Read Along: AT GRAVE’S END
Welcome to the next Night Huntress Read Along! It’s been tons of fun so if you missed our last discussion on ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE click here to catch up.
We have a giveaway for participants of our read-along! The details are being worked out, but it will definitely contain the first six books of the Night Huntress series (all the books that we’ll be discussing between now and January) and possibly some other goodies! You’ll get an entry for each post you participate in the discussion for! Make sure to pick the correct option from the Rafflecopter for the post you are commenting on.
Next Read Along Dates:
December 17—DESTINED FOR AN EARLY GRAVE
January 7—THIS SIDE OF THE GRAVE
January 21—ONE GRAVE AT A TIME
Release Day Review: January 28—UP FROM THE GRAVE
Jeaniene’s AT GRAVE’S END Tidbits:
“As you’ve noticed from my previous tidbits, things can really change from what’s written in a first draft to what appears in the published version of a story, especially if you’re new to writing like I was at the time. At Grave’s End is no exception, and I chalk it up to the same “newbie author syndrome” that had me writing about Cat marrying someone other than Bones in the first version of One Foot In The Grave (I used to think that all original ideas for a story, no matter how far-fetched, HAD to be written because they were the “purest” expression of that story. Yeah, I was *that* naive way back when!)
The original version of At Grave’s End started out pretty much the same, but included a formal, human-traditional wedding between Cat and Bones about a quarter of the way through the story. This was taken out at my editor’s request because it slowed the pacing, and seemed to be a HEA when Cat and Bones still had a lot of stuff ahead of them, both in that book and in subsequent NH novels. Also, there’s a version of At Grave’s End that my editor never read, which took Cat through a very dark place and had my former agent writing me a three-page letter explaining how I could not submit this to my editor. I’d already guessed that by then because of all the changes I’d had to make to my first two novels, so I revised, deleting about 50 thousand words from the middle. It worked out that I also over-wrote at the time – taking out those 50 thousand words still left me with a 90K word novel, and the book was so much better without the Oh-Lord-This-Is-Tragic plot line I originally had in it.
At Grave’s End also introduces one of my favorite characters, Vlad Tepesh. When I started writing about vampires, I swore to myself that I wouldn’t touch the Dracula mythology because it had been done so many times before. Then, in the middle of writing a tense scene, Bones suddenly began grousing that “the bloody showhound” was at the door. In walked Vlad, both onto the page and into my mind. Since I hadn’t intended to write about him, I had spent no time brainstorming character traits, but somehow I knew several things right away: that he hated being called Dracula, he and Bones didn’t get along, and that all the Hollywood caricatures based on his legend really ticked him off. Vlad’s sense of humor also wasn’t planned on my part – it was just how I heard him in my mind, but since I swore I was NOT going to add Dracula to my series, I resolved to finish the scene for my own amusement and then delete him from it. Vlad, however, simply refused to leave :). After having him as a side character in four more novels, I ended up giving Vlad his own series. So much for never writing about Dracula!
Finally, the end of At Grave’s End (::::spoiler warning if you haven’t read it!::::) with the zombie attack was my homage to two of my favorite horror movies, Army of Darkness and 28 Days Later.”
AT GRAVE’S END marks the line between what I’ve read before, and brand new territory in the series. Though I’m loving reading new revelations and powers, I’m still not invested in any of the secondary characters… and in this book, my lack of involvement with the myriad backup vampires means the stakes are quite a bit lower. Nope, don’t care if it’s Bucko or Thumper that is betraying the group, really don’t care. Vlad, however, does catch my eye. Clearly this guy is meant for bigger and better things. Looking forward to seeing him in later Night Huntress books… and didn’t I see his name on a spin off or two?
Julia- Vlad definitely does get his own spin-off trilogy (!!!!) which I so far am in love with. Anyway, AT GRAVE’S END is not one of my favorite books in the series. The amount of death at the end due to Petra is frustrating, especially because, as Julia pointed out, we weren’t given time to fall in love with any of the characters. One thing I do enjoy about this series that we’re starting to see by AT GRAVE’S END is that Frost is really good at giving each book its own special villain as opposed to dragging out the fight against one big bad guy over several books (I’m looking at you, Elemental Assassin, among others). It makes for a much more fun read, since there is such closure at the end of each book, and we know that there’s a clean slate for a bad guy in the next book.
Re-reading this series has really reminded just how superpowered Bones keeps getting. He gets yet another superpower. If he doesn’t get x-ray vision or the ability to shoot lasers out of his eyes by the end of the series I will be disappointed. I liked the conclusion of the Max plot line though I would have like to see just what Bones did and said to him. Does that make me a horrible person? Anyway, AT GRAVE’S END brings one of my favorite Night Huntress characters, Vlad. I adore his arrogance, awesome fire shooting abilities and his general ‘Vlad-ness’ a word I am attempting to get into the Oxford English Dictionary. If you haven’t read Vlad’s spin-off series Night Prince go read it! I agree with Kate and Julia that we don’t get nearly enough time with any of the secondary vampire characters to really care that they betrayed the group or died.
One of my favorite scenes is when Doc and Cat are shooting, and he shoots her name in the wall. Plus, when she fights all the challengers at the event when she’s announced as head of the line- she is seriously bad ass there. And one of the more touching moments, when Vlad talks Cat (literally) off the ledge. It’s interesting seeing a bit of Vlad and his history so early in the series, because I always felt he was such a mysterious character, I’d forgotten this was revealed.
I will never grow tired of Bones teasing Justina. His announcement of Cat’s engagement was hilarious. The fight with the hordes of zombies coming to the house was extremely epic and scary. I also agree on Vlad’s talking Cat off the ledge being a very nice, touching scene.
Questions for readers:
How do you feel about Menchares not being able to kill Petra even though she has caused so much death and destruction, even to those who are close to him?
Which of the characters that is newly introduced/that we get to know better (Ian, Spade, Doc, Tick-tock, etc) do you like the best?
What do you think of Tate’s not being able to just let go of his love for Cat? Is he being unreasonable, or romantic?
About the author
- Cover Art Coverage: 14 New Titles!June 11, 2014
- Cover Art Coverage: 14 New Titles!February 26, 2014
- Night Huntress Read Along: ONE GRAVE AT A TIME by Jeaniene FrostJanuary 21, 2014
- Deadly Destinations: Gina Rosati & win AURACLEAugust 8, 2012