Erica Chilson's Reviews > Wild Hunger

Wild Hunger by Chloe Neill
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really liked it
bookshelves: wickedreads, 4-star, urban-fantasy, spin-off, vampires, shifters, fae

I received a copy of this title to read and review for Wicked Reads

4 Stars

Wild Hunger is the first installment in the Heirs of Chicagoland series. However, I must inform Chloe Neill’s new readers that it is a spin-off of the Chicagoland Vampire series, which is narrated by the heroine of Wild Hunger’s mother.

Do I believe the spin-off could be read without confusion by new readers? Absolutely. But I may not be the best judge since I know the original series like the back of my hand. I do believe the emotional payoff would be much more for the reader if they read the original series first.

I’ve been waiting not-so patiently for this spin-off, eager and intrigued to see what Neill would deliver when it came to Darth Sullivan and Merit’s daughter. Elisa is everything I wanted and more. Logical. Pragmatic. Compassionate. Empathic. Elisa is a perfect mix of her coldly efficient father and her emotionally driven mother.

Now, this is where I believe it best to have the foreknowledge from the original series. The worldbuilding is explained, but not in an info-dump that would bore and distract readers who already know the what/where/why/when/how. I appreciated how thin it was on giving a rundown on previous events, which means new readers won’t suffer from too much information all at once. However, will new readers need more information? I have no idea.

Elisa is struggling with something not quite integrated inside her, similar to how her mother fought her inner vampire many books ago. This added levels of angst and fear, connecting the reader to Elisa in a human way.

Connor.

We’ve been waiting for Elisa and Connor since Gabriel showed Merit the prophesy. While this had readers dying to see how it would go down, the anticipation perhaps made me expect too much. While Elisa resonated with me, Lulu was Mallory 2.0, Connor was a smoking hot, broody, smug wolf wearing leather and a motorcycle helmet, they weren’t Merit, Mallory, or Darth Sullivan… they were original, but the nail-biting will they, won’t they, what happens next sensation didn’t inundate me while reading.

I’ve read Some Girls Bite at least 15 times, and the plethora of emotions the book sparks in me can’t be compared. The first handful of The Chicagoland Vampires is by far my favorite in the Urban Fantasy genre. Which begs the question, will I reread Wild Hunger? Probably not.

What was missing for me is the newness feeling of a brand-new series, where the reader learns beside the narrator. Elisa is the first of her kind, with a lot to learn about herself, while taking the reader along for the ride, and I hope more of Elisa’s growth is shown in subsequent installments, because I feel the fae plot overshadowed the reader getting to know our heroine.

I appreciate that these characters are the next generation, the spin-off is a series in its own right, and I tried hard not to judge the books and characters against one another. I was excited to read it, and I am left wanting more, yearning to read the next in the series. However, I didn’t experience that gut-punch sensation, the need to know what happens next, or the secondhand embarrassment I consistently felt for Merit, which made those initial books dig their hooks into me so deeply.

Vampire politics and reemerging fae are the conflict of the storyline, which is fast-paced action and suspense. There’s underlying romance between Elisa and Connor. I’m a sucker for angsty slow-burn, so I’m going to make a very odd request. Elisa is a vampire. I don’t need between-the-sheets action, but someone should sink fangs at some point for the titillation factor… they’re Cadogan vamps, just saying.
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Reading Progress

June 9, 2018 – Started Reading
June 9, 2018 – Shelved
June 9, 2018 – Shelved as: wickedreads
June 9, 2018 – Shelved as: 4-star
June 9, 2018 – Shelved as: urban-fantasy
June 9, 2018 – Shelved as: spin-off
June 9, 2018 – Shelved as: vampires
June 9, 2018 – Shelved as: shifters
June 9, 2018 – Shelved as: fae
June 9, 2018 – Finished Reading

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