Monday, February 21, 2011

REVIEW: This Side of the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

This Side of the Grave (Night Huntress #5)
By Jeaniene Frost
Releases on 02.22.2011
384 pages
Source: Purchased at book signing

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.

REVIEW: Oh my God!  My little Kitten is all grown up!

You think I jest, but I am COMPLETELY serious.  TSOTG presents us with a Cat that has matured considerably from the Cat whom we’ve seen in the past four books.  She’s still tough as hell and won’t hesitate to liquidate any threats to her and her loved ones, but this Cat seems to weigh her possible decisions and their consequences a lot more thoroughly than she did previously did.  You would think that becoming a full-on vamp would free her from such pesky mortal concerns; on the contrary, now that she is armed with the knowledge that she could live thousands of years, she seems to be more conscientious with her actions and how they could affect those she cares for.  After all, one wrong move. . .  well, she’s got a long time to live with guilt.

The maturity extends to her relationship with Bones, who, as always, is still ***NomNomNom*** and delivers the best lines that melt this SqueeGirl’s heart.  Observe:

“No matter what happens, you will never lose me,” he whispered.  “I am forever yours, Kitten, in this life or the next.”
-page 245

I don’t how to explain it other than Cat really becomes brave and honest about her love for Bones in this one. . .  in some ways, it makes their passion for each other seem a little quieter than in the previous books, but it’s a beautiful sort of quiet that only comes from true intimacy and acceptance of the other.  Rest assured that this quiet does not extend to the bedroom scenes ***blushes***.  I totally would elaborate on that, but since my blog typically focuses more on the YA side of things, I’ll be a bit demure on the subject. . .  let’s just say the that Cat really compensates for an anticipated prolonged absence ;)

Now, you can get the jist of what happens from the synopsis, but here are SOME things you can count on:

***We knew Marie/Majestic was crazy like a fox from DFAEG, but we really get a true grasp of how far her deviousness and ruthlessness can go in this one.  That girl is not a chess player - she owns the freaking board!

***Um, if you thought that Cat's acquiring and handling of Mencheres' and Vlad's powers was something to see, you ain't seen nothing yet.

***Vlad is back and awesome as always.  IMO, he has the best one-liners in the book.

***A certain someone is back from HTTG.

***No Annette and little Ian, but he makes the most out of his fabulous line.

***More Mencheres and Kira, and Denise and Spade!  And I just love how Mencheres is showing different parts of his personality!  I actually liked him better in this one than Spade!

***Justina does her level best to give Cat heart failure with her new career choice.  Unfortunately, Cat's heart breaks due to another family member. . .

***We learn a little more personal information about Tate that I found very revealing.  .  made me have some real sympathy for him.

***Jeaniene is wonderful and gave a preview of Book #6, One Grave at a Time, at the end of this one (expected publication in September 2011).

I really enjoyed TSOTG.  There was action and intrigue, as always, but somehow this book seemed a little quieter in tone than the first four, and there was certainly less drama between Bones and Cat.  This book, out of all them, really felt like it was Cat's book, too, and not so much the story of Cat & Bones' relationship.  Maybe it’s due to the growth and maturity that Cat and Bones have found in each other, but I also felt that this book may be a bridge of sorts to things that are coming - a quiet before the storm, if you will.  Cat did some real introspection in this one, particularly about her feelings towards Bones – it felt like foreshadowing to me, and it made me so incredibly anxious for book #6. 

So, who's excited for tomorrow?

P.S. Don’t forget about my giveaway to win a SIGNED copy of TSOTG!


Bones snorted.  "Let her?  Mate, if you think you can control a woman, you must be single - and a thousand pounds says she beats your arse.
-page 73

“What the hell was that?”  I gasped
“Premature inflamulation,” he replied.  “Happens sometimes.  Very embarrassing.  I don’t like to talk about it.”
-Cat & Mr. He-SO-Deserves-His-Own-Series, page 134

Aside from my compulsive urge to run my hands over him to assure myself that he really was here, relief, happiness, and the most profound feeling of rightness zoomed through me, settling all the way to my core.  I hadn’t realized how deeply I’d missed Bones until that very moment, hadn’t let myself acknowledge how everything felt off when I was a part from him.  On some levels, it was frightening how much a part of me he’d become.  It let me know just how much I’d crumble if anything ever happened to him.
-page 241


  1. Great review and ahhhhhhh! I'm so looking forward to reading on how Cat has matured. Also Bones :)) You gotta love him. I'm glad to hear that their relationship is strong. I just don't know I'd I be able to handle it if any problems occur. I cried horribly bad last time. I'm waiting on my copy!!! *teenage fan squel*

  2. Awesome review! This doesn't come out here until March and I am desperately waiting for more Bones and Cat. I also excited that Vlad is in it. Hopefully his story is soon in the spin off :)

  3. *squee girl #2 here hanging on your every word*

    OMG! I really can't wait to read. Who is He So Deserves to have this own series, because I totally want a Vlad and Ian series. LOL

    And sympathy for Tate. Not possible? Maybe?

    Gah! You are killing me. Looking forward to the quiet intensity of the romance and a more mature Cat!

  4. *squee girl #2 here hanging on your every word*

    OMG! I really can't wait to read. Who is He So Deserves to have this own series, because I totally want a Vlad and Ian series. LOL

    And sympathy for Tate. Not possible? Maybe?

    Gah! You are killing me. Looking forward to the quiet intensity of the romance and a more mature Cat!

  5. @Savy - I hope you won't cry this time :(

    @ Nic, Oh Wow THAT BLOWS!!! Dude, how'd you guys get screwed on that one? One would think that the book should release on its proper day in the land where Bones became undead!!

    @Missie - I seeeeeeeeent you something today :) By Friday, they said at the PO. You will love Vlad, and yes, you will feel a twinge of sympathy for Tate - helps to explain him a bit.

    Happy Reading!