Book Review -- At Grave's End

Title: At Grave's End
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Genre: Urban fantasy/paranormal romance
Pages: Paperback, 347
Published: 2009
Opening Line: "The man smiled and I let my gaze linger over his face."

"It should be the best time of half-vampire Cat Crawfield's life. With her undead lover Bones at her side, she's successfully protected mortals from the rogue undead. But though Cat's worn disguise after disguise to keep her true identity a secret from the brazen bloodsuckers, her cover's finally been blown, placing her in terrible danger.

"As if that wasn't enough, a woman from Bones's past is determined to bury him once and for all. Caught in the crosshairs of a vengeful vamp, yet determined to help Bones stop a lethal magic from being unleashed, Cat's about to learn the true meaning of bad blood. And the tricks she's learned as a special agent won't help her. She will need to fully embrace her vampire instincts in order to save herself -- and Bones -- from a fate worse than the grave."
~ Jacket copy


Thoughts (contains SPOILERS): It would be a lie to say that I am, at some level, a little biased about these books. Since the first in the series, I have been hooked. I feel that Frost has written some interesting characters and put them in a well thought out world. However, in this book, things are too 2 dimensional. The characters aren't as fleshed out and vivid as the previous books; the plot, while a good concept, wasn't executed; the connection with the audience wasn't as strong; etc.

The alliance with Bones and his grandsire would have allowed Frost to explore and delve more deeply into the vampire society. There were a few instances that she scratched at the surface, but I felt she did not utilize this chance. I also felt as though she introduced an excellent and interesting character in Mencheres, but that did not pan out. There was also missing chemistry between Bones and Cat. I hate to say it, but, in some ways, I missed the sex. In the first two books, Cat and Bones had this amazing connection both in and out of the bedroom. Their banter was one of the best parts of the previous books. This book, however, really lacked that. In some ways, Vlad's character seemed truer to Bones' character.

And then there's Tate. Really? When he finally accepts the existence of vampires, he is ruthless and almost more prejudiced than Cat's mother in his views/treatment of them. However, for some reason other than -- supposedly -- trying to win Cat over, he has Bones change him into a vampire. First off, this makes no sense. Not only does he loath vampires and view them as a base, non-human life form, he despises Bones. Why would he choose to become a vampire (aside from the painfully obvious reason of going after Cat, which he denies)? On top of that, why would he want Bones to be his sire? And, if this isn't enough, his actions towards Cat through the entire book is ridiculous! First of all, Cat's vampire marriage to Bones sets her out as untouchable. Having a romantic relationship outside of her marriage to Bones means that her life is now forfeit. Why would Tate risk her life in his selfish pursuit of winning her? On top of that, why would he betray his sire? Rattler is killed because he betrays Bones to Patra. Before his death, Bones makes it clear that betraying your sire is the worst sin a vampire could commit. That being the case, what is up with Tate?

Another strange character shift is seen in Ian. In the second book, he spends his time trying to force Cat into his menagerie of one-of-a-kind treasures. When Bones marries Cat to keep her from being forced into Ian's family, Ian is more than livid. If I remember correctly, they didn't necessarily leave with smoothed over feelings. However, when this book starts, Ian -- even after feeling slighted over the alliance with and gifted power from Mencheres -- he is easily willing to return to their friendship as though nothing had happened between them. Not only that, but his treatment of Cat feels very out of character from what Frost showed the audience in book two.

While I enjoyed this book, it really didn't live up to my expectations. It took me a lot longer to get through this book. It was engaging, there was a lot of action, and Frost had ZOMBIES in it. However, it just wasn't up to par.

Rating: 3.5/5
Currently: Destined For the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
Pages: 3090
Horror/Urban Fantasy Challenge: 8/24
Current Progress:
9/50 books


Sinn

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    "If you’re a freak like me, Wave your flag! If you’re a freak like me, Get off your ass! It’s our time now, To let it all hang out!" I am a recovering English major, closet bibliophile, breve addicted, zombie lover with a rockabilly and heavy metal fetish.