Thursday, April 10, 2008

*Exclusive Review* One Foot in the Grave

Cat is back! I have been waiting to say that statement for months because in a few weeks, Jeaniene Frost’s second book in her Night Huntress series will be out. One Foot in the Grave is one of the best sequels I have read in a long time. I was very lucky to have found out about Jeaniene Frost (Thanks Christine!) late last year and it wasn’t just because the heroine is redhead and her name is Catherine. Jeaniene has written a new super-heroine that can play as dirty as the boys and won’t take the injustices of life sitting down. The only other character I can compare her to in recent memory are Anita Blake from Laurel K. Hamilton or Eve Dallas from JD Robb. Cat Crawfield is quickly becoming one of my all time favorite heroines and tied for best heroine of 2008 with Jax from Grimspace.

One Foot in the Grave takes place four years into the future. Cat is no longer that naive, uncontrollable girl with a chip on her shoulder. Cat has grown into a sharp and intelligent woman who still kicks ass and comes up with the best comebacks and one-liners you can imagine. Cat is still a bit down on herself in terms of self-esteem and still thinks of herself as an outcast. She has become the head of an undercover group that works for the government. Even thought she was basically blackmailed into taking this position, she has fought very hard to be in control and the “go to” person in almost every situation that arises. Cat is half-human, half-vampire, and the department she works for is comparable to Homeland Security but for watching and experimenting on vampires. The powers that be want to know where vampires come from and how they can be stopped. Cat has major issues with her undead side since her father was one of them and she was led to believe by her mother that she is a child of rape. In Halfway to the Grave, Cat hated her vampire side, now she is more comfortable in her skin and embraces it in a way. And the reason she does is due to her vampire lover she had to leave behind, Bones.

Cat has a hard time giving and receiving love, but when it came to Bones she was a goner. Cat has a lot of questions about her lost love. Has Bones wandered the world looking for her? Has he totally forgotten her and gone onto shagging another lonely girl? Could Bones be dead? All these questions will be answered in ways you will not believe! I guess you can say it is not much of a spoiler since Cat and Bones are the ultimate couple, so you can expect to see him make an appearance. And with his appearance, Cat is yet again launched in uncharted waters. Bones realizes how great and special Cat is. He wants what is best for her. But Cat has this habit of constantly questioning herself. She wants Bones just like the air she breathes, but won’t fall for his charms. (HA! See how long that lasts). But Bones knows her so very well. Bones may come across as a witty playboy type of guy, but he has great insight on a person.

One Foot in the Grave has quite a few twists and gasps that I did not see coming. The last 30 pages will certainly through you for a loop and I even found myself clapping at one point, which I never do when I read a book. Every thing comes out with a bang and you will meet some over the top characters that will make you laugh till your stomach hurts.

Jeaniene Frost has done three incredible things with this book that makes it a winner in my eyes. I have never laughed so hard as I have done while read One Foot in the Grave. I did not chuckle, but had full belly laughs from the zingers and one-liners throughout. There is one such scene where Cat and Bones’s old girlfriend from way in the past have a full blown out catfight that almost had me on my feet. (Hard to do when you are on a bus coming home from work and all you want to do is cheer) These two women don’t just use fists but use words to hurt and draw blood.

The other thing Jeaniene can do very well is write a good quality love scene. I am not talking about quantity as we see in so many romances where an author must fill up the pages with every sex act known to man. I am talking about an intimate moment between our couple that will have you reaching for a fan and sighing in wonderment. Jeaniene has even placed a certain sex act between Bones and Cat that didn’t make me cringe like I usually do when I read such one. For an author to write such a scene that can make me go back and re-read it and still want to sigh all over again is a great achievement in my eyes. And let’s not forget the sex is slammin’, in your face hawt!

And finally, I usually prefer the hero over the heroine or visa-versa. I cannot do that with Bones and Cat because they are a near perfect duo. They are much like Roark and Eve in the In Death series for me. And Roarke and Eve are my all time favorite romantic couple and I find Bones and Cat coming in a close second.

One Foot in the Grave is an excellent, paranormal urban fantasy that did not disappoint in the least. Jeaniene tightened up certain problems I had with Halfway to the Grave and wrote a story that is fast and furious. I am placing this in my top three of 2008.

4.5 stars out of 5!

**And as a special treat, Jeaniene was kind enough for me to pick her brain. Look for her interview to be posted next week**



Ana said...

Now I am curious to read this series too!

MaryKate said...

Huh. OK, you know I wasn't a fan of Halfway to the Grave, but this review is enough to make me maybe want to pick this one up.

SIGH. Is Cat REALLY more grown up? 'Cause I thought she was such a brat in the first one. And I can't deal with her being a brat again.

ames said...

Ack!! I so wasn't going to read the second book because I had so many issues with the first. But it looks like, from your review, that those issues are dealt with.

You're too good Katie. I'm hooked. LOL

ames said...

Ooh, just read Marykate's comment. LOL That's what bothered me too, MK!

azteclady said...

I have wanting this series for a while...

Thanks for the review, katie(babs)

Jill D. said...

Wow, great review Katie! Another series to add to the list. I think I am really digging the Urban Fantasy genre!

Katie(babs) said...

I really felt Jeaniene worked out most of the kinks with Cat. She still has a gutter mouth on her but no longer whines about her daddy issues.
And she puts all the men to shame in this book.
And I really didn't care for her mom, and whiney mom is very much in the background.
And then there is Bones.... sigh le sigh.

Still with me and your TBR pile will bury you alive! MUWAHAHAA

azteclady said...

katie(babs) my TBR mountain has already taken over half my bedroom, you know *chuckling*

Sarai said...

Okay I own the first one maybe this should move up in the ranks. Oh the horror of rearranaging the TBR pile yet again!
Can't wait until the interview

Christine said...

Good review, Kate! ;)
I actually liked Cat's immaturity in HALFWAY TO THE GRAVE. I went into the book knowing she was young and stuck on her misguided vengeance against ALL vampires, so to witness her making mistakes and becoming wiser and in more control throughout the book... was enjoyable for me.

Looking forward to the interview!

Carolyn Jean said...

Wow, clapping! That is a major recommendation. I love that feeling, wanting to do that, but I've never actually DONE it. Great reviewl

Katie(babs) said...

This is the only book this year where after I finished, I wanted to go back and re-read everything I missed the first time through.
I really did love this book! :D

Jeaniene is going to think I am such a suck up. LMAO.

LeeAnn said...

OK now I have to read this :o)

My TBR pile is getting a little big again. I just ordered the next four books in the J.D. Robb series and about six pirate books LOL ;o)

Brie said...

So I was avoiding stepping into another yet series, but your review of this book has me very tempted.

It sounds like a really good read.

Devon said...

I am really looking forward to this one. Cat bugged me a little, but I loved Bones!

Kristie (J) said...

I started Halfway to the Grave but moved to another book before I finished. Now I'm going to have to go back to it so I can read this one since your review is so glowing *g*

Christine said...

I love Bones. Love him. LOVE. HIM. Yup. =)

Katie(babs) said...

Well, Christine since you introduced him to me, you can have first dibs.
I am generous like that.