Author: Jeaniene Frost
Series: Night Huntress #2
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Category: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy Romance
Main Characters: Cat/Bones
Author’s Website: http://www.jeanienefrost.com/
Source: Personal purchased copy, ebook.
Rating: 3 FULL MOONS
You can run from the grave, but you can’t hide . . .
Half-vampire Cat Crawfield is now Special Agent Cat Crawfield, working for the government to rid the world of the rogue undead. She’s still using everything Bones, her sexy and dangerous ex, taught her, but when Cat is targeted for assassination, the only man who can help her is the vampire she left behind.
Being around him awakens all her emotions, from the adrenaline kick of slaying vamps side by side to the reckless passion that consumed them. But a price on her head—wanted: dead or half-alive—means her survival depends on teaming up with Bones. And no matter how hard she tries to keep things professional between them, she’ll find that desire lasts forever . . . and that Bones won’t let her get away again.
I don’t know what it is exactly that falls so flat with me about this series. The whole Buffy/Spike thing stopped bothering me by the end of the last book — I think the characters have (mostly) developed beyond that. The writing is good, there’s plenty of action…
I think I felt ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE felt too chunky, plot-wise. And while it seems ironic to say that an urban fantasy novel really stretched credulity… this one did. The whole “Cat’s Family” storyline was just too many coincidences and manipulations for this reader. Then there was the ONE HALF BREED ENTERS…SEVERAL HUNDRED VAMPIRES LEAVE flavor of the “confrontation” with Ian. Seriously — pointing out that it was like Thunderdome doesn’t cover up the weakness of using that particular Trope. Don’t get me started about the… thing that happened there that I can’t talk about because it’s a spoiler. Which is annoying, because there were so many things about that whole section that bugged me, I could fill out half of this review. The wedding, the Dave Thing…
In fact, there’s a BUNCH of things that really nagged at me in this book that I can’t talk about for fear of spoiling readers. It just seemed like too many coincidences, too many wish-fulfillment scenes, so many things that seemed to happen for no particular reason at all…
Now, that being said (do I say that in every review? I think I do.), I really did enjoy the book overall, and I was compelled to continue to the end — I’m sort of compulsive that way. I care about the team (except Don, he needs to die), and even Cat and Bones. Rodney is totally my ghoul boyfriend (although his place was usurped by the end.), and I can’t count the ways that I enjoyed Cat’s mom getting put in her place, the bitch. Plus, the less she’s in the story, the better as far as I’m concerned.
Of course, no review of ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE is complete without mention of the infamous
Okay, I have two opinions about it. Again, I’m limited by the SPOILER BARRIER (has anybody who wanted to not read this book yet? Hm. Maybe not — I hadn’t.) The fang part was WOWZA. You know that’s my major kink, right, fangplay? So… yeah. I was good there. But the other part… seriously, I don’t understand what the big deal is. But then, I’m a big kinkmeister who adores BDSM, m/m, menage, and lots of other places where you see stuff like what happens in this scene in every other chapter. Hell, I WRITE it. I assumed it was the FANGPLAY (did I say WOWZA already? Mmmm. Fangplay.) that everybody was bugging about, but then I saw some people on Goodreads complaining or otherwise freaking out about the OTHER part… and I really couldn’t judge because I am a massive smut consumer and kinkmeister, and that sort of thing doesn’t really shake me much. SO… Chapter 32: part WOWZA, part… and? You’re okay with all-over fangy fun, but THAT makes you squick? Ooookay.
I’m jaded about smut. Go figure!
Ah, going back over my notes (a sticky note on my bedstand), I’m reminded of why this series hasn’t “gotten” me yet: it hasn’t truly moved me. Some of the smut and romance has been steamy (Ch. 32) and sweet, but I’ve never laughed out loud, or cried, or gotten white knuckles from any of the suspenseful action scenes. I couldn’t stop contrasting this with my all time favorite red-headed UF troublemaker, Rachel Morgan. The Hallows Series has rocked me to the core more than a few times. I mean, laughing, holding my breath, panting from the HAWT… sobbing so hard that I had to cry into a pillow not to wake up everyone in the house. THAT’S a series that holds on to my heart and soul and doesn’t let go. Of course it’s not fair to expect every series to be my favorite, but so far the Night Huntress series really hasn’t earned my undying loyalty. This is only book 2, though, so there’s still time.
So while I’m moving on with the series and enjoying it on a very surface kind of level (so far), I still can’t rave about it yet. But if you enjoy Urban Fantasy with heavy romantic/smutty undertones, it’s well worth the read.
OOOOO – Five Full Moons: OMG I LOVE THIS BOOK GO GET IT RIGHT NOW!
OOOO – Four Full Moons: I REALLY liked this. Well worth reading, and possibly re-reading!
OOO – Three Full Moons: Good! Worth a read.
OO – Two Full Moons: Not really to my taste, but not terrible.
O – One Full Moon: Has serious flaws that make it difficult to read and review fairly.
I also use half-moons as necessary. I should make it clear that I do review books on a number of levels, emotional and structural being the major ones. I might read a book with serious grammar and spelling flaws, but it could still win my heart due to characterization or story. Or a perfectly structured novel might leave me feeling nothing, and won’t get a great review. I DO always try to find something positive to say about a book, or I won’t say anything much at all. I DO NOT engage in mean-spirited snark, although I do give constructive criticism. As a writer, I can’t stand the former, and always appreciate the latter, even if it’s “negative.”
Hope this makes sense. Any questions, comments, or vague misgivings are welcome in the comments!