Saturday, 5 March 2011
Review: This Side of the Grave - Jeaniene Frost
This Side of the Grave by Jeaniene Frost.
Half-vampire Cat Crawfield and her vampire husband Bones have fought for their lives, as well as for their relationship. But just when they've triumphed over the latest battle, Cat's new and unexpected abilities threaten to upset a long-standing balance...
With the mysterious disappearance of vampires, rumors abound that a species war is brewing. A zealot is inciting tensions between the vampires and ghouls, and if these two powerful groups clash, innocent mortals could become collateral damage. Now Cat and Bones are forced to seek help from a dangerous "ally"--the ghoul queen of New Orleans herself. But the price of her assistance may prove more treacherous than even the threat of a supernatural war. ...to say nothing of the repercussions Cat never imagined.
Cat and Bones have to be one of my favourite fictional couples, they have been through so much in past four books and have come out the other side even stronger than before. The fifth book in the series demonstrates that fact quite clearly. Cat and Bones are growing up, their relationship has matured quite considerably and they finally seem to have found solid ground with each other. I've read a few reviews where people have not enjoyed the lack of Cat Bones drama but I have to say I found it quite refreshing. Don't get me wrong the journey to get them to this happy point has been a long, angst ridden, awesome ride which has totally been worth it but I like that they are finally comfortable with what they feel for one another and have that measure of trust that they do.
As to the story line itself, I found it quite amusing, things never work out how they plan them to, there are several twists and turns during the Vampire Ghoul war. I liked the increased ghost presence and I think we are only going to get more of that as the series progresses. The danger was not quite as pronounced in this book as it has been in others, a lot of time was spent on Cat's new crazy powers, the book had more of a mystery feel to it than the series usual action vibe. But again I don't have a problem with this, I just see it as inevitable evolution of the characters and storyline.
Jeaniene Frost writes great characters they are all very distinctive, even the villains. If I were a ghost or a vampire I would totally want to be in Cat and Bone's group of friends/allies. Although the one character I still can't stand is Tate, honestly I find him so irritating - in a crazy stalker way - that I'm half hoping he comes to a bad end in the next book - but I doubt it.
I still haven't read the two Night Huntress World books but This Side of the Grave has really made me want to dig them out so I can read Kira and Mencheres and Denise and Spade's stories. I also heard on the blogging grapevine that there are going to be a couple of spin off books about Vlad which I am really happy to hear. I wasn't a huge fan of his before but this book totally changed my mind about him - he is great there's a lot more to him than I first thought. So I am looking forward to reading his story. I am also looking forward to the sixth book, One Grave at a Time, which comes out later this year.
That's all for now.