Sunday, March 25, 2012

On Suffering Witches: A Review of One Grave at a Time by Jeaniene Frost

Oh my gosh, Helsing is on the cover!  
Six books in, Cat and Bones continue to amuse my inner urban fantasy nerd. I'm so glad to see that this series hasn't yet become stale despite it's age.

Fabian, Cat's ghost friend, has a crush on fellow ghost Elisabeth. But Elisabeth's afterlife is wholly consumed by the goal of killing or entrapping Heinrich Kramer, the ghost of an infamous witch hunter. Since his death, Kramer has maintained his sociopathic attitude toward women, haunting and tormenting them. After so many years, he has gained the ability to become solid for a day, and every year on Halloween he captures, rapes, and burns alive three women. Cat must use her unique abilities to beat this murdering ghost at his own game.

Positive Comments

 We already know the characters, we know the back story, we know the world. There's nothing to stop the author from just telling a story, simple and satisfying, with very little explanation required. That's one of the advantages of being six books deep in a series.

Who doesn't like a good ghost story? I enjoyed having such a plainly evil, villainous villain at the center of the story. He's the kind of bad guy that you love to hate. You want to see him defeated, and see him suffer.

Cat and Bones are still super hot together. Frost writes excellent love scenes that manage to be sexy and romantic. And terribly improbable.

Critical Comments

It's predictable. There was nothing in the plot that I didn't see coming, even the things that were built up to be a surprise.

There are a lot of rather useless characters. Some from past books, which I think the author feels compelled to throw in because they are reader favorites. Some that were new. I couldn't really figure out, for example, why Ian was there or if Cat's mom really served a purpose (I guess she never does).

There are subplots that go nowhere. We learn that following Don's death, the secret organization Cat used to work for has been turned over to a government idiot. I guess this is set up for future books? I'm not sure, but it all seemed a bit out of place to me.


Once again, I recommend starting and continuing The Night Huntress series. It has a good balance of urban fantasy and romance, clever plot lines, and lots of action. 3.5 stars.

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