained from practicing her magic due to her mother’s reputation. Though, that may change. I liked that Lulu isn’t the powerhouse her mom and dad are and that she is self-aware of her limitations. Sometimes it’s okay to be human and Lulu embraces that. Of course, the inhabitants of Cadogan House (and the other houses) play a large part along with a new Ombudsman staff and a more in-depth introduction to the Pack. As with all of Neil’s books, the long-standing relationships remain a solid aspect of this series. The dialogue is sharp and witty, keeping you laughing at the most inappropriate times.
“Where is your car?”
“Outside the gate.”
“You couldn’t park next to the door?”
“I didn’t want to drive on the lawn. That seemed rude.”
“They kidnapped me!”
“We don’t all have to be assholes.”
Old and new enemies come out to play as Elisa discovers that she not only has her own, she has inherited also some from her parents.
The ending wraps up the conflict with a bang while giving us with plenty to think about until the next book, TBA. Regardless of some first book problems, I like it overall. I do miss the humanity that her mother possesses which was a lovely foil against the world and Ethan. Elisa has potential though; along with a delightfully developed sense of snark and Lulu. I look forward to watching Neill draw it out as Elisa struggles to find her place in the world and make peace with herself.