One Grave at a Time (Night Huntress, Book 6) Mass Market Paperback – Aug 30 2011
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From the Back Cover
How do you send a killer to the grave when he’s already dead?
Having narrowly averted an (under)World War, Cat Crawfield wants nothing more than a little downtime with her vampire husband, Bones. Unfortunately, her gift from New Orleans’s voodoo queen just keeps on giving—leading to a personal favor that sends them into battle once again, this time against a villainous spirit.
Centuries ago, Heinrich Kramer was a witch hunter. Now, every All Hallows Eve, he takes physical form to torture innocent women before burning them alive. This year, however, a determined Cat and Bones must risk all to send him back to the other side of eternity—forever. But one wrong step and they’ll be digging their own graves.
About the Author
Jeaniene Frost is theNew York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of the Night Huntress series and the Night Huntress World novels. To date, foreign rights for her novels have sold to nineteen different countries. Jeaniene lives in North Carolina with her husband Matthew, who long ago accepted that she rarely cooks and always sleeps in on the weekends. Aside from writing, Jeaniene enjoys reading, poetry, watching movies with her husband, exploring old cemeteries, spelunking and traveling-by car. Airplanes, children, and cookbooks frighten her.
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Five weeks have pass since the events of THIS SIDE OF THE GRAVE. Cat can't seem to get rid of Marie's power and ghosts still flock to her. Cat's ghost friend Fabian finally has a request for help: the ghost Fabian is in love with needs help eradicating another ghost and wants Cat's help doing it. Centuries ago, Heinrich Kramer was a witch hunter and didn't necessarily stop once he died. He's used the fear and torture of innocent women to increase his own power giving him the ability to inflict harm on flesh even when he remains spectral. So, how do you kill someone who is already dead? Cat & Bones do everything they think of to end this witch hunter's existence forever and stop his reign of terror.
The magic is back. I still don't think this latest installment is the best of the series, but it felt like things are coming back together giving me higher hopes for the next book.
What I enjoyed:
1. Cat & Bones are back and stronger than before: no more leaving each other, no more forced separation for an entire book, no more trying to save the other by running off half-cocked. They have weathered the storms and have learned: they are fighting this one together.
2. Cat's growth--Cat has a LONG life ahead of her and is finally realizing it. This realization is changing her outlook a bit, but she is still the Cat we all know and love. She still has her great sense of humor and is full of snide remarks. She has just finally come to realize she can be happy in the moment.
3. Bones--what a hottie! He is growing and developing as well. I loved that even though he still has the vampire territorialism that he has loosened up a bit and is more trusting. I also loved how he seemed to be more of a partner to Cat rather than a teacher.
4. The romance--Cat and Bones' relationship is solid. There were so many small tender moments between them that really made me smile. For those looking for it, there is one sex scene. It's not a Chapter 21, but it was unique and fun. I can honestly say I have NEVER read something like this before. It gives the name "Mile High Club" a whole new meaning.
5. Friends--not everyone got in the book, some had a few pages, and some only had their names mentioned. But those who were there added much to the story and made me smile. Cat's mom is still feisty even though she is still struggling with her change. I actually liked Denise here! Ian--what a hoot! And we meet Tyler the Medium. I absolutely LOVED Tyler.
6. The Challenge--Cat has prevailed against so many things. But how do you fight something that isn't corporal? Something that can use physical violence against you but you can't touch? Something that can't die or be erased? I enjoyed watching Cat tried to out maneuver a crafty old ghost. Cat can't just unleash her Red Reaper skills since she can't physically touch the sly witch hunter. I do wish we could have seen her go all Reaper on everything, but that wasn't in the cards this book.
Things that didn't quite work for me:
1. The villain--every other book revolved around a very personal enemy. That intimate connection gave each story emotion, depth, and gravity that was just lacking here. Think back to books 1-5: Cat had to battle her own prejudices, Ian, Patra, Gregor, and Appollyon. Book 6? Not so much. Yeah, this guy is sick and twisted but only torments Cat because Cat went looking for him as a personal favor to Fabian. And then Fabian was AWOL a lot of the story. I just missed that personal touch. It's just not the same when she goes looking for trouble.
2. The ending--yes, we do get a clear resolution to the problem, but for some reason I felt like the ending was incomplete. It lacked that sigh of satisfaction. The ending seemed to be just quickly summarized and thrown on there.
ONE GRAVE AT A TIME was a nice installment to this series, which I had a hard time putting it down. I like where Ms. Frost is taking Cat and Bones and am glad some of the magic is back. Oh, and as an added bonus, we get a small excerpt from Cat and Bones' Christmas story due out in November called HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS. That little snippet was nice and juicy making me want the novella and the next book that much more.
READING ORDER OF SERIES, INCLUDING SPIN-OFFS
Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, Book 1)
One Foot in the Grave (Night Huntress, Book 2)
At Grave's End (Night Huntress, Book 3)
Destined for an Early Grave (Night Huntress, Book 4)
First Drop of Crimson (Night Huntress World, Book 1)
Eternal Kiss of Darkness (Night Huntress World, Book 2)
This Side of the Grave (Night Huntress, Book 5)
ONE GRAVE AT A TIME
Cat and Bones are trying to enjoy their time as a married couple, but Cat's appeal to ghosts has not yet worn off. Ghosts flock to her like the mother ship. A ghost killed during the witch trials has come to ask Cat and Bones help killing another ghost, Heinrich-the witch hunter. Every year, he is able to become human on All Hallows Eve when he burns women alive to gain power. Add to this mystery a shady government agent trying to take over Cat's old department and you have a pretty good book.
The pacing was better than the last, and it held my attention. Cat and Bones still have sparks but their romance is secondary to the overall mystery. All the old gang, minus Mencheres and Vlad, are present to lend a hand which was nice. I could tell that the government agent is going to play a big role in the next book, because there is a lot of questions left unanswered regarding who he is working for. While I am still interested in Cat and Bones, I really am more interested in her spin off series where the author develops love intrests for all of our favorite characters. I can't wait to see who she pairs with Tate and Ian....did I imagine possibly Cat's mom being thrown in with Ian...maybe wishful thinking.
Overall, I liked this book. I thought it was better than her last but still not as good as the first ones. Again, my reasoning is that I enjoy the love story aspect more than the mystery. Frost is a talented author, and I will definitly check out her next book.
*I won't write spoilers for this book, however, if you have not read the first few books of the series, there may be some series spoilers in this review*
I am a huge Cat and Bones fan. My first paranormal romance book was book 1, Halfway to the Grave, and I have read that one multiple times already. A big draw to the series for me is the sizzling attraction and chemistry between Cat and Bones. I love that they are so loyal to each other, and through the books their relationship grows and strengthens. Throw in the vampire drama, the danger, the fighting, the flying, the books are all amazing and so much fun to read. In book 5, ghosts begin to play a more prominent role in the supernatural community, and in One Grave At A Time, the story revolves around ghosts. Cat and Bones seek and fight a new enemy, a deadly ghostly serial killer, but their usual skills are of no use to them in this installment in the Night Huntress series.
The beginning of this story was a bit slow, there was not a lot of action to begin with. Cat and Bones learn about the serial killer ghost and decide to seek him out and try to figure out how to kill a specter. Along the way, they pick up a new ghost (Fabian's lady friend) and a medium. There are plenty of humorous moments and thoughts, and Cat and Bones are still as territorial as ever. When the real ghost hunting gets going, Spade Denise, Ian, and even Cat's mom join the group. The new leader of the "homeland security" squad is a tool and for some reason hates Cat. There is quite a bit going on, making for engaging reading.
However, this book was definitely not my favorite in the series. While Cat and Bones finally seem to be working well together and they have many of their problems worked out, this book was missing the sizzle between them. There was only 1 sex scene, which for Cat and Bones is sadly not much. There were other times that were promising, but they would be interrupted, and I was let down. Throughout the whole book, that blazing chemistry between them was just missing. Don't get me wrong, they don't have to be into sex all the time, but Cat and Bones are inherently sexual characters, and usually all their interactions are interlaced with an edgy, sensual attraction. In this book, they felt more comfortable than hot, and I missed that heat.
As for the fighting, since they were dealing with a ghost, I felt like most of the fighting was actually running. It was defensive, not so much offensive. The characters are at their best when they charge into situations fully in control and dangerous, so I missed that too. I guess that I felt as though Cat and Bones were not on top of their game in One Grave At A Time, but the book was still a very good read. I love this series, I love all the characters, and I am definitely looking forward to more Cat and Bones.
Relationship wise, things could not be better for Cat and Bones. It's be a challenging road for them but now nothing will keep them apart. They've recently helped prevent a supernatural war from happening and are given no down time before another life or death situation presents its self. The ghost of one of Heinrich Kramer's victims comes to Cat and explains to her what he does each year and so begins the race to find a way to stop him from killing again.
Cat has come a long way since we first met her in Half to the Grave and I thought she was at her best in this book. Gone is the girl who made brash decisions and doubted her relationship with the vampire who would give his own life for her. In her place stands a more confident and rational woman who now fights with instead of against the man she loves. I had a hard time liking Cat in the beginning of the series but with the huge improvement her character has made, she's fast becoming one of my favorite heroines. As for Bones, can you really improve perfection?
I thought the synopsis for this book was more exciting than what really unfolded. They would be attacked by Kramer and then they would run, then they would be attacked again and run again and then the same thing over and over again. It was monotonous and there was just nothing to it that blew me away. There was a side story involving Cat's old unit and a new, and very unpleasant, government official who has a grudge against vampires that really stood out for me. I can't wait to see how this unfolds in future books.
One Grave at a Time wasn't perfect but it hit a few high points with it's great hero and heroine and a side plot that had me hooked from the start. It was also wonderful to see some of my favorite characters from the series. Spade, Denise, Tate, Don and the always inappropriate and hilarious Ian made appearances. This may not have been my favorite book in the series but there was still more than enough to keep me entertained till the end.
One Grave at a Time was my least favorite of all the Night Huntress novels. Maybe it's because all series have a point when things get old and tired. I am crossing my fingers that this was just a misstep and that the same intensity and passion that made my toes curl in the previous books will return with the next. This one was difficult for me to get through. I didn't get the same urgency to keep reading as in the other books. The passion seemed to be missing between Cat and Bones (except for one very steamy scene:). There was a host of new characters introduced, but I missed the old characters.
I don't know. I think I will continue with this series a bit longer and hope that things get back to what made this series great in the first place.....Cat and Bones!