Thursday, August 25, 2011

Review: One Grave at a Time

ONE GRAVE AT A TIME (Night Huntress #6)
Jeaniene Frost
Paranormal Romance
384 pages
Avon
Available August 30th
Received from publisher for review

THE STORY
Cat is still experiencing the residual effects of the voodoo queen of New Orlean's blood donation, slowly acclimating to her bevy of new ghostly companions. When longtime spectral friend Fabian brings a ghost with a special request into the home she shares with her husband Bones, she can hardly refuse her assistance after all he's done for them.

Turns out Fabian's friend is one of the many victims of Heinrich Kramer–famed witch hunter, hater of woman, and serial murderer. Though he's long dead, his spirit is still haunting this world and every night on Samhain, his ghostly form gives way to flesh and blood and he returns to the activities he so thoroughly relished in life.

Unable to bear the thought of more woman dying at the hands of such a monster, Cat and Bones immediately set to work in figuring out how to stop him in life and death, but Heinrich proves to be a formidable foe whose hatred has had years to fester and become stronger than ever, and Cat finds herself more deeply involved than she ever imagined.

MY THOUGHTS
One of the most impressive aspects of the Night Huntress series as a whole is Ms. Frost's ability to write characters who grow and progress a little in each book, so even when one particular story isn't as action packed or as emotionally intense as others before it, the vibrancy of the characters ensures we can never be anything short of entertained. Some installments offer blistering romance and palpable sexual tension, others have us positively guffawing and sucking in huge breaths like dying fish in between bouts of laughter, and then still others present different levels of drama, each aspect guaranteeing us a different type of reading experience from one story to the next. We are teased with the presence of just a couple of her trademark elements in each book, knowing we'll have to wait for the next installment to get a taste of what is purposefully left out of the one we're reading, and we can't help but smile while flipping the pages as we enjoy creativity at its best.

Cat is particularly remarkable in this newest release, still exhibiting the maturity she began to embrace in the last book by refusing to allow Bones to steamroll her with his protective instincts but also not reacting to that protectiveness by leaping into danger without formulating a plan and utilizing his input first. She listens and discusses problems and solutions with him, and when he begins to slip into his alpha-male role and seeks to keep her safe by his side, she intelligently and rationally compromises with him while still trying to help and defend those who need her like the Cat we all know and love. There does seem to be a little spark missing from the two of them however, and we find ourselves longing for just a touch of the relationship drama that plagued them in the first four books. This is most likely a "grass is always greener" situation though–when the petty (though understandable) jealousies were running rampant we wished for them to be happy and melodrama-free, and now that we've been given our wish, we desire that familiar and incendiary sexual tension resulting from their heated arguments.

While This Side of the Grave moved at a slightly slower pace than the previous books, One Grave at a Time returns us to normal Night Huntress speed, providing us with a truly despicable and diabolical villain constantly on the offensive as he focuses all his considerable animosity on Cat and Bones. His sense of righteousness is enough to make us cringe, and his views on women and witchcraft are more than enough to make bile rise in our throats as he executes his warped understanding of God's will, causing us to read as fast as possible in order to get to the moment where he gets his much-deserved comeuppance. Heinrich is an impressively disgusting specimen, joining the ranks of Cat's father and Gregor as individuals for whom our hatred burns especially bright.

Ms. Frost introduces another new character into the mix in this installment, a man who piques our curiosity and has our instincts on red alert as he worms his way into the government compound with Tate, Juan, and Cooper. It's clear he will be a recurring problem for Cat's former team and Cat herself, and despite his only brief appearances he makes himself memorable and has us itching for the next book to see how he will put into motion the the questionable ideas we can see flickering through his head. Disappointingly, Vlad is noticeably absent in this book–though we are slightly mollified by the fact that he's getting his own series–but Ian is present in all his ridiculous glory, his outlandish arrogance and humor making us feel right at home in a world we love so very much.

Rating: 4/5

36 comments:

  1. I'm reading One Grave at a Time now and I am glad that we have returned to our normal NH pace/speed. The last book seemed too different or something was off about it, but now I can say that finally NH is back! I am in love wit this new character Tyler..hahaha. LOL

    I can't wait to finish it =DDDDDD

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  2. I can't wait to read this! I am super excited to hear Ian is in it. I am such a huge fan of him. He is always entertaining. Great review Jenny :)

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  3. While this is a series I have not read, I loved how you discussed the differences of the other books in regard to this one. The characters sound amazing and although I will probably never get to read about them myself, I enjoyed reading your thoughts.

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  4. While I don't usually read outside of YA and MG, your review certainly has me interested. I've seen these books around, but I've never actually read any reviews. Thanks, Jenny!

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  5. Had to skim review slightly since I'm dying to read this one asap! But it looks fabulous! Big time fan of the Night Huntress series! So can't wait to read it!! Awesome review!

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  6. I still need to read this series. I've heard great things. I like how each book can potentially be so different - with the level of action or romance. Keeps you surprised.

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  7. Awesome review! I read the first book in this series, and loved it. I really need to get caught up on the rest of the series! Thanks for sharing!

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  8. I am trying not to hate you a little bit right now LOL

    I am so excited about next Tuesday, I can hardly stand it. I will put whatever I am reading on hold till then!

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  9. So glad this one picks up speed since the previous novel wasn't as good as the other ones. =) I have to say, I also miss the fights between Cat and Bones! The villain sounds positively creepy. I can't wait to read this one, even though Vlad is absent. I can't wait for his own book. Great review, Jenny. =D

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  10. Mariya - I agree, I loved the villain in this one and things were just as action packed as ever:)

    Amanda - It's almost Bones time:)

    Nic - I love Ian! He is just hilarious and I adored him even more in this one. I hope we get his story at some point:)

    Jan - Thanks! This is a series I started before I had the blog, it's been a longtime favorite:)

    Hafsah - I like reading paranormal romance along with my YA books, it's nice to have a break from some of the teen drama and read about more adult relationships sometimes:)

    Jessica - Me too! I never tire of Cat and Bones:)

    Alison - You do:) I don't think you'll be disappointed!

    Christy - Book 1 will always be my favorite, but I love how this is a romance series with the same couple in each book so we really get to feel connected to them and their growing relationship.

    Felicia - BONES! Can't wait to chat about him with you:)

    Bailey - I do too, there was just something about their fights that ratcheted up the intensity and I miss that. Of course, with that being said, if they were still fighting 6 books in, I'd probably say enough already so the break has been nice, I just want a little of that spark back:)

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  11. Geez!! I must get back into this series, I read the first 3 last year and just kind of moved on but I remember how much I loved BONES... ;)

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  12. JEALOUS! Really, really JEALOUS!! But so happy that you have read and reviewed it! I miss BONES! Thanks for the review! I am now more excited then ever!

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  13. Yeah! I've missed Ian. Although, I'm kind of going to miss Vlad...but Ian will be a temporarily fun replacer. I enjoyed the book before this one, but it wasn't everything the series had been up until that point. I'm still excited for this one, but not as much as I had been.

    Jen
    In the Closet With a Bibliophile

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  14. Tina - Bones is to die for isn't he? I just love him. Cat's a lucky woman:)

    Savy - I about fell over when I found it in my mailbox. I stopped work early and just devoured it:)

    Jen - I missed Ian in the last one too, he's in the whole book this time which just made me happy. I still enjoyed the last book, but I think this one had more of what I loved about the first four:)

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  15. I love that Cat doesn't let her love interest stifle her with his protective instincts! It always bugs me when characters suddenly become weaker after getting a man. :P
    Fabulous review; thanks! :)

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  16. I can really appreciate a series that manages to give variety and a slightly different reading experience with each book because often series with many, many books tend to blend into one another easily!

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  17. *squeeeeeee heard round the world* YES! The high speed we are used to, and I have definitely been missing Ian so I'm so happy to hear the cocksure bloke is back! And I'm all about this new mystery guy...especially if he causes a bit of trouble.

    *bounce, bounce, bounce* I can't wait!!!!

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  18. I have heard so much about this series, that I'm wondering why I haven't read a book in this series. Seriously, why haven't I? Great review!

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  19. I am glad you liked it :D
    I did enjoy book 1 but not enough to go out and get more books, oh well

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  20. Ooooo... what happens with this new character? I admit I had a hard time reading this because I was petting the book cover and review and saying... "My preciousssssss...." Me thinks I need to get this one. Oh and I want an Iam book more than a Vlad book. However, I wouldn't be disappointed if I got it the other way around. :)

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  21. While most people think that I'm working so hard on my house so that it can be done in time for the long weekend... nope it's all for this book :)

    Another beautiful review! And now all I can think about it is getting my hands on this...

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  22. Squee! you've gotten me so excited, I can't wait to read this book. I love that they're growing as characters, I hated that Cat jumped without looking just to prove she could. I just hope that eventually Tate gets a girl of his own or at least stops being angry at Cat and Bones because he couldn't "get" Cat.

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  23. I love series where the characters continue to grow in each book. If I didn't read just MG/YA, I'd probably be reading The Night Huntress series too. Great review, Jenny!

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  24. I'm looking forward to starting this series. I love the front and inset covers. Glad to hear she remains consistent with her characters and that they continue to grow throughout the series. The character names are awesome, too. Great review!

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  25. Lauren - So true! Cat's response is usually to do the opposite of what he wants which is frustrating at times, but she's learned from that and is working with him now. Love it:)

    Aylee - Very true. Each book has it's own feel while still progressing their relationship:)

    Missie - I LOVE IAN! He's such a cocky a-hole and I love it.

    Nina - I hope you give it a try!

    Blodeuedd - It's not for everyone:)

    Melissa - I want an Ian book too, I just adore him. I love Vlad though, I'm looking forward to his book:)

    Tara - Yay! Hope you love it:)

    Jennifer - I really want a girl for Tate too, I feel bad for him until he sticks his foot in his mouth and then I want to punch him. I always come back around to loving him though:)

    Zahida - Well, if you ever decide to give PNR a try, this is a fabulous place to start:)

    Julie - I love this series so much, hope you get a chance to start it soon!

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  26. I only skimmed your review, because I really want to start this series! I've heard nothing about yummy things about Bones and the laugh riot that is Cat. I just need to find more time! *Sigh*

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  27. Another character? How does she keep them all straight AND write them with such depth? I haven't ordered this one yet (forgot it was coming out) but looks like I'll have a new read for the weekend.
    Mary @ BookSwarm

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  28. I know, I know!!!! I AM going to read this series... I swear!!

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  29. I just remembered...I started and never finished book #5...I need to finish reading it! too many books...

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  30. YESSSSSS. This is the first review I've read of the newest Cat and Bones and I kind of love you for it. I'm so happy to hear the speed is a bit more brisk in this one. And it comes out the day I leave for vacation! Once again, yesssssss. Also, IAN.

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  31. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! I am DYING to read this!!!! Jenny, you just made me die a little inside! I am a little sad that Vlad is missing (he's my fave), but Ian is a nice stand-in. I wouldn't mind seeing a bit more character development with him. I miss the tension in their relationship, too. I always enjoy the books, but the last one was my least fav out of the series, so I am glad to hear we return to a pace we are used to in this one.

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  32. Great review! I love this series and I cant' wait to read this!! :) I agree on the character growth though. Despite this being paranormal, she does a great job with allowing room for her characters to grow and evolve as real people do and it's realistic in a good way. Same with the way she writes relationships (primarily Cat/Bones').

    ♥ Sarah @ I'm Loving Books

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  33. I'm with Alyssa. I LOVE a good viscous villain. Can't wait to read it. Yay for Cat & Bones!

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  34. I bought the fifth book in this series thinking that it was the first. No idea why I thought that the books went in the opposite order! *eye roll* Anywho, I have heard only great things about this series, I really must get the first four books, oh, and this sixth one as well! ;)

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