Saturday, November 5, 2011

Digging Up a Favourite: Halfway To The Grave, Jeaniene Frost


Title: Halfway To The Grave 
Author: Jeaniene Frost (author website)
Release Date: November 1st 2007
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
My Rating: 1 star2 star3 star4 star


What's The Deal?
The Night Huntress books, by fabulous evil-author, Jeaniene Frost, are, hands down, one of most favourite UF/PNR series. So, because I can, every Saturday for the next few weeks, I'm going to dig up reviews of the first five books, and the two Night Huntress World books. I would love to hear your thoughts on these books. Love them? Hate them? Can't wait for a double dose of Vlad with the Night Prince books next year?

Competition?
Guys, I'd love your feedback: would you be interested in a competition to win a copy of the first book or most recent book in the series, or the Bite Before Christmas short story collection? Is it worth it? Or do you all already have it? Let me know. If there's interest, I'd love to evangelise folks to this series, and give away a copy or two of the book when I'm done.

From Goodreads:
Half-vampire Catherine Crawfield is going after the undead with a vengeance, hoping that one of these deadbeats is her father—the one responsible for ruining her mother's life. Then she's captured by Bones, a vampire bounty hunter, and is forced into an unholy partnership.

In exchange for finding her father, Cat agrees to train with the sexy night stalker until her battle reflexes are as sharp as his fangs. She's amazed she doesn't end up as his dinner—are there actually good vampires? Pretty soon Bones will have her convinced that being half-dead doesn't have to be all bad. But before she can enjoy her newfound status as kick-ass demon hunter, Cat and Bones are pursued by a group of killers. Now Cat will have to choose a side . . . and Bones is turning out to be as tempting as any man with a heartbeat.

Review:

Interestingly enough, the first book in the series, was, at the time, one of my less fave books in the series, but the more space I put between reading Halfway To The Grave the more I love it (and I love the rest of the series even more).

Halfway to the Grave is paranormal romance at its smoking hot best. This is not YA dressed up as PNR; Cat and Bones are on fire. I could seriously almost leave it at that.

I've heard a lot about the Night Huntress series, and was very glad to finally get my paws on the books. But Halfway to the Grave did bother me on a few levels. Some bits of dialogue were so cheesy they had me laughing out loud ("Don't kiss me like a woman, and treat me like a child." Seriously.), and for the first half of the book I wanted to shake Cat.

Come the second half of this book, it really hits its stride. Cat graduates from wanting to be tough, to the real deal. She goes from being a scared, naive child to the strong 'night huntress' she's meant to be. While she really bothered me at first, and I was struggling to see past her prejudices and bigotry, she makes up for it with gusto come act 2. If you're reading, and feeling discouraged, the story is really worth sticking with. The cheesiness backs of, and the story get very, very good.

The book also has some seriously funny moments and dialogue ("Lucifer's bouncing balls, Kitten, not again!"), one of the many things in the book recalling (yes, you knew we were getting there) Joss Whedon's brilliant-brilliant-brillant, Buffy.

But that on its own wouldn't be enough to make Halfway To The Grave float. What is really happening here? Cat and Bones. The story works as a vehicle for the smoking hot scenes between Cat and Bones, and the fiery attraction they have for one another. I appreciated that while the story between the two could turn into another Bella and Edward (except that Cat can throw a few punches), this relationship is not a dictatorship. Oh, sure, Bones has his opinions and is more than happy to tell Cat what to do, but she'll give as good as she gets. For every moment Bones is jealous and controlling, Cat gives back twofold. It's the fierce possessiveness the two have for each other that is so darn sexy.

In addition to kickass romance and slaying, there was in interesting side story in Cat overcoming her prejudices, and the relationship with her truly vile mother, Justina. You could complain along the lines of ‘why would she put up with that?!’, but it’s simple: the woman’s her mother, and she’s all Cat has ever had. You remember what it was like to stand up to your folks for the first time, right? And this is a truly emotionally abusive relationship. Anyone who has been through an abusive relationship should be able to relate. What the relationship between Cat and her mother bring about in the ending of this book is heartbreaking, but you know things are going to work out in book 2. Suggestion? Make sure you have One Foot In The Grave on standby for when you turn the final page of Halfway To The Grave.

I don't know why, but for some reason I was expecting to be disappointed with Halfway to the Grave. I was thrilled. The book is worth reading for the Cat/SpikeBones dynamic alone, and so you can finish it, and move on to the next book (One Foot in the Grave) which is even better.

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. First Drop Of Crimson (Night Huntress World #1)
  6. Eternal Kiss Of Darkness (Night Huntress World #2)
  7. This Side Of The Grave
  8. One Grave At A Time (September 2011)
  9. As yet untitled book 7, expected 2012.

Want It?

Get it from Booktopia
Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, Book 1) at Amazon

7 comments:

  1. I can't believe I haven't started this series before! I remember seeing a lot about it before, and I KNEW I wanted to pick it up because it's called the Night Huntress series (which honestly can't be any cooler), and you review just makes me want to read it more! :)

    Awesome review, Sarah! I'm really glad you were thrilled with this one, and who doesn't love a book with brilliant humor? ;)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Mimi! These books have such a good sense of humour, and they get even better as they go along.

    It took me ages to finally start the series, but I loved them--so worth it :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I enjoyed book 1, I know it wasn't perfect, but the smexi scenes are ..well...rather smexi..ha! Some fun quotes:D

    I am on a bit of an Urban Fantasy craze. Yes we do have similar book 'likes' and Australian:D

    I am currently waiting on , One Foot In the Grave, so hopefully soon my number comes up at library.
    I have heard book 2 is a tad smexier...

    Anyhoo I think your giveaway should be for One Grave at a Time.
    I have At Graves End, but who reads book 3 before book 2, ha!

    Michelle

    ReplyDelete
  4. I loved the entire series! Well, the Night Huntress one at least. Ever since I randomly picked up book one, before even book two was released, I was hooked! Now the spin-off, I wasn't a too big fan of sadly. They were okay, but nothing more. I am however super excited about Vlad's series, since I think it'll be a lot better than the other two spin-offs, since it's a series and the story and characters have the time to develop enough! Plus, Vlad is awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  5. @Novels On The Run: I go through crazes--it's best word for it, where I read nothing but. I hope you liek One Foot In the Grave, it's awesome, but seriously, try and reserve book 2 at the same time. You'll definitely want to read it right away. And OH. MY. GOODNESS. You heard right about book 2. Chapter 32. That's all I'm saying.

    @Rebecca: I loved the whole series, too! I was slightly less entranced with the most recent one, though.
    I *did* really enjoyed the 'NH World' books, but the magic's not quite as... magic? I am SOOOO excited for the Vlad books. I can't believe we have to wait till June! I agree with you, completely. Vlad is totally awesome, and I I think he must be a character JF really enjoys writing--he really jumps off the page.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Halfway to the grave was one of my least favourite, too, because Cat acted like a teenager and made me soooo mad at times!
    I´m so glad she finally grew up in the last 2 books. And Bones...well, I guess everythings has already been said ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  7. @The Yearning Mermaid: You've summed it up PERFECTLY. Cat was so juvenile, but was trying to act so tough, it annoyed me like crazy.

    And Bones is just. Yes :D

    ReplyDelete

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