Written by: Chloe Neill
House Rules is the latest in the Chicagoland Vampire series by author Chloe Neill. Things are changing for new vampire Merit and her house, Cadogan. On the verge of officially becoming rogue vampires themselves, 2 very well liked vampires mysteriously disappear and the evidence doesn’t point to a pretty picture. The GP is heading to town to separate Cadogan from the house system, and Merit is about to join a secret organization in the interest of protecting her fellow vampires.
OK I’ll admit that summary might be a little confusing if you’re new to the series, and a little vague if you are, but I really try hard to not spoil as much as possible. I want people to read these books and enjoy every single twist and turn. And here we are, late in the series, although not exactly late in Merit’s vampire life, and Neill has managed to keep the stories and characters interesting and enjoyable. Opening the pages here is like returning to a group of old friends.
If you’re a newcomer to the series and are intrigued, this book is oddly a wonderful starting point if you really don’t feel like starting at the beginning. Throughout the narrative there’s plenty of information filled in about prior events and how they shook out and their current state. Of course you do miss all the awesomeness, but you can go back (albeit spoiled). The changes in the world make it a decent starting point.
One thing that particularly struck me to discuss about House Rules is how great Merit and Ethan’s relationship is. I know this is technically an “urban fantasy” title, but I’d rather a teenager getting some sort of ideas about relationships through Merit’s choices (although not always the best, but how interesting would that be?) than some other books out there. I’ve said it in many other reviews of the series, but Merit is a pretty great strong female character. She’s smart and constantly seeking information, she’s also intuitive, and she makes generally good life choices. While her relationship with Ethan isn’t perfect, it isn’t an actively bad relationship. Especially in a lot of House Rules, where the two really display a perfectly good adult relationship while maintaining a professional one as well.
As for the action and intrigue we’ve come to expect, there’s plenty of that too. Ex-lovers, powerful organizations, vampire murders, House Rules has it all in spades.
House Rules is out right now (this review is a way late actually) and it is a must buy in my humble opinion.