Sunday, July 10, 2011

Review: The Night Huntress Series by Jeaniene Frost

Destined for an Early Grave (Night Huntress, #4)Cat Crawfield is a half-vampire who as a girl set out to find and kill her father and as many other blood-suckers as she could while she was at it. He ruined her mother's life after all. One night she herself is captured by a very handsome vampire Bones, a bounty hunter, who for some reason doesn't kill her but instead agrees to train her to be truly deadly. Their partnership proves to be more than a mutually-beneficial collaboration and soon Cat and Bones are a force to be reckoned with, which is a very good thing because new enemies keep coming, each more dangerous than the last.

There are currently six books in the series but I've only read the first four: Halfway to the Grave, One Foot in the Grave, At Grave's End and Destined for an Early Grave. The last two are already wish-listed and I look forward to getting my hands on them, if for no other reason than that they are a lot of fun to read. They are side-splittingly funny, the pacing is excellent and if there's any way Jeaniene Frost could share how in the world she gets this many ideas I would be forever in her debt. I got these from a relative and spent a week in the company of Cat, Bones and the rest of the gang, following their adventures, laughing at the endless humor and blushing at all the non-PG13 action. Yes, it was blush-worthy, some of it so much so that I would not recommend these books to a younger audience.
The books follow the relationship of Cat and Bones as much as they do the developments in the clandestine paranormal underworld. There are vampires, ghouls, ghosts and who knows what else and every faction has a complex hierarchy and laws and feud constantly. In the middle of it all our two protagonists find each other, fall in love, get separated, find each other again, save each other's lives, have a bit of trouble and finally get married according to the traditions of vampire society. (I'm not telling you anything you wouldn't find out from the synopses so as far as spoilers go this doesn't count). Every installment has a theme, such as Cat becoming the Huntress in the full sense of the word, her making the choice to be with Bones and owning her nature and everything it brings, stepping up and defending her choice to her family and co-workers. Those are all good things to have at the core of a book but for me #4 had the most substance because it wasn't just personal issues that the characters had to deal with. There was also a social issue that a lot of people in the real world have to deal with as well - abuse in a relationship and at the end of the book when that chapter of Cat's past was firmly behind them both she and Bones were a lot more than what they started out as. I think that if this book was just as essentially fluffy as the first three I wouldn't have wish-listed the sequels and instead would've just picked them up if I happened upon them. This last installment showed me that Ms. Frost is capable of more than just witty banter and action sequences and I look forward to the next books.

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