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review 2019-01-09 12:53
At Grave's End by Jeaniene Frost
At Grave's End: Night Huntress, Book 3 - Jeaniene Frost,Tavia Gilbert

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I had a great time with this book during this re-read! I fell in love with this series quite a few years ago and decided to get the audiobooks since I knew that I would want to revisit this world. This is the third book in the Night Huntress series, which really does need to be read in order. There were parts of the book that I did remember but I had lost quite a few details over the years. I am very slowly working my way through the series for the second time and found it to be just as enjoyable as it was the first time around if not more. 

I love Cat and Bones. More accurately, I like Cat but I LOVE Bones. There are actually a lot of great characters in this series but Bones is my favorite by far. Bones can do just about anything and doesn't make apologies. His love for Cat is sincere and unquestionable. I do like the two of them together. I must admit that there were a few times in this book that Cat got on my nerves just a bit. I like Cat and I understand that she has some great ideas but it just seemed odd that all of these really old vampires were taking her lead. I wanted to be quiet for a minute and maybe learn something from the very capable people she had around her. I also thought that Cat took some unnecessary risks and put herself in some uncomfortable positions which illustrated the fact she still has a lot to learn. I did think that Cat really showed her strength when everything went horribly wrong and she was forced to take a leadership position.

The secondary characters played really important roles in this book. I believe that this is Vlad's introduction in the series and I was quickly reminded why I love his character. The background that we learn about his character in this book was very touching. Mencheres was in the spotlight for a lot of this book and I have always enjoyed his character. I liked the developments in vampire politics that revolved around him and found his backstory to be rather eye-opening. 

This was an exciting story. There were a few scenes that stayed with me over the years which really says a lot about the book. There were some rather emotional moments in the story which I thought were handled very well. I liked that there was such a wide range of emotions in a single story and it all worked so well. 

Tavia Gilbert did a fantastic job with the narration of this book. This story has a pretty large cast of characters and she handles all of their different voices very well. I am actually rather amazed by the wide range of accents and voices that she does use in this audiobook. I thought that she expressed all of the emotion and excitement of this story expertly. I would say that her narration added to my overall enjoyment of the story.

I would recommend this series to others. This is an exciting installment in a series filled with wonderful characters and intense situations. I can't wait to continue with my re-read of the series!

Initial Thoughts
I had a great time with this. This was a re-read for me but it has been several years since I last read this book. I really didn't expect to remember much of anything but I did remember some parts of the story. Maybe my memory isn't as bad as I think it is. Bones is my favorite character in this series by far but Vlad is right up there so I was thrilled to see him play a role in this installment. Ian, Spade, and Mencheres are also around which made me a happy camper. Cat did get on my nerves a time or two but I do like her character and thought that she was rather strong in this book. There is quite a bit of action and some pretty intense scenes that kept the excitement going.

Book source: Audible Purchase

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review 2019-01-02 17:37
Fun Series Marred by Unrelenting Girl-Hate
Halfway to the Grave - Jeaniene Frost
One Foot in the Grave - Jeaniene Frost

CW: rape & slut-shaming

 

Though the Night Huntress series is pretty basic urban fantasy -- a half vampire lady stalks the streets at night to stake the undead threat -- there's enough little twists to keep it interesting. Our night huntress is the product of rape, and everything she knows about vampires come from her vampire-hating mother, which isn't much, or just plain trial and error. She meets up with a Master Vamp (named Bones ugh) after trying to stake him in a bar. After he disarms her with laughable ease, Bones proposes they team up to hunt vamps of his choosing, and he'll train her not to get killed. She thinks she's being real clever when she agrees to this while plotting to kill him at the end of the training period. Inevitably, they hook up. &c. 

 

I sort of let this slide in the first book, but boy does Cat shit on other girls. But I thought, she's maybe 18, and has been raised by an embittered mother who tells her she looks just like her father, who is a rapist. Mom sends her out to get killed on the regular, using her as a revenge proxy. Her mother seems to punish her daughter for her father's sin, so it made psychological sense to me that a girl raised without much affection and as the product of rape would be all "slut" this and "whore" that. By the second book, though, there's a big time jump, Cat is adulting pretty well, and seems to understand her mother's deep failings as a parent while maintaining a relationship with clear boundaries. 

 

And yet, the girl-hate only deepens, at times seeming to warp the behavior of many of the female characters. A variety of lady vamps from Cat's paramour's past show up through the novel, and they are all bombshells who spend their time crawling all over Bones or reminiscing about all the threesomes (or fivesomes!) they had with Bones back in the day. They are ridiculous misogynist caricatures, and not even relying on the more fun sexist tropes like Ice Queen or Hitchcock Blonde; they're just Slut Trash. Bones is not criticized for catting about in his youth, natch. 

 

Cat's inner and outer monologue is basically WHORE BITCH DIE, and this is passed off as "vampire possessiveness." Which, no. From all evidence, vampires screw around a lot, and without a lot of regard for gender norms. If they were sexually possessive, they would not be leaping into big fuckpiles all the time. (Indeed, the vampire penchant for fuckpiling is used at least twice as a plot point.) The concept of "vampire possessiveness" is inserted into the text so Cat (and by extension, the reader) can feel ok with how much she hates other women. It does not come up, either in word or deed, at any other point in the plot. 

 

Admittedly, Cat now has a woman friend on whom she does not shit, so not all of the female characters are treated this way. (And there's her mom, but that's obviously a whole other thing.) But it was a common enough element of the books that I began to sour on Cat. She regularly is required to dress up in "slut gear" (I think she calls it "slut gear") to lure male vamps to their deaths, so there's this weird acting out of the very thing she castigates other women for. Cat may look like all those other slutty sluts, but of course she is Not Like Other Girls™. 

 

Cat is a fun character: a hard-drinking hard case who is way more naive that she pretends. What I've read of Frost's later books don't have this girl-hating element in them, so maybe it's just Cat, like girl-hating is just part of her personality or whatever. Maybe Frost isn't in control enough of her first person (yet, these are her first novels) to delineate the thoughts of the character from the parameters of the world. (That's the standard objection when a reader criticizes the actions of a character, anyway: that I can't tell the difference between what the character thinks and what the author does.)

 

However, given the stated behavior of the slutty sluts, which are objective acts and not subjective opinion, that is not the case: the world works like Cat says it does. Which is to say, most women are oversexed and duplicitous by nature, except for Mom and Designated BFF. Put another way, women are slutty sluts whether Cat calls them that or not; this characterization of women is baked into the world, not one character's worldview. 

 

I just ... can we not? Can we not enact girl-hating and slut-shaming in girl pulp for girls? Don't we get enough of that hot garbage in real life? When I read escapism, I want to motherfucking escape. That gets hard when I keep running right into the same misogynist trash fire that is so vigorously burning in the world today. This is legitimately a fun series, but I just don't feel like pushing past the girl-hating at this point in time. Happy New Year! 

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review 2018-12-17 13:28
Audio Book Review: Shades Of Wicked (Night Rebels #1) By Jeaniene Frost
Shades of Wicked - Jeaniene Frost

 

OK. Here I am waving the white flag. I take back what I said at the end of the last Vlad book when talking about how Ian got the short end of the stick (check that out here).

 

I went into this novel with very little expectation of anything. My resolve to read this, in the first place, was because I liked Ian enough as a character in all of Jeaniene Frost's other books that I'd be open to "taking one for the team" as they say. Color me surprised when I actually started to *gasp* like their story.

 

Ian was dirty minded and ladened in innuendo humor as ever! He's a very entertaining character to be around and it made the dull moments in this story colorful, to say the least. I liked how he initially fought his interest in Veritas. It made for quite a few hilarious situations!

 

Having read most of the novels in the Night Huntress World universe I had a somewhat strong dislike of Veritas. It took me even longer than Ian to warm up to her. Getting to know her background, everything she's gone through and what she still does under the guise of being a Guardian I understand her side of things a lot better now. I love her dedication to Ian in the end and how selfless she was in her mission to protect him.

 

The ending had me fuming for a solid hour (I listened to the audio book). I swore if the author had coped to the cliché

amnesia

(spoiler show)

plot point I would have given up on this series then and there. I was SO glad for what that epilogue revealed (which was a first for me). Now it's a waiting game for the next novel in this series to get released.

 

The Audio Book:

 

 

The overall narration was good. There were times when certain characters sounded too much alike so I did get lost in conversation from time to time. What took me off guard and had me grinding my teeth was Bone's voice. I initially despised the accent Tavia Gilbert chose for him in the Night Huntress Series. I eventually learned to relate her accent for him with him as a character. This book was narrated by the same person who narrated the Night Huntress Series and yet she changed his accent! Would I have liked this accent to have been in the original series? You bet I would have. But it's not. So why did it get changed!? So even though this was Ian's book, all I could think about was how wrong Bone's accent was (even though he didn't play a big part in the story).

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review 2018-10-31 14:13
Shades of Wicked by Jeaniene Frost
Shades of Wicked - Jeaniene Frost

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I loved this book! I have to tell you that I went into this book with pretty high expectations. How could I not?! I have enjoyed the heck out of the books in the Night Huntress world and Ian is an awesome character. I knew that this would be a great book and I am happy to report that I was right. Once I started reading this book, I didn't want to put it down. It was really a lot of fun to be back in this world for just a bit.

This is the first book in the Night Rebel series which takes place within the Night Huntress world. Fans of the Night Huntress series have had a chance to get to know many of the characters that appear in this story but this book does stand on its own. I think that readers new to the Night Huntress world will be able to start with this book without any problem. I have read most of the books but it has been quite a few years and I hate to admit that I forgot a whole lot of the details but I had no problem keeping up with this book.

This story focuses on Ian and Veritas. Veritas is determined to take care of a demon and she thinks that Ian may be able to help. I really didn't remember much about Veritas from earlier books but she is a Law Guardian and upholds vampire laws. She is really old and has a few extra abilities. Ian quickly learns that she may be willing to bend a few rules if it helps them achieve their goal.

Ian and Veritas made a great pair. They seemed to understand each other from the very start. It was fun watching them try to outsmart the other, oftentimes unsuccessfully. They fought well together and against each other. It was just a ton of fun to see their interactions and I loved the way that they instinctively knew when they should trust each other.

This book had everything that I was looking for when I picked it up. There was plenty of action with some pretty intense scenes. I found that parts of the book were rather comical and couldn't help reading with a big smile on my face. I loved the chemistry between Ian and Veritas and enjoyed watching them become a team. I had a great time learning about the background and extra abilities that Veritas has.

I would highly recommend this book to others. I had a fantastic time with this story and thought that Ian and Veritas were perfectly matched. I cannot wait to read more from this new series!

I received a review copy of this book from Avon Books.

Initial Thoughts
It was as good as I hoped it would be. Ian has met his match!

Review copy provided by the publisher.

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review 2018-10-22 20:07
Up from the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
Up From the Grave - Jeaniene Frost

Great final book. 
Bones and Cat were back. I loved their banter and Cat's thoughts and sayings were humorous. There were some really unexpected turns, truly heartwrenching moments, and a lot of action. My favourite characters Marie, Vlad, and Ian were also back. Loved it.

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