Monday, February 10, 2014

REVIEW: "Up From the Grave" by Jeaniene Frost


Up From the Grave (Night Huntress, #7)
Up From the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
For Ages 18+ (violence, language, sex)
Urban Fantasy
Avon -- January 28, 2014
Mass Market Paperback, 343 pages
Purchased from Amazon

THEMES
Vampires, Alpha Hero, Kick-Ass Heroine

SUMMARY
There’s always one more grave to dig.

Lately, life has been unnaturally calm for vampires Cat Crawfield and her husband Bones. They should have known better than to relax their guard, because a shocking revelation sends them back into action to stop an all-out war…

A rogue CIA agent is involved in horrifying secret activities that threaten to raise tensions between humans and the undead to dangerous heights. Now Cat and Bones are in a race against time to save their friends from a fate worse than death…because the more secrets they unravel, the deadlier the consequences. And if they fail, their lives—and those of everyone they hold dear— will be hovering on the edge of the grave.

FIRST LINE
Crunch.  The sound was a relief.

MY THOUGHTS

Warning!  This review contains minor spoilers for earlier books in the Night Huntress series.

This was a hard book to read and will be just as hard to review.  Not because it was bad, but because I went into it knowing that it was the conclusion of one of my all-time favorite series and that I didn't really want it to end.  I have spent many hours loving the Night Huntress books and have gotten very involved in Cat and Bones's adventures.  While it was definitely not my favorite series ending, I thought Up From the Grave did a decent job tying up of the loose ends and giving fans a mostly satisfactory conclusion.

This book begins where the last book (One Grave at a Time) left off with the discovery that Don's predecessor, Madigan, has a vendetta against Cat and has taken Cat's former colleagues hostage.  Most of the plot deals with Cat trying to find where these guys are being held and figuring out a way to stop Madigan from continuing his genetic experiments.  Things get further complicated when something is revealed that throws the entire story line (and Cat/Bones's relationship) for a loop.

Cat and Bones's relationship is the central part of the Night Huntress books and I enjoyed how Jeaniene Frost kept their relationship growing.  They trust each other completely, but still have to deal with the fact that both of them have their reckless, impulsive sides.  I do wish there had been a few more intimate scenes between them.  It didn't have to be Chapter 32-level, but I love these two together and found myself wanting more.

Like any good series finale, Jeaniene Frost had all our favorite side characters make an appearance.  I loved getting to see more of Tyler the medium, Mencheres/Kira, Spade, Denise, Vlad, and especially Ian.  I believe most Night Huntress fans will agree with me when I say that this book (again!) makes me want Ian to get his own story sooner rather than later.  His unique blend of sexual deviant and loyal friend are just so appealing and I found myself looking forward to seeing what he would say next.

The beginning was a little slow, but the pace picked up when Cat reached out to Marie Laveau (queen of the ghouls) and readers were given quite a few chapters of patented Night Huntress action scenes.  This middle section was easily my favorite part and I found myself racing through the pages.  Then the twist happened and I thought the book felt a little off from there on.  I didn't hate the revelation, but I wasn't sure if it was developed enough to be introduced so late in the series.  The explanation had a bit too much info-dump for my taste and I felt like things rushed along in the final parts.  Despite these issues, I did still enjoy the overall plot and was reminded (yet again) how much I want to see this world as a TV show.

In conclusion, I did think that Up From the Grave was a fairly worthy ending for one of my favorite series.  There were things that I wasn't extremely happy with, but they didn't ruin my enjoyment for the most part.  I applaud Jeaniene Frost for not dragging her series out like so many others I could name.  I will go away from these books with a smile on my face and plenty of Bones daydreams in my head and that's all I can ask for.  I am definitely crossing my fingers for an Ian book in the near future and possibly more books in this world.

4 STARS

STEAM LEVEL
Fever -- Definitely graphic, but still emotional descriptions.


FAVORITE QUOTES
--"Shame on you, Crispin. Married how long, and you haven't spanked your wife with a metal spatula yet?"
I'd gotten used to Ian's assumption that everyone was as perverted as he was, so I didn't miss a beat, "We prefer blender beaters for our kitchen utensil kink," I said with a straight face.
Bones hid his smile behind his hand, but Ian looked intrigued, "I haven't tried that ... oh, you're lying, aren't you?"
"Ya think?" I asked with a snort.
Ian gave a sigh of exaggerated patience and glanced at Bones, "Being related to her through you is a real trial."


--"I love you, Kitten." How puny those words seemed compared to the feelings strafing mine, but his voice vibrated as he said them. Then he crouched beside me, "I would never hurt you that way save for one reason: to keep you safe. I can live with your anger, your retribution...bloody hell, despise me if you must, but don't expect me to behave as though you aren't the most important thing in my life. You are, and I will let no one, yourself included, bring you to harm." 


BOOKS IN THE SERIES
0.5. Reckoning
1. Halfway to the Grave
1.5. Happily Never After
2. One Foot in the Grave
3. At Grave's End
3.5. Devil to Pay
4. Destined for an Early Grave
4.5. One for the Money
5. This Side of the Grave
6. One Grave at a Time
6.5. Home for the Holidays
7. Up From the Grave

CHALLENGES READ FOR


 

3 comments:

  1. I love this series too. I've been so caught up in all of the new YA books that I haven't had a chance to pick this one up yet, but I might have to after reading your review. I'm very interested to know what the revelation is, but I guess I'll have to speed read to find out. lol. Great review and I hope Ian gets his own book too! I've love him from the very beginning.

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  2. Loved your review!! I have enjoyed this series and the other connecting books. I, like you, am hoping for a story for Ian, it would be close to torture if she didn't.

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  3. I so need to make time for this book! She came to town recently for a signing and said maybe on Ian but it'll be a while and that Bones & Cat will most definitely make guest appearances in books/series down the line. Was so glad to hear that!

    Glad to see that even with some things you didn't love that over all it worked for ya too. I'm always nervous going into those last books of the series.

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