In part, they were protecting us from a second attack by shape-shifters. That seemed unlikely, but so had the first onslaught, led by the youngest brother of the leader of the North American Central Pack. They were also protecting us from a new threat. I glanced up from the elegant curve of wooden trim I was swabbing with stain. Their flames flickered in the sticky summer breeze, three or four dozen humans making known their quiet objections to the vampires in their city. Popularity was a fickle thing.
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Thus I figured a nicely rounded three star rating accurately reflects my ambivalence toward this novel. On the positive side, Hard Bitten is an easy to read and mostly enjoyable book providing that you enjoy the narration of the main character and protagonist, Merit. Luckily I do enjoy her narration and respect her as a character. This story, more so than the others, is packed with action, mystery and intrigue. It occasionally suffers, as its predecessors do, of an annoyingly journal-like quality that may aggravate some readers.
Something similar to: So I dressed and showered. She is an author who seems to LIKE women. Merit is the main character, but unlike almost every other female protagonist in this genre, she has meaningful, strong relationships with other women. These other women are powerful, powerhouse characters in their own right.
She is formidable, powerful, tricky and highly motivated as well as being an interesting character. They believe in them, trust them and set them free to achieve everything they can and want to.
I have to seriously give Neill props for this because she is almost unique in this respect! Also, there is the fact that Ethan Sullivan is seriously hot shit.
Strangely enough, characterization is one of them. Look, vampires are supposed to be heavily political, tactical creatures. But the bad guys are the only ones who seem to have this ability.
Ethan is supposed to be incredibly political. He capitulates to every ridiculous demand without showing the slightest ability to use political clout, call bluffs, have hidden cards or even just balls out put people in their place. And what does he do every single time? Runs around like a chicken without a head trying to meet their ridiculous demands. Listen, Ethan, the mayor cannot make you responsible for the behaviour of your entire species at any given moment in time!
If there are illegal raves going on then that really sucks. You can be sure to remind the press in your official statement that the mayor should never have let crime get so bad and that you and your house will fully co-operate with a police investigation but that your people are not involved and do not condone violence against humans! Am I not the only one who sees that this is just ridiculous? Apparently so. The other major issue with this series is the writing.
Neill is a good storyteller. Her characters, plot and setting are all great but her writing craft is listless, unemotional and lacks heart. Let me try to explain by giving you a demonstration of what the last chapter was like for me.
My heart was breaking. My dog was dead and it was all my fault. Seven days passed in bed as I stared numbly at the ceiling. Others mourned. The house was quiet and seemed empty. The funeral came and went as we laid my puppy to rest.
Confront your brother and find out why he poisoned your dog. It yapped all the time and you know how I feel about Chihuahuas. I could feel the hurt but I recognized the truth. They really are the most useless animals in existence.
But still, next time you want to kill my pet - please ask first! The End. Why would you sum up the ending like a fucking hallmark card with just as much sympathy and feeling?!
Why do I feel like you were recounting events like you would baseball scores? Instead, I finished with all the emotion that I usually experience whilst having a haircut. Put some heart, feeling and soul into your text, Neill! Merit kept saying how stressed and upset she was throughout the book the reader never feels it.
Make us FEEL the stress. Make us FEEL the tension.
Hard Bitten Quotes
Thus I figured a nicely rounded three star rating accurately reflects my ambivalence toward this novel. On the positive side, Hard Bitten is an easy to read and mostly enjoyable book providing that you enjoy the narration of the main character and protagonist, Merit. Luckily I do enjoy her narration and respect her as a character. This story, more so than the others, is packed with action, mystery and intrigue. It occasionally suffers, as its predecessors do, of an annoyingly journal-like quality that may aggravate some readers. Something similar to: So I dressed and showered.
Hard Bitten – First Chapter
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