Thursday, September 22, 2011

Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Format: Unabridged - Audible Audio / 11 hours 17 min
Narrators: Tavia Gilbert
*Amazon: 4.4 out of 5 Stars (332 reviews)
*GoodReads: 4.3 out of 5 Stars (14,203 Ratings; 1,932 Reviews)
Reading is Fundamental-


*Note- Ratings and statistics current at the time review was written.

This was my first Jeaniene Frost book, and it certainly won't be my last.  Original characters? Nope.  Twisty turny plot line? Uh uh. High tension story telling? Your joking right? Beautiful prose? You can't see, but I'm smirking at you. Well then, what was so great about this book, Chris?!

I'll say this, it might be a bit early to make this comparison, having read only one of her books, but I think that Jeaniene may be the Nora Roberts of the PnR genre.  I don't know if she intended to write camp here, or if it just worked out that way, but the ride from start to finish was a blast.  This book was pure supernatural candy and I loved every minute of it.  Alright, not EVERY minute of it, I didn't give it 5 stars, after all, but it was well worth my time.

Cat is a 22 year old vampire slayer.  She's been knocking off the oversized mosquitoes, with her mother's blessing, since she was about 16.  Then one day... errrr night... she runs into a little more than she can handle.  Cat's life will never be the same, okay, well it won't be ALL THAT different.  She'll still wack blood sucking vermin every chance she gets, she'll just do it with more pizazz. 

As I said already, Jeaniene's characters are by no means original.  Cat is your stereo typical, kick ass vampire slayer and Bones is your run of the mill bad boy love interest.  Her brilliance in constructing them is how over the top she is about it.  I know the comparison has been made about a thousand times, but think Buffy the Vampire Slayer and your pretty much there. 

Thru much of this book Cat is tempered with a believable innocence that makes her seem nearly as vulnerable as she is lethal.  This is a fantastic combination because it creates a necessary place in the story for her would be protector, Bones.  He's not just tacked on as a cosmetic piece to make the ladies all hot and bothered.  Don't get me wrong, Cat is all about girl power, but Bones gets to let his protective instincts out.  Again, think Nora Roberts.

My major complaint in this one is really a fairly minor one.  It is clear going in that Jeaneine intended to write a series, thus there are copious plot threads left dangling at the end of the book.  That wasn't so much a problem for me.  No, my major heartache is that things develope a bit to fast:

» Click to show Spoiler - click again to hide... «

The danger of this kind of book is if you come in taking it too seriously based on all the positive reviews.  This isn't a very serious book (not that I'm saying it's a comedy, it certainly isn't).  As with all good camp, this book is somewhat tongue in cheek, without beating you over the head with goofiness.  If you read it for what it is, I think you'll come away happier for the experience!


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