[REVIEW] Halfway to the Grave – Jeaniene Frost

Halfway to the Grave

Night Huntress series, book 1

Jeaniene Frost

Avon Books/Harper Collins, 2007

Catherine Crawfield is a half-vampire out for revenge against all vampires since the day her mother told the truth about her conception. For 6 years Cat has lured vampires out of bars and to their deaths. Until the day she’s captured by Bones, vampire bounty hunter, and is forced to work with him.

More behind the cut.

Cat agrees to work with Bones because she’s hoping to kill the vampire who raped her mother. Before long, this motivation is replaced by the desire to go after the vampire ring Bones is hunting. In a way I’m glad the need to kill her father is dropped; to resolve this plot in this book would have been too pat. Given the other plotlines, it would have been too much for this one book. However, I was disappointed to see the subject dropped altogether. It might have been nice if Bones could have applied some of his hand-dandy research or asked some of his contacts along the way, rather than forgetting the topic completely.

On the subject of Bones, I found him not to be as developed as Cat. I’d thought someone who’s been around for a couple of centuries would have more issues, particularly intimacy and commitment issues, since longevity is not something Cat has. Where Cat hated Bones from the moment she meets him and had to come to see him for a person and not just a vampire, Bones apparently loved Cat virtually at first sight. I’m not a fan of love at first sight, and I can’t say Bone’s side of the love story worked for me. However, I just loved the scene near the end of the book with Bones standing in the middle of the highway. That’s one scene I won’t soon forget.

[spoiler warning]
While we’re on the subject of the relationship and the ending of the book, I can’t say I fully appreciated the ending. I understand Cat’s reasons for making the choice she did, however, I was led to believe the story would go one way with Cat’s trust issues, and instead it went another. I will concede Cat wasn’t ready to go there with her trust, but since it was a prominent part of the development of the relationship, I thought I would see it resolved somewhat better than it was.
[/spoiler warning]

The novel started off a little rocky; it took a few chapters for the story to hit its stride, and even then some things still bug me. In the beginning we’re shown Cat luring vampires out of bars to drive to a secluded area for a quickie. And yet, when Bones wants her to do the same thing, suddenly she’s a prude. In fact, the first time Cat talks to Bones, she’s talking dirty, trying to lure him out of the bar. But when he’s training her to go after stronger vampires, she’s suddenly blushing. I nearly put the book down because of this inconsistency. One doesn’t spend six years using sex as bait to suddenly become squeamish at the thought.

Despite all of the above, this is actually a well-developed urban fantasy. It’s one of the best first novels I’ve read, and a great start to a series. From the sizzling romance to the action that wallops a punch, you’re sure to find something to love. When I finally put the book down I felt like I’d just stepped off a thrilling ride, and all I wanted was more.

Rating: A-

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3 comments on “[REVIEW] Halfway to the Grave – Jeaniene Frost

  1. I really should read this book. I bought it when it first came out because of the gorgeous cover but haven’t read it yet.

  2. Hi Lindsay.
    I loved Halfway to the Grave, too!

    ****BEGIN SPOILER WARNING****
    I didn’t feel the same way as you regarding the inconsistency of Cat’s sexuality. Mostly because I didn’t think Cat ever actually followed through with any of her promises of promiscuity with the vampires she’d lure to secluded areas. She was just faking interest to lure the vampires away from public areas and then would execute them before she even kissed them. So her shyness and inexperience later with Bones didn’t bother me, especially since the only real experience she had was with that creep of a boyfriend.

    I thought Cat’s decision to leave Bones and work for that new government agency actually demonstrated a growth in her maturity. She was actually thinking of someone else for a change when she staged Bones’ death so the agency wouldn’t hunt him. Of course she also wanted her mother to be safe. Bleh.

    The highway scene with Bones is one of my favorites in this series, too! I won’t be forgetting that scene, either. But I agree with you about his love for Cat: I’d like to have been more convinced about why he fell so hard and fast for her after all those years and all those women. I think it may have to do with her uniqueness as a halfling. She’s vampire capable, yet human vulnerable.
    ****END SPOILER WARNING***

    Sorry if I rambled… but at least you can tell how much I liked this book! 😀

    I look forward to reading your thoughts on One Foot In The Grave.

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