One Grave at a Timeby Jeaniene Frost
Series: Night Huntress #6
Published on August 30, 2011 by Avon
Genres: Adult, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
How Do You Send A Killer to the Grave When He's Already Dead?
Having narrowly averted an (under)World War, Cat Crawfield wants nothing more than a little downtime with her vampire husband, Bones. Unfortunately, her gift from New Orleans's voodoo queen just keeps on giving - leading to a personal favor that sends them into battle once again, this time against a villainous spirit.
Centuries ago, Heinrich Kramer was a witch hunter. Now, every All Hallows Eve, he take physical form to torture innocent women before burning them alive. This year, however, a determined Cat and Bones must risk all to send him back to the other side of eternity - forever. But one wrong step and they'll be digging their own graves.
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We’re six books into this series. Six. By this point, the series has either continued on with as much captivating detail as those initial few books…or it’s started to descend into the realm of disappointment. Sadly, I found One Grave at a Time tipping toward the latter. While Frost has yet to deliver a book I didn’t enjoy, this book just didn’t live up to the others.
I think it comes down to the characters (or lack thereof) this time. Don’t get me wrong, Cat is by far one of my favorite heroines. She kicks ass and takes names while maintaining a “normal, healthy” relationship with the big bad vamp Bones. Their dynamic as a couple has made these books, in my opinion, and unlike most series their relationship develops and grows instead of bouncing between the same two scenarios: I love you but we can’t/shouldn’t be together and everything is awesome!
In One Grave, not only was this dynamic disappointingly absent, but there wasn’t really any sign of Bones. Period. He’s there, but I never felt his character’s presence has I had the previous books. Even the last book, This Side of the Grave, which I also thought wasn’t as great as the first four in the series, had more of that action, that humor and romance that I’ve come to love and expect from the Night Huntress books. This one was just…dry. The plot. The characters. The whole shebang.
Where was the humor? The badass-ery? The truly tantalizing tension of Cat and Bones? All those things that I’ve come to expect and crave from these books just up and vanished. I can’t even comment on the plot at this point because it was highly unremarkable. There was a villain. They had to defeat said villain. Boom. Ending. I’m not reading for the story (weird, because it’s a book and all, but you know how it goes). Six books into a series, I have no intentions of spending that much time devoted to a world if the characters aren’t top-notch. And these are…just not this time.
But you gave it 4 stars…
I did. Because somehow despite all of this, it was still a good book. It had the same action-packed plot and the same lovely characters. Frost drew out that typical Cat/Bones story out too much, though, and therein lies the problem. When I read a Night Huntress novel, I want to:
- laugh out loud and startle the people around me
- feel scandalized for reading some hot and heavy action between Cat and Bones (looking at you, book 2)
- finally glance at the clock only to realize the sun is rising
- refuse to put the book down
At this point, I read this book more out of loyalty to the series than for the actual book in the hopes that book 7 would pack a punch and really drive this story home. Will it? Can’t say. But I’m hopeful.