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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Start to New Urban Fantasy Series
Catherine Crawfield kills vampires. Half vampire herself, she is trying to pacify her mother, who was raped by a vampire and subsequently became pregnant with Cat. At the beginning of the book we join Cat on one of her hunts, but instead of being the one doing the staking, Cat finds herself at the mercy of Bones the vampire. Deciding to work together, they join forces and...
Published on 23 Nov. 2007 by Lesley70

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars ughh!
Saying I'm disappointed in this book would be an understatement. I have close to two thousand books on my Kindle, many of them free, but I shelled money out for this one because so many people rave about it. I'm totally boggled. Why?

I love vampire based PNR, but this book had so many of the genre's tropes that I hate all in one place. The emotionally...
Published 21 months ago by Sadie Forsythe


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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Start to New Urban Fantasy Series, 23 Nov. 2007
Catherine Crawfield kills vampires. Half vampire herself, she is trying to pacify her mother, who was raped by a vampire and subsequently became pregnant with Cat. At the beginning of the book we join Cat on one of her hunts, but instead of being the one doing the staking, Cat finds herself at the mercy of Bones the vampire. Deciding to work together, they join forces and pursue Hennessey a vampire who definitely deserves killing. Their feelings for one another deepen, but Cat will eventually have to make a choice between her own happiness, and the safety of those she cares about.

I don't think Halfway to the Grave is helped by being labelled a paranormal romance. I think if the romance had been allowed to develop more slowly over the course of the series and the urban fantasy pushed harder the book overall would have been stronger. As it is the relationship between Bones and Cat feels a little rushed. Also romance readers who prefer their endings to be tied up neatly need to be aware this is the first in a series.

Catherine's character doesn't really settle down for the first forty pages or so of the story. As she's a first person protagonist the story doesn't really settle down until then either. She's very much a contradiction, and I think some of this is down to inconsistency.

I find it very hard to believe that Cat at age 22 has never used hard swear words. So on p5 my suspension of disbelief went out of the window. This woman has been to school, presumably been to the movies, hangs out in bars trying to pick up vampires. I realize her mother is over protective to say the least, as are her grandparents but this didn't quite gel for me. There is an incongruity between her physical age and her thought processes, which feel younger.

Luckily once we get past p.40 the plot takes off and we are sucked into Cat's world.

Overall then, I loved it, and was racing through the pages to find out what happened next. The relationship between Bones and Catherine, their banter, their chemistry, how they spark off one another - these are the things that makes this story come alive and raise it from being just another vampire book.

There are also nice little touches that flesh the world out - the vampire club, their visit to the cemetery, hiding out with a ghoul. Cat having to rethink her prejudices against the undead, working out how to deal with her mother - the woman could have started a cult she's got so much righteous venom. We're also given lots of little things that aren't resolved. Who is Cat's father? Will we be finding out more about Ian (Bone's sire)? What are the consequences of Cat's decision going to be?

The end goes a little Buffy Season 4, but I wasn't too bothered by that. What concerned me more here was Cat's seeming invincibility. Hopefully this will be addressed in the next book, and we'll be seeing a more realistic and mature heroine. And more from Bones.

Book 2 One Foot in the Grave (May 2008)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars ughh!, 3 Jun. 2013
By 
Saying I'm disappointed in this book would be an understatement. I have close to two thousand books on my Kindle, many of them free, but I shelled money out for this one because so many people rave about it. I'm totally boggled. Why?

I love vampire based PNR, but this book had so many of the genre's tropes that I hate all in one place. The emotionally unstable, angry heroine who is also painfully virginal and unaware of her own sexuality. "I didn't like it before. I think something is wrong with me." Really? Despite how the whole thing worked out it never occurred to you that is was just bad sex? Her insistence on holding onto old slights so long that they become character traits. The way she went all embarrassingly cave-man possessive whenever a attractive female came around. Pet names, god the patronising pet names! The way Bones knew more about her abilities than she did. 22 years and she never noticed that she could see ghosts, for example, but he knew somehow. The constant reminders of female victimhood. (I'll be coming back to that one.) The characters complete unwillingness to communicate in any sort of civil manner, etc. (OK, some of those aren't necessarily tropes, just frequent occurrences to the genre.)

If I had to name the theme of this story it wouldn't be romance, erotica or even vampires. It would be women as sexual victims and the use of sex as a form of control and degradation. There are so many references to prostitution in this book I lost count. Cat's mother is considered a whore because she had a child out of wedlock. Cat is seen similarly by extension and even called one by her mother at one point. Sergio calls Cat one before their final encounter. Bones admits to having been a gigolo when he was alive. The whole plot hinges on hunting down the head of a human trafficking prostitution ring. Though admittedly with a vampire & ghoul twist. Cat has to dress like a slut so that she can attract her marks, often posing as a working girl in the process. This despite the fact that she ostensibly has to sit through hours of dirty talk before hunting a man who has a penchant for underage girls. Really, what exactly does he appreciate about their underage status if not their innocence? Seems to me that's the wrong front to be presenting.

And that's just prostitution references. I could go on another whole rant about the rape victims and/or suggested victims. This book should make women fear being alone with ANY MAN. They all seem to be predators of some sort. It sapped the enjoyment right out of the book for me. There are so many sexual victims it blots out the story. I appreciate a little sexual tension here and there, but that isn't what was sprinkled throughout this book. I felt male privilege leering at each and every female character in this book. It was disquieting. [Of course I realise the author is a woman, but that doesn't mean she can't write acts of MP into her characters.]

Then there were all of the subtle (and occasionally not so subtle) indictments of modern human behaviour that was often painfully oversimplified and arrogant almost beyond palatability. Sorry, having some slutty vampire bitch preach at me about the failure of the government to stamp out the modern slave trade in Brazil (or where ever) or 'honour rapes' in Pakistan didn't fly too well with me. It certainly didn't excuse her vampire boss.

I've seen a number of previous reviewers compare Bones and Cat to Buffy and Spike. I can COMPLETELY see that. It's there, not doubt about it (intentional or not). On a related side note, Bones' English is rubbish. It isn't convincing.

Possibly most annoying of all, however, is that after spending 95% of the book wishing it would just end already Bradley Tate (and maybe Timmie) made me curious what what might happen next. I do not want to be tempted into any more of this drivel in the hopes that book two is better than this first one. When my two favourite people in the book are both MINOR side characters there is a problem.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sensual & Bloody Treat, 11 Nov. 2007
By 
'Flirting with the grave...
Half-vampire Catherine Crawfield is going after the undead with a vengeance, hoping that one of these deadbeats is her father-the one responsible for ruining her mother's life. Then she's captured by Bones, a vampire bounty hunter, and is forced into an unholy partnership.
In exchange for finding her father, Cat agrees to train with the sexy night stalker until her battle reflexes are as sharp as his fangs. She's amazed she doesn't end up as his dinner-are there actually good vampires? Pretty soon Bones will have her convinced that being half-dead doesn't have to be all bad. But before she can enjoy her newfound status as kick-ass demon hunter, Cat and Bones are pursued by a group of killers. Now Cat will have to choose a side...and Bones is turning out to be as tempting as any man with a heartbeat'

'Half-way to the Grave' is the first novel in this edge-of-your-seat Night Huntress Series. Cat is a fiesty, engaging and compelling heroine. The reader is also introduced to the sensual and strong-willed Bones early on in the book. The developing beautiful relationship between Cat and Bones is a delight to read. This novel is an action packed page turner, which keeps the reader enthralled. I love the pace of this book, especially when it gathers speed towards it's exciting end. I finished this novel wanting to pick up the next. I eagerly await the sequel 'One Foot in the Grave', in April 2008.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Halfway forwards, 25 Dec. 2012
By 
Michael Watson "skirrow22" (Halifax, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
I stopped reading Sookey Stackhouse once everyone and their mother had climbed on to the vampire bandwagon. Frankly, there is nothing to beat Bram Stoker when it comes to blood, lust and a brilliant story; one book and he's created a whole nether world of offshoots.

This book was suggested - I won't say recommended - as of possible interest and that's what it is. It's all been done before, more or less, so the 'pull' was the possible English connection. This only partly worked unfortunately. The use of language in a book is all about understanding the differentials in a country so that you don't mistake one part of it from another. We don't say 'luv' at the end of every sentence, especially if we're over 200 years old. We might say say 'pet' during that period but - and here I go again - we certainly, most certainly would never say 'gotten'. I'm beginning to hate this word so much that it's becoming an obsession; rather like like killing the undead. If only' gotten' was a vampire.

And so to bed which happened rather too quickly for my liking. Okay, this is urban romance but for someone who has all the time in the world, Bones, shall we call him Crispin? seemed in a real hurry to bed the half-vampire who is either a misguided teenager at times or a hard-nosed twenty something killer at others and who seemed in an indecent haste to drop her guard, shall we say panties where Bones was concerned.

At one point in the book, when we discover 5 percent of the population is vampirical, I had to groan. The book was becoming a list of how to entice and then kill a vampire, all of whom seemed rather thick to me. There are only so many times when a silver dagger is an interesting end to a dead life.

There are good points in the book. J. Frost belies her name and writes the action scenes with a fair heat, fairly rattling through the sequences as rapidly as a vampire on heat. It's enough for me to try the next book in the series. After all, Cat Crawfield is now legit, Bones with his psuedo English accent is out there reading his Oxford English dictionary. I shall hope that the author doesn't decide to end all his sentences with 'duck' and in the four years which pass before book 2 (in story terms not the actual passage of time) he's found another love of his life. This I doubt, of course. These series have a habit of keeping the characters close which makes them rather repetetive (The Twilight Saga, anyone?) but, onwards and upwards, as we say. I'm off to look for a silver dagger just in case I bump into one of the 5 percent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hooked...., 3 April 2008
By 
I bought this book on impulse after having spent about two hours in the book shop (not unusual for me) but I was determined to buy something.
I was not sure what to expect but this book was fantastic. I absolutely fell in love with the characters (one in particular) and loved the flow of the story.
Cat Crawfield is a half human half vampire who kills vampires, believing them all to be evil killers. The story picks up pace quickly and soon Bones is introduced and I was captured. I will admit that bones did put me in mind of Spike from Buffy as other reviewers have mentioned, but I was able to get past this fact mainly because I am a Buffy fan and was a huge Spike fan and miss the series.
I was a little shocked at the ending because this book is offered as paranormal romance, but there is a sequel coming in April 08 and I do really hope that things turn out differently by the end of that book. I am a romance fan, paranormal or otherwise, and do hope the series sticks with that premise.
Other than the ending which only left me wanting more, I enjoyed this book and have not felt so wholly captured since reading the first Black Dagger Brotherhood book by JR Ward.
Eagerly awaiting the second book while waiting for the next BDB installment.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, steamy and I want to read more, 9 Dec. 2007
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It's a pretty enjoyable read with some steamy nookie and enough new-to-me elements of vampire lore for me to want to read more in the series. I have some nitpicks about the Britishisms used by the characters and one of the elements of vampire lore that Jeaniene Frost introduces and because this is the first book in a series, it's pretty heavy on the exposition in order to set up the scene but on the whole it's a solid and entertaining read and I would definitely want to read more in the series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars X-rated paranormal romance, 30 Sept. 2008
By 
Ian Williams "ianw" (Sunderland, UK) - See all my reviews
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Given the explicit sex, swearing and rampant gory violence, this isn't exactly Mills & Boon plus vampires. So, yes, I enjoyed it a lot and have already ordered the sequel. You will probably feel the same as me unless you actually wanted M&B plus vamps.

Just one thing caught my snarky attention. When offered a choice between the evolutionary and creationist origins of vampires, our heroine immediately opts for the latter, saying that she's a believer. First of all many devout Christians accept evolution without a qualm so it's hardly an either/or issue which leads me to suspect the author herself believes in the stupidity which is creationism. Or, I hope, she could just be taking the easy way out by blaming it (as has been done by several other authors in the past) on Cain.

Still, despite triggering one of my prejudices, it didn't spoil my enjoyment of this fun book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Start to a Great Series, 14 April 2011
Okay, I'll say this now - I really loved this book. I thought it was a great start to Cat Crawford's story and one that has me reaching for the next book straight away.

This story had me from page one and I loved every minute of it. I found it funny, exciting, sexy, sweet and action packed all the way through. I thought it was an extremely enjoyable read with great characters and well, what can I really say about Bones. What a brilliant character! This book would not of been the same without him - his sense of humour is fantastic, his witty English accent is adorable and I loved how his and Cat's relationship developed. I'm a little sad with the ending but considering there is a few more books to the series - I have hope.

I'm really looking forward to reading the next book and would like to say a big Thank You to all the people that recommend this book :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great start to a new paranormal series, 2 Jan. 2008
By 
J. Cooper "Jude" (Hove, UK) - See all my reviews
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I am surprised at the negative reviews this book has received. Rather than be annoyed at Bones' English accent I saw this as the route that Spike and Buffy might have taken had things been different...
Bones I liked, Cat I found somewhat annoying and niave - why make her 22 when she appears much younger - perhaps so that she can go into bars legitimately? However, this does mean that she can go on a personal journey throughout the book
I enjoyed the humour of the book including Timmy the neighbour and the slut talk lessons. The developing romance between Bones and Cat was also believable in my opinion.
In fact other than Cat's mother, who has a fairly tedious one-track mind, the only irritant was the convicts being sent to South Wales - it's New South Wales in Australia not Cardiff!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Half vampire Vengence, 4 Jan. 2008
By 
Lisa Hamilton (Perth, WA Australia) - See all my reviews
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Catherine Crawfield is a half-vampire destroying vampires left, right and centre trying to keep the love of her mother who was date raped by a new made vampire. One night she targets Bones and her world changes forever. Bones not only hones her half-vampire skills making her stronger and tougher but also makes her question her beliefs and the values that she has been raised with - especially in regard to vampires.

At the introduction of Bones into the book I found it a bit hard going - Bones sounds to much like Spike out of Buffy the vampire slayer - with his British accent and the desprition of his appearance. A lot of his dialogue even sounded scripted straight out of the series. Having read past that and how the characters developed in the story I could not put the book down. I absolutely loved this book and once having read it went straight back and re-read it. I am eagerly looking forward to the the next book in the series. People who read (as I do) Charlaine Harris, Kelly Armstrong, Patricia Briggs, MaryJanice Davidson will I am sure fully enjoy this book
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