Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Book Review: Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress #1)

 I decided to check out Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress series when I was researching an agent that I really want to query with my fantasy manuscript. She listed it as one of her favorite series in the fantasy genre (though it's more PNR than fantasy). I'd also heard rumblings about the series on the Nest Book Club board - who, for the record, are never wrong about good books. Well, let me say that I devoured this book faster than my Easter candy (Cadbury Cream Eggs and I have been seeing each other on and off for decades).

Cat Crawfield is a half-vampire hunter of the fully undead. This is a great premise - 50% vampire, 100% kick-ass. She stalks creatures of the night with her heightened senses and a vengeance born from her mother's hatred of all vampires. Cat's mother was a rape victim who became pregnant with her vampire attacker's child. Needless to say, Cat has some serious issues reconciling that she is half vampire because her mother is too narrow-minded to see that her prejudice has adversely affected her daughter's state of mind (more on that later). While prowling for her next victim, Cat stumbles across Bones, a Master Vampire who has a thing or two to teach her about vampire hunting. The unlikely pair join together to stop a ring of murderous vampires who are enslaving Ohio's young women. Sparks fly between Cat and Bones as they surge down the deep and dangerous rabbit hole.

Things I loved:
  • Bones
  • Bones
  • Bones
  • Bones calling Cat "Kitten"
  • Cat and Bones together
  • Cat and Bones fighting evil vampires
  • Bones training Cat to battle aforementioned evil vampires
Thing that bothered me:
  • Cat's obnoxious grandparents
  • Cat's obnoxious mother
  • The fact that Bones wears a denim jacket through the entire story (because undead means zero fashion sense)
I mentioned Cat's ridiculous mother and I feel like I need to harp on that point. Cat's mother raised her daughter to be secretive all her life. She encouraged Cat to downplay her supernatural abilities while refusing to talk to her about them until she was 16. At that point, she proceeded to tell Cat that she was the spawn of Satan and encouraged her to go hunting for beastly vampires to exact revenge on every one of them for the crimes of Cat's father. Now this is just ridiculous. Yes, Cat's conception was horrid. Is that her fault? No. Is Cat's mother a selfish biatch who sent her 16 year-old daughter out into the night to fight vampires? Yes. Was I secretly rooting for Cat's mother to reach an unfortunate end the entire book? Maybe. I disliked her character so much that it was distracting. I feel like there was a message that Frost was trying to get out with Cat's mom, but it was lost on me because I despised her that much.

All the anger at Cat's mom aside, I did enjoy myself with this one. It's been a while since I had that much fun reading. If you liked the Sookie Stackhouse novels (the first 5, after that they really took a turn), then Cat and Bones are definitely right for you. I'm looking forward to where this series is going and I have high expectations for the next book.

Educate yourself on the topic in this post:

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