This Side of the Grave (Night Huntress, Book 5) Mass Market Paperback – Feb 22 2011
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“Cat and Bones are combustible together.” (Charlaine Harris)
From the Back Cover
Danger waits on both sides of the grave.
Half-vampire Cat Crawfield and her vampire husband Bones have fought for their lives, as well as for their relationship. But just when they've triumphed over the latest battle, Cat's new and unexpected abilities threaten to upset a long-standing balance . . .
With the mysterious disappearance of vampires, rumors abound that a species war is brewing. A zealot is inciting tensions between the vampires and ghouls, and if these two powerful groups clash, innocent mortals could become collateral damage. Now Cat and Bones are forced to seek help from a dangerous "ally"—the ghoul queen of New Orleans herself. But the price of her assistance may prove more treacherous than even the threat of a supernatural war . . . to say nothing of the repercussions Cat never imagined.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Apollyon is a ghoul who has lived for several centuries. He has waited six hundred years for a half-breed, such as Cat, to appear. He intends to use Cat's oddities as kindling to bring about war between the ghouls and the vampires. This is not for any benefit to his species, but for his own personal power gain.
Cat and Bones will need the aid of their friends (and not just from the vampire variety) if they are to stop a civil war.
*** THREE STARS! History fans will enjoy the fact that Marie Laveau plays a vital role in this episode, as does Vlad. However much of this story is simply Cat traveling to meet numerous powerful beings, somehow explaining to the reader who s/he is, and also of any special abilities the inhuman may have. There are even a few lulls in the story while Cat learns to fly and other skills, but the author has made Cat's training sections extremely interesting.
Cat's mother and uncle are in the story this time around too. Her mother has only a brief cameo or two. Looks as though Cat will be interacting with her mother and old team members in future titles. But Cat's uncle, Don, has been sick in the previous stories and readers finally find out what is wrong with the man. I will not say more for fear of revealing spoilers. All-in-all, I enjoyed this story; however, there is not as much suspense as in Cat's prior stories and readers that have not read the previous titles will be lost. ***
Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
This Side of the Grave was another amazing chapter in Cat & Bones' story. Grave, dramatic, yet witty and funny, every novel is as entertaining as ever. But fun isn't everything and Cat will have to face some very strong emotions, having me shed a few tears along her side. Her relationship with Bones will also reach another level as Cat opens herself to truths she's been trying to run away from.
The secondary characters are always a big part in Jeaniene's books and I was really happy to see Vlad and Mencheres having such a huge part in the plot. I appreciate the latter a lot more now that we've met him in Eternal Kiss of Darkness and I'm so anxious to read Vlad's books. Ian also made a cameo appearance at the end, but I wished he'd have been around more. But hey, can't have it all!
The events happening in this installment might have great consequences upon upcoming novels and I can't wait to see where it will lead us. Cat borrowed four of the most powerful undead abilities so far, I really wonder what she's going to pickup next, and if she will develop an ability of her own.
For those who have read the book, I can't wait to see what will happen to a particular ghost...
The Night Huntress series is full of action, emotions, epic battles and some quite smoldering sex encounters, but it wouldn't be as great without it's fabulous characters.Read more ›
Also, was hoping to learn more about Cat's vampiric abilities. She just kind of skimmed the surface. Hopefully we will learn more in the next installment. Already have it on my Kindle, it's next on my reading list!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Now Cat and Bones have a worse problem, the leader of the ghouls is rising up to bring Cat down. This causes them to seek out Marie (Undead Queen of New Orleans, crazy woman) who has her own reason for `helping' Cat. Most of this book centers on the quest to find Apollyon as well as trying to discover just where the Undead Queen stands. While book four was full of war, angst and terror, this one is more subtle. I have to say I loved book one and two, three I could have done without, and four was better, I liked this installment, and especially that Cat is finally coming into her own. I know that's funny to say since she's already gained a ton of powers, she's teamed up with leaders and armies, but in this book she's finally growing up. She trusts Bones, she no longer is led by fiery emotion, but thinks things through. She also is a little more likable for those of you who found her oftentimes angsty whining annoying. A lot of the time it's hard to grow a couple together over the course of a series, that's why most authors center each installment on a different couple, Frost has done a great job, one I was hoping but not expecting to continue. I really like Bones and Cat's interaction with each other in this one and am looking forward to the next. Enjoy!
Vampire VS. Ghoul
Undead VS Undead
And Cat is at the centre of it all. Her new vampiric powers are potentially all-consuming and powerful, and she has the ghoulish world running scared.
`This Side of the Grade' is the fifth book in Jeaniene Frost's `Night Huntress' series.
The new `Night Huntress' book is always a much-anticipated release. Fans salivate in anticipation of the new Cat and Bones instalment and countdown months, weeks and days until they can get their hands on this hot little paranormal. Unfortunately, I wasn't in love with this book.
It's really hard to pin-point precisely what didn't work for me, but I think it has to do with lack of romantic tension.
One of the great things about this series is the cemented romance between Cat and Bones. `Night Huntress' is unique for the fact that Frost put the `will-they-or-won't-they' technique to bed and gave fans an ongoing, committed relationship between her protagonists. Now, don't get me wrong, I love Cat and Bones being together and loved up. Heck, I have re-read Chapter 32 hundreds of times (who hasn't?) but I like it when there's tension between these two. I love it when Frost places a hurdle before their relationship - because even though Cat and Bones are together, and their love is the only sure thing in the `Night Huntress' series, I loves me some tension between them! In the past Cat and Bones have been torn apart by a secret government organization, Cat's jealousy over Annette and Gregor's obsession with Cat. But in `This Side of the Grave' Cat and Bones are (unfortunately) stable and in a good place, romantically. There's no real strain on their romance, no outside parties igniting jealousy or inner-demons inciting discontent. They're just happy. And that's great . . . but a little boring to read. I didn't even find Chapter 21 to be overly steamy, despite many a reviewer comparing it to 32 of `One Foot in the Grave'. I'm sorry; I just needed a little more spark between Cat and Bones; I would have appreciated an appearance from Annette, or more flirting from Tate. Anything!
A big focus in `This Side of the Grave' is on the changes Cat has undergone since being turned into a full vampire by Bones. Frost has written some very complicated changes for Cat to overcome and keep under wraps - to mention them would be to give away some big spoilers . . . suffice to say, these physical advancements will have a big impact on Cat and the entire trajectory of the series. I can't wait!
I appreciated reading some old fan favourites in this fifth book. Tate and Juan haven't really been a big presence for a few books now - but I was thrilled to read them come back into Cat's life. It was also nice to read a `guest-appearance' from Kira and Mencheres, fresh from their book `Eternal Kiss of Darkness'. I'm a big Mencheres fan, and I loved reading him being loved up and gushy! But best of all was Vlad. He has a fairly big role in this book, and some brilliant interactions with Cat. I think Frost is gearing up for her two Vlad spin-off books . . . and after reading his appearance in `This Side', I can't wait for Vlad to take centre stage! Of course, I still have my fingers crossed for Ian, Tate and Juan spin-off books too...
`This Side of the Grave' was an enjoyable (and much anticipated) `Night Huntress' addition. It wasn't my favourite, but I like where Frost has taken Cat's character and the reappearance of fan favourites to the storyline. I would have liked more romantic tension between Cat and Bones, to keep things spicy, but I realize that it's an odd complaint when the protagonist's cemented relationship is one of the big pluses of this series. Go figure.
The premise for this story is that the ghouls are still pushing the idea of war against the vampires. And Cat is their rallying point, with the unusual talents she has manifested. She and Bones go back to New Orleans to consult with Marie Laveau who boosts Cat with some black magic mojo. In the meantime, Cat reaches out to her network of friends to try to stop the war from happening.
To me, the threat just didn't seem as in-your-face as in times past. I never felt real danger. I was only really moved with the surprising storyline surrounding Don. And other than with him, I didn't feel the same connection I usually do with the supporting characters.
I don't want to sound like I'm disparaging the book, because I did enjoy it.... just not as much as the ones that came before. I look forward to our next installment. 4 stars.
I'll admit my expectations for this book were very low. I took into consideration the fact that it's been 17 months since the last installment & the fact that I thought last 2 spin off books offered nothing but trite, romance novel fare, plot blather & weak characterizations.
I'm not going to explain the plot, chances are you know it already b'c you've read the book but I am going to compare this series to her spin-off & why I think Frost is more successful in her formula with Cat & Bones instead & why I liked this installment b'c of that fact.
Overall though, I thought it was a fun little book. The growth between Cat & Bones leaves me happy & I still love the chemistry between them. It's dynamic & I believe it. I've read some reviews where people thought he was barely in it & there wasn't enough romantic tension but I didn't feel that way. They have heat...adult, sexy heat & I feel it (ahem chapter 21).
The way Frost gives voice to Bones is still great - she can even have him utter the most saccharin lines & yet they don't come across cheesy (whereas, with Spade & Mancheres, I felt they were drawn as overly sentimental & their dialog made me cringe).
Frost's voice for Cat is also stronger, I know it's intentional b'c she is allowing Cat to grow & I think she's doing a good job.
One thing I noticed that Frost does in all of her writing is give the internal thought process of her MC's, esp. this installment.
You see Cat's thought trajectory - the questions she's asks herself & how she can immediately go from point A to conclusion which generally leads to a decision, epiphany or of some sort opinion. I was afraid when I saw Frost doing this with Cat. IMO, she failed with her 2 female leads in the spin-offs which ended up spoon feeding the readers too much & in turn made them come across like as annoyingly precocious as a 5 year old (i.e.; "why is the sky blue? Did Mancheres do that b'c he is bad? If I had Marie's blood would that mean I would absorb her powers? Why would she do that? Does she want peace? Why? Why? Why? Why?").
Thankfully, Frost curbed her urge to do this with Cat & although maybe even a little less could have been more in parts, it was fine.
I thought the humor was also pretty solid in this installment. Vlad, full stop. Ian (I miss Ian!) had one line which was snarkily spot on & made me snort-lite. Cat had a few lines throughout that made me snort chuckle - (when she told Bones that she didn't get "a case of the sluts again") & some pop culture references which surprised me & I enjoyed (the analogy comparing her powers with Marie @ the v. end). And again come the comparisons but I can help but say how Frost just seems much more fluid when writing IN the Cat & Bones world. It comes across as a much more natural extension of her rather then the "ba-dum-bump-thok!" forced punchline impacts which were in the spin-off's.
Lastly, the action & plot. Although the action didn't really happen until the end (there were parts in between but the end was where it was at), I really liked it. I thought it was clearly written & exciting. OK, it may have been helped that I was listening to Sleigh Bells on my ipod while reading it - but it worked for me.
I also liked that Frost mocked Cat's big - coulda' been really cheesy if it was supposed to be serious - speech at the end. It took the eye rolls right out of me.
Have to say, I really, really like the Marie Laveau trajectory. I think the fact that Frost had thought that out & inserted it in the over-arcing plot has been a great call. It's pretty clever & actually, for Frost - not so obvious b'c really, this has been brewing for the past few books. Not saying that Frost can't do subtle but b'c she does give the MC's internal monologue's to the reader & thoroughly enough that most times you probably have it figured out before the MC's themselves. The fact that it's almost casually thrown in there is well done. It's Nicely underplayed & insinuated into things IMO.
**END of SEMI-SPOILER**
In the end (thankfully), Frost has re-affirmed my faith in her creation.
I can now see how it's the same author who writes this world, whereas after FDOC (1st spin-off) I wondered who the hell wrote that! Frost's writing mechanic's are still the same though, it's just she has it honed it to a much finer point with Cat & Bones.
I really do believe that Frost is most in touch with Cat & Bones as a couple & their storyline then she is with Denise & Spade/ Kira & Mancheres & she should just stick with what she's best at. And On a side note - I sincerely hope that if she continues to write romance pairings with Vlad & Ian, she does them justice b'c their characters are awesome & have charm & substance to spare. Back to Cat & Bones though - they're still on their game, IMO.
In the end, I can completely understand the mixed reviews... fact is, it's been a long ass wait for a book that's essentially split into parts 1 & 2, so of course majority of expectations are hopeful & high, but it's not a bad little installment.
The characters are true to themselves & are showing growth. The world building is still being elaborated on (the politics & hierarchy) & it makes sense. The plot is good with subtle twists here & there & is interesting. Most of the secondary characters are in fine form as well as the overall humor & quintessentially fun, Cat & Bones tone which is all good. And Cat & Bones are stronger than ever, more comfortable in their relationship, who they are to one another & more in intensely in love than ever. I don't know...for me, what's not to like overall?