There may be spoilers from previous books in the series if you have not read them. I’ve tried not to reveal anything that happens in Drink Deep but it’s very difficult to express my opinion about this book without going into some detail. So, read no further if you want to remain 100% spoiler free. Comments are open and un-moderated for spoilers so keep that in mind if you decide to read the comments as well.
I was disappointed in the way that the previous book in this series, Hard Bitten ended. There was a major cliff hanger at the end that basically left the reader with no hope that things could be set right, outside of the author reaching out to her fans saying, “Trust me”. Usually in a cliffhanger we are left with possibilities and room for speculation but the way that Hard Bitten ended, there seemed to be no hope. It was a downer, and I just did not like it. However, because I have come to love this series I really hoped that somehow, it would all make sense in Drink Deep.
I’ll start by saying that I was once again disappointed. I opened this book really wanting to be blown away and have all the pieces fit into place. But unfortunately, the big cliffhanger from the previous book was not addressed until the very end of this book. I found it very frustrating and even distracting waiting to finally find out the what and the why of it all. And then when it finally came, I was confused. Not by the explanation and resolution but by what seemed like an almost apathetic atmosphere in which it all takes place.
[spoiler]Ethan was a major player in this series and also Merit’s love interest. They had strong feelings for each other and Ethan was loved deeply by the vampires in his house. But once he “comes back from the dead”, we get a little “Woohoo, Ethan is back”, but somehow it was anticlimactic and the overall feelings coming from Ethan’s House and from Merit seems subdued and muted.
Although Ethan and Merit didn’t rush to romance in the past, the romantic arc was certainly significant in this series. But what I found frustrating in Drink Deep is the way the reader is steered away from that romance and what it meant to Merit. If had not read the previous books in the series and started here, I think I would understand that Merit and Ethan had a relationship but I’m not sure if I would actually pick up romance or just assume it was a significant friendship.
As I said, I felt distracted when reading this book because I was eager to get some resolution to the cliffhanger. I’m almost certain that is why I feel like this book dragged on so slowly. Because after reading the entire book and then taking a look back, the overall story was good. It’s just that there was this great big question mark hanging over my head getting in the way. There were some very unexpected twists and turns in this book and while I like that I was caught by surprise, I was left with a dark feeling by a huge betrayal at the end.
I describe my feelings about this book as dark because I was left wondering where this series is going and why. And again, Merit’s reaction to what happens in the end seemed muted and didn’t make sense to me. She reacts to the betrayal by a character that is very close to her, but doesn’t acknowledge any sense of loss where it would seem appropriate.
All I can say is I find myself feeling cautious about any further investment in the characters in this series because no one is safe. Will I quit reading this series at this point? No, because the stories are good I do enjoy this world and it’s characters. But in Drink Deep I wanted a return to the feel and atmosphere of the previous books in the series but it’s clear that this isn’t going to happen.
I almost copped out and didn’t rate this book because I was all over the place with it. If I were to rate this book on a purely emotional reaction, it’d be pretty low. But as I said, after taking a step back and thinking about the overall story, then the rating would have to be a bit higher. I’m not going to lie, I was disappointed in Drink Deep but it’s not a fail for me either.