Wednesday, November 16, 2011

On Cat and Bones: A Review of At Graves End by Jeaniene Frost

These days the market is flooded with so many vampire series that no one can possibly keep up with all of them, and frankly, I have no interest in trying to. There is a short list of series I actually think are worthwhile, and The Night Huntress series is on it. It isn't so much because they are unique and original (because they aren't), it's more that they manage to deliver what I want in a vampire book: action, gore, creepiness, a touch of romance, and some vamp politics--in just the right doses and without a lot of filler. At Graves End is book 3 in this series (see my review of book 2 HERE). There may be some book 1 and 2 SPOILERS from here on: you have been warned.

The better part of this book is devoted to a so-called war that has sprung up between two vampire lines: one which Bones is leader of, and one that belongs to an ancient Egyptian princess vampire. It seems like no vampire author can resist making a few historical royalty into vamps. In any case, Cat is currently a full time bad vamp slayer, but she is also Bones' wife. That both makes her a target and makes her partly responsible for taking out the murderous vampire princess.

Positive Comments

When it comes to main characters, Cat and Bones are pretty much everything that I could ask for. Cat is loyal, tough, and smart. Bones is powerful, devoted, and sexy as hell. I like both characters as individuals and I like them as a couple, and to me that's the most important aspect of a book like this.

The cast of secondary and background characters keeps growing, but it still doesn't feel too crowded (I'll admit that it comes close sometimes). For the most part, everyone fills a role and helps the story to feel more complete. I'm intrigued by many of them and eager to learn more about them.

Critical Comments

The plot, while fairly engaging, is not what you would call concise and to the point. In fact, it gets off track quite a bit, especially early on. I'm not saying that there is a lot of filler, because most of the details seem at least somewhat important. It's more a matter of organization, which could have been fixed with a bit of tighter editing.

This book was sufficiently satisfying for my vampire mood. There is a lot to love about it, and while none of The Night Huntress books (so far) have been 5 star read in my opinion, they are still worth a try. 4 stars.

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