Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Halfway to the Grave is about Cat Crawfield a vampire/human half breed who hunts vampires. One night she stumbles across Master Vampire Bones’ path, who is also a vampire bounty hunter. She strikes a deal to work with him and hunt vampires and solve the mystery about local girls who are disappearing.
I did not have a lot of expectations when I picked this book up to read. Irish at A Ticket to Anywhere read the series early this year and she loved it. So all I really knew is that it is a paranormal crime fighter romance novel that Irish loved. To be honest that was enough for me. We both have very similar tastes so I was pretty sure if she liked it so would I. In no way was I was disappointed.
The book was a little slow for me to begin with but that was more to do with my frame of mind going into the book which was not great. That was the reason I picked the book up though in the first place, I need something fun and light that had lots of whoop ass happening (it was not hard to picture various work colleagues faces on the vamps getting punished). Once the action really got going it didn’t really stop. There was a lot of humour infused into the narrative which had me chortling happily to myself and a good dollop of romance.
Ibeeg from Mom-Musing made the observation that the plot did not exist just to get the main couple into bed and I would have to agree. There is substance to the plot and the emotional conflict Cat has about who she and where her loyalties lay felt real.
Also the mythology created in this book I really enjoyed as well. Frost seemed to nicely blend what I will call "old world" vampire beliefs with "new world" beliefs. For instance a wooden stake would just annoy a vampire and perhaps slow it down, but a silver stake will stop a vampire in its tracks. Vampire society is also explained and is described as an elaborate pyrimd scheme. There is an interesting "creation" story of how vampires came to be, though I would have liked to have heard the evolution one too (Bones gives Cat the choice of which story to hear). To me this showed Jeannie really did her homework and put thought into her supernatural creatures rather then just going on what has been written before.
What set Cat apart from the clichéd “bad ass chick fighting supernatural being” thing was she was what you would expect that person to be at her age, with her abilities, and her life. She was the right mix of anger, confusion, and supernatural skills (considering she had no training) for her age and life experience. There was no point where I thought the narrative did not jive with what we knew of Cat. In fact all the characters were believable and mostly likable. I cant say I particularly cared for Cat’s mother but I suspect she was deliberately written that way. However Timmy was sweet. Bones is not a character I could decide if I liked or disliked. At times he really irked me and at others he made me laugh.
But I think what really bugged me about Bones was the English cockney accent. I just thought after 200 odd years the guy could have left the accent behind and been more James Bond in his accent. Probably I am being way to harsh here, all I could hear in my head though was Baldrick from Blackadder instead of well James Bond, and Bones should have been like James Bond! I really had to work at tuning the accent out.
Even though I wrote a paragraph on the accent it really was not that bad. I think Jeannie Frost did a wonderful job with this book and it really sucked me in. If you like this sort of thing (Undead series, The Hollows series, Mercy Thompson series) then you will enjoy this series.