Book Review | Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

October 9, 2013 Blog Fun, Reviews 25

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Book Review | Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene FrostHalfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
Series: Night Huntress #1
Published by Avon on October 30, 2007
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
Source: Library

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.
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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!

The Characters…

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.

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.

Concluding Sentiments…

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.

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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!

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About Jeaniene Frost

Jeaniene Frost is the New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of the Night Huntress series, the Night Prince series and the Night Huntress World novels. To date, foreign rights for her novels have sold to twenty different countries. Jeaniene lives in North Carolina with her husband Matthew, who long ago accepted that she rarely cooks and always sleeps in on the weekends. Aside from writing, Jeaniene enjoys reading, poetry, watching movies with her husband, exploring old cemeteries, spelunking and traveling – by car. Airplanes, children, and cook books frighten her.


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About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

25 Responses to “Book Review | Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost”

  1. Betty

    Your website has been my guide for the past few weeks. I have read almost 15 books all from your reviews. I just finished this book last night after staying up until 5 am reading it. I could not put it down. This series is by far my favorite so far. Already started on “One Foot In the Grave” and I cannot put it down. Thanks for your great website and amazing reviews.
    Betty recently posted…Certified Nursing Assistant Job DescriptionMy Profile

    • Berls

      It means a lot to hear that you’ve enjoyed my reviews and that you’ve found a lot of great reads from the blog :) I hope you enjoy(ed) One Foot in the Grave too (I need to put my review up for it still, but I loved it)

  2. Erika Messer

    I am glad you gave this one a chance too 😀 I normally choose my books based on covers and names so for me this one would have been on my list anyways, but after reading your review it does look even better!

    • Berls

      Oh I’m a total judge a book by it’s cover girl too. Can’t help it, if the cover sucks, I’m very likely to look past a great book. This one’s cover definitely matches how good it is though! I’m still working my way through the series, but so far so good.

  3. Bookworm Brandee

    I’m so, so glad you didn’t give up on this series, Berls. It’s one of my very favorites! And I’ve always seen Bones as a Spike look-alike too! 😉 Thanks for sharing a wonderful review…you make me want to re-read! LOL

    • Berls

      Thanks Brandee! I’m really glad I didn’t either – I really enjoyed it. I’ve read book 2 now and plan on reading another in December. Aha – see I thought Spike was a perfect fit. If only James Marsters would stop aging like Bones so that he could play him when I get wealthy enough to make the movie LOL.

    • Berls

      I’m only through the first two books so far and I really enjoyed them. I’m hoping to start up on them again soon – but I’ve been hesitant, because some of the events of the last book have me wondering what the series will look like moving forward. I’ve heard mixed reviews after book 2 or 3, as you just confirmed.

        • Berls

          I’m glad that Cat and Bones are still good, since that’s been my favorite element. Too bad about the plot. Thankfully I’m more of a character driven reader than plot, so I’ll probably be able to overlook it :)

  4. BookLady

    Love Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series! I have only read a few books in this series, but I plan to read the rest. The character development between Cat and Bones is fantastic. Thanks for sharing your great review.

    • Berls

      I’ve heard really great things about it. I’ve only read the first two books now, but have been happy so far. After the 2nd one I was worried about what Cat and Bones relationship might look like in later books, so I’m glad to hear their development continues to be good (at least for the books you’ve read)!

    • Berls

      Thanks Veronica! LOL! Right?!?! I like to cast him as often as possible, but here he really is a great pick!

  5. salena smith

    Wow! I can’t wait to read this! Sounds awesome! I can’t wait to see how this ends. Thanks for the great review! & Happy Reading! v-v

    • Berls

      Thanks Salena! The last 1/3 of the book is pretty much non-stop and then the ending… whoa! I hope you enjoy it!

    • Berls

      I haven’t had a chance to read the Sookie Stackhouse books yet, but their on my list. I imagine if you like those, this would be a good choice. Thanks for stopping by :-)

  6. Cali W.

    I love this author! Cat is my age too. <3 Great review, this book I haven't read yet, but now I must.

    • Berls

      This was the first book I’ve read by Jeaniene Frost (besides the novella), but she definitely won me over! I hope you enjoy it, Cat’s a fantastic character!

  7. Maricris Patrimonio Dimla

    wow! another great review and because of that I’m getting it on amazon now.. I love vampires and you say Bones has an English accent? well I’m seeing The Vampire Diaries’ Klaus(Joseph Morgan) as him! Cant wait to read it! Thank you! ^_^

    • Berls

      Thanks Maricris! I hope you enjoy it! Klaus is an excellent choice for Bones too – hot vampires with English accents :-)

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