Saturday, December 17, 2011

Digging Up a Favourite: This Side Of The Grave (Night Huntress #5), Jeaniene Frost

Title: This Side Of The Grave
Author: Jeaniene Frost (author website)
Release Date: February 22nd 2011
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
My Rating: 1 star2 star3 star4 star

The Night Huntress books, by fabulous evil-author, Jeaniene Frost, are, hands down, one of most favourite UF/PNR series. Every Saturday for the last few weeks, I've been posting a review of the books in the main 'Night Huntress' series, and I'm ending it here, with book 5, This Side Of The Grave.Thanks for reading, guys! I hope you'll read--or have read--these books, and love them as much as I do!

From Goodreads:
Half-vampire Cat Crawfield and her vampire husband Bones have fought for their lives, as well as for their relationship. But just when they've triumphed over the latest battle, Cat's new and unexpected abilities threaten to upset a long-standing balance...

With the mysterious disappearance of vampires, rumors abound that a species war is brewing. A zealot is inciting tensions between the vampires and ghouls, and if these two powerful groups clash, innocent mortals could become collateral damage. Now Cat and Bones are forced to seek help from a dangerous "ally"—the ghoul queen of New Orleans herself. But the price of her assistance may prove more treacherous than even the threat of a supernatural war . . . to say nothing of the repercussions Cat never imagined.

This Side of the Grave is an interesting outing in the Night Huntress series, and I'm not entirely clear of my thoughts on it. Yes, I enjoyed it. No, it's not been my favourite so far, but don't get me wrong, my confusion with this book is not necessarily a bad thing.

The ghoul, Appollyon, is stirring up trouble, trying to incite a race war between vampires and ghouls. And who's been drawn right into the middle? None other than Cat Crawfield, of course. The ghoul claims Cat is intending to become an unstoppable Vampire/Ghoul hybrid, loyal to the vampires, and will be the cause of the enslavement of the ghoul race.

Cat and Bones are forced to seek help from the Ghoul Queen of New Orleans, but whose side is she really on, and what is she after? In This Side Of The Grave we get to see Cat and Bones settle into a real, stable, and emotionally mature relationship (which I LOVED). The couple still sizzle, but the tension is forced to come from the plot, more than the two of them, now.

This is also one of the funniest outings in series yet, with laugh-out-loud dialogue, (again) courtesy largely of Vlad. There's one line which has to be shared from Bones. An unexpected side character reappears, and asks if he may ask Bones a question. Bones' response: "Ask me if I sparkle, and I kill you where you stand."

***BEWARE: From here on, there be SPOILERS.***
In previous installments, we always new we were going to get a HEA, regardless of what argument our heroes were having... now there seems to be an ominous undertone lurking in the story, and it scares me. I could be reading something into this, but there seemed to be a number of roadsigns that something very big and very bad is on the horizon.

While we leave Cat and Bones in a happy place, we're left with a question of Majestic's true intentions... what is she manouevering towards? There were a number of conversations between Cat and Bones, and also Marie, that are bothering me. Cat and Bones discuss their true love for each other, with Cat saying that while she promised to go on without him if anything happened to Bones, she wouldn't want to. And Bones promising they'd always find a way to be together, be it 'this side of the grave, or the next'. It gives me the willies. Is this really just the proclamation of holding nothing back love we've been waiting for, or is it foreshadowing something dark in the future for our favourite couple. We also see an advance chapter for book 6, and a secret angent overseeing Tate at Cat's old work has me worried.

I also read an ask the author recently, where Frost refused to answer a question of whether vampires could leave ghosts. She's promised a Cat and Bones HEA... but a HEA 'of sorts'. I'm in love with this couple, and I want Cat and Bones together for ever, with matching love heart tattoes, and sugary loves scenes and warm gooey centres. This book has me worried.

While the romantic side of me is worried, the objective reader has to appreciate the external tension which Frost has carefully woven into the series in this installment.

Here's hoping for much more happy, balanced Cat and Bones, and a nice big HEA in 4 books' time!

Books in This Series:

  1. Halfway To The Grave
  2. One Foot In The Grave
  3. At Grave's End
  4. Destined For An Early Grave
  5. This Side Of The Grave
  6. First Drop Of Crimson (Night Huntress World #1)
  7. Eternal Kiss Of Darkness (Night Huntress World #2)
  8. One Grave At A Time (September 2011)
  9. As yet untitled book 7, expected 2012.
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  1. I am 2/3 done with this book. It's not my favorite of the series, but it still has a ton of hilarious one-liners. Like Vlad and his premature inflammation.

    I will say that this book is making me excited to read First Drop of Crimson and Eternal Kiss of Darkness, both of which didn't interest me much before. I think I will read those before getting to the sixth book (so sad that it's the last book already published... I'm terrible at waiting!)

    I've loved your reviews of these books and am sad that this is the last one!

  2. It´s been months since I read "This Side of the Grave", but I remember feeling uncomfortable with this "You-will-go-on-without-me"-talk, too.
    I didn´t really think about it much, but after reading your review?! Well, let´s say I really WANT a HEA for both of them and I´m not prepared for a next tear-waterfall! (I cried like a baby when I read At Grave´s End) Great review :)

  3. Totally agree with your first sentence! Frost, Richelle Mead and Charlaine Harris are my reasons for becoming so obsessed with Urban Fantasy.

  4. @Sarah: Vlad was one of my most FAVOURITE things about this book! And yes, it was only after reading TSOTG that I bit the bullet and read First Drop of Crimson and Eternal Kiss of Darkness... and loved them both. TSOTG makes a lot more sense if you've read them XD

    @Yearning Mermaid: the talk TERRIFIED me! I cried in AGE, as well--even though I new it was coming, and knew how it worked out XD

    @Manda: Same here! With Harris and Frost <3<3<3

  5. The first of this series, Halfway to the Grave, was a book that I just happened to pick up when its cover caught my eye at the grocery store. Just pages into that first book I was astounded by the outstanding abilities of this author to create a book, so exceptional that I could not put it down finishing it within twenty four hours.

    1. Oh my goodness, Belgie! YES! I LOVED Halfway to the Grave. It gripped me INSTANTLY. SO glad you liked it :)



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