Estara's Reviews > Halfway to the Grave

Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
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's review
Aug 07, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: ebook, read-in-2011
Recommended to Estara by: Angela James and Ilona Andrews
Read from August 08 to 09, 2011 — I own a copy , read count: 1

** spoiler alert ** Spoilers for the Kate Daniels series included!!

Well, Angela James said the series gets better and Ilona Andrews is not only friends with the author, they're releasing ebooks together, soo..

- bloody brilliant UK(Aussie?) accent on Bones
- set-up with vengeful 21-year-old having been raised by her mom to be a slayer
- training sequence and sex-talk sequence in the Bonescave
- dancing scene at Bite really worked
- scene where Cat tries to get info out of the moonshine-junkie ghost is hilarious in the right places, nicely interspersed with the horror/sadness of the rest of the ghosts
- Cat's self-assessment of her various incarnations (like a Barbie doll for every job sort-of-thing)

I can't help but compare this first series book with the first Kate Daniels...

- we get a point-of-view from the heroines: in Kateland Atlanta is introduced and various places seen, the few contacts Kate has at the start are explored or mentioned and when the first crisis happens (Kate's mentor's death) she explores new connections with various people and groups with a clear need to find out what happened. Cat gets introduced while she does one of her vampire killing jobs and explains the background of her mom. I don't get an impression of the town where it happens or her family's house or her bedroom - we get some info about the strictness and beliefs of her mom (the way the town sees her mom and herself) and her grandparents.

- Kate had good reasons (she explains them were appropriate) to be very wary of other people - her secret always comes first, that's what leads to some mistakes and to a lot of bravado talk to mislead others. Cat has no real aim and no real selfworth except as a tool for killing vampires - which is her way of trying to get/keep her mother loving her. She seems to have no hobbies or friends (not even female) and her college stint is more to get out of the house than anything (that's how I read it anyway).

- Kate may underestimate a situation but she NEVER overestimates her own abilities, she knows her weaknesses and strengths very clearly (but then her "father" raised her as a killer from a very early age). Cat trained herself because her mom wanted that, but she did it by experimentation and with lucky guesses - so her challenge of Bones at the start made sense as a desperate measure and the training scenario made even more sense... which is why I'm so annoyed that suddenly around page 100, when the bigger fry shows up, she has to insist on Bones using her even though she hasn't had further experience than one more kill after all that training AND she's already aware that she isn't feeling too good. That's just stupid! Actually it's TSTL, but fortunately there's Bones :P

- The characters stay true to themselves in Kateland, when they make mistakes they learn from them or not and live with the consequences. Acerbic Bones seems to let his willpower dissolve when Cat asks him for anything once, sort of a "oh all right, you'd nag me otherwise" and his UK/Aussie accent suddenly vanishes (I also don't think he'd have said - I rather doubt any male would say - "I've been longing for this.."). I don't mind the idea of the two falling in love, but it is much too fast in intensity (that's why Kate's courting/teasing/annoying with Curran works so well and so believable - and if you think about it they even slap each other around after they get together - because sometimes these two not-quite-humans CAN'T COMMUNICATE otherwise).

- When an interesting character comes up in Kateland he serves the story first and gets used as appropriate, when Charles shows up in Catland he solely is one-gag sequel bait and we don't see him again in this book.

- AAAAAAAAAAARGH: (view spoiler)

- And when Bones rescues her from the wannabe Men-in-Black he does a Superman stunt. Not, if you ask me, in character but his brain cells seem to cease functioning where Cat is concerned, since they slept together (if, as is implied, she's his first real love after having been raised in a brothel, etc. etc. that may even be excusable).

... I may try more in that series but it won't be a priority to do so. I really liked the first 100 pages (apart from the flimsy worldbuilding, but then I'm a character-reader).
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Laura (Kyahgirl) great review as always.
I'd like to encourage you to continue on and give the series another chance. you and i often seem to to like similar books so that is why I suggest it.
It took me a while to warm up to the series but I did become a fan. I don't love it as much as Kate Daniels or Mercy Thompson but i have become invested and enjoy the series.

Estara Thanks ^^ - "as always", when I have the time AND am positively or negatively moved by a book (that last month and a half before the summer hols I read loads, but by now it's running together in my mind...)

Your opinion is another pro for this series (Angela James said similar things in her review), so I probably will at least try one more book - just not, like I would if I had glommed onto it, right away.

message 3: by Katharine (new) - added it

Katharine Kimbriel Very interesting. This book certainly gave you a strong checklist on what you like and don't like in paranormal romance! I think I might read this one, but it won't be on the front burner.

Estara *nod* People whose reviews have worked for me before do say this is an enjoyable series in the long run, so... I will at some point buy the next book and try again.

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