Saturday, December 3, 2011

Digging Up a Favourite: Destined for an Early Grave (Night Huntress #4), Jeaniene Frost

Title: Destined for an Early Grave
Author: Jeaniene Frost (author website)
Release Date: July 28th 2009
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 one of my most favouritist 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'd 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?

From Goodreads:
Her deadly dreams leave her in grave danger

Since half-vampire Cat Crawfield and her undead lover Bones met six years ago, they've fought against the rogue undead, battled a vengeful Master vampire, and pledged their devotion with a blood bond. Now it's time for a vacation. But their hopes for a perfect Paris holiday are dashed when Cat awakes one night in terror. She's having visions of a vampire named Gregor who's more powerful than Bones and has ties to her past that even Cat herself didn't know about.

Gregor believes Cat is his and he won't stop until he has her. As the battle begins between the vamp who haunts her nightmares and the one who holds her heart, only Cat can break Gregor's hold over her. She'll need all the power she can summon in order to bring down the baddest bloodsucker she's ever faced ... even if getting that power will result in an early grave.


Guys, just a warning that this may be a little spoilerish. Read on with care :)

Cat and Bones are taking a well-earned break in Paris, when a mysterious master vampire from Cat's past appears, claiming she is his.

Destined for an Early Grave runs a slightly different path from previous Night Huntress installments. Cat's left her job with Homeland Security, staying true to the promise she made Bones in At Grave's End. The idea was to put them first, and perhaps this was a sign of things to come for book four. Rather than another story about Cat and Bones fighting for their relationship against outside forces, this time they're forced to examine it, and themselves. They're not being torn apart, they're tearing themselves apart.

Cat is stubborn, with a martyr complex, and Bones is predisposed to being a white knight. Cat still has lingering prejudices, and is cagey about her emotions, and Bones always thinks he knows what's best. The fact that, well, he does, isn't the point. So what we're seeing in Destined for an Early Grave is a deepening relationship between the two. We're getting past the honeymoon stage, and Cat's initial reservations, to the real issues the two face as a couple. In Destined for an Early Grave we'll see whether or not our favorite couple can swallow their pride, and really put the relationship first.

We have, therefore, a more emotionally and character driven installment here. Vlad plays a larger part, which is delightful, and we see a deep bond of friendship forming between him and Cat. The relationship between the two is a delight.

Justina appears again, and while I still cannot abide her, she continues on her personal journey becoming more human, more flawed, and somehow more likable. The tragedy she suffers in this book is heartbreaking. I didn't expect to feel for her, but her story tugged at my heartstrings.

As Cat's no longer working, we also have a welcome break from Tate, and it allows other characters to come more front and centre: Ian, Spade, and as I mentioned before, Vlad, and it's a nice change of pace.

Bones, for the first time, really loses it. I've seen some complaints about his behavior, but I think it shows an element of authenticity. He's a person, and, despite what we've seen up until now, he doesn't have the infinite patience to put up with Cat, any more than she does with him.

The tension and friction between Cat and Bones in Destined for an Early Grave is painful. They're both hurting, scared, and confused, and they lash out at each other. Again, I've seen a few reviews complaining about the problems between them in this book, but I think Frost handles it well. We're dealing with two willful, headstrong people, and the way they're acting is authentic for them. What I really love about these books is there's none of the will they/won't they, love triangle, cliché, when the series is obviously about Cat and Bones (*makes evil eyes at Twilight*). It's clear that they're meant to be together, and they will be. So you know they'll get past the problems they're having, and be stronger for it. PLUS there's a pretty steamy makeup scene, which might just make up a little for it.

It's another great installment, and while I didn't enjoy it quite as much as the previous two Cat/Bones books, I'm looking forward to a more mature relationship between our two heroes in book 5.

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've really been enjoying all of your reviews of these books because I love this series. I've only read the first three (because I want to "save" some of them for times when I'm in a book rut), but your review totally convinced me to just turn on my Kindle and start book 4 already!

    I kind of like when characters who you know are meant to be together fight in stories because then they get to make up and that's always good! I get bored when everything is all perfect and sunshiney all the time.

  2. Oh my goodness, thanks Sarah!
    They're fun books, and the first three! I want to re-read them now! I hope you like book four! I love that Cat and Bones fight it out and the issues they have get confronted.

  3. Wow, the halfway point of this book was so heartbreaking, but I loved the make up scene! I have about 40 pages left and have really loved this book so far. It's definitely the most emotional one of the series yet.

  4. Oh my goodness! Yes! And then how Cat reacts, and Bones finally losing his cool, despite everything he's put up with in the past.

    I loved Vlad in this book.

    And Justina!
    And just! Oh! My! Goodness!

  5. Yeah... so I totally couldn't help myself and just dived into book 5! This series is just SO GOOD.

  6. Mwahaha! I hope you love it! I love the bits with Mencheres and Vlad in book 5. And my absolute fave conversation between Vlad/Cat/Bones is in b.5. I laughed so hard I cried. Something about Vlad and Dracula 2000 XD

  7. loved Vlad in this book. I actually felt something for Justina which I thought was impossible. I was quite surprised the turn this book made. The plot was so off from the whole of the series, but it was interesting. I really did enjoy this book overall.

    You mentioned Touch of Frost on my blog. Would you suggest I read it since I do love Jennifer Estep?



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