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Literature / Chicagoland Vampires

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Cadogan House has a new Sentinel.

The Chicagoland Vampires is a Urban Fantasy series by Chloe Neill that takes place in a world where vampires have come out to the public. Caroline Merit is a 28 year old graduate student who is savagely attacked by a vampire on the university grounds, only to have an Emergency Transformation by 400-year-old vampire lord Ethan Sullivan.

Less than pleased at having her life upended by the handsome aristocract, Merit still finds herself developing into an extremely capable vampire warrior. She is soon named Sentinel of House Cadogan, one of the twelve noble houses of the American vampire nation. What follows is a struggle to integrate vampires (and other supernaturals) into the rest of the world while constantly dealing with those who would destroy them.

The series contains the following volumes:

  • Some Girls Bite (2009)
  • Friday Night Bites (2009)
  • Twice Bitten (2010)
  • Hard Bitten (2011)
  • Drink Deep (2011)
  • Biting Cold (2012)
  • House Rules (2013)
  • Biting Bad (2013)
  • Wild Things (2014)
  • Blood Games (2014)
  • Dark Debt (2015)
  • Midnight Marked (2016)
  • Blade Bound (2017)

This series contains the following tropes:

  • All Myths Are True: Certainly a lot of them with fairies, vampires, mages, and shifters.
  • The Beautiful Elite: All non-Rogue vampires are selected for beauty, wealth, and talent. The vampire race can afford to be choosy with immortality.
  • Blue Blood:
    • The Merits of Chicago are one of the city's richest families. Merit, by contrast, is a blue jeans and t-shirt sort of girl.
    • Vampires are this themselves, as they're all divided into noble houses led by vampires, except for Rogues.
  • Brainless Beauty: The nymphs are gorgeous, buxom, thin, and apparently none too bright.
  • Emergency Transformation: Merit had her throat torn out and had to be transformed into a vampire to save her life.
  • Fantastic Racism: One of the chief conflicts of the setting is that the people of Chicago gradually turn against the vampires of the city, due to all the craziness which goes on around them. This includes riots, hate groups, and vampire hunters.
  • Feudal Future: More like Feudal Present, with vampires operating via feudalism in the modern era.
  • Food Porn: Every book will spend a chapter or so describing Chicago fried food in loving detail, which the vampires of this universe can eat and enjoy without consequence.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampires: Some of the friendliest in fiction. They drink artificial blood, don't need to kill to feed, cannot turn unless they have permission, and don't have mind-control powers or a Horror Hunger. Indeed, most vampires don't even drink blood from humans.
  • Fur Against Fang: A Downplayed Trope example. Shifters don't like vampires and vice versa. Averted in later books after they form an alliance.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Ethan throws himself in front of a stake to save Merit and dies. He gets better, though.
  • Hufflepuff House: House Grey serves as this for the first half of the series, not contributing anything to any of the stories. Averted when they join House Cadogan in rebelling against the GP.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Merit would prefer to be a grad student versus an immortal sexpot. She eventually gets over it.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Despite being a European house, House Cadogan and the other vampire houses use katana.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: When Seth Tate is replaced, the next mayor proves to be a supernatural hating bigot.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Ethan Sullivan takes this attitude with Merit for awhile. While Merit blames him for turning her without her permission, Ethan points out she would be dead otherwise and that she's been given a great gift from his perspective. It informs a lot of their early tension.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: They can eat food (and derive great pleasure from it), they don't have to drink from living subjects, they're killed by sunlight, they're very fast, they're very strong, they can't change shape, only some of them can "glamour" people, and they live forever unless killed. Wooden stakes will kill them but a wooden bullet will also do it.
  • Vampires Are Rich: House Cadogan certainly is. It's a Downplayed Trope example as while they do all live in an enormous mansion, it's more like a dorm and they get a comfortable but not ludicrous stipend.
  • Vampire Monarch: Every house is headed by a Master who rules over it as a king. Indeed, every vampire in them has to address them as "my liege." They are all under the Greewich Presidium, which is headed by a vampire council.
  • Weird Trade Union: The Order, which heads up America's sorcerers, is explicitly a union rather than a ruling body. It primarily negotiates the services of sorcerers.