Title: This Side of the Grave
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Series: Night Huntress:
Previous Book(s) Review(s):
1. Halfway to the Grave
2. One Foot in the Grave
3. At Grave’s End
4. Destined for an Early Grave
Date Started: November 10
Date Finished: November 15
Format: Mass Trade Paperback from my local library
I’m happy to report that after four books in which Frost forced Bones and Cat apart at every opportunity, in This Side of the Grave, she finally leaves her two characters alone. But that just leaves everyone else to play with as a new situation takes up their attention. And play with everyone she does.
Although Cat has now become a full-fledged vampire she is still not as normal as she would want to be. The taste of human blood disgusts her and to feed she must do so on vampire blood. However, there is a catch, because of her new food source, she also acquires the abilities of the vamp that she’s fed from. So when she feeds on Bones, she picks up his mind reading ability – which drives her absolutely crazy – and his strength, when she feeds from Vlad she picks up on his fire throwing capabilities, etc. This causes a slight uproar in the vampire/ghoul/ghost world. A ghoul by the name of Apollyon, who has tried this power coup before, has started a war with the vampires if they don’t bring him Cat’s head.
In a battle of the wits, Cat has to find out who is on her side and how to control her power siphoning before it’s too late and she ends up dead. But that isn’t the only thing she has to worry about as a family emergency causes her thoughts to be elsewhere for some time, and the discovery that it isn’t just vampire blood she can drink and absorb power from…
Okay, okay, so after the last book, This Side of the Grave was kind of a letdown. Exchange obsessive vampire for obsessive power hungry ghoul and it was kind of boring. The only intriguing parts were when Cat runs into Timmie – her old friend from when she went to college all the way back from book 1 – and her interactions with the ghoul queen of New Orleans Marie. As usual the sarcastic wit and blabbering mouth of Cat made for an amusing ride as they tried to figure out who their allies were in the upcoming ghoul/vamp war. I was actually really impressed with the character development in Mencheres in this book. No longer is he the scary grandsire of Bones line, but an actual – well, to put it lightly – human. His interactions with Cat are actually somewhat normal and the closure between those two when they were in Memphis was just amazing.
Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. This really could have been a novella, or a side story, maybe, possibly. I don’t know. Kind of bland compared to the last few books. But I’m glad that Frost left Cat and Bones alone in this one – although what she could do to them after fake deaths, separation, and supposed cheating I don’t know – and I’m curious to see what’s in store for them next. Maybe we’ll finally figure out what the connection is between Cat and Vlad?
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