Wednesday, September 21, 2011

One Grave at a Time by Jeaniene Frost

Publisher: Avon
Age: Adult
Species: Vampires/Half Vampires/ Humans/ Ghosts
Rating: 4.5/5
Interest: Series/Reading Goal/ Cat and Bones

The grave is one wrong step away.

Having narrowly averted an (under)world war, Cat Crawfield wants nothing more than a little downtime with her vampire husband, Bones. Unfortunately, her gift from New Orleans' voodoo queen just keeps on giving--leading to a personal favor that sends them into battle once again, this time against a villainous spirit.

Centuries ago, Heinrich Kramer was a witch hunter. Now, every All Hallows Eve, he takes physical form to torture innocent women before burning them alive. This year, however, a determined Cat and Bones must risk all to send him back to the other side of eternity--forever. But how do you kill a killer who's already long dead?

By the sixth book, you'd think a series would start to become routine. In a way, Cat and Bones have; some danger crops up that they have to deal with themselves (usually involving Cat's imminent demise) and they go through the book kicking ass and taking names until the end when victory is theirs. It's nice to have that kind of security. However, the plots, the action, the villains and even the banter is still new and different with each book so it's still stimulating.

Oh, pardon me if I randomly bust into tears during this review. It's the 6th last Cat and Bones book (only 3 more books until it ends)! By this time next year my favorite fictional married couple that I've been reading since high school will be kaput. I am consoling myself with the thought that Vlad (one of my favorites) has his own books coming out next year. Perhaps they'll even be an Ian spin-off  book in the works; (I can only hope, because even though he's an asshole, I find Ian endlessly fascinating.) I would even like a book about Justina or Tate or Justina and Tate, if you know what I mean. I guess I still have to understand that Jeaniene Frost might be feeling a little confined by writing the same characters all the time and need a break to do something new. (Her angel story in Haunted by Your Touch was a fantastic example of this.) I mean, I'm fan enough to read whatever she writes at this point, but still, I have to confess to having my favorites.

Cat has definitely grown by leaps and bounds since the first time I read her. She's more mature, focused and has realized she might need a little help in ridding the world of evil. She and Bones are completely in touch with each other. In each book I feel like their trust and love grows. It's overcome fear, prejudice, homicidal maniacs, family members, co-workers, and the couple's individual pitfalls. Every time I read about them together it becomes increasingly clear how perfect they are for each other and the fact that their relationship does have the strength necessary to make it through eternity. I love that. (Dear lord, will I miss it. *sniffle*)

I'm fairly certain Jeaniene Frost realized the impact of all the emotional things that went on in This Side of the Grave. (Yes, I still cry when I reread certain parts.) I feel like she wanted to give herself, or her readers, a break from the roller coaster of feelings the last book caused. Consequently, One Grave at a Time does not appear to focus on romance. Don't get me wrong; Cat and Bones still have their respective cuddly and steamy scenes. However, this book was based more in plot, character interaction, and schemes than anything. It was like a return of the good old days when the books were an equal mix of passion and ass-kicking with a little more ass-kicking put in for good measure.

I was so proud of Justina! Even though she had her... bad moments, I was still so happy that she finally seemed to be getting over her long-held vampire prejudice! It could be a result from her actually being one, but she was still nicer to Cat and Bones than she'd ever been. To be honest, I'm beginning to like her enough to want her to move on to a new lover, Ian or Tate. Ian would be frustrating, a challenge and full of fire which would be perfect for Justina. Or, there's stable and good Tate who genuinely cares about everyone who would be good for her too. I was also particularly gleeful about the presence of Kira, Mencheres, Spade and Denise. I've missed those couples.

All of the "history" in One Grave at a Time was very interesting. Everyone knows about Witch Trials (especially the ones in Salem), but it's never really explored as to how these women became targets. I'll be the first to admit that Frost took a few... liberties with the history of witch hunts, but a good chunk of her information was fact. Girls were exploited, hurt, or even killed on the suspicion of being witches. I really appreciated the amount of action in this book as well. It wasn't overflowing with explosions or anything like that, but there was definitely more running, jumping, dodging, fighting and knifing than there's been in a while.

Let me also say, that the addition of a cat, a dog, a fabulous gay best friend and Bones' new powers were amazing. Half of the incidents involving these additions had me laughing out loud in public, clutching my stomach, trying to breathe. They were very good ideas. I will continue to love Jeaniene Frost FOREVER for creating Tyler. He... let's just say he needed to be in this book.

Needless to say, if you're a fan of Cat and Bones, you will pick up this book, possibly running over small children and old ladies in your pursuit of it. However, if you are not an established Night Huntress series fan and you like paranormal romance, I would highly, highly, highly suggest you pick it up. Frost is a fantastic writer and you are seriously missing out if you don't have her books in your to be read pile.

Teaser lines: "You're shagging a woman who can turn into a dragon? Blast you, Charles, I am sick with envy!"

(Yes, I still snort with laughter when I read that line.)

Happy Reading,

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