Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
Avon: October 30, 2007
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: Free From Library
Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series is a series that I’ve heard a lot good things about over the years, but not a series that I’ve felt inclined to pick up. When I came across it in audio format I thought I would finally give it a try and see what all the fuss was about. And I’ve come to the conclusion that I should pay attention to the “fuss” more often.
Catherine Crawfield is a half-vampire who’s been stalking the undead for a number of years. Her mother has a hate on for all vampires and isn’t really cool with the fact that Cat is half-vampire. To atone for something that’s not her fault, Cat hunts for vampires. Things get interesting when Cat attempts to kill Bones, an old vampire who objects to Cat’s attempt to murder him. Instead of killing Cat, Bones decides to train her. After all, Cat does not give any obvious signs that she’s stronger than the average human, which just might be the ace in the hole that he needs to take down the vampires that he’s hunting.
For her part, Cat is uneasy about teaming up with a vampire. All she knows about vampires is what her mother has told her. So, to Cat’s mind, all vampires are murderers who deserve to die. Bones slowly challenges that opinion while simultaneously encouraging Cat to embrace the fact that vampire blood is also running through her veins. Ever so slowly does Cat start to accept the interesting bits of her nature, and with that subsequent acceptance, Cat also starts to feel something more than antagonism for Bones. Halfway to the Grave was such a fun book! There was romance, mystery, and so many laughs. I snickered my way to work every time I listed to the audiobook. The narration was perfect, and I loved the fact that Bones had this less than suave British accept going on; that’s certainly not how I would of read it, and it totally worked. Bones didn’t originally start out as some British duke, but was instead the son of a prostitute. Not an illustrious beginning and the fact that the accent of the narrative demonstrated that was awesome. I highly recommend checking out the audiobook version of Halfway to the Grave if you can get your hands on it; I think it really adds something to the persona of both Cat and Bones.
Aside from the audio narration, I pretty much loved everything else about the book. Cat was a great character. Cat’s trying to appease her mother while also trying to create her own identity that doesn’t vilify the vampiric side of her nature. This uncertainty in her identity creates some fantastic tension between Cat and Bones. At first Cat is horrified that she feels attraction for Bones. But, I loved that the attraction deepened into something that forced Cat to grow as a character. Only by accepting herself was Cat able to actually act on her feelings for Bones. And Bones, well he’s Bones. He’s kind of an awesome, funny character. I wasn’t expecting Bones to be funny. I was expecting brooding, so the fact that Bones had a sense of humour was hugely appreciated. Bones kind of bucked the conventional in Halfway to the Grave.
So, satisfying romance, satisfying characters, and a satisfying mystery, how could this not rate five stars? Well, I’m going to be honest. That ending! I am devastated and the only thing that’s keeping me calm is the fact that this is only the first book in the series. Surely it can’t end like this???
If you like your urban fantasy with a hefty dose of humour and a lot of romance, Halfway to the Grave is an excellent choice. The characters of Cat and Bones are fully realized and their romance serves a purpose in developing Cat’s character. I immensely enjoyed my foray into Frost’s Night Huntress world, and I will most definitely be back for book two (hopefully sooner rather than later).
The character of Bones instantly reminded me of Bec McMaster’s Blade, a vampire of the Whitechapel district in an alternate historical London. Kiss of Steel will appeal to anyone that enjoys Bones’ blunt sense of humour. This one will also appeal to fans of the romance in Halfway to the Grave.
Jim Butcher’s Storm Front is another great urban fantasy, and it’s also the start of a series. Harry Dresden is a wizard who also helps the Chicago P.D. when they get an unusual crime. Storm Front is heavy on the mystery, but it also has a lot of humour which I think will appeal to readers of Halfway to the Grave. See my full review here.
Lastly, I don’t think that you can go wrong with Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series. Kate is a funny, outspoken character, which will appeal to fans of Cat. The romance in Halfway to the Grave is more overt; however, there is a nice one through Andrews’ series. Start with book one: Magic Bites.