Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tea and This Side of the Grave

It’s a tradition now that my darling friend, Trader, reviews Jeaniene Frost’s books for the blog. So I’m going to give the word to her now.

Title: This Side of the Grave

Author: Jeaniene Frost

Publisher: Avon

Date of Publication: February 2nd, 2011

ISBN: 9780061783180


Danger waits on both sides of the grave.

Half-vampire Cat Crawfield and her vampire husband Bones have fought for their lives, as well as for their relationship. But just when they've triumphed over the latest battle, Cat's new and unexpected abilities threaten to upset a long-standing balance...

With the mysterious disappearance of vampires, rumors abound that a species war is brewing.  A zealot is inciting tensions between the vampires and ghouls, and if these two powerful groups clash, innocent mortals could become collateral damage. Now Cat and Bones are forced to seek help from a dangerous "ally"--the ghoul queen of New Orleans herself. But the price of her assistance may prove more treacherous than even the threat of a supernatural war. say nothing of the repercussions Cat never imagined.


Once again, Jeaniene Frost has done it with the latest installment of the Night Huntress series, This Side of the Grave. While fans of the series may refer to this book at Cat & Bones #5, this book is all about Cat. Against the backdrop of the threat of a species war between the vampires and ghouls, Cat comes into her own in this book, as a woman, as a wife, and as a significant threat in her own right.

I loved this book. It had everything I look for in a story. A plot full of action and adventure, along with great characters you want to care about. Jeaniene Frost is a master at character development, and this book does not disappoint.

Every character in this book hits on all cylinders. Bones exudes his sexy charm with his usual directness, and although I found his voice a little quiet in this book, I was really too enthralled with Cat’s journey of self-discovery to notice or be bothered by it. The secondary characters shine too, whether its a different view of Mega-Master Mencheres, witty banter between Cat and Vlad, or even new revelations about Tate. The deepening relationships between Cat and the rest of the characters in the Night Huntress series are crafted beautifully in this book.

Amidst the chaos and action, there is time for some very steamy hot supernatural sex scenes between Cat and Bones, and possibly another chapter that will become infamous for its content. But as is the case in this book, it’s really Cat’s scene, and she proves beyond a shadow of a doubt she is no longer the inexperienced young girl from Halfway to the Grave, or even the adventurous girlfriend from One Foot in the Grave. She is an equal partner in this relationship, and that includes the bedroom.

Jeaniene Frost takes us deeper into her supernatural world in this book, and I love how she weaves human concepts such as self-esteem, fighting prejudice, being honest with yourself and others, and strategic thinking into this book. I’m left with the feeling that their world isn’t all that different from ours, minus the fangs, the blood and the silver, of course!

And it wouldn’t be a Jeaniene Frost book if she didn’t make us cry, a little, and there are some very poignant moments in this book. Even though we do lose one of the long-standing characters in the book series, the scene is extremely touching and provides closure to a question plaguing fans since the release of At Graves End.

There are so many great one-liners and quotes from this book, along with a whole boatload of foreshadowing and possible hints for future books, but most of my favorite lines came in the final pages. The story concludes with a wonderfully choreographed fight scene, and one of my favorite lines from Cat, when she refers to family and friends that have assembled for the final confrontation.

“Apollyon wants a war? He’s going to get one, but not between our two species. It’ll be between his best and our best.”

Cat hits the the proverbial nail on the head with that statement. Jeaniene Frost has brought together some of the best characters in any book series I have ever read, and gives us one of her best in This Side of the Grave. I anxiously await the next installment, due out later this year.


Isis M. Nocturne said...

You've said it far better than I can! :)

Kristin said...

You are absolutely right in saying: "She is an equal partner in this relationship, and that includes the bedroom."

I did feel that cat is an equal with Bones in so many ways in this book...especially in that particular chapter!

And as for the regular character who we lose in this book, you are dead on in the way that scene happens. It was a beautiful, touching scene.

And yes...that LONG standing question, was finally answered :-p

I just loved everything about this book. Outstanding addition to the series!

Great review sis!!! *hugs*

Missie said...

You're right! I loved seeing Cat take the role of wife to new levels for herself and her relationship with Bones. It was beautiful.

And I really enjoyed to new glimpse of Mencheres. That scene of him in the car with Cat, with them both apologizing to each other was wonderful. I often held Mencheres in the same frame of mind as Cat, and it was great to drop the guard with him, even if we did kind of bring it back up later on. :D

Uncle Don. I loved his final thoughts to Cat. So moving and poignant.

Very thorough review, mare. Thanks for sharing it.

Portugal said...

As an avid follower of The Night Huntress series I have never had anything, but wonderful things to say about this series. Jeaniene Frost is one of the best authors I have come across in my years of reading. Her ability to create a story with an action packed storyline and a mouth water romance makes her one of the best author out there.

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