Night Huntress series, book 1
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.
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.
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.