Neill has created a descriptive, imaginative and striking world for her Chicagoland Vampires, rich with real world problems as well as otherworldly creatures. Though it might be a bit difficult for newcomers to jump into, once acclimated, they’ll find it roughly fantastic from beginning to end, with one of the best endings in urban fantasy history.
Merit is tasked with finding out who is killing humans. The city’s mayor has threatened to put Ethan, her master and maker, in jail if they don’t find the culprit. To save her master, and past lover, she teams up with underground vampires who have their own agenda. The answers lead them to Merit’s nemesis — but the story doesn’t stop there. As the mystery is uncovered, the Cadogan house is shaken to its core. Humans don’t want them around. Some don’t want Merit digging into the human murders, and of course, Ethan’s past betrayal still stings. (NAL, May, 368 pp., $15.00)