by Jeaniene Frost
Series: Night Huntress #5
Published on February 22, 2011 by Avon
Genres: Adult, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Danger waits on both sides of the grave.
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.
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Before I say more about this book, I just want to mention that if you haven’t read the two spin-off books within the Night Huntress books, First Drop of Crimson and Eternal Kiss of Darkness, then you will be missing a decent chunk of time between books 4 and 5 of the Cat and Bones storyline. Granted, you don’t have to read the spin-offs as the story is filled in a little throughout, enough to understand what’s going on, but I highly recommend reading them all and in order.
Now as for This Side of the Grave, I loved it, just like every other book I’ve read by Frost. In comparison to the others, however, I wouldn’t say this was the best in the series. Much of the story followed the basic pattern of good guy versus bad guy, ending with the good guys triumphing over evil. Throw in more awesome powers for Cat, some super-steamy hotness between our favorite vamps, and some kick-ass fight scenes and we’ve got ourselves a typical Cat/Bones story.
While this one wasn’t the most thrilling of the series so far, I enjoyed the fact that for once, Cat wasn’t off making rash decisions, causing more discord between her and Bones. They worked well together and I think that was well overdue for the pair. For the other members of the cast, I have a lot of love to show. Vlad…well, I’ve always loved Vlad. And he’s getting his own series! Hell yeah! This pyro-vamp always has me laughing at his sarcasm and bluntness. And Marie, Majestic, whatever you wish to call her, was great. I love her more with each book I see her in. She stands for her people and their well-being, doing what they require instead of simply caving to every request from Cat. Their occasional conflicts of interests, regardless of the size, make her all the more interesting.
For a Night Huntress book, it didn’t live up to all my expectations but it was still an enjoyable read. I don’t think I could ever dislike any of these books. Frost had me hooked from Halfway to the Grave and I’ve loved every book of hers since. To those coming to the party late, this is a fantastic paranormal series with plenty of action and romance to keep you entertained well after finishing the book. Highly recommend this series!