Thursday, August 28, 2014

"Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress #1)" by Jeaniene Frost

Kindle Daily Deals struck again, coaxing me into buying all of the Night Huntress series in one fell swoop. Also, these books are highly regarded by the people of Goodreads: the average ratings for all the books I bought were over the four star mark. This leads to very high expectations on my part.

The Plot:
Cat has been killing vampires since she was sixteen, picking up her victims in bars. Her birth was a result of her mother being raped by a vampire, making her not quite human, and she is out to make certain other humans won't be victimized the way her mother was. Until one night, when a vampire named Bones hunts her- and in exchange for her freedom, she agrees to be trained and used as bait for vampires he is hunting. But as their friendship evolves and the danger level increases, will Cat be able to keep her family safe?

Cat's Gut Reaction to Vampires:

Kill It With Fire Silver!
...which is probably why I liked this book more than I initially thought I would. I tend to like characters with vendettas: they have a lot of ambition.

Another thing you might notice is the skimpy attire Cat is wearing on the cover. She originally wore something like jeans and a low cut blouse, but then Bones decided she needed to look 10,000% vixen to distract and engage the vampires she's luring. He also tells her she needs to not wear panties, because vamps can super-smell if you have them on or not.

Needless to say, I don't approve. She wears extremely short dresses, pantieless? Yeah, I'm not feeling that, save if she was going somewhere as Britney Spears for a costume party. Another aspect of this is the heel factor- I just don't see high heels as practical to stake vamps in, but will be utterly converted if in a future episode Cat uses silver stilettos to send a vampire back to his maker.

The character I like most is obviously Cat, but I really wasn't a believer about her relationship to Bones. In one of their conversations, Bones essentially quoted The Runaway Bunny to her. It was kind of creepy, because they'd only know each other for two months, but other people have differing opinions.

The best part of the book is probably Cat's relationship with her mother, which grows throughout the course of the book. Her mother sees Cat as evil waiting to be unleashed, when Cat is really trying her best to do everything like her mother tells her all while not being herself. It's a tricky situation, and usually you don't see evolving relationships like them in paranormal romance or urban fantasy.

Halfway to the Grave is more an urban fantasy/paranormal romance hybrid than one or the other. It has plenty of action, stakes, vampires, arsenals of weapons, and steamy romance to satisfy most any Urban Fantasy or Paranormal Romance fan, but it didn't quite hit the notes of four stars for me. If you're craving a romantic urban fantasy with a focus on relationships, consider this for your next read.

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars for a great genre hybrid!

Content: Ages 18+ for cursing, violence, and sex scenes.

Page Count: 358 pages in the mass market paperback edition

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