For What It's Worth

Monday, September 12, 2011

Review: One Grave at a Time by Jeaniene Frost

One Grave at a Time: A Night Huntress Novel
Having narrowly averted an (under)world war, Cat Crawfield wants nothing more than a little downtime with her vampire husband, Bones. Unfortunately, her gift from New Orleans' voodoo queen just keeps on giving--leading to a personal favor that sends them into battle once again, this time against a villainous spirit.

Centuries ago, Heinrich Kramer was a witch hunter. Now, every All Hallows Eve, he takes physical form to torture innocent women before burning them alive. This year, however, a determined Cat and Bones must risk all to send him back to the other side of eternity--forever. But how do you kill a killer who's already long dead? (PNR)

Note: This is a guest review by Tiger from All Consuming Books

Warning: Possible spoilers for books 1-5 but none for this book.

Cat Crawfield-Russell’s uncle Don is a ghost that can’t move on. He’d shuffle off this mortal coil if he could, but he’s stuck on the earthly plane for no good reason anyone can figure out. But that’s just a minor ghostly worry. Another ghost named Kramer can apparently manifest into physical form, and he’s out to kill some folks when Halloween night arrives. Cat’s not cool with that, so she has to figure out a way to kill a guy who’s already deader than disco.

There are a few nice developments in this book. I did like that Cat’s crew got stuck with a government pencil-pusher who was evaluating their budgets and their effectiveness, and gearing up to take over operations. It’s always funny when bureaucracy intrudes on the paranormal world and audits it. Madigan is maddening, just as he’s intended to be. Also, the villain of this story is truly chilling. Kramer’s whole “misogynistic killer ghost” thing is downright terrifying, in a way that few paranormal baddies are. Truth be told, I was so creeped out by the ghostly stuff, I skimmed most of it, just to get the broad idea of what was going on.

There are some elements that I’m on the fence about. It hasn’t reached the point of annoyance yet, but I’m not sure if I approve of Cat’s big upswing in powers. Since becoming a full vampire, she’s got an ever-changing array of weird powers, and it seems like she could easily become an Anita Blake (a woman who becomes the new queen or ruler of chieftain of something special in every passing book) if her new abilities take up too much of the plot.

And then there’s the romantic side of the plot, which is fine but not as wonderful as it used to be. Cat and Bones are married and we fans all love them greatly, but they’re not quite as interesting as they once were. As Bones puts it to Cat: “For the first time in years, our relationship is solid, no one’s actively trying to murder us, and our closest mates are happy” (pg 45). I don’t want constant breakup drama, but it’s hard to maintain intrigue when everyone’s settled and cozy. I don’t even know if this is even a legitimate complaint, since it’s notoriously difficult to keep a stable couple interesting over the course of a long series.

Side characters: It was such a relief when Ian arrived on the scene, but a letdown when he barely had any lines. When are we getting his book? Spade and Denise are nice, but Denise’s new shapeshifting abilities are truly stunning. I also liked seeing Cat’s mother, Justina, a little more.

Jeaniene Frost is still an amazing writer, and still brings us some very compelling characters, but this particular volume doesn’t really stand up to the excitement of the earliest books in this series.

Rating: 2.5 of 4 stars

Jeaniene Frost:

Publisher: Avon Books August 30th, 2011
Read my quick review: On Goodreads


  1. Thank you, dear! Ooh, it must have taken forever to hunt down all those links. :-)

  2. ugh! I totally agree with what you said about Cat’s big upswing in powers...I hate her a little bit more each book.
    I haven't read this one yet, but everyone is disappointed...I am afraid of reading it because it's one of my favorite series :S

  3. @Tiger - No thank you. I always love your reviews and I happen to agree with you here.

    @Ana Lucia Cat has been annoying me lately. I haven't really enjoyed the past three books. This one is not horrible, just missing the fun & urgency of the earlier books. IMo anyway.

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