🎧 Just a Few Heirs of Chicagoland #COYER

Posted October 1, 2021 by Berls in Just a Few Books I Read, Review / 2 Comments

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This feature is for short reviews, reviews of books in a series where it might feel repetitive, or (as Michelle suggested) books I was too lazy to write a “real” review for. Today’s books were my Can You Read a Series in a month pick. I cut it close, finishing the last book with just 1 day to spare! But I did it and enjoyed the series quite a bit.

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

🎧  Just a Few Heirs of Chicagoland #COYERWild Hunger by Chloe Neill
Narrator: Suzanne Elise Freeman
Series: Heirs of Chicagoland #1
Published by Tantor Audio on August 14, 2018
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Length: 11 hours 34 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
three-half-stars

As the only vampire child ever born, some believed Elisa Sullivan had all the luck. But the magic that helped bring her into the world left her with a dark secret. Shifter Connor Keene, the only son of North American Central Pack Apex Gabriel Keene, is the only one she trusts with it. But she's a vampire and the daughter of a Master and a Sentinel, and he's prince of the Pack and its future king.
When the assassination of an ambassador brings old feuds to the fore again, Elisa and Connor must choose between love and family, between honor and obligation, before Chicago disappears forever.

I have mixed feelings about this spin off series so far. On one hand, I’m excited to see the old characters I loved, but on the other hand their presence has me less excited about their kids taking the center stage. And maybe, because of how close it is, it just didn’t feel little like I was just watching Merit all over again – it didn’t necessarily feel fresh. I’m hoping that with some time, the new characters will grow on me.

Elisa Sullivan is Merit and Ethan Sullivan’s daughter – and the only vampire ever born. We got that story back in Chicagoland Vampires and while it’s helpful that I know it and the characters, you could easily step in with this book and never read the original series; everything relevant from the previous is really well explained. It’s not surprising that Elisa reminds me a lot of Merit – that is her mother after all. She has some differences of course, especially the reason she was able to be born, which is a power with longer lasting effects than anyone realizes — I think this is likely to be the series plot point.

We also see Mallory and Catchers daughter Lulu, who has rejected her magic. A disappointing point for me, as they were actually some of my favorite characters and their magic made it super interesting. Equally disappointing, Mallory and Catcher have moved away. But I see the same sort of friendship-gang forming in this book – Lulu, Elisa, and Connor (Shifter, son of the Apex Gabriel). And the Omsbuds office has it’s altered but even more prominent role.

The plot itself feels very much as expected, like Chicagoland Vampires it’s very much a detective procedural type story, housed in Urban Fantasy. I enjoy the way the mystery unfolds and am fine seeing that format repeated.

This was narrated by Suzanne Elise Freeman, a new narrator for me (I think). I enjoyed her narration. I think she was similar enough to the Chicagoland Vampires final narrator that she was able to mimic the voices for old characters, while breathing new life into the kids who are taking center stage. I look forward to continuing the series.

3 stars Just Okay

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

🎧  Just a Few Heirs of Chicagoland #COYERWicked Hour by Chloe Neill
Narrator: Suzanne Elise Freeman
Series: Heirs of Chicagoland #2
Published by Tantor Audio on December 3, 2019
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Length: 11 hours 11 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
four-stars

In the second pulse-pounding novel in the USA Today bestselling Heirs of Chicagoland series, vampire Elisa Sullivan gets drawn into the shifting sands of Pack politics.
Vampires were made, not born—until Elisa Sullivan came along. As the only vampire child in existence, she grew up with a heavy legacy, and tried to flee her past. Then circumstances drew her back to Chicago, and she stayed to keep it safe. With shifter Connor Keene, the only son of Pack Apex Gabriel Keene, at her side, she faced down a supernatural evil that threatened to destroy Chicago forever.
After the dust from the attack has settled, Elisa is surprised when Connor invites her to a usually private Pack event in the north woods of Minnesota, and by the warm welcome she receives from some of Connor’s family, even though she’s a vampire. But the peace doesn’t last. The shifters tell tales of a monster in the woods, and when the celebration is marred by death, Elisa and Connor find themselves in the middle of a struggle for control that forces Elisa to face her true self—fangs and all.

I enjoyed this book so much more than the first in the series. The change in location allowed for greater distance from the characters of Chicagoland Vampires and let these new characters stand on their own. I found that I liked them a lot more and enjoyed their ability to stand on their own.

In Wicked Hour Elisa and Connor are visiting Minnesota, primarily for the initiation of a pack/family member, but also because some fishy things have been happening there and Connor needs to investigate. This had lots of pluses:

We’re not in Chicago anymore, meaning we don’t have all the old people, power structures and story lines hovering over Elisa and her friends/partners in crime. It really made a HUGE difference for my ability to get to know them and like them on their own. This is the most we’ve ever seen inside the shifter world, and it’s more complex and fraught with politics than I thought. It’s not vampire level, but it’s a lot more than we’ve seen previously. I enjoyed getting in deep with them Connor and Elisa’s relationship takes on a whole different dynamic – it’s partly that they aren’t just standing as the son of the Apex and the daughter of a Master Vampire, but as powers and leaders in their own right. It’s also that Connor is sort of making a declaration about Elisa by bringing her along – a bold step and one that makes their relationship a lot deeper than I had expected at this point (based on where they were in the last book).

Overall, I really enjoyed the solid detective work – a standard of this and the Chicagoland Vampires series – as well as getting to know everyone better. I do feel like there’s some repetition of the previous series potentially happening, but we’ll see what direction it takes before I make judgement. And I will admit, I’m very curious about Elisa’s “Beast” and what exactly that will become for her moving forward.

Suzanne Elise Freeman does a good job with the narration and I really like the way she has enhanced the personalities. I will definitely continue to listen to the series.

4 stars Pretty Great

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

🎧  Just a Few Heirs of Chicagoland #COYERShadowed Steel by Chloe Neill
Narrator: Suzanne Elise Freeman
Series: Heirs of Chicagoland #3
Published by Tantor Audio on May 4, 2021
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Length: 9 hours 37 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
four-stars

In the third installment in the Heirs of Chicagoland series, the vampires in Elisa Sullivan's world are out for blood.
Elisa Sullivan is the only vampire ever born, and she bears a heavy legacy. After a sojourn with the North American Central Pack of shifters in the wilderness—where she turned a young woman into a vampire to save her life—Elisa returns to Chicago.
But no good deed goes unpunished. The ruling body of vampires, the Assembly of American Masters, is furious that Elisa turned someone without their permission, and they’re out for her blood. When an AAM vampire is found dead, Elisa is the prime suspect. Someone else is stalking Chicago—and Elisa. She'll need to keep a clear head, and a sharp blade, to survive all the supernatural strife.

I am continuing to enjoy this series a bit more with each book. Thanks to the separation from Chicago in Wicked Hour, I’ve gotten to know the characters a bit better and now that they’re back with some of the familiar favorite characters they’re still standing on their own.

In fact, I think that’s a big part of this book in general – Elise and Connor are adults with BIG shoes to fill, but they are trying to stand on their own and make their own choices. I enjoyed that element, their independence and the way they’re trying to carve out their own path. For Elise, this is made harder because the AAM has arrived to punish her for changing a human without authority and their solution is that she needs to join a Vampire House (thus stripping her of that identity she’s trying to make for herself).

I appreciated Merrit and Ethan’s role in this book – they are very parental, wanting to protect their child and having to balance that with letting her make her own choices. It didn’t feel like they had an overbearing presence like in Wild Hunger. Malik also made a significant appearance, but in an appropriate, behind the scenes, uncle way. So I appreciated the distance from old characters, while still having them present. It was a nice balance.

I’m enjoying this new group of characters and the relationships they are forming. There’s lots of potential to still be explored – you’ve got Elise’s tenuous relationship with her “beast” and, though it’s only been marginally mentioned, I think Lulu’s magic avoidance is going to have consequences as some point. And then there’s Connor’s role as likely future Apex, which had some developments in this book.

Obviously, there was the standard mystery and detective work in this book and, as always, that was solid and enjoyable. I’m more invested in the long-term plot potential, than the mystery within the individual books though. I’m looking forward to seeing where this series will go. I continue to enjoy the narration and will keep listening, assuming the narrator remains the same.

4 stars Pretty Great

About Berls

Michelle adopted me as part of her blog when I decided to close down my blog, Fantasy is More Fun. The blog was dying, but my love of reading and the blogosphere was still strong as ever - so I found my new home here at Because Reading!

I'm not just a book lover, but a one time author (that hopes to be more in the future), wife, mom to the cutest, happiest, best 1 year old and step-mom to the craziest, sweetest 20 year old on the planet. My family mean everything to me and they appear frequently in the Sunday Post with Berls. So grab a glass of wine and chat books, blogging, and family with me!

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