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Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

November 23, 2010

Night Huntress Series, Book 1

Publisher: Avon

Publication Date: October 30, 2007

Format: Mass Market Paperback

Status: First in the Night Huntress Series. Three books have already been published: One Foot in the Grave, At Grave’s End, and Destined for an Early Grave. Book five, This Side of the Grave will come out February 22, 2011. Frost is contracted for a total of nine books in the series.

Source: Purchased by self

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Location: Ohio and, briefly, Charlotte, North Carolina

Other Info: The Night Huntress Series is not to be confused with the Night Huntress World books, of which there are two: First Drop of Crimson and Eternal Kiss of Darkness. The Night Huntress World books take place in the same universe as the Night Huntress Series, and feature supporting characters from Cat’s books as the leads. So far, both books have been stand-alones.

Description: (From Amazon):

Flirting With The Grave…

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 unlikely partnership.

In exchange for help 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 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.

I am so very glad I decided to read this book. I am so very glad that it was recommended to me in the first place. In fact, I’m just glad this book exists. I love it when I discover a new series that already has a few volumes under its belt. It means I don’t have to wait for the next book to come out. Or at least, the longest I’ll have to wait is until I can to the nearest bookstore. It’s kind of like compensation for coming late to the party.

Halfway to the Grave tells the story of Cat Crawfield, the twenty-two-year old half-vampire amateur vampire huntress. Cat was conceived as a result of her mother’s rape by a newly-made vampire. She has grown up with the knowledge that she was different from other children. Her mother, moreover, has repeatedly told her that vampires are evil and since Cat is half vampire, she has to be on her guard against that half of herself. So, since the age of sixteen, Cat has been trolling bars, luring vampires and killing them. Until one night, six years after her first kill, Cat meets a vampire unlike any she has ever met before. Yep, you got it: Bones.

Despite some initial misunderstandings, Bones convinces Cat to train with him to become a better vampire huntress. Cat is willing to learn, but she isn’t willing to like her new mentor. He is, after all, a vampire and all vampires are evil. Right? Turns out, not so much. Just like humans, vampires can be both good and bad. Cat is, like many heroines, scarred by her past. She’s scarred by the story of her conception, by the first boyfriend she ever had, by her lonely childhood. Halfway to the Grave tells a love story, a mystery and a coming-of-age tale. And it’s funny to boot.

This book was successful for many reasons, not the least of which was its slow burn. It’s a romance, so you know that Cat and Bones will end up together at some point, but Frost doesn’t make the mistake of having them imagining each other naked from the get-go. Or nearly having sex on page five.  In fact, the story is told from Cat’s perspective, so you know about her feelings (and Bones’) way before she even gets a clue. This is something I love; when the author shows us that the hero is into the heroine without letting her know. It’s one of the reasons I like the first-person narrative so much. The truly delicious feeling when the hero says or does something that shows his feelings for the heroine that she doesn’t yet understand, but you do is a surefire hook for me. I fall for it every time. That delicious feeling I get–it’s kind of like a shiver up the spine–is what tells me that I’ve found a book that I’m going to love. And I definitely felt that tingle with Halfway to the Grave.

What are some other things I loved about this book? Well, I love that Cat is impulsive but not stupid. I love that she doesn’t fall into the trap of incompetency, and yet she’s not unbelievably kick-ass, either. She’s young and naive, but she’s also twenty-two, so it’s fitting. I really liked that Cat didn’t just think of Bones as her lover, but also as the best friend she’d ever had. I also really, really liked the way that Frost handled the relationship between Cat and her mother. It’s dysfunctional at the beginning of the novel and it’s dysfunctional at the end, but they still love each other.

Of course, the best part of this novel was Bones. He’s funny and he’s good-looking. He’s also protective and caring at the same time. His protective instincts lead him to do the thing more protective heroes should do: better prepare the heroine to defend herself. Bones knows that Cat’s not going to walk away from killing vampires, so he makes her better at it. He arms her with knowledge and training. He also doesn’t let Cat get away with her sometimes immature perceptions. And, ultimately, he’s the one who commits to Cat first. That’s awesome. Bones is definitely the best fictional vampire boyfriend I’ve run across. Though that may not be saying much.

I can’t end this review without mentioning that the end of the book totally revved me up for the next installment. It’s a cliffhanger of sorts, and I can’t wait to see how things pan out. I just know it’s gonna be great.

Oh, and just for fun, here are some of my favorite quotes from Halfway to the Grave:

“Face it–without me you’re looking for a needle in a fangstack.”

 

“You’re dead and you’re still an alcoholic. That’s so dysfunctional.”

 

“We’re, ah, taking a break to evaluate things, and, um, reevaluate our relationship, so…I stuffed him in a closet!” I burst out in shame.

Timmie’s eyes goggled. “Is he still there?”

See you tomorrow for this week’s WoW.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 24, 2010 7:01 pm

    I know what you mean. These books are amazing. Just wait til you read Book 2, One Foot in the Grave. I can’t wait for book 5 which is coming soon. yah!

    Mariya @ Mystifying Paranormal Reviews

    • November 24, 2010 7:36 pm

      I can’t wait–but I’m going to have to. So many books, so little time!

  2. November 25, 2010 3:47 pm

    These books look outstanding! Thanks for sharing. I love getting new ideas of what to add to my wish list.

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