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review 2016-09-04 23:46
This Side of the Grave (Night Huntress #5)
This Side of the Grave - Jeaniene Frost

I have a odd relationship with this series. I purchased them all on sale and sat down to buddy read them with a friend, but over the course of the series it started to go downhill. The buddy read wound up drifting away, but we still talked about the series. If they hadn't said something along the lines of "I don't think this series is for you and you shouldn't finish it", I probably would have abandoned it long ago. Instead, those words acted like a red flag in front of a bull, making it a vendetta to finish the series now!

Sadly, while this installment is somewhat emotional, it is also rather boring. Big bad guy after Cat, she spends most of the book acting clueless and whiny, spinning her wheels to solve the problem when she's got most of the puzzle given to her, then she gets a flash of insight at the end of the book and PRESTO! problem solved. What saved this from a one star rating was the string of zany one liners and a reference to the movie A Cinderella Story: Once Upon a Song. I especially liked the role Marie Laveau took in this story. I think she is a formidable force to reckon with and look forward to seeing where she takes things now. That alone will keep me reading the series to the end!

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review 2015-09-19 00:22
Night Huntress Series
Halfway to the Grave - Jeaniene Frost
One Foot in the Grave - Jeaniene Frost
At Grave's End - Jeaniene Frost
Destined for an Early Grave - Jeaniene Frost
This Side of the Grave - Jeaniene Frost
One Grave at a Time - Jeaniene Frost
Up From the Grave - Jeaniene Frost

I'm reviewing the series itself here (no spoilers). I read the entire series, and I have to say that it almost instantly became my favorite series of it's genre! I fell in love with both Cat and Bones right away. Cat is such a badass, and Bones is pretty much the prefect man in my eyes. All of the characters have such depth to their personalities, the story lines are always interesting, and the dialog is witty, sexy, and full of the right amount of attitude. I got pulled into their world, I was anxious, excited, laughing out loud. I couldn't put the books down, the only thing it left me wanting was more, which of course Jeaniene Frost delivered beautifully! Halfway to the Grave is wonderful, though I see it as an introduction, the story line definitely gets better. I go back all the time and reread certain parts from each of the books because they were so well written that I want to experience those parts again. The sex scenes were done well, and there were few enough of them that it didn't turn the books into some cheesy erotic novels. I recommend the series all the time to anyone who likes vampires and adult romance.

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review 2015-07-05 15:22
#Audiobook Review: This Side of the Grave
This Side of the Grave (Night Huntress #5) - Jeaniene Frost,Tavia Gilbert

After a two book hiatus from Cat and Bones’ adventures, the Night Huntress universe returns to its roots with a first person narrative told from heroine Cat’s POV.

 

Chronologically, the book takes place after the two spin off stories, and having read them will fill in a lot of backstory that is assumed in This Side of the GraveThe story picks up with the ghoul uprising lead by Apollyon, a ghoul bent on killing Cat and attacking the vampire nation. Masterless vampires are being picked off by ghouls and our dynamic duo turn to the ghoul queen of New Orleans for some hints as to what is going on. Soon the pair are deep into the ghoul uprising, trying to predict where they will next strike.

 

I absolutely enjoyed this story! This Side of the Grave is hands-down the best book in the series so far. The book genuinely embraces its urban fantasy roots and gives readers a smart adventure, full of action, romance, and humor, not to mention sexy good guys and dangerous bad guys. The story is well executed, with Cat having to use both brains and brawn to stop her enemies. The fight scenes are kick-ass, but there are so many tender moments as well. I love how Cat struggles with her growing powers, but gets through it because she’s tough and determined.

 

Some of my biggest issues with the earlier stories have all been addressed in This Side of the Grave. Previously, the pair didn’t work together, letting jealousy, deception, and stubbornness get in the way of a healthy relationship. This time around, the pair is a team, sharing in the ups and downs, shouldering responsibilities, and genuinely loving one another. They are a tight-knit pair, considering the other and their relationship before decisions. They listen to one another and the book is so much better for it.

 

Additionally, I am happy that Cat finally deals with once-friend Tate and his inexcusable behaviors. This is something that should have happened 4 books ago! I enjoyed seeing Cat back with her old team, and some of the changes going on are downright fun! I hope we see more interaction with the secret government group in future books.

 

As I mentioned, there are also some poignant moments in This Side of the Grave. Not only has Cat matured in her romantic relationship, but she has to deal with some of her platonic relationships as well. No spoilers, but if you’ve been reading the series, you know that something is going on with someone close to Cat. This is handled with utmost care and attention, creating some of the most touching scenes in the series.

 

The narration by Tavia Gilbert just seems to be getting better and better. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s worth repeating that Ms. Gilbert excels when it comes to the non-verbal sounds like sigh, breathlessness, etc. She injects the words with the emotions of the moment, capturing the feelings of Cat marvelously. Other than still being annoyed by Justine and Tate’s voices, I thoroughly enjoyed the narration.

 

Overall, This Side of the Grave is a wonderful story. My only complaint is that sometimes Cat’s inner monologues run a bit long; however, this hardly gives me pause. Cat has matured, making her adventures so much more enjoyable. Her humor and interactions with friends such as Vlad, Mencheres, and Ian are the icing on the cake. If you were like me, and unsure about continuing this series after the fourth title, I strongly encourage you to keep going. It’s worth it!

 

Story: A-
Narration: A- 

 

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text 2015-05-17 23:31
This Side of the Grave - Jeaniene Frost

Audiobooking this one. 

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text 2015-01-16 02:12
Having A Book Meltdown!
This Side of the Grave - Tavia Gilbert,Jeaniene Frost

AHHHH, I’M SO AGGRAVATED!

 

This is the reading order for the Night Huntress novels, apparently:

 

There is a specific reading order for the Night Huntress series, including all other Night Huntress World series books, and some novellas. If you do not read them in the Author's suggested reading order (below), other than 'Reckoning', the books will not make sense, or you will read spoilers. The author's recommended reading order is:
RECKONING (eBook prequel novella set in Bones’s point of view before he meets Cat*)
though I would recommend reading this after Book 1 so that you know the characters...
HALFWAY TO THE GRAVE (Book 1: Night Huntress Series)
ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE (Book 2: Night Huntress Series)
HAPPILY NEVER AFTER (eBook novella*)
AT GRAVE’S END (Book 3: Night Huntress Series)
DEVIL TO PAY (eBook novella*)
DESTINED FOR AN EARLY GRAVE (Book 4: Night Huntress Series)
MAGIC GRAVES (eBook anthology featuring a Cat and Bones story*)
FIRST DROP OF CRIMSON (Night Huntress World novel)
ETERNAL KISS OF DARKNESS Night Huntress World novel)
THIS SIDE OF THE GRAVE (Book 5: Night Huntress Series)
ONE GRAVE AT A TIME (Book 6: Night Huntress Series)
THE BITE BEFORE CHRISTMAS (contains a long Cat and Bones novella, “Home for the Holidays”)
ONCE BURNED (Book 1: Night Prince Series)
TWICE TEMPTED (Book 2: Night Prince Series)
UP FROM THE GRAVE (Book 7: Night Huntress Series)
BOUND BY FLAMES (Book 3: Night Prince Series)(releasing January 26th, 2015)

 

There are like two side series and a bunch of novellas meant to be read in between the main Night Huntress books. So it’s no wonder I was so god damn confused this book because there were TWO FULL BOOKS AND A NOVELLA that I was meant to have read/listened to prior to Night Huntress book five.

 

Ahhhhhhasdfghjklasdfghjkl!

 

So now I’m going to go back and listen to those two books, but I have so many spoilers of what happened because it’s summarized in book five! GAH! I hate that! And to make matters worse the first audiobook of this Night Huntress World side series is checked out of the library right now. Do I listen to book two? Go ahead and listen to book six because that is next after five? But what if there are even more spoilers of what happens in the Night Huntress World books? I DON’T KNOW AND I’M ALMOST DONE WITH FIVE SO I NEED TO DOWNLOAD A NEW BOOK NOW! *UNINTELLIGIBLE SQUEAKING* (And I screwed up and missed the check out deadline for my hold on Unbroken. Now I'm back to 30th in line, dammit.) Not to mention the library doesn’t have book two of the Night Prince series in audiobook. So what in the hell am I supposed to do there? My physical book reading is so super slow right now because I have so much to do and I’m so sleepy after work. I’m going to have to pause forever if I have to read physical books before moving back to audiobooks. Even worse, Tavia Gilbert won’t be reading it to me!

 

THIS IS A REALLY, REALLY TERRIBLE WAY TO WRITE A SERIES. I only found this order because it’s in the blurb on the first book’s Goodreads page. I would never have known otherwise (other than trying to find out what happened because book five was so damn confusing) because my first assumption wouldn’t be that I needed to go to the author’s page to find out how to read a series the right way. I just read books one through seven like a normal person. She should have written the series in this order if this is how she envisioned it. I’m so pissed off about this!

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