Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Halfway To The Grave Review

Halfway To the Grave (Night Huntress 1)
 - Jeaniene Frost

Publisher: UK – Gollancz

Half-vampire Catherine Crawfield is going after the undead with a vengeance, hoping that one of these deadbeats is her father – the one responsible for ruining her mother’s life. Then she’s captured by Bones, a vampire bounty hunter, and is forced into an unlikely partnership. In exchange for help finding her father, Cat agrees to train with the sexy night stalker until her battle reflexes are as sharp as his fangs. She’s amazed she doesn’t end up as his dinner – are there actually good vampires? Pretty soon Bones will have her convinced that being half-dead doesn’t have to be all bad. But before she can enjoy her status as kick-ass demon hunter, Cat and Bones are pursued by a group of killers. Now Cat will have to choose a side … and Bones is turning out to be as tempting as any man with a heartbeat.

This is a series that has a lot of passionate fans and after reading this book I can see why. At first I wasn’t sure what all the fuss was about – it seemed pretty predictable: independent kick-ass girl meets dangerous vampire, they fight, they start to fall in love, problems arise etc. Pretty formulaic so far, but about half way through I started to change mind. Bones, who seemed to be one ‘cor, blimey gov’nor’ short of a Dick Van Dyke cockney accent at first, soon stopped using these annoying phrases - or I was able to overlook them! Once I heard more about his past I really warmed to him and the way he tried to protect Cat was sweet. Cat is a prickly heroine at first – the product of a rape and a mother who thinks she is half evil - but she starts to open up to Bones and by the end I was really routing for the two of them. They had reached a true partnership of equals and I was wishing for a happy ending. In my opinion they were the only two characters that were really fleshed out – all the others, even the villains, were little more than sketched out plot devices, but it didn’t really matter. This book is the story of a relationship that rescues the people in it and the difficulties brought by their differences to each other. The ending seemed right to me and I definitely want to read the next book, One Foot In The Grave.

Recommended for Kelley Armstrong and Kim Harrison fans. 8 out of 10.

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