Saturday, March 10, 2012

Book Review: Halfway to the Grave

Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress #1)
Narrated By: Tavia Gilbert
Published By: Blackstone Audiobooks
Publication Date: November 2010
Audio Length: 11 hours, 17 minutes
Source: Library
Audience: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy

On the Story & Writing:

Yes, I know I am pretty late in jumping on the Night Huntress train, but I am so glad I finally made it - better late than never. I was so hesitate to pick these books up because out of all the Dark Larks I am probably the one who is the most prudish. I suppose that's not really the right way to describe it. I am the one who doesn't like overly graphic sexual situations in a book at the sake of strong characters and a captivating plot. I don't mind reading great books that have romantic elements, but I hate romances that focus only on the love and sexual moments. My own form of personal hell would be to only be allowed to read bodice rippers. Now, that I have my rambling out of the way, I just need to say the this book (and I would suspect the rest of the series) is NOT one of those romance books I loathe. Jeaniene Frost is an excellent writer who has created a universe I enjoy spending time in and characters that are real and enjoyable.

Vampire novels are a dime a dozen these days. I am not complaining - I have been a fan of the fanged ones since childhood. However, I am getting frustrated that so many of the vampire books don't add anything interesting to the genre; they are just a regurgitation of the same old stories and myths from the past. I don't need anymore sparkling vampire love triangles - been there, done that. I was really excited to see that Frost didn't fall into the trap of repeating the same elements from previous books. She did keep some of the long held beliefs about vampires, but she also added new layers. This book also doesn't just stop at the undead - she includes ghosts, ghouls, and demons. There is so much potential for future story-lines; I am anxious to read more.

What made this book so addictingly delicious for me was the characters. I love Cat and Bones. Not only is their chemistry smoking hot, but they are each hilarious. Cat is the perfect mix of vulnerability and snarkiness. She is the type of girl that I could easily see myself being friends with - well, as long as she promised not to kick my ass. Bones is one of those leading men that you can't help falling in love with. He's British, fanged, loyal, courageous, and incredibly romantic. It also doesn't hurt that he's easy on the eyes. I loved watching the relationship between Cat and Bones evolve. Again, there is plenty of steamy moments, but they don't seem out of place and Frost does not sacrifice the plot to make those moments happen. Overall, I give this book a steamy rating of R. There is one scene that will make you blush for sure. It was a bit more explicit than the scenes I usually favor, but it wasn't enough to deter me from enjoying the book or wanting to read the rest of the series.

I also liked that the plot of this one is very mystery/crime drama. Cat and Bones are tracking down vampires associated with an organized crime scene that is stealing human women for a meals on wheels kind of service. Vampires get to drain the girls and then what is left of them is offered up to the ghouls. Its a messy business and Cat finds herself in the thick of the action on more than one occasion. There were also some twists and turns I didn't see coming that kept me on my toes.

On the Audio:

I LOVED it. Tavia Gilbert has a great voice and she did a nice job of bringing this one to life. I would listen to the rest of the series on audio without hesitation - as long as she continues to narrate them. My only complaint was that I wasn't a big fan of how she did Bones' British accent. Eventually, I just got used to her interpretation of it and it didn't bother me as badly. 

One Last Gripe: Cat's mother got on my nerves. I wanted to shake her when she couldn't out her prejudices aside to focus on her daughter's happiness. I found it to be incredibly selfish.

My Favorite Thing About This Book: The humor 

First Sentence: I stiffened at the red and blue lights flashing behind me, because there was no way I could explain what was in the back of my truck.

Favorite Character: Cat

Least Favorite Character: I didn't have one.

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.


  1. This one made me snort with laughter at some of the awesome insults!!

    1. Same here, Jen! I loved the banter between Cat and Bones.


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