Saturday, 4 February 2012

Review: Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

Hello everyone, I've finally finished Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost. It's book 1 in the Night Huntress series and defiantly for you if 240 year old British Vampires are your cup of tea....I know they're mine.

Title: Halfway to the Grave
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Publisher: Gollancz (UK) | Avon (US)
Release Date: 8th April 2010 (UK) | 30th October 2007 (US)
Series: Night Hutress, Book 1
Source: My own personal copy

From Jeaniene Frost's website:
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.

We are thrown into this series following Catherine 'Cat' who is half vampire, half human (though she's not known as a Dhampire...something I've not seen before). Cat is the product of rape...her newly turned vampire father brutally assaulted her mother and Cat is conceived. Unsurprisingly Cat's mother hates all vampires, and actively encourages her 22 year old daughter to hunt these 'dangerous monsters'. We follow Cat as she evolves from an amateur vampire hunter, to one of the best. Despite Cat's utter hatred of all things vampire she teams up with 240 year old master vampire Bones. It's his training, which is certainly a new style since most training doesn't include how not to blush at 'nasty talk', that takes the skills she was born with and brings them to the front. The exchanges between Bones and Cat are hilarious, Bones and Cat could not be more opposite. Cat is really quite prudish and Bones is extremely to say the least. But it is brilliantly written and totally believable. Anyway, as the training progresses and this unlikely couple start to notice the spark between them...but Cat's prejudice is still strong, will she ever be able to see past it and see Bones for who he is inside, not just his vampiric exterior?
'My body was still curled around his, taunting him. This was so unlike me, but something felt as though it had taken over. My earlier concerns were a faint memory not even worth dwelling on. The lights caused deep hollows to form  under his cheekbones, making them look even more pronounced. The heat in his eyes should have made me break free and run, but all it did was entice me.'

I will admit that at first I was a little unsure whether this could actually work, a vampire hating woman partnering with a 240 year old master vampire, and to be honest I don't think I could have handled the relationship when it blossoms if it had happened out of the blue. However, the way Jeaniene Frost has written it means you can see Cat slowly begin to fall for the enigmatic Bones. Though how could you not. I love him! He's British and handsome and extremely loyal...sigh...but Cat would kick my ass so I can't have him unfortunately.

Cat and Bones make quite a impression on the vampires they meet. Cat's unusual genetics mean that she has some of the characteristics of a vampire but she also has a heartbeat. Funnily enough, this shocks most people. And Bones...well Bones just threatens people really well, and has the reputation to back him up. Together they investigate a vampire gang running what is basically a take out service i.e. capturing young women and brining them for others to feed well as other things. They question parts of the gang but Cat has a nasty habit of killing them before they get enough information from the vampire...a constant frustration to Bones.
"Lucifers bouncing balls, Kitten, not again!" Uh-oh. I squirmed, instinctively also trying to block Tony's body from view. As if that made him any less dead. "She was going to stab you," I said in my defence. "Look in her hand!" He was looking at the ground near my feet instead. "Him too?" I nodded, sheepish. "He jumped me." Bones just stared. "You're not a woman," he said finally. "You're the Grim Reaper with red hair!"
I love the dynamic between Bones and Cat. They both have the same 'job' but do it for different reasons, and both have their own scarred pasts. The relationship between Cat and Bones is rocky and has all the pitfalls of a normal relationship. Heck, Cat won't even introduce Bones to her mother...can't imagine why. Cat has a habit of running away when things get too complicated between them and often can't handle the honesty and the truths Bones tells. I think their relationship is extremely well written and kept me guessing the entire time. And the end!! Oh Lord my heart broke...though since there are other books, I'm assuming this will be resolved...please God let it be resolved! I love Bones and Cat too much for it not to have a happy ending. 

The humour in this definitely appeals to me because it is subtle and more in the way that Cat and Bones play off each other. The romance is also well worked in and does not detract from the stroyline at all. 

I will definitely be putting this in my Favourites pile, I know I will be re-reading this many times! I cannot wait to get my hands on book 2.

My Rating: 4.5/5

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