Book form: pdf format e-book
Genre: urban/adult romance/action/suspense/vampire
Target audience: adult (explicit sex scenes, dirty language and a lot of innuendo)
Catherine Kathleen Crawfield, by friends and enemies known as Cat, is a half-vampire half human, probably the only of her kind. Her main occupation and pastime is hunting vampires. Once a vampire ruined her mother’s life, date-raping and neglecting her afterwards. Now, Cat lives to kill as many undead as she can find in nightclubs and discos, luring them outside with the help of her low cleavage and as much of her body exposed as it is legally possible. Her mum approves.
One night Cat is captured by Bones, a vampire bounty hunter and hit man – she killed his mark and then tried to do him in as well. Bones thinks Cat might work for another vampire and when he finds out he is wrong he forces her into a partnership. Cat is trained by him in exchange for finding her father. She learns far more than she’s bargained for. It seems vampires are as different as people; some of them are actually noble and good, something her mother didn’t know… Pretty soon Bones will have her convinced that being half-dead doesn’t have to be such a horrible fate either. Before she can enjoy her newfound status as a kick-ass demon hunter, Cat and Bones are pursued by a group of killers. Now Cat will have to choose a side . . . and Bones is turning out to be as tempting as any man with a heartbeat. Will she be able to trust him, though?
What I liked:
Firstly and foremostly I was smitten by the sense of humour. I like it when the characters are witty and intelligent – with such characters I can forgive a book and an author a lot. Cat is perhaps not the sharpest tool in the drawer but Bones makes up for that. His calm and patient demeanor contrasts well with Cat’s impulsive nature. What’s more those two have a lot of backbone. In short Jeaniene Frost has put a new spin on the vampire hunter theme, especially adding that slightly paranoid and definitely damaged mother to the whole set – a mother who turned her own daughter into a murderess in order to get her revenge.
Cat is a likeable character – strong, vibrant, damaged, outspoken and sometimes rather naïve. She is struggling with what she is. Bones brings her to life – he takes her under his wing, trains her and falls in love with her. Her mother has done quite the number on her growing up making her believe that all vampires are evil and she is a bit evil herself unless she follows her mother’s advice and kills as many of these dirty demons as she can. Bones challenges her prejudice and brings out the best in her.
I even enjoyed the background, especially the bit showing that the politicians can be in cahoots with whoever gives them an advantage. That family can let you down no matter how hard you try to make it up to them. That life there to be lived whether you have a pulse or you pretend to have one. Such topics gave this novel definitely more serious overtone than I expected.
Also let me tell you that the end was unexpected, taking the whole storyline down a surprising turn. It is not a cliffhanger but as close as you can get.
What I didn’t like:
This book is like deep-fry spring rolls with double French fries (or chips if you live across the pond) and no salad. A big, greasy, delicious meal but even if you wash it away with a diet coke you know you will regret it later. After reading it I felt my cholesterol levels spike, clogging my synapses and shutting up my poor brain. I asked myself some serious questions I was too ashamed to answer. Bad, bad Anachronist.
Well, to be absolutely honest I must admit Half Way to the Grave is filled with gratuitous scenes of jealousy, flirting, snogging, sex on the stairs, sex elsewhere and proclamations of love – the stuff you can find galore in any decent fanfiction. The sex orginates from Bones and Cat, our main protagonist. Some other characters come into this story but they’re not important because they’re not having sex. Sad.
There is also the question of the main character’s full name… when it was finally revealed it made me laugh out loud. Either it’s a joke, or the author didn’t bother to Google her first and middle names, or we should just believe that the character’s mother is so far “out there” that she deliberately named her daughter the same name twice !
I’ve also read in other reviews that Bones is Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel TV show (I haven’t watched it, so I can’t tell). Right. Let the lawyers take care of it.
One more food analogy – this book had perhaps no nutritional value, probably not what you would choose if you could have whatever you wanted, but at the right time and the right place, it really hits the spot. If you are a fan of urban fantasy, I recommend it. It was still good escapist fun and I enjoyed it.