At Grave's End (Night Huntress, Book 3)
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66 of 77 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2009
I re-read the last 2 books before I allowed myself to read the 3rd. I wish I hadn't. It made the disparity between them painful. Just about everything I loved from the first 2 books was missing in this one.

The Good - There is a lot of plot and a lot of action. Many parts reminded me of the earlier Anita Blake. All the fighting and gore and sinister plots. Excellent. This is why I gave it 4 stars instead of 3.5

The Depressing - I read the first 2 books with a huge poo-eating-grin on my face, laughing out loud constantly. Both times! It actually made my husband jealous. Not this time. This time I rarely laughed, occasionally grinned and in the middle of the book I actually cried. By the end I was stoic.

What I miss - The sex scenes. The chemistry. The bantering. The heart.

I expected, and anticipated, Cat's confrontation with her mother after what she discovered at the end of book 2. Don't. After I got over that disappointment I was hopeful for her mother later in the book only to have it crushed again at the end. Oh well.

Tate left me wanting. Something. So much potential plot yet just out of reach. He can be a great ally or a ruthless advisory. Time will tell.
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50 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 2008
I thought this book was a great addition to the series. It started off a little rough for me because the whole dress and act like a hooker bit was getting old, in my opinion, but Bones was tired of it as well so it seems to be resolved and full steam ahead from that point. Lots of fast paced, unpredictable action followed that kept the story moving and the reader guessing. Some parts could have used a bit more description and scenes ended and changed too abruptly at times but nothing that detracted too much from the story.

Bones was great as always and Cat lost some of her rough edges and was actually more likable this go around. What really made this story stand out and get my five stars, though, was the emotion. I had tears running down my face for at least two chapters it was so moving. Any book that can get me to cry real tears for fake characters means the author has done their job and brought me fully into the story.

Great addition to the series and I can't wait for the next installment!
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2010
She ascended to the heavens and kicked Zeus's butt, too, along with the rest of the Greek Gods. Then when she was done with them, she descended into hell and beat the Devil down too, and all his minions, stabbing them in the hearts with silver daggers. Sounds farfetched and ridiculous, right? So did a lot of the fight scenes in this book.

Spoilers on the way, read on at your own risk:

One of my biggest problems with vampire hunter books is this: What is the gauge of their power? Why are vampires who are way older and should be stronger than Cat so easy to kill? All of her fights are lackluster because she ultimately walks away without a scratch and what little injury she does get, is immediately healed. There's really no risk. The only Vampire Hunter that makes sense is Buffy, because at least her power is explained and it's what her body was designed for and there is always a risk. She even died twice. She wasn't just some vampire half breed who decided she was going to kill her kind for a living.

When Cat took on Bones line and defeated every vampire who challenged her without even breaking a sweat, considering she wasn't supposed to be in top form, I simply had to roll my eyes and damn near threw the book across the room. She's too powerful and where's the fun in that?

Moving on.... Bones is another one who's too powerful, and this was BEFORE he shared power with his grandsire. It comes off a little bit annoying that he's so powerful because it's like no one can defeat him and there's really no risk that he can die. The entire time he was assumed dead, I didn't have any inkling of doubt or worry because there was just no reason to. The way that premise was written, it just didn't give you a sense of dread. The whole time I knew he was alive and I only had to keep reading to find out when he would emerge again.

The Big bad.... Turned out to be not so big, or bad. What an anti-climatic ending. I wanted more from Patra, who was a scorned woman with a bone to pick. There really wasn't a big war, which you'd think might happen considering how so many Master vampires had to align themselves with Bones and Mencheres midway through the book. A few dead zombies, vengeful phantoms and nameless characters later, Patra gets a silver knife in her back. No big deal.

What I don't like is how every so-called enemy in the book is automatically looked down upon for their actions as if they are the worst people in the world, but whatever the "heroes" do in the book, even if it's the same thing is "Okay". Bones would kill every one in the world to get revenge on who ever hurt Cat, they don't even have to kill her, just hurt her and he goes mad with rage. But it's written to be "understandable". but Patra doing the same thing is just "unacceptable". What's good for the goose, should be good for the gander. Yes, it is mentioned in the book that that's true, but then it's quickly dismissed because the bad things are happening to them instead of someone else. It's not a major plot flaw, it's just a pet peeve of mine, I don't liked excused hypocrisy.

Even my favorite characters seemed boring in this book. Bones was kind of boring, Ian was very boring, except for the interaction he had with Cat's mom, who by the way seemed to be out of character in this book. Sure, she was her usual whiny annoying self, but she seemed all to comfortable around the vamps and ghouls than you'd expect. Seemed drastic that she'd sleep with one. Spade was almost non-existent as well. No body really stood out with bursting personality, which was disappointing. Tate is tiresome, nuff said. Juan is still just "there" and Cooper, Denise, Randy and Don could have slept in on this book.

I also thought the writing was a bit jumpy and there were far too many "fade to black" scenes.

Overall, the plot still held my interest enough for me to want to finish the book, which is why it gets three stars. I still enjoy some of the characters, so I'm moving on to book four. Still, A Drop of Crimson is the best book out of this series to me. Jeanine Frost is a decent writer and I will probably continue to read her books as I am looking forward to reading Mencheres book this summer and I hope Ian's book is next in line. This is just my constructive honest review.
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34 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2009
I found the first two books exciting, amusing, romantic fun and eagerly awaited At Grave's End for months. Unfortunately, I was extremely disappointed and only finished the book because I kept hoping it would get better and that the tension and humor of the first two would return.

The previously strong romantic/sexual tension between Cat and Bones is gone, and several perfunctory sex scenes couldn't make up for the lack of connection and the development of their relationship. Cat and Bones are also oddly uncompelling protagonists. Bones will go to any length to protect Cat. Yes. We got that in the last book, so showing and stressing this again and again does nothing but diminish the emotional impact. As for Cat, she makes the occasional snarky remark, wears slutty clothes, and kills lots of things. And... that's it. The only characters who engaged and held my interest were secondary ones - Cat's relatives and a new vampire who gets introduced in the middle of the book.

The plot felt both disconnected and overly simplistic. There were no subplots, not really, merely a string of the same sort of thing. One scene early on is powerful, because it's there that one feels actual fear for the characters and their health. Later on, Frost goes back to killing off extras in order to show how dark and deadly everything is. And yes, the bodycount is higher than before, but it's not very meaningful when we don't really *know* the characters who are killed.

The summarizing in the first part of the book is jarring, particularly because the transition from action - narrative clean up - action occurs within a few sentences. And as for the end, between the battle set up and speech that had me cringing for the characters and the vaguely anticlimactic finish, I felt almost relieved when I reached the end.

I really enjoyed the first two and will happily reread and recommend them, but I won't be buying the fourth book or reading this one again. It's not a dreadful book by any means, but... it's not the series, at least not as I'd care to remember it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Married at least in terms of vampire laws, half-breed Cat Crawfield and pure bloodsucker Bones are euphoric. They were manipulated cleverly by her family keeping them apart for years. Now they live together and Bones has joined the government agency run by her uncle hunting rogue vampires.

Already the most successful team due to Cat's unique prowess, the addition of Bones makes the unit seemingly invincible. However, the vampire world recently learned that Cat is the notorious Red Reaper making her a Scarlet letter type target to her enemy and that Bones is a traitor. While struggling to stay alive from hunter-vamps especially one who loathes Bones for dumping her, they must prevent a war of magic from devastating the world.

The latest Night Huntress urban fantasy (see HALFWAY TO THE GRAVE and ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE) series is a powerful entry as the overarching theme moves forward with increasing complexity; while also containing an action-packed story line and intensifying the lead couple's romantic relationship. Now that Cat is outed, she wears a bulls-eye on her forehead as vampiric gunslingers know taking her down would make them into an over night superhero, not that Bones will sit idly allowing that to happen. Sub-genre fans will fully enjoy Cat's saga, as Jeaniene Frost's tour of the world of the "Grave" is deep yet fun to follow.

Harriet Klausner
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon January 21, 2009
Eventually it had to happen. Cat Crawfield's appearance as half-vampire, half-human is too distinctive to keep the identity of the "Red Reaper" a mystery. Meanwhile, someone very powerful wants her dead and an all-out vampire war is about to begin. Will Cat and Bones survive the melee that ensues?

Wow, Jeaniene Frost is a formidable force in the urban fantasy genre and AT GRAVE'S END solidifies she is here to stay! Both the world building and the character development are superb in this action-packed tale. Hold onto your hats, though, as this one gets a little hairy!

Cat and Bones are a remarkable couple. The love story between them has developed over the previous two books but AT GRAVE'S END takes things a bit deeper. The physical attraction isn't the focus but instead we see the emotional bond. In fact, all of the relationships develop further as Jeaniene Frost takes this world to a whole new level in AT GRAVE'S END.

AT GRAVE'S END can be read as a stand alone novel but the world is a complex one and could be a bit overwhelming to a newcomer. The relationships have also built over the course of the series and some of the nuances and subtle humor might be missed if one hasn't read the earlier books.

Jeaniene Frost isn't afraid to take chances as she does a marvelous job at keeping her world interesting. The plotlines of the Night Huntress series are not static but instead we learn more about the dangers of the vampire world in each new book. AT GRAVE'S END is an exciting installment and my only disappointment is that I now have to wait for the next one. Highly recommended!

COURTESY OF CK2S KWIPS AND KRITIQUES
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2009
With the number of kills under her belt, Cat Crawford has earned a reputation among the undead. Widely referred to as the Red Reaper, she is both feared and revered in the vampire world and it appears that almost everyone wants a piece of the half-breed. With Bones at her side, though, Cat is ready to face any challenge that comes her way. Or is she really?

As the holiday season approaches, Cat eagerly looks forward to spending time with her loved ones. However, someone from Bones' past has a different idea of how best to spend the yuletide season and it seems that she is prepared to do anything to kill Cat. Yes, dear readers, this ancient vamp has powers beyond anything that Cat has ever imagined. No one is safe, even dreaming is not permitted unless you have a death wish.

AT GRAVE'S END is the third installment in The Night Huntress series and another fantastic book from Jeaniene Frost. I remember purchasing the first book last year uncertain of what to expect, but in spite of the slow start, I finished that book totally in love with Cat and Bones and quickly bought the second book. This third book is no different. It was a witty and enjoyable read on many levels. The trademark barbs fly between the characters. The author uses the light-hearted interaction to balance the action and gore in the story. There is abundant action to make this a fast-paced read, with a few twists that I never saw coming. And I'm not just talking about the zombies.

Some reviewers have commented on the lack of romance in this book. I guess if you are expecting to see the same unbridled lust that we did in the previous books, then you would probably be disappointed. I personally didn't feel that the romance was lacking at all. In fact, I liked how the author has taken Cat and Bones' relationship to a new level. There is a more sense of maturity and seriousness about it, and I really felt the strength of their commitment.

Jeaniene Frost does not disappoint with this solid entry. I think that her writing is getting better and better and I eagerly await the next book in the series.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2010
Well, this is definitely going downhill. It's still funny a lot of times, but other times it's just plain boring. Jeaniene Frost is no Richelle Mead (Georgina Kincaid series, I mean), and the plot has some holes the size of vulcanoes. And, oh, all those sexist little remarks all over the books? Well, I accept them in one book, they annoy me in two books, but I absolutely dislike them in three books. Or more.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon January 26, 2010
Ah!! The third installment, At Grave's End, of Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress series is BRILLIANT! I loved it. Loved it. I'm sorry, I should have warned you to brace yourself for all the excitement that probably just smacked you in the face. I will try to calm myself from here on out- and remind myself that I'm not talking about a new lover (because that is what it sounds like!) Whoo, ok- getting serious now.

At Grave's End was an intense, thrilling read that made my toes curl. They curled whilst I blushed and giggled... and when I was made nervous for our heroine's life. Talk about an emotional (and gruesome) rollar coaster. I have to start describing the book for you now or I will get carried away with how enamored I am with it... I think the book had a more Urban Fantasy feel to it with Cat and Bones jumping from one issue to the next with their special ops team. Lots of fantastic gore and chaos- wonderful, witty, sarcastic dialoge... tons of humor! There is a good bit of blood in this one- so you blood thirsty readers out there will be pleased. Cat and Bones encounter the extremely powerful, dangerous enemy (ha, and wife!) of Bone's grandsire. She wants to see Cat and Bones dead. Bones declares a vampire war and all must choose sides. Thankfully, Bones has chosen to allie himself with his grandsire and gains some sweet new powers.

There is a moment in this book that made me tear up. Cat and Bones are slapped in the face with the possibility that one may have to live without the other... again. This scene is completely heartbreaking- imagine your worst fear being realized and then coming true. (Don't worry, we get some delicious *intimate* bedroom scenes. Should I have mentioned that earlier?) Nothing can come between this power couple... Not even Tate. Yea, you, Tate! Even though some characters become boring when they find their happily ever after- this devoted couple didn't disappoint me. I was hooked until the end. I really enjoyed their occasional spats- Even the most perfect couple isn't in constant bliss. It made them seem like a normal couple... I love realistic, logical fights.

You have to read this book. The banter between Bone's and Justina is hilarious! Justina gets a lover... oh, and so many other things happen that will just make you pump your arm and say 'yessss.' I wish I could spill more beans, but I'm not into spoilers. ;]

It is really late and I haven't eaten all day, so let me apologize for what I've written above. I will be too lazy to go back and change it tomorrow. FIVE stars for Ms. Cat Crawfield! And GOODnight!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 27, 2009
Cat Crawfield should be having the time of her life. She is finally with her love Bones, has the job of her dreams, and is surrounded by a wonderful group of friends and family. But the undead are catching onto them and know that the Red Reaper is working under different disguises. Not only are the undead catching on, but a woman from Bones's past wants her out of the picture. Will Cat and Bones be able to work together seamlessly, or will their strong personalities rip them apart? Can Cat put aside her human instinct, that which will not help her in the world of the dead and undead, and put all her trust in her vampiric nature?

The Grave Series is definitely one of my favorite new series to come out, but I still felt like this story fell short of the previous two books. The plot seemed over-worked, and there was just too much going on in the story to make it enjoyable. Trying to keep track of the many character additions didn't help in this either. There were some really fantastic characters and background added to the story though, so it wasn't all bad. Instead of it being a fast paced read that I couldn't put down, I felt myself struggling to make it through the book. I love Cat and Bones, and the world Frost has created, but some of the plot was pointless and I wasn't falling for what was given to me.

One of the better parts of the story is some surprises via Cat's mom. As well as a surprise character that is very ancient and very likeable in my opinion.

Overall, the story was ok. I wasn't thrilled, and am hoping that Book 4 will have the kinks that showed up Book 3 worked out. If you were already a fan of the first two books, I don't think you should pass up on this story. I just wouldn't rush out right away and get it if there are others on your list.

I would like to say that the cover and inside page is absolutely STUNNING.

To sum things up: Didn't love it, didn't hate it.
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