Review: Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, #1) by Jeaniene Frost

January 25, 2010 Review 14

Review: Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, #1) by Jeaniene FrostHalfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
Series: The Night Huntress #1
Published by Orion on April 22nd 2010
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Romantic, Urban, Urban Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Pages: 384
Sexual Content: References to sex trafficking and date rape. Crude sexual dialogue. One very graphic sex scene, one brief mildly graphic sex scene, several implied sex scenes.
Reviewed by: Abigail
3 Stars

Half-vampire Catherine Crawfield is going after the undead with a vengeance, hoping that one of those deadbeats is her father - the guy responsible for ruining her mother's life. But when she's captured by Bones, a bounty hunter and a vampire, she finds herself forced into an unholy partnership. In exchange for his help in finding her father, and still astonished she hasn't ended up as his dinner, Cat agrees to train with the sexy night stalker until her battle reflexes are as sharp as his fangs. But that's not all Bones has to show her - Cat's starting to believe maybe vampires aren't all evil after all, especially ones as cute as Bones. She's half-convinced that being half-dead doesn't have to be all bad. But before she can enjoy her newfound status as confident kick-ass demon hunter Cat finds herself, and Bones, hotly pursued by a band of killers. She's is going to have to pick a side - and fast ...

I'd heard other readers make the Bones/Spike comparison but I didn't dare hope they could be right. But Spike was my absolute favorite thing about the excellent Buffy the Vampire Slayer show, so even the small chance that a Spike-like character lived within these pages was enough to have me eagerly looking forward to Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress series. And wonder of wonders, (and despite Ms. Frost's denial) Bones is Spike.

I didn’t have a particular person in mind when I described Bones. He’s a blend of (younger versions of) Jude Law, Ethan Hawke, Christian Bale, Viggo Mortensen, Billy Idol, Bruce Campbell (younger, like when he was in Army of Darkness), and James Franco, with a healthy dose of my own imagination to boot. I’ve loved vampires since I was a child, and as as a teen, I had a Billy Idol crush, so that probably explains my love of English accents and blond hair. Although I understand the Spike comparisons (I wrote a blond English vampire, I knew they’d be coming), Spike isn’t the image of how I see Bones. If another person sees him that way, however, it’s fine by me. Whatever makes a reader happy when they flip pages. - Jeaniene Frost

Cat Crawford hunts vampires. It's the only way she can reconcile the illegitimacy of her birth to both herself and her mother. In addition to deep seeded hatred for his kind, the vampire who assaulted Cat's mother also left her part of his supernatural abilities. But Cat gets more than she bargained for when she hunts the wrong vampire. Bones is nothing like the monsters her mother has taught her about, and when he captures her she expects to be killed. Instead, he offers her the chance to improve her skills and knowledge about the undead if she'll agree to work with him. Cat soon finds herself allied with a vampire who hunts his own kind and wrestling with her long held beliefs about herself and what she thought she knew about true evil.
If like many of us, you long ago succumbed to the charms of Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you will love the character of Bones. Spike, I mean Bones, is a platinum blond British vampire with chiseled cheekbones and an insulting sarcasm that drips with sexuality. And like Spike, Bones is man enough to admit he's "love's bitch" when it comes to Cat.

My only complaint about this book is the high sexual content. The main sex scene is anything but brief and it's quite graphic. Also the 'training' that Cat undergoes to become the most irresistible vampire bait half alive includes being able to not only withstand the crudest of crude sexual dialogue but also to reply in kind. And then after being outfitted from Sluts-R-Us, Bones tells Cat that she needs to go out sans panties so that the vampires can scent her. Yeah. It's pretty over the top. And in a story with weaker characters or a lackluster plot it would be enough to dissuade me from continuing the series, but...there is so much to like in this book that I'll be back for more.

14 Responses to “Review: Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, #1) by Jeaniene Frost”

  1. Casey

    nice review! I really love this series and I agree with you – some of the sex scenes are extremely graphic. Wait til you read the 2nd book.

  2. Brooke Reviews

    I really liked the first two books in this series. The third was just okay, and I haven't read the fourth yet.

    Great review, I agree about all the sex lol Sometimes it's like WOW! lol

  3. Natasha

    Great review. I agree the sex scenes do sometimes go over the top, but I still love the books so much that I don't mind it. I find, like some books even with all the sex you still are more focused on the main plot of the book.
    It does get graphic in the next book as well but I find book 4 (destined for an early grave) has very little, and even more attention on the plot. Each book gets better and better. (In my opinion.) Book 4 rocked! I am loving Vlad. hehe:)

  4. Rebecca @ DSB

    Hi Abigail,
    This is one of my all-time favorite series. I think the sex scenes are on the mark for a paranormal romance. For readers who stick mostly to urban fantasy, I could see how they'd be eye-opening. I read a ton of romance though, and I expect a few red-hot sex scenes thrown into a PNR. Um, all I can say is watch out in the next books.

  5. Caden O'Brien

    This is one of my favorite series! As a reader with a high tolerance and fondness for graphic-ness, I thought the sex scenes were great. And just what I'd expect from a paranormal romance. After all, the main attraction of these guys isn't their extremely long lives, it's their extreme sexiness!! 🙂

  6. ck.twilighter (Chasity)

    *jumping up and down in my seat*
    One of my ALLLLLL time favorite series!!!=)
    I think there is a perfect blend of everything.
    However, after reading your commentary I can understand what you are saying but to be honest I liked those parts of the book. hehehehehe.

    Mahalo for an honesty review keep them coming!!!

  7. The Book Vixen

    I think I'm missing out here, all this talk about Spike. I haven't seen a single Buffy episode. My co-worker keeps telling me how I HAVE to watch it. Buffy is on top of my to-rent list, whenever I get around to renting 🙂

    I liked the sex scenes. I'm with Rebecca and Caden – I expect it.

  8. Abigail [All Things Urban Fantasy]

    I already have the next one to read. I still really liked this book, but I didn't know ahead of time where this series would fall on the urban fantasy/paranormal romance scale. I tend to prefer more sexual tension as opposed to sex in my books, but It looks like there is something for everyone with this series. And I'm loving Bones!

    Book Vixen- You need to watch Buffy! Spike doesn't really distinguish himself until about season 4 IMO, but after that….:)

  9. Kindle Vixen

    This is by far one of my most favorite series, but definitely high sex factor. In fact chapter 32 in book 2 is legendary. I love me some Bones and Spike.

    Our household are huge Buffy fans, my 8 year old actually made herself a "I heart Spike" tshirt LOL. I didn't actually make the comparison between Spike/Bones myself!

  10. Vickie

    Now I love this series (and Bones) even more!! Jeaniene Frost has a superb amalgam going for how she sees Bones. It works for me. And I love Spike.

  11. Book Chick City

    I have this series on my shelves waiting to be read and I must admit when I bought it I thought it was more urban fantasy than PNR. I am also surprised by reading your review that it has a lot of explicit sex, I didn't know that. Although I'm not a fan of a lot of sexual content I will probably still read it as it does sound like a good series and I hear that Bones is delicious 😉 Thanks for your great review!

  12. l.blanchard

    I like the sexual chemistry between Spike I mean Bones, and Cat. I have no problem with the Sexual references and scenes, I find myself cringing at the over the top violence. It gets even more intense in the later books.
    Bu tI really like her writing. In less experienced hands this could be a train wreck, but she makes it work and Its fun.