Narrator: Sophie Eastlake
Series: Chicagoland Vampires #10
Published by NAL, Tantor Audio on August 5, 2014
Genres: Romance, Urban Fantasy
Length: 10 hours 20 minutes
While Merit didn't choose to become a vampire or Sentinel of Cadogan House, she vowed to fight for her House and its Master, and she's managed to forge strong alliances with powerful supernaturals across Chicago. But even though Merit has had wild adventures, this may be her deadliest yet.
A killer is stalking Chicago, preying on humans and leaving his victims with magical souvenirs. The CPD hasn't been able to track the assailant, and as the body count rises, the city is running out of options. Vampires and humans aren't on great terms, but murder makes for strange bedfellows. Can Merit find the killer before she becomes a target?
My Initial Reaction…
I love the books in this series that involve lots of GP BS, because it makes me so angry. Blood Games was no exception to that rule. So, of course, I loved it!
Note: some series spoilers to follow.
I enjoyed Sophie Eastlake narration for Blood Games as usual. She’s Merit for me now and I think that if I were to read these books I’d hear her voice for Merit. For Blood Games, though, I noticed for the first time a lot of bleed over between Ethan and Jonah’s voices, to the point where I got confused sometimes who was talking. I think it was Ethan’s voice bleeding into Jonah’s, which was unfortunate, because I felt like some of his personality was lost as result too at moments. But still a solid performance and I’ll definitely continue listening to this series.
I think the characters are what captivate me about this series. I just love them all in Blood Games– from Merit and Ethan, to the Omsbudies and Merit’s grandfather, to Jonah and Mallory and the Cadogan vampires. There’s so many personalities and they’re all so well-developed and unique.
Ethan and Merit are having troubles again and when I saw that coming my stomach about dropped. Thankfully, though, this was more of the kind of trouble you expect for any long-term couple, especially when one of the partners has hundreds of years of life history. So yeah, Ethan’s past is rearing it’s ugly head and neither one knows quite how to navigate those waters. Ethan is falling back on his go-to protect and exclude, while Merit is worrying and going on the defensive. I enjoyed watching them figure out how to navigate this aspect of their relationship, while still loving and being there for each other.
I’m a really big Jonah fan, so I was personally really happy with the time he got in Blood Games. His interaction with Merit was fun and increasingly more comfortable, we got to learn some fun new details about him, and I’m curious about what may be on the horizon for him.
The Omsbudies are doing so much better now that they have the support of the mayor again. I was really happy to see Merit’s grandfather on the mend. I would always like a bit more Jeff, but I’m partial to him 😉 Things between Mallory and Catcher are also so much better, I’m loving seeing their new relationship. I love the new Mallory, too. She’s been healing slowly over the last few books and I feel like we’ve finally reached a point where trust is returned. She’s learned from her experiences and is doing something about it for others, too, which I thought was great to see. I don’t think her and Merit’s relationship has (or ever will) returned to what it was, but it something new and equally great.
An unexpected treat for me was Lindsey, one of the Cadogan Vampire guards and Merit’s friend. I’ve always liked her, but in Blood Games during the testing specifically we get to see a piece of her and her ability that I really enjoyed. It made me appreciate what life must be like for her a bit more and I felt it was a really nice touch.
There’s two big story lines to Blood Games as usual. One involves people turning up dead and the method of murders looks like it might be members of the supernatural community, or singling them out at least. For me, this very procedural element of the books is always just okay, but I’m just not that into procedurals. I didn’t see the result coming, though, and there were some neat clues and elements that I really enjoyed.
For me, the real treat is the politics. I know for a lot of people it’s the reverse, but I just love the drama with the GP. And seeing as Ethan challenged Darius for his position as head of the GP at the end of the last book we have GP drama in spades. I think Chloe Neill excels in this and I loved every twist. I did think that one element with Darius was fairly anticlimactic and a bit too easily solved, but besides that, nothing was easy. Which means it was great to read!
I thoroughly enjoyed Blood Games and cannot wait for the next one. Especially because things ended with a bit of twist! Thankfully it’s not a cliffhanger in the sense that things feel unresolved, but I’m definitely counting down to the next book!