May 19, 2009

Book Review: Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

Three Sentence Synopsis: Catherine Crawfield (known as Cat) is a half-human, half-vampire vampire killer who meets Bones, a Vampire Hit man/Bounty Hunter during a kill. In exchange for her life (and help determining the identity of her rapist vampire father), Cat agrees to help Bones with a job of his own. She falls in love with Bones but as the bodies pile up around them, she is forced to make a difficult choice between staying with the man that she loves or protecting her own heart and soul.(Book One of a Trilogy, thus far).

I recommend this book highly. The pacing is fast and the characters are well-drawn and interesting. The plot is mostly solid and well setup for sequels and books for offshoot characters (a book for Spade please!). All in all, an excellent first-book.

I would like to comment on the many reviewers who were turned off by what the perceived to be the main character's immaturity and shallowness. I think most of them forgot that at the beginning of this book, the main character was in her early twenties (like 20-22)! At that age no one's thinking is tied too tight and, when you consider the circumstances of her birth and her maternal family's conflicted feelings about her very existence, she's a lot more mature and clear thinking than a lot of people her age. However, I do feel that the author did a good job of convincingly aging her up in the next book and giving her more maturity without sacrificing her personality.

Main Review:
I will preface this review by saying that I am NOT a big fan of paranormal romance. Vampires, ghouls, the undead, none of that really tickles my fancy; give me a good old-fashioned Regency Bodice-Ripper any day. Normally I would never read this kind of book, but I received it from someone on LibraryThing and it sat on my coffee table for over a month before I offered it (half-heartedly) to a friend who loves paranormal. She was so excited about receiving that I decided to give the first chapter a go; if the book was good, I would loan it to her, otherwise, she could keep it.

That said, this book will be on LOAN only (sorry Nikki)!

Halfway to the Grave sucked me in from the first chapter! Catherine is the product of a rape and is half-human, half vampire. She has been taught from her earliest days that all vampires are evil creatures from hell who must be destroyed; thus begins her early career as a vampire killer. However, while staking out a victim, Cat runs into the most gorgeous vampire she's ever seen and the only vampire who's ever been able to take her out while she's on a job. In exchange for her life (and help finding the vampire who raped her mother and fathered her), Cat agrees to act as bait for a Master Vampire named Bones, who is trying to determine who is killing young human women all over the state of Ohio. Over the next few months, Cat learns more and more about her vampire heritage, embraces her strengths, and turns what had been a obsession into an almost full-time job. She must also confront the fact that, like humans, not all Vampires are evil and she has prejudice issues of her own to deal with. Bones, her new vampire partner, is determined to show Cat the limitations of her thinking while training her to be faster, stronger, agile, and more creative. Together they move closer and closer to the center of an interesting mystery where the guilty party is no one that you would assume and the list of people that can be trusted grows shorter and shorter.

Final Opinion:
After I finished this book, I checked Book 2 (One Foot in the Grave) out from the Library and I'm going to buy book 3 today. It's just that compelling but I sincerely hope that Jeanine Frost gives the side characters (Tate, Spade, possibly Cooper) their own books.

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