alwaysanswerb’s #CBR5 Review 47: At Grave’s End by Jeaniene Frost

At Grave’s End is the 3rd book in the Night Huntress series, which is currently at 7 books and counting. Be aware that the following description (from Goodreads) kind of spoils the first two since it’s a series:

“It should be the best time of half-vampire Cat Crawfield’s life. With her undead lover Bones at her side, she’s successfully protected mortals from the rogue undead. But though Cat’s worn disguise after disguise to keep her true identity a secret from the brazen bloodsuckers, her cover’s finally been blown, placing her in terrible danger.

As if that wasn’t enough, a woman from Bones’s past is determined to bury him once and for all. Caught in the crosshairs of a vengeful vamp, yet determined to help Bones stop a lethal magic from being unleashed, Cat’s about to learn the true meaning of bad blood. And the tricks she’s learned as a special agent won’t help her. She will need to fully embrace her vampire instincts in order to save herself—and Bones—from a fate worse than the grave.”

As the series progresses, Frost has found ways to keep making her heroes (Cat and Bones) more and more perfect and awesome, so there never really feels like there is any tension during any of the would-be fatal conflicts. This is basically because she writes vampires like omnipotent wizards and mages, rather than vampires. By that I mean, these vampires aren’t just stronger and faster with enhanced eyesight and hearing like we typically expect from vampires; they can also fly, and read minds, and be pyrokinetic, and… it goes on. Cat, for her part, is only half vampire, but she somehow has the speed and skill to take on “Master” vampires without breaking much of a sweat. And if she does sustain an injury, she only needs to drink vampire blood before it kills her, and in a matter of seconds she’ll be healed. That applies to any human, but because Cat is a half-breed, she can sustain an absurd amount of injuries before she has to worry about dying. For instance, in one battle in this book, she has her entire left arm chewed off by zombies, and not only does she not die from blood loss, but she doesn’t even notice it’s gone until Bones carries her inside and makes sure she gets blood. I understand that part of the point of a paranormal universe is that you get to make shit up, but the shit Frost is making up means that there aren’t any stakes in the conflict (SEE WHAT I DID THERE).

As for the romance, it was pretty boring in this installment. Very few “love” scenes (there was, like, one? maybe?) and this book saw the tortured inclusion of a would-be love triangle, except it can hardly be called that because it was really just one guy being really inappropriate and overbearing while Cat rebuffs him and insists, quite truthfully, that yes, she really is in love with her husband. Really, it’s not even suggested that the other guy has any chance at all, so it’s just embarrassing to read any parts regarding his unrequited love.

Overall, these books aren’t very good. I probably should have stopped after the 2nd book in the series, but I currently have up to 6 downloaded from the library so I’ll probably end up finishing those so I have some books to bitch about in my Cannonball reviews. So far, neither 2 nor 3 lived up to the intrigue and suspense of the first book in the series, and I doubt the rest will.

alwaysanswerb’s #CBR5 Review 45: One Foot in the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

The second book in the Night Huntress series contains easily the most unintentionally hilarious sex scene I’ve ever read, and that’s saying something considering the shit I’ve read. I’m going to put “the infamous Chapter 32” under a cut in case anyone would rather experience the wonder of the scene for the first time in the author’s own words. Before I do that though, I’ll just quickly mention that the “plot” of this sequel was even flimsier and the conflicts even cheesier than the first, and that I didn’t really like this book much at all except that it made me laugh, so it wasn’t irredeemable. I’ll say with credit where it’s due to Frost that this series doesn’t take itself too seriously, so the only standard I’m really holding it to is that set by its predecessor in the series, and it does fall short of that. Anyway, onto the fun part:

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alwaysanswerb’s #CBR5 Review 44: Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

A really stupid and oddly-written Goodreads summary: “Half-vampire Catherine Crawfield is going after the undead with a vengeance, aiming for the father who ruined her mother. Bones, a vampire bounty hunter, captures Cat, and agrees to train her until her battle reflexes are as sharp as his fangs. But a group of killers pursue them. Bones is as tempting as any man with a heartbeat.”

This series (“Night Huntress”) is cotton candy PNR, complete with I-Hate-You-No-I-Love-You protestations, sex that leaves scrapes and bruises even at the most gentle encounter, flimsy MacGuffins to keep the pair apart, a paint by numbers villain, the heroine who doesn’t know how hot she truly is, and Spike Bones, the cheeky and dashing vampire lover (and most delicious creature to ever exist EVAR.)

Now, I don’t want to spoil this fine piece of literature for anyone, but I will say that the ending was irritating because it was an anti-resolution that essentially guaranteed that you have to read the second book in the series (which was easily twice as stupid as this, the first book, but I’ll get into that in its own review.) And while I like a PNR series that has overarching themes and plotlines, I have this (possibly unfair) standard that I believe that the first book in a series like this should mostly be able to stand on its own. If by the third or fourth book in the author wants to tease with a cliffhanger or unfinished business, I can deal with that, because if you’re already that far into the series one can assume you’re interested in finishing it. But the first book should more-or-less wrap up its own story. (This is just a requirement, by the way, for fluffy reads; I don’t apply the same rubric to, say, epic fantasy or something that is clearly meant to span across a long arc.)

This is neither the best nor the worst book of its ilk I’ve ever read — it was satisfying enough for the short while it took to read it, but I’ve enjoyed other series more.

Malin’s #CBR5 Review #33: Twice Tempted by Jeaniene Frost

3.5 stars

This is the second book in the Night Prince series, and as such, this review may (and probably will) contain spoilers for the first book, Once Burned, which I read, enjoyed and reviewed last year.

So the half-naked dude on the cover is basically supposed to be Dracula (although he gets really cranky when people call him that), and he’s the hero of this trilogy of paranormal fantasy/romance. He can read people’s minds, and is also pyrokinetic (hence all the flames on the cover). Leila, his girlfriend, is tired of his aloofness and the fact that while she’s admitted openly that she loves him, he claims that she could never love the “real him” (what with all the centuries of killing, torturing and generally being a pretty ruthless SOB). So after a rather awkward formal ceremony where she thinks he’s going to propose marriage, and he’s “only” offering to turn her into a vampire, Leila has had enough, and decides that she needs to get out before he breaks her heart any worse than he already has.

Leila’s not exactly a normal girl, after an accident when she was a teenager, she pretty much generates electricity and has learned to control it into a pretty fierce whip-like weapon. She has to wear rubber-lined gloves, or she can accidentally electrocute people. She can also gain psychic impressions from objects and people, but after a near-death experience at the end of the previous book, where Vlad coated her in his fire-proof aura to keep her from burning to a crisp in an explosion, that ability seems to have disappeared. Heart-broken and pissed off, Leila goes back to the US, where she intends to go back to her old, pre-Prince of Darkness’ girlfriend life as a carnival acrobat. She barely has time to discover that her old partner thought she was gone for good, and has found a replacement in their act, before half the carnival is destroyed in a huge explosion. More on my blog.