In a city full of vampires, trouble never sleeps.
At the tender age of 27, Merit became a sword-wielding vampire. Since then, she’s become the protector of her House, watched Chicago nearly burn to the ground, and seen her Master fall and rise. Now she’ll see her mettle—and her metal —tested like never before.
It started with two . . . Two rogues vanishing without a trace. Someone is targeting Chicago’s vampires, and anyone could be next. With their house in peril, Merit and her Master, the centuries old Ethan Sullivan, must race to stop the disappearances. But as they untangle a web of secret alliances and ancient evils, they realize their foe is more familiar, and more powerful, than they could have ever imagined.
My thoughts on the book:
House Rules was a huge disappointment. After the past few books in this series, I didn't even have high hopes for this novel. I just thought it'd be an interesting and fun read. I was wrong. The Chicagoland Vampire series used to be one of my favorite series, but ever since Ethan died and came back, the story lines just keep getting worse. This one was the worst one yet. There was no character development. The pacing was slow as molasses. The plot was ridiculous, and a lot was going on yet I didn't care about any of it. This was just a bad book. I'll check out the next installment from the library, and if it's no better than this was, then I'm officially done with this series.
Merit has turned into a crying pansy. She got on my nerves so bad. She teared up at the drop of a hat, and more often than not, she just "didn't know what to do." Well you know what, honey? No one ever knows what to do in tragedies, but we make due. Merit needs to grow up since she's supposed to be 28 years old. Ethan was equally childish and jerky. I didn't even like him in this book. Also, his archaic relationship views were annoying, not sexy.
Speaking of characters, if Neill didn't insist on checking up on every single character she'd ever thought to create, then maybe the actual story could have started before page 75. The first 75 pages could have easily been condensed into 25, and there were other extremely useless scenes throughout the novel that completely messed up the pacing. Also, the first 75 pages were spent reminiscing about previous books. If Neill keeps this up, then before long she'll have entire books simply recapping the previous one and not adding anything new to the series.
In addition to the slow pacing, the plot itself was just stupid. I'm sorry, but if an author wants the reader to care about what's going on, then kill off a character we know. There are too many characters in this series anyway. It wouldn't hurt anything to lose a few. I knew that no one close to Merit would be hurt because if anyone close to her dies, they magically come back to life. Neill is obviously afraid to kill off any of the characters she knows, and that took away from the sense of urgency in this novel. Also, instead of witty, funny dialogue and intense situations, we now have idiotic, useless situations that do nothing for the story and cheesy, immature dialogue. I don't think I laughed once while reading this book. Merit's sarcasm resembled that of an 8 year old, and it just wasn't funny.
Overall, this book was just bad. The only reason I finished it is because I loved the first 4 books of the series and liked the previous 2; therefore, I plan to give this series one more try before officially breaking up with it. I know a lot of people enjoyed this book, but unfortunately I wasn't one of them. I'd say check it out from the library before buying if you haven't been a fan of where this series is going since Ethan died.