Wild Hunger doesn’t quite stick the landing for a new series


Wild Hunger doesn’t really welcome new readers too easily, nor does it particularly hit the balance a reader might expect.

Chloe Neill’s Wild Hunger, sent to me by Berkley, is meant to kick off a new series: Heirs of Chicagoland. Yes, it’s a sequel series, but normally, a new series is a chance to take what worked from the original series, then expand and add new things. Now, granted, there are some new things added here in the sense that the main character is now Elisa Sullivan, rather than her parents.

However, due to the attempts to make this new-reader friendly, there’s so much exposition that it’s hard to keep track. There’s a lot of politicking that seems to make more sense if you have that original context. Additionally, things get so bogged down by past history that it’s hard for the other arcs to come through and strongly resonate.

That’s a shame, because Elisa has some character development dealing with her status as the only born vampire with a few other issues at hand. It could be really strong, but instead, it’s more just there.

Additionally, the book’s description gives off a sense that there will be more of a romance element to the story. While that would take it into a pretty standard place for urban fantasy, being standard isn’t always a bad thing. Readers looking for a full-on romance might have to wait until the second book. It feels like it’s almost strung out too long given the normal pacing of urban fantasy; or, in the case of other slow burns like Seanan McGuire’s October Daye series, the development feels natural. Wild Hunger doesn’t seem like it can quite decide what it wants when it comes to Connor and Elisa’s relationship.

What Wild Hunger does do well is in its primary female relationship between Elisa and Lulu. They both bring something to the table, and they don’t feel unequal despite being of different species. Honestly, their sections ended up the most interesting, since Neill gives them an easy back and forth in dialogue.

Next. 5 vampire books you should read before they become TV shows. dark

But urban fantasy fans might need to go through the first 13 books to truly enjoy this one. Wild Hunger is a tough entry point.