Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Halfway to the Grave, by Jeaniene Frost

Release date: October 30th 2007
Published by: Avon
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: 5/5 stars
Find it on: Goodreads, Amazon

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.

After reading Once Burned, I realized that it's been years since I've read Night Huntress (the first novels, anyway), and I decided to re-read the entire series, just for the sake of doing it (it is my favorite series of all times, after all), and to write a proper review of each book. I first read Halfway to the Grave in 2010, and I admit I was a bit afraid to re-read it now and just don't find it as appealing as I had. Thankfully, that didn't happen.

Halfway to the Grave introduces us to Cat Crawfield, a half-breed that's been hunting the undead since she was sixteen, right after her mother told her about Cat's heritage. Cat, in my humble opinion, is the best heroine I've ever encountered, YA or Adult Fiction, simply because she's realistic. Sure, her humor can be a bit too snarky sometimes, but she's a solid character, with a reliable point of view and a fierce personality. She isn't submissive, and she sure as hell isn't a Mary Sue. Cat is strong, tough, and caring... to put it simply, she's human, her father's non-beating heart notwithstanding.

To create a dynamic story (and add a romantic element to it) we have Bones, and no, he's not Edward-esque at all. In fact, I'd say he's the exact opposite of every hero I've ever read about. Bones is shameless, cruel, honest (a little too much, in fact), and so badass that to call him a "bad boy" would be an understatement. Bad boys are attractive, and mean trouble. Bones is trouble. And just like Cat, he's perfect in every sense of the word. If Bones says he's going to rip your head off and use it as a soccer ball, you better run, because he means it. That's one of the things I love most about him. He's honest to the core, and while that can be a hell of an inconvenient. it's also pretty damn reliable.

With two main characters as unique as these, I don't have a lot more to say. Jeaniene Frost writes wonderfully, in general, but in Halfway to the Grave, especially, her writing skills are clearly raw - maybe because that was her debut novel. This is, perhaps, the only mildly negative point of this book. The pace is fast, the action scenes are engaging, and the romance is developed slowly, accompanying the plot and the character development. Even the mythology involving the vampires is good.

In general, Halfway to the Grave is a brilliant start to a great series. It reminds me why Night Huntress is so easy to devour, even after two years. The story is growing on me even more than it previously did, and while I'm finding little negative aspects about it, I'm also loving each character a lot more.

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