Monday, December 31, 2007

Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

The last day of the year is finally here. Hehe, I'm a poet and don't I know it. Anyway, I thought I'd post one last dish before 2008 comes roaring in. We here at dee and Dee would also like to thank you all for hanging with us for another year, and we hope you stick around for all the fun things we have in store for the next. Also, real quick, I have not yet heard from the winner of our mini-contest, so please, KCO, e-mail me at deeanddeedish at sbcglobal dot net (ya know, without the spaces and with symbols) with your snail mail addy and that of a friends, so that I can get the boxes sent your way, remember they are FILLED to burstin' with all kinds of author goodies. If I don't hear from you by Wednesday morning, I'm going to have to draw a new name. And now, without further ado...

Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

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 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.

The BCC is good, but it no where near comes close enough to actually capturing the intense story that lay inside the pages of this book. It's vague, and I suppose that's all it should be, so thumbs up.

Now that I've rated the BCC, I'll tell ya I didn't even read it. I saw this cover and grabbed the book off the shelf. It wasn't until I cracked the book open a week or so later that I saw the "A Night Huntress Novel" and began to worry. I absolutely loathe buying a book and then finding out it's the twentieth in a series, I mean that's one of my biggest pet peeves. Thankfully, I was lucky and while this is part of a series, it's the very first book in the series. Sweet! To make it double sweet? This is Frost's debut! You know how I love me a debut author! And whoo-boy, what a debut!

Cathrine (Cathy, Cat) Crawfield is the product of a human mother who was raped by a vampire. Growing up in a small town, where unwed motherhood is frowned upon, life was not easy for Cat. Add to that the fact that she was always a bit different from the other kids, faster, stronger, and life growing up was not ideal. It wasn't until Cat turned 16 that she found out the truth about her birth. But, once she did, she also found out how much her mother despised vampires. Understandably of course, but it was not only because of her own rough younger years but because of her mother's hatred of the undead that Cat finds herself hunting and killing the evil that wanders the night.

Then one night, something goes terribly wrong. Cat find herself with an undead she can't kill. In fact, he's gotten the jump on her. Bones though, just wants to know who she is working for. After all, surely this young human could not have done what he saw her do, without the backing of a more powerful vampire. When she refuses to tell him what he wants to know, Bones comes thisclose to doing her in, only just as he's about to take that bite, Cat's eyes start to glow green, and only a vampire's eyes can glow green.

Bones then hears the truth of the matter and a deal is struck. He will train Cat to fight, "...There is only one way to fight, and that's dirty. Clean, gentlemanly fighting will get you nowhere but dead, and fast. Take every cheap shot, every low blow, absolutely kick people when they're down, and then maybe you'll be the one who walks away. Remember that. You're in a fight to the death...", if she becomes his partner. You see, Bones is a vampire bounty hunter, and he just found the perfect bait. In return, Cat gets to live another day, keep killing the bad vampires, and the help of Bones in finding her father - the one vamp she'd really love to kill.

But young girls are coming up missing, what's worse is all the traces are of the girls are being wiped clean. Bones has a very good idea who is behind it and has been after the vamp for over eleven years. Going through the underlings for information is the plan, and once he gets the information, Cat gets her kill.

But first, Bones must teach her to fight, teach her everything she doesn't know about vampires (which is quite a bit), stop her annoying habit of blushing when talk turns sexual, and make-over the frumpy excuses she calls clothing. And to quote Cat when the time finally comes to go hunting, "I was now outfitted as Cat, the Vampire-Killing Slut."

Cat soon becomes a target, and suddenly, Bones and Cat must get to the bottom of this and destroy the big bad vamp, before he gets the drop on them. If Cat and Bones just happen to feel sparks of excitement that have nothing to do with the hunt, well, there's not much that can be done about that.

I'm ashamed to admit this, but I have been bored lately with the Paranormal genre. Oh sure, there were my steadfast auto-buy's, Harrison, Harris, MJD, to name a few, but on the whole, I've been noticing some trends in the genre that had me fuming mad and ready to give up on new authors/books that hit the shelves. All I can say is, Thank Goodness for Cat and Bones. My love of the genre has been re-ignited.

Cat is the perfect heroine. Strong and sassy, " 'You hit me again and I'll -' "What? Bleed more? Thanks, but I only drink gin and tonic. That's one vampire attribute I'm without. No fangs. See?"

Yet she still struggles with her lot in life, "Glad? That's not quite the word I'd use. Relieved? You could say that. Relieved I'm alive and there's one less murderer prowling around for naive girls. But glad? Glad would be if I never had this lineage. Glad would be if I had two normal parents and a bunch of friends, and the only thing I;d ever killed was time....This is just ...existing. Until the next time." (snipped a few lines like I oft do.)

And Bones? Whew, Bones is the perfect compliment to Cat. Tough when he needs to be, Bones too has a heart, and Cat captures it. Which is good for Cat, because Bones has a way of helping her see the way out of her self-pity, "Rot, I said. You play the hand you're dealt just like everyone else in this bloody world. You have gifts people would kill for, no matter that you scorn them. You have a mum who loves you and a nice house to go home to. Sod your backwoods neighbors who look down their ignorant noses at you for your lack of a father. This world is a big place an you've got an important role to play in it. Think everyone goes around whistling about the life they lead? Think everyone is given the power to choose the way their fate goes? Sorry, luv, it doesn't work that way. You hold the ones you love close and fight the battles you can win, and that, Kitten, is how it is." Did I mention Bones is British and calls her Kitten? Swoon.

I honestly could go on and on about this book. My trusty pen and paper got quite a workout as I jotted down favorite passages. Normally, HTTG would be top of my list for my next FAB, unfortunately, two things held me back. 1 - It's hit the best-sellers list already, (just two months after it was released) and while I'm not adverse to breaking that small rule, there is reason number 2 - there were a lot of copy editing mistakes. I can generally overlook one or two, but there were several, and a few of them even slowed me up to re-read.

Are those two things going to stop me from buying the next book? Or even re-reading this one? Heck no. Hurry up Jeaniene and write faster! And you readers? Get out NOW and get this book. Just be warned, you'll not want to put it down, Cat and Bones take you on a fast-paced journey that you will be unable to ignore until the very last page has been read. Frost has created a fantastic book with a great explanation for vampires (you know my affinity for the way authors explain their existence) that's filled to the brim with action, suspense, heart, and hot romance. Frost has staked her place on my keeper shelf, and I can honestly say, I don't see her leaving it anytime soon.

Take Care


RachaelfromNJ said...

Great review! I have this book in my TBR pile and I've been dying to read it for a while. I agree that alot of the paranormal books have trends and it gets tiring to read the same thing over and over.

I'm reading The Devil Inside by Jenna Black right now and it is VERY DIFFERENT from anything out there.

RachaelfromNJ said...

Glad to hear this book is that good, I forgot to say. Will bump it up in my pile. :)

T.C. said...

My friend Scooper read this book, too, and even then it sounded pretty good. :)

Amie Stuart said...

SWEET! AMazon is sending it to me and I can't wait to dig in.

T.C. said...

Thanks for adding me to the Reader's Blog List, by the way! You guys rock!

Wendy said...

I have this book, and even though I loved it, the end annoyed the hell out of me, it's such a huge cliffhanger and I HATE those! But overall, I had a lot of fun reading about Cat and Bones.

Chari-Dee said...

Wendy, it is a hard line to walk, in regards to the cliff hanger, but I've come to realize (while writing my own series opener) that leaving a book ready for the next one is a really tough thing to do. I thought that the way it was left was great. The main conflict of HTTG was resolved, and the next book was set up perfectly without the whole, *Will Cat find the father of her sisters, nephews cousins baby* OK, not a plot point at all, but you get the idea.

The tough thing is, readers need to be left with a longing for the next book, and if the conflict was resolved, without a thread left untied, then why would they buy the next one, KWIM?

And, you'll buy the next one right, because you didn't want it to end?

RachaelfromNJ said...

Chari Dee, my blog is book you want to add mine to the list? :)

Chari-Dee said...

Gotcha added Rachael. Thanks!!

Wendy said...

Chari-dee, after THAT cliffhanger, I'll definitely buy the next one!

Thing is, yes it was a good cliffhanger in the case that it left us wanting to read the coming book but I've never liked cliffhangers because of having to wait god knows how long for the next one.

And also I really didn't like the decision she made at the end. Sure, that's unbelieably selfish of me but I wished she... well I can't say or I'll ruin it for the ones who haven't read it yet, but I hope you understand.

Chari-Dee said...

Oh completely understand. I had kinda hoped she'd go the other way. I think that's why I'm so excited about the next book, LOTS of stuff to look forward to! So many ways to take it.

RachaelfromNJ said...

Thanks for adding me Chari- dee!

Cathy said...

I just picked up this book over the weekend during the Fictionwise sale, so glad to hear that I picked a winner. Now I just need to squirrel away some time to read it.

Deb R said...

I didn't like the ending, but since it wasn't *really* the ending but rather a wide-open segue into a sequel, I can live with it, and other than that, I loved this book!

RachaelfromNJ said...

I have an interview with Jenna Black and a giveaway from her of a signed copy of The Devil Inside over at my blog! She is answering questions about her book. Come over and comment people!

RachaelfromNJ said...

I posted the wrong link. Here's the right one.