I received this book for free from my own shelves in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Other Half of the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Nancy Yost Literary Agency on April 26, 2022
Source: my own shelves
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Also by this author: The Beautiful Ashes, Bound by Flames, Into the Fire, Halfway to the Grave
Concurrent with Halfway to the Grave, 1, even though technically ninth publication-wise, in the Night Huntress urban fantasy series revolving around a pair of vampires: Cat and Bones. The focus is on Bones’ perspective of his first meeting with Cat with some updating for the times — see if you can pick out what’s changed.
This is such a crack-up with Bones on to Cat’s plans almost from the start. Using his perspective on her continuing actions will keep you grinning and flipping those pages to find out what happens next . . . from his perspective. I gotta wonder how good Cat can be as Frost uses third person protagonist point-of-view from Bones’ perspective, and he notes all the mistakes Cat makes.
I do like that Bones is upfront about what he’s thinking. He doesn’t care if he hurts someone’s feelings. Oops, I just got to thinking how awful that makes me sound. That I think this is okay. Okay, therapy time. Part of his honesty is admitting to the negatives in his past.
It’s that politeness that has been bred into my generation (and earlier) that hasn’t prepared us to be forthright, but too accepting of other’s boorishness. So I usually appreciate it in others for their honesty.
Back to the review. It’s so creepy how Bones describes Devon’s “shopping”, comparing it to us checking out produce at the store.
Then there’s Cat’s bigotry. It’s these adventures that force Cat to look back and discover evil is not all one-sided. For one, Cat’s family. A. Don’t blame the child for being born. B. Rape is not a choice, at least on the victim’s part. I do have to agree with Bones though, Cat’s mum is a monster.
Those rules about killing a vampire from another Master’s line reminded me of those Mire rules in Ilona Andrews’ Bayou Moon, 2. Oooh, so nitpicky, lol.
Poor Cat. I don’t think she’s ever had a lick of fun in her life. She certainly feels guilty every time she experiences a nibbit of fun.
Bones’ past history related in The Other Half of the Grave conflicts with history we’ve learned in other stories, particularly The Bite Before Christmas: “Home for the Holidays”, 6.5. So is Frost giving up on continuity or just doesn’t care? And remember that The Other Half of the Grave is ninth publication-wise. We do learn how Bones got that nickname. Creepy. A bit more past history reveals the “truth” behind the origin of vampires. Or ghouls depending on who you’re listening to, lol.
I am confused about the six years ago bit that Danny Milton complains about. Has the guy been dead for six years? Was Felicity killed today or six years ago?
This is a painful seduction . . . on both sides! Although I must say that Cat is a quick learner in this story packed full of action with quite the characters driving it.
I have GOT to re-read Halfway to the Grave, 1, to remember Cat’s side of it.
Bones is hunting evil vampires and his current target goes off with some sexy redhead. Only Bones is mistaken about who is the victim. Anxious to learn more about that redhead, he captures her and forces her into an unlikely partnership.
The bargain on his part is to keep Cat alive — he wants her to have a better chance of staying alive and changing her mind about defining evil. At least until a group of killers and government agents pursue the couple.
Bones, a.k.a. Crispin Phillip Arthur Russell III, who has been a vampire since 1790, is now a bounty hunter with a purpose. Baron Charles “Spade” DeMortimer is Bones’ best mate, from their days as prisoners along with Timothy and Ian at the New South Wales penal colonies in the late 1700s. Giselda had been Charles’ love one hundred-some years ago=. Ian is Bones’ and Spade’s Master. Ted is a human hacker friend. Rodney is a ghoul and a friend of Bones’. He makes new IDs for those in need.
Catherine “Cat” Kathleen Crawfield is a girl on a mission. Bones prefers “Kitten” or “Red Reaper”. Justina is her nasty, hypocritical mother. Her boring, mean grandparents, Grandpa Joe and Grandma, own a cherry orchard.
Bite is an old, very particular club owned by the fashionable Verses, a poetry-loving ghoul. Trixie has been the bouncer for over a decade. Mina is a customer. Ralphie and Martin are other customers with their own mission.
Hennessey, an old, powerful, well-connected Master vampire owns Flat Creek Inc. Sergio Ricci, a pampered aristocrat before he was turned, is one of its sloppy clients. Lola is tight with Hennessy. “Switch“, a.k.a. Vincent, is Hennessy’s enforcer. Francesca is part of Hennessy’s line. Tony is a nasty bit of business, cheating customers with his abilities.
Devon runs the books for an undead cabal. Winston Gallagher was a railway worker with a side business of moonshine. Judge John Simms was the bigot who didn’t get away with it. George Shayne wanted to find whoever killed his daughter, Aurora.
Victims include Samantha King, Felicity Summer, and Suzy Klinger. Timmie is Cat’s sweet neighbor. Detectives Mansfield and Black are ticked at Cat.
Tanacharisson had been an angry Mingo when the Indian Removal Act forced his people from their lands. The Law Guardians appear to be the highest level of law for supernaturals. Red Dragon is a drug, tainted blood that affects vampires. Danny Milton is the entitled jerk. Ethan Oliver is the governor of Ohio. Randy is the groom marrying Denise. Cristine Russell is her maid of honor.
The Cover and Title
The cover is menacing with its range of deep blues in the sky, the brilliant moon with bats flying past it, and the silhouettes of crosses and tombstones in the background. It’s only slightly warmer with that close-up of the green-eyed Bones with his stubble and naked shoulder. At the top is an info blurb in a gradated pale blue to white with the same pale blue used for the author’s name immediately below it. To the left of Bones’ head is a testimonial in white and just above his shoulder, in that pale, pale blue reminds us that this story is “Bones’ turn . . .” The title is in a pale green under Bones’ chin. Below the title is the series info in white.
The title is all about Bones’ perspective from his side, The Other Half of the Grave.