Thursday, July 24, 2014

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

Though I recently read the last book in the series, I felt like re-listening to it from the beginning, reminding myself what I loved so much about it. I remembered this series got me hooked from the first second and both Cat and Bones became characters I wanted to visit and re-visit as long as possible (then came the spin off series of Vlad - Night Prince - and all I wanted is Vlad - more more more!!!).

When I started organizing this blog I realized most of the books in this series don't have reviews since I read them before I started monitoring my reading through GoodReads - too bad! really! Then when I made my Series Pages I decided that this series will be the first I re-visited so I can enjoy it all over again and also review it properly. 

I really enjoyed listening to this book. It was a joy listening to the Narrator Tavia Gilbert! I think I would rather have a more masculine voice for Bones but I'm just clutching at straws here since she really did an amazing job!

The book's written from Cat's POV. She is half human half Vampire (sometimes referred to in Vampiric lore as Damphyr) and though mostly I get itches from just hearing the concept of Damphyrs here I accepted it since it came to be in a rather exceptional circumstances - Cat's mother was raped by a young vampire. So young that his "swimmers" (using the exact words in the book) were actually still alive though the body carrying them was recently dead. Cat's mother carried her to term and delivered a healthy baby, maybe more healthy than the "usual" baby... Besides the fact she never got sick, she had an usual strength and somehow more perceptive than the average human. Cat's mother related to her how she was conceived when she was 16 and she has been killing "those sick bad Vampires" ever since. 

On one "lucky" night she encounters Bones who doesn't fall to her carefully planned trap. Instead HE traps HER. Never meeting a half breed before Bones isn't sure what to do with her. But after the initial resentments from both sides they struck a deal - Bones will train her to lure Vampires (also being able to fight them better than she did) and she would help him capture and kill the Vampires he is after. 

Though they start off quite hostile slowly but surly Cat falls for Bones. He is more honest about his feelings (which was rather sweet) saying he fell for her right from the beginning. Yeah, I could actually see his point as he described how she looked like to him, the things she said and how she behaved. Though a little suicidal she is one hell of a kick ass bitch! 

Cat struggles with her feelings for Bones and her general distaste of Vampires. She sees them as her mother had always described them to her - EVIL. But like in the human society, there are the good people and there are the bad ones. Unlucky enough for Cat and Bones, the last Vampire she killed was someone Bones was tracking, trying to find a Vampire named Hennessy who is running a very nasty organization and have connections that goes higher than they originally considered. 

Though the book didn't really end in a cliff hanger I could say (without spoilering!) that it wasn't a happy note either so hopefully for you, you can grab the next one to have another fix of the deadly couple. The is quite a fast pace book, it's really action packed which is why it's easy going through those in no time. 

One last thing before I finish this review. I really enjoyed this book, I DID! But I have my misgiving about Cat. For me, there is something a bit childish about her, and her stubbornness becomes annoying at a certain point. Even though I get her, she wants to fight the battles and not sit at home doing the dishes.. Yet, I think that there is some sort of naive-ness about her attitude. Bones on the other hand I REALLY LOVE.

Since this series follows Cat and Bones on their adventures it's actually an Urban Fantasy not Paranormal Romance Series. But for me it's quite the same so I'm filling it on both categories. 

Great series! RECOMMENDED!

Additional Details: Audiobook, 11:17 Hours, 21-24 July 2014 / On GoodReads
The Night Huntress is a great, action packed, funny and romantic Urban Fantasy Series by Jeaniene Frost. The Series follows Cat the half breed Vampire and Bones her Vampire lover. Together they fight humans as well as mythological creatures (like other Vampires, Ghouls, Ghosts and more). The Series contains a total of 7 full novels and one short novella finishing their story line. Besides these, there are also 2 more short novellas, one of Bones before he met Cat and another of the both of them with no real connection to the main plot line (published after the 4th novel). There is no significant to the series in reading these two. After the series was finished another book was published - Outtakes from the Grave containing a "Director's Cut" of deleted scenes and alternate versions. 

There are a few more outside novels listed as "Night Huntress World". Two short novellas of outside characters (Happily Ever After & Devil to Pay) with no significant or relevant to the Night Huntress series as well as two full length novels of Charles and Denise - First Drop of Crimson / Mencheres and Kira - Eternal Kiss of Darkness. I inserted those books in the right reading / publishing order in the list bellow. Even though you don't have to read them to understand Cat and Bones' series, the two full length novels explain how the two couples came together and mind you, both of them are GREAT! :) They have a different feel to them since they have alternation POV of the MC and also, naturally they are not Cat and Bones, yet it is in their world and there are "guest appearances" of our favorite characters. 

There are two spin-off series to the Night Huntress World. First "Night Princeof Vlad the Impaler finding his HEA with Kira which is currently my absolutely FAVORITE PNR / UF books! Second is "Night Rebel" of Ian and Veritas these are superb as well! While these two sub-series can totally be read as "stand alone" series, just bare in mind, characters from all over the Night Huntress World at times make an appearance. I don't think it's necessary to read them if you don't feel like it though. 
I really recommend this series to all PNR and UF lovers. Though Cat CAN be a overly stubborn and sometimes childish she is one hell of a Grim Reaper (with red hair :)). She kicks ass, and it's always fun reading of a strong woman who can handle her opponents as well as hold her liquor. I enjoyed the extra "Night Huntress World" novellas but mostly loved the two full length novels of Cat and Bone's friends as well as Ian and Veritas' spin-off. The absolute joy, the cream and the cherry as well as the chocolate cake and banana muffins are the Night Prince novels. MY GOD I don't know how I lived before reading them.. 
-- Reckoning (Short- Bones) (published 29 November 2011) ★★★½
1. Halfway to the Grave
(published 30 October 2007) ★★★★½
-- Happily Ever After (Short- Chance & Isa)
(published 19 July 2011) ★★★★★
2. One Foot in the Grave (published 29 April 2008) ★★★★½
3. At Grave's End
(published 1 January 2009) ★★★★★
-- Devil to Pay (Short- Mencheres, Elis & Blake)
(published 23 August 2011) ★★★★★
4. Destined for an Early Grave
 (+ deleted alternate sub plot August 2014) (published 28 July 2009) ★★★★½
4.5 Magic Graves: One for the Money (published 1 September 2011) ★★★
-- NH World 1. First Drop of Crimson (Charles & Denise) (published 9 February 2010) ★★★★★
-- NH World 2. Eternal Kiss of Darkness (Mencheres & Kira)
(published 27 July 2010) ★★★★★
5. This Side Of The Grave
(published 22 February 2011) ★★★½
6. One Grave at a Time
(published 30 August 2011) ★★ 
[ Night Prince 1 + 2 ]
6.5 Home for the Holidays
(published 5 November 2013) ★★★★★
7. Up From the Grave
(published 28 January 2014) ★★★½
7.5 Outtakes from the Grave (published 22 December 2015)
[ Night Prince 3 + 4-> Night Rebel Series ] 


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