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Wanda's Book Reviews

I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles.  (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).

Currently reading

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Ann J. Lane
Wizard and Glass
Stephen King, Dave McKean
River of Blue Fire
Tad Williams
Richard Ford
Progress: 36/420 pages

Halfway to the Grave / Jeaniene Frost

Halfway to the Grave - Jeaniene Frost

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.


There’s a lid for every pot, but this lid doesn’t fit my particular pot. Despite the fact that I do adore urban fantasy, I did not care for this book. Plus I would argue that it leans more toward being a paranormal romance than UF.

My main beefs with it are vulgar vocabulary and situations. I found it ironic that the author thanked God in her acknowledgements and then went on to write a novel with such crude vocabulary in it (and way too much dirty talk between Kat & Bones, IMO—I far prefer innuendo). Also, the whole idea that an attractive young woman had to dress like a prostitute and go commando to attract a vampire seemed ridiculous to me. Attractive young women don’t have to do that to catch the attention of ordinary human men, let alone vampires. (Yes, I know, I’m talking like vampires really exist, sorry).

Plus, I have naming issues. Names of main characters are important to me. Calling your main vampire character “Bones” just rubbed me the wrong way. I couldn’t help but picture him as DeForest Kelley (Bones of the original Star Trek) which simply clashed with the author’s description of the guy. I also didn’t buy his “English accent.” It seemed to come and go, and sounded very inauthentic to my ear. I have close friends from London and northern England, and they sound NOTHING like this guy.

Cringe-worthy dialog and uninspired writing. What can I say? Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series starts to look like fine literature by comparison, and at least Harris can write convincing relationships and sex scenes that aren’t icky. She doesn’t shy away from the odd swear-word or vulgarity, but they are placed for emphasis or with a particular reason, not because she has no other vocabulary to choose from.

There are a couple of interesting ideas in the book—the idea of Cat inhabiting the limbo between the human and vampire worlds and having unusual abilities because of that situation, and Bones being a vampire bounty hunter for example. I could even have lived with the romance if Cat had been less juvenile about it.

I would never discourage others from reading this book—just because it didn’t work for me doesn’t mean that you won’t love it. Its rating on Goodreads is just over 4 stars, so I am clearly in a minority here. But I personally would never have read beyond the first couple of chapters if I wasn’t reading it to fill the Graves & Graveyards space on my Halloween Book Bingo card. Needless to say, I won’t be reading any further in the series.