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In Some Girls Bite, the main character, Merit, is a graduate student living in a Chicago house with a roommate, Mallory. She has distant, well-known parents who don't show up much in this book, but her father believes everything she does is a stain on his reputation, and particularly becoming a vampire.
It doesn't matter to him that vampirism was not a choice she made. She was attacked on campus one night, and would have died had not one of the local vampire lords, Ethan Sullivan, Master of the Cadogan House, happened across her in time to 'change' her. Death would have been preferable, in her father's mind, though even that would have been a blemish.
Merit isn't sure she wants to be a vampire, either, and blames the Sullivan for changing her without her permission. She sees him as arrogant and unfeeling. When told she would be expected to swear her fealty to him in a few days, she is 99% sure she isn't going to.
But there is so much to learn about being a vampire, as evidenced by the huge instruction manual left for her to study. And, of course, the inevitable adjustments to make. When Merit falls asleep on the living room sofa shortly before dawn, Mallory throws a heavy comforter over her to keep the sunlight from toasting her to dust. When the vampire support system delivers a supply of blood to her refrigerator, she stubbornly avoids it ... until The Hunger strikes.
Life -- and in this case, Unlife -- is not what she thought it was. It turns out her grandfather is not really retired; he's the head of a special unit dealing with paranormal crooks and politics. The wizard in this unit sets about training Merit in All Things Combat. I was a little fuzzy about the Why of that -- what was she going to be, some sort of Vamiric Vampire Hunter? -- but apparently the wizard felt it was absolutely necessary. I also wondered why Merit resented being changed into a vampire so much, yet meekly agreed to become a warrior, but she does. Her roommate, it turns out, is an untrained witch of great power.
Throughout it all, there are rumblings in the vampire community. Young girls have been attacked by an unknown vampire, left drained and dead, as would have happened to Merit if she hadn't been 'rescued'. None of the Vampire Households would allow any of their people to do that. There are a few renegade vampires in the area, and the blame tends to fall on them, despite their protests of innocence. Tension rises, and certainly isn't eased when Merit is romantically noticed by the #2 guy in a rival household. It only intensifies when Merit, seeing no way out of it, swears fealty to Sullivan, and is named the Household Protector of the Cadogan House. Ah! A use for all that warrior training, after all!
I was bothered by a few continuity problems I noticed, such as the time the girls turned off the TV, but then continued to watch it. Or the huge stack of files and papers that were handed to Merit for her to study, but which are never mentioned again. Still, I've seen worse continuity problems in books written by well-known authors, so two small problems in a first novel don't seem bad.
As the end of the novel approached, I knew who the Bad Guy was. Yes, I KNEW who had attacked Merit, killed those other girls, and was causing so much stress within the vampire community. So when Sullivan secretly goes off to meet with this person, and Merit goes after him because it's her duty to protect him (which seemed a nice bit of tongue-in-cheek turn-about to me), I KNEW who that person would be.
I was wrong. It turned out the Bad Guy they did meet with was not the person I had in mind, and furthermore, the book ends with problems still unresolved. So it's a good thing there's another book coming, as I believe I heard this is the first of a trilogy. I look forward to the next one.
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