Series: Night Huntress #1
Published by Avon on October 30, 2007
Genres: Urban Fantasy
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.
Get it on Amazon
My Initial Reaction…
I really enjoyed Halfway to the Grave by Jeanine Frost – I’m glad I gave Frost a chance after being less than impressed by the novella prequel “Reckoning.” I think the prequel doesn’t work if you don’t already know the characters and I wish I’d read it after reading Halfway to the Grave, since Frost weaves an incredible story with some truly addictive characters. I was hooked from start to end!
Cat, a 22 year old college student and dhampir, is an painfully endearing character – but don’t let that fool you into thinking she is weak! As a dhampir – part human, part vampire – that would be pretty impossible physically, but she’s also not weak emotionally. Cat has grown up in your stereotypical small town – you know, the one where everyone knows everyone’s business and thinks it’s their God given right to pass judgment on said business – and when you’ve been raised by a single mother, with no father ever in sight, that doesn’t exactly put you off on the right foot. To add fire to the flame, her mother isn’t exactly the endearing sort. In fact, I think Cat’s mother may win one of my asshat of the year awards. She’s taught Cat to hate vampires – her father most especially – and it’s left Cat hating a very big part of who she is. Rather than sitting around moping about it, though, Cat has decided to single-handedly wipe out as many vamps as possible. And she’s good at it. If you read Urban Fantasy for the kick ass female heroines (which I do) you won’t be disappointed by Cat – she seriously holds her own.
Now, if you read Urban Fantasy for the sexy male alphas (which I also do) you won’t be disappointed by Bones. Not even a little bit. If it’s not yet clear – I ADORE Bones! So Bones is one of the older, and thus more powerful, vampires – and he has an English accent. Not to go Buffy Fan Girl on y’all but doesn’t that sound just a little bit like Spike (James Marsters)? Well, honestly I can’t remember how Bones was described to look because this was the image I had in my head the whole time…
You see why I loved Bones? He also happens to be a Vampire Bounty Hunter, who radically shakes up Cat’s world. Suddenly she’s struggling with the possibility that some vamps might actually be ok… and thus, who she is might be good too. I absolutely loved seeing Bones and Cat get to know each other – he even talks to her like Spike… he calls her Kitten, tell me that’s not familiar?! Sorry, I digress again. The point is – Bones is awesome and their relationship is intense – in good and bad ways – adding an exciting dimension to the story.
For me, Halfway to the Grave, has two stories: (1) Cat figuring out who she is and what that means – particularly through her relationship with Bones and (2) Cat and Bones hunting down a particularly nasty vamp. The first story line is great. Cat’s so black and white about vampires because of years of brainwashing at the hands of her mother (who, to be fair, was raped and deserves a little slack I guess) that she can only see Bones as a vampire. Admittedly a stronger vampire that could have killed her easily and didn’t, but still a vampire. So Bones had to win her over and that was no easy feat, despite his undeniable charms. So what you have is some incredible sexual tension as Cat denies her true feelings, followed by some pretty steamy sex. My one complaint is that I would have liked some more of that tension – I feel like we get the sex too fast and suddenly Cat and Bones are this couple, comfy and in love. Reeks of insta-love, even though it’s definitely not – there was build-up, but it’s settled too comfortably for my liking. However, I must say the sex is steamy – like dripping off the pages steamy – so I can’t complain too much.
The second element of the plot really serves to setup the world – which seems to be one of just vampires and ghouls (as far as I understand it, ghouls are vampires gone wrong? We don’t get much of them, so I’m a little fuzzy there). Bones decides that Cat would be the perfect weapon, since vamps won’t see her coming – she’ll seem human to them, but she’s way stronger than any human – and he has the perfect target. There’s some mystery, as Bones and Cat work to figure out whose behind what can only be described as human trafficking, vampire style. This leads them to some truly incredible action scenes. I think I held my breath a few too many times in this book because of the intensity of these scenes, which Frost writes amazingly vividly.
Halfway to the Grave was a fast-paced, action-packed, heart-wrenching read and I highly recommend it. I will warn readers though, that the ending is like having the rug pulled out from under you and you will most definitely want the next book on hand to see what’s coming next.Get it on Amazon
But wait! There’s a giveaway!!
As part of my month-long celebration of things that go bump in the night, I’m participating in the Something Wicked Returns Giveaway Blog Hop! This review is one of many of my recommended Paranormal Reads this month and commenting on this post can earn you extra entries in the $25 Giveaway at the end of the month! Enter below and good luck!