Reviewed by JenI had a really hard time getting into this book. As a big fan of Ethan and Merit, I had high hopes for the reunion brought on by the events of Drink Deep. Granted, I wasn't overly excited by the prospect of the Mallory arc, but that turned out to be a moot issue anyway, since very little of the book is about her. Let me back up.
This book begins right where the last one left off, with Ethan and Merit in pursuit of Mallory and the dark book she covets. There are a lot of longing looks and lingering emotions, but they can't act on them because of the pressing nature of their mission. They actually apprehend Mallory pretty fast. She's not the Big Bad after all. The real bad guy (who I won't name so I don't spoil you) quickly takes center stage as Merit, Ethan, and the gang try to figure out how to defeat him.
Here's the thing, I felt like the first quarter of the book was delay-delay-delay on the Ethan-Merit love fest. Then Ethan develops a problem that makes him push Merit away before they can ever really get back together. This is where I went from a little bored to a bit annoyed. We've been there and we've done that with these two, ad nauseum. I felt like we, as readers, earned a big payoff on these two after all we have been through with them. I cried for two damn books over Ethan's death and Merit's mourning. And now, he wants to put things "on hold?" There was much cursing to be had in my house at this revelation. It goes on and on. We've moved past sexual tension into the realm of "you've got to be kidding me."
As for the action-arc, it was fairly good, though nothing entirely earth shattering. I felt more anxious about the looming judgement from the GP on the future of Cadogen House than any real danger from the bad guy. I mean, what's the worst he could do? After we survived Chloe Neill killing Ethan, any other worst-case scenario is going to seem tame by comparison.
Things do pick up in the last third of the book. That's when we get the big showdowns in both the emotional and physical aspects of the story. Both were pretty good, but I think I spent so much time being underwhelmed, it may have just been too late. The book wasn't bad. It's just that I have seen what this series is capable of and... it's better than this.
*ARC Provided by NAL
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Biting Coldby Chloe NeillRelease Date: August 7, 2012Publisher: NAL