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58 of 62 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bones all the way......
First off I would suggest going back and skimming through the summaries of the last four books, or at least the reviews, a lot has happened since our dear Cat tried to kill (unsuccessfully) Bones. Now Bones is her husband, she's a full vampire, learning new abilities, making friends, making enemies, killing enemies, exc. When we last met up with Cat she discovered...
Published on February 22, 2011 by Jessie Potts

versus
40 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This series has been set on a whole new trajectory...
A war is brewing . . . one that could potentially wreak havoc and destruction across the supernatural playing field.

Vampire VS. Ghoul

Undead VS Undead

And Cat is at the centre of it all. Her new vampiric powers are potentially all-consuming and powerful, and she has the ghoulish world running scared.

`This Side of the Grade' is...
Published on February 23, 2011 by Dee18


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58 of 62 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bones all the way......, February 22, 2011
This review is from: This Side of the Grave (Night Huntress, Book 5) (Mass Market Paperback)
First off I would suggest going back and skimming through the summaries of the last four books, or at least the reviews, a lot has happened since our dear Cat tried to kill (unsuccessfully) Bones. Now Bones is her husband, she's a full vampire, learning new abilities, making friends, making enemies, killing enemies, exc. When we last met up with Cat she discovered certain disconcerting things about her abilities as well as her diet. Bones of course still loves her and adores the ground she walks on. Since she's been turned Cat and Bone's relationship has been going strong and they no longer doubt one another.

Now Cat and Bones have a worse problem, the leader of the ghouls is rising up to bring Cat down. This causes them to seek out Marie (Undead Queen of New Orleans, crazy woman) who has her own reason for `helping' Cat. Most of this book centers on the quest to find Apollyon as well as trying to discover just where the Undead Queen stands. While book four was full of war, angst and terror, this one is more subtle. I have to say I loved book one and two, three I could have done without, and four was better, I liked this installment, and especially that Cat is finally coming into her own. I know that's funny to say since she's already gained a ton of powers, she's teamed up with leaders and armies, but in this book she's finally growing up. She trusts Bones, she no longer is led by fiery emotion, but thinks things through. She also is a little more likable for those of you who found her oftentimes angsty whining annoying. A lot of the time it's hard to grow a couple together over the course of a series, that's why most authors center each installment on a different couple, Frost has done a great job, one I was hoping but not expecting to continue. I really like Bones and Cat's interaction with each other in this one and am looking forward to the next. Enjoy!
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40 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This series has been set on a whole new trajectory..., February 23, 2011
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This review is from: This Side of the Grave (Night Huntress, Book 5) (Mass Market Paperback)
A war is brewing . . . one that could potentially wreak havoc and destruction across the supernatural playing field.

Vampire VS. Ghoul

Undead VS Undead

And Cat is at the centre of it all. Her new vampiric powers are potentially all-consuming and powerful, and she has the ghoulish world running scared.

`This Side of the Grade' is the fifth book in Jeaniene Frost's `Night Huntress' series.

The new `Night Huntress' book is always a much-anticipated release. Fans salivate in anticipation of the new Cat and Bones instalment and countdown months, weeks and days until they can get their hands on this hot little paranormal. Unfortunately, I wasn't in love with this book.

It's really hard to pin-point precisely what didn't work for me, but I think it has to do with lack of romantic tension.

One of the great things about this series is the cemented romance between Cat and Bones. `Night Huntress' is unique for the fact that Frost put the `will-they-or-won't-they' technique to bed and gave fans an ongoing, committed relationship between her protagonists. Now, don't get me wrong, I love Cat and Bones being together and loved up. Heck, I have re-read Chapter 32 hundreds of times (who hasn't?) but I like it when there's tension between these two. I love it when Frost places a hurdle before their relationship - because even though Cat and Bones are together, and their love is the only sure thing in the `Night Huntress' series, I loves me some tension between them! In the past Cat and Bones have been torn apart by a secret government organization, Cat's jealousy over Annette and Gregor's obsession with Cat. But in `This Side of the Grave' Cat and Bones are (unfortunately) stable and in a good place, romantically. There's no real strain on their romance, no outside parties igniting jealousy or inner-demons inciting discontent. They're just happy. And that's great . . . but a little boring to read. I didn't even find Chapter 21 to be overly steamy, despite many a reviewer comparing it to 32 of `One Foot in the Grave'. I'm sorry; I just needed a little more spark between Cat and Bones; I would have appreciated an appearance from Annette, or more flirting from Tate. Anything!

A big focus in `This Side of the Grave' is on the changes Cat has undergone since being turned into a full vampire by Bones. Frost has written some very complicated changes for Cat to overcome and keep under wraps - to mention them would be to give away some big spoilers . . . suffice to say, these physical advancements will have a big impact on Cat and the entire trajectory of the series. I can't wait!

I appreciated reading some old fan favourites in this fifth book. Tate and Juan haven't really been a big presence for a few books now - but I was thrilled to read them come back into Cat's life. It was also nice to read a `guest-appearance' from Kira and Mencheres, fresh from their book `Eternal Kiss of Darkness'. I'm a big Mencheres fan, and I loved reading him being loved up and gushy! But best of all was Vlad. He has a fairly big role in this book, and some brilliant interactions with Cat. I think Frost is gearing up for her two Vlad spin-off books . . . and after reading his appearance in `This Side', I can't wait for Vlad to take centre stage! Of course, I still have my fingers crossed for Ian, Tate and Juan spin-off books too...

`This Side of the Grave' was an enjoyable (and much anticipated) `Night Huntress' addition. It wasn't my favourite, but I like where Frost has taken Cat's character and the reappearance of fan favourites to the storyline. I would have liked more romantic tension between Cat and Bones, to keep things spicy, but I realize that it's an odd complaint when the protagonist's cemented relationship is one of the big pluses of this series. Go figure.

3.5/5
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cat & Bones: Still Great on Their Worst Day, February 22, 2011
By 
This review is from: This Side of the Grave (Night Huntress, Book 5) (Mass Market Paperback)
It's been a long wait for a new Cat & Bones book. And though I was glad to be back with two of my favorite characters, it didn't quite enthrall me as much as the previous installments. Don't get me wrong, the Night Huntress series on a bad day, is still leaps and bounds ahead of most books on their best days. Some of the dialogue was laugh-out-loud funny. I love our characters and the great world Jeaniene Frost has built around them. But noticeably absent in this installment is any tension between Cat and Bones. Of course, at a certain point it is laughable to think anything can come between these two. But the tension present in every book before this one helped make them explosive. Here, we had one memorable sex scene, which frankly had me more distracted by the practicality of the abundant use of hot wax, than allowing me to really get into the moment.

The premise for this story is that the ghouls are still pushing the idea of war against the vampires. And Cat is their rallying point, with the unusual talents she has manifested. She and Bones go back to New Orleans to consult with Marie Laveau who boosts Cat with some black magic mojo. In the meantime, Cat reaches out to her network of friends to try to stop the war from happening.

To me, the threat just didn't seem as in-your-face as in times past. I never felt real danger. I was only really moved with the surprising storyline surrounding Don. And other than with him, I didn't feel the same connection I usually do with the supporting characters.

I don't want to sound like I'm disparaging the book, because I did enjoy it.... just not as much as the ones that came before. I look forward to our next installment. 4 stars.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I'm so disappointed :(, March 1, 2011
By 
This review is from: This Side of the Grave (Night Huntress, Book 5) (Mass Market Paperback)
I am going to copy one of the other reviewers by first saying that out of respect for one of my absolute favorite authors, I will be brief and kind in this review. This book came out what? two weeks ago? I am STILL trying to finish it... i LOVE Cat n Bones and their chemistry makes this book decent...but (for what seems like forever) I have been waiting for this book to come out and now that is has, I am desperately disappointed... the story never really amounted to anything in my very humble opinion... of course let's be honest, a day in the life of Cat n Bones is way better than any other books out there right now, but still, I have gotten so used to non-stop adventure and the type of book that you simply CAN'T put down, even to go to sleep, this one yawned in comparison... I will always be a Frost fan and will patiently await her next novel... here's hoping it's a good one.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Was it the greatness a 17 month wait has you hoping for? No. Was it a decently good little installment? I thought so., March 7, 2011
By 
This review is from: This Side of the Grave (Night Huntress, Book 5) (Mass Market Paperback)
Well this little thing took me 2 weeks to read! I don't really know why b'c it was paced fine & I liked it well enough but yet, I kept putting it aside & didn't feel super compelled to pick it up in my free time & finish. With that said, I liked it though. Cat & Bones are still Cat & Bones & even a bit better, thank Frost for that.

I'll admit my expectations for this book were very low. I took into consideration the fact that it's been 17 months since the last installment & the fact that I thought last 2 spin off books offered nothing but trite, romance novel fare, plot blather & weak characterizations.

I'm not going to explain the plot, chances are you know it already b'c you've read the book but I am going to compare this series to her spin-off & why I think Frost is more successful in her formula with Cat & Bones instead & why I liked this installment b'c of that fact.

Overall though, I thought it was a fun little book. The growth between Cat & Bones leaves me happy & I still love the chemistry between them. It's dynamic & I believe it. I've read some reviews where people thought he was barely in it & there wasn't enough romantic tension but I didn't feel that way. They have heat...adult, sexy heat & I feel it (ahem chapter 21).

The way Frost gives voice to Bones is still great - she can even have him utter the most saccharin lines & yet they don't come across cheesy (whereas, with Spade & Mancheres, I felt they were drawn as overly sentimental & their dialog made me cringe).

Frost's voice for Cat is also stronger, I know it's intentional b'c she is allowing Cat to grow & I think she's doing a good job.

One thing I noticed that Frost does in all of her writing is give the internal thought process of her MC's, esp. this installment.

You see Cat's thought trajectory - the questions she's asks herself & how she can immediately go from point A to conclusion which generally leads to a decision, epiphany or of some sort opinion. I was afraid when I saw Frost doing this with Cat. IMO, she failed with her 2 female leads in the spin-offs which ended up spoon feeding the readers too much & in turn made them come across like as annoyingly precocious as a 5 year old (i.e.; "why is the sky blue? Did Mancheres do that b'c he is bad? If I had Marie's blood would that mean I would absorb her powers? Why would she do that? Does she want peace? Why? Why? Why? Why?").

Thankfully, Frost curbed her urge to do this with Cat & although maybe even a little less could have been more in parts, it was fine.

I thought the humor was also pretty solid in this installment. Vlad, full stop. Ian (I miss Ian!) had one line which was snarkily spot on & made me snort-lite. Cat had a few lines throughout that made me snort chuckle - (when she told Bones that she didn't get "a case of the sluts again") & some pop culture references which surprised me & I enjoyed (the analogy comparing her powers with Marie @ the v. end). And again come the comparisons but I can help but say how Frost just seems much more fluid when writing IN the Cat & Bones world. It comes across as a much more natural extension of her rather then the "ba-dum-bump-thok!" forced punchline impacts which were in the spin-off's.

Lastly, the action & plot. Although the action didn't really happen until the end (there were parts in between but the end was where it was at), I really liked it. I thought it was clearly written & exciting. OK, it may have been helped that I was listening to Sleigh Bells on my ipod while reading it - but it worked for me.

I also liked that Frost mocked Cat's big - coulda' been really cheesy if it was supposed to be serious - speech at the end. It took the eye rolls right out of me.

**SPOILER-ISH**

Have to say, I really, really like the Marie Laveau trajectory. I think the fact that Frost had thought that out & inserted it in the over-arcing plot has been a great call. It's pretty clever & actually, for Frost - not so obvious b'c really, this has been brewing for the past few books. Not saying that Frost can't do subtle but b'c she does give the MC's internal monologue's to the reader & thoroughly enough that most times you probably have it figured out before the MC's themselves. The fact that it's almost casually thrown in there is well done. It's Nicely underplayed & insinuated into things IMO.

**END of SEMI-SPOILER**

In the end (thankfully), Frost has re-affirmed my faith in her creation.

I can now see how it's the same author who writes this world, whereas after FDOC (1st spin-off) I wondered who the hell wrote that! Frost's writing mechanic's are still the same though, it's just she has it honed it to a much finer point with Cat & Bones.

I really do believe that Frost is most in touch with Cat & Bones as a couple & their storyline then she is with Denise & Spade/ Kira & Mancheres & she should just stick with what she's best at. And On a side note - I sincerely hope that if she continues to write romance pairings with Vlad & Ian, she does them justice b'c their characters are awesome & have charm & substance to spare. Back to Cat & Bones though - they're still on their game, IMO.

In the end, I can completely understand the mixed reviews... fact is, it's been a long ass wait for a book that's essentially split into parts 1 & 2, so of course majority of expectations are hopeful & high, but it's not a bad little installment.

The characters are true to themselves & are showing growth. The world building is still being elaborated on (the politics & hierarchy) & it makes sense. The plot is good with subtle twists here & there & is interesting. Most of the secondary characters are in fine form as well as the overall humor & quintessentially fun, Cat & Bones tone which is all good. And Cat & Bones are stronger than ever, more comfortable in their relationship, who they are to one another & more in intensely in love than ever. I don't know...for me, what's not to like overall?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Barely any conflict= boring read, February 28, 2011
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This review is from: This Side of the Grave (Night Huntress, Book 5) (Mass Market Paperback)
I LOVE the Night Huntress series, but this book just disappointed me. Cat learns from all her mistakes and even appologizes for them. I am all for character growth, but those personality flaws allowed for conflict. Take that away along with any romantic tension and you have a slow moving book where nothing much happens. I found myself skimming occasionally! I should not be doing that with a first time read of one of my favorite series! I wanted to know how it ended, but I was almost ready for it to end. Bones and Cat are so stable in their reltationship that it was dull. I love them together, but I wish Frost would just focus on her spin off series and throw in the pair every once in a while for a cameo. This book was so dissappointing that I was actually mad to read that the next book would be another Cat and Bones book. Don's illness was the most interesting part of the book for me...that says a lot. If you are a die hard fan, you will want to read it but even then I would try to get it from my library.

On a side note, what is with the prices? The Kindle version was $7.99 while a paperback was a little over $4! How annoying.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Series losing steam, March 19, 2011
By 
Hlizmarie (Connecticut, USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
I wanted to like this book but found myself a bit bored. In this installment, Cat and Bones are faced with serious family illness and the threat of another "Big Bad". I found the scenes revolving around Cat's family to be real and authentic. Definitely some tears there. Also any scene with Vlad and Mencheres got my attention since they're both such alpha guys and I feel like they jump off the page. Unfortunately the book lost steam for me with Cat and Bones. I understand their relationship and how it works. I get that they have amazing sex. I see how much they love and rely on each other. So what's new? There seemed to be a lot of rehashing and many of the characters were all in previous books so I didn't see that spark of newness or things yet undiscovered. The nice part of the Night Huntress world books is that we see characters we've met before in new contexts and situations that add something to what we know of them. At this point I'm not sure what else there is to know about Cat and Bones. I'm wishing Frost took the route of Richelle Mead or Larissa Ione and wound this series down as she started the spinoffs.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This Side Of The Grave, February 22, 2011
This review is from: This Side of the Grave (Night Huntress, Book 5) (Mass Market Paperback)
Every now and then a series comes along that I just can't say no to. The Night Huntress series is one such series for me. I love Bones and Cat and I make sure I pimp these books to everyone I know even if they've already read them. So when I read a new installment I dig in with my expectations set fairly high.

Cat is a unique half vampire with some characteristics that some of the members of the supernatural community feel threatened by. One of her biggest foes is at it again, this time using Cat and her abilities as an excuse to insight war between the ghouls and vampires. Bones and Cat enlist the help of the ghoul queen of New Orleans as well as Cat's old team and their group of vampire friends to stop the crazy Apollynon from bringing war that would net massive losses on both sides.

After some rocky times in Destined For An Early Grave, Bones and Cat's relationship is solid and they are still in the "I love you desperately" stage. They've had their ups and downs but they love each other, Frost leaves no room for doubt about that. They fight hard, love hard, and sex it up hard. In fact, chapter 21 may just be the new chapter 32. *waggles eyebrows

Amidst the romance, sex, violence and good old vampire fun Frost never fails to draw her readers in and make them genuinely care for her characters as though they are friends. Not only is there Bones and Cat but their ever growing circle of friends are evolving into a family, one that is fiercely loyal to each other. All Bones and Cat need do is call and help is always on the way.

In This Side Of The Grave we see a Cat that seems to be more at peace with her vampirism and all that comes with it. Her character is maturing and evening out, however she can kick ass and take names even better than before.

We also get a good dose of action, violence and as always the dialogue is laced with clever wit and humor. However the one thing that bothered me throughout the story was the absence of the villain. He is referred to often and we know he is the big bad, but he doesn't make an appearance until very late in the story. I think because of his absence he seemed less evil and less of a threat and because of that the conflict lost some of its steam.

Vlad gets some good page time in this book and I'm not going to lie, I'm an ungrateful reader. I wanted more Vlad. Of all the secondary characters in this series Vlad is the one has touched me the most. He is a good friend to Cat and despite his horrific reputation as a cold blooded killer, I love him. Frost has a knack for creating characters that do unspeakable violence and making her readers love them anyway.

After not being all that thrilled with first book in Night Huntress World series, (First Drop Of Crimson) I didn't continue with the series and so I skipped Mencheres story in Eternal Kiss Of Darkness. However, after reading This Side Of The Grave I am very intrigued with Kira and Mencheres's story and I plan to the put it on my kindle ASAP. I realized that as much as I love Cat and Bones I need more Night Huntress world.

The Night Huntress series is one of the best romantic urban fantasy series I've read and I very much enjoyed this latest installment in the ongoing romance between Cat and Bones. Jeaniene Frost packs a serious punch with sensual romance, action and at times a very violent supernatural world in The Side Of The Grave.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money, March 21, 2011
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I was a big fan of Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress series until recently. This book was very bad. Silly plot, bad dialogue, it just didn't seem well thought out but quickly and sloppily put together. I know she can do much better than this. I wish I wouldn't have wasted my money as i am not entertained enough to finish it.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not what I was "hungering" for., February 25, 2011
By 
ReaderFanatic (Chicago, IL United States) - See all my reviews
I was so excited for this book, but I just don't think it reached its potential.

The best way for me to write this review is to do a list of pros and cons. This may contain spoilers, but I'll try my best not to give too much away.

Pro:
Cat was less pompous in this installment. A lot of her annoying bravado that bugged me in books 2-4 was toned down significantly and it made for a more relatable character.

Con:
There wasn't enough drama with the characters. There is a character in the series who's dying and refuses to have Cat or any other vampire turn him. I thought it would have been more interesting to have Vlad or Mencheres turn him anyway since they don`t owe him anything, especially considering what happens at the very end of the book. I think having him be a vampire would have been more entertaining.

Pro:
The villain was consistent enough with a history that proved he was a threat that needed to be dealt with.

Con:
The villain didn't cause enough trouble in the novel, so the storyline lacked a sufficient amount of action and you were left with a lot of filler. By that I mean, Cat reiterated herself A LOT in this book, over explaining things, making certain parts of this book boring.

Pro:
It was nice to see Marie the voodoo queen ghoul in this book and see how she manipulated the other characters making her a force to be reckoned with one day.

Con:
It was disappointing that Ian was barely an afterthought in this book. I realize that Vlad is a popular character. Hey, I love Vlad, but I'm missing the hell out of my Ian. Personally, I think he's JF most complicated character. Can you imagine the kind of woman would be his perfect mate? Same for Vlad too. I hope to see more Ian in the next book.

Pro and Con at the same time: One super long sex scene that seemed to go forever. I skimmed through it to read the really juicy parts. Now don't get me wrong, I love reading sex scenes, just not ones THAT long. However, for those of you who do, it was pretty detailed, well written and had some bdsm elements in it.

Pro:
Cat wasn't really whining about the fact that she's a vampire who drinks vampire blood.

Con:
I didn't get to see any vampire bite scenes in this book which was a huge disappointment. No feeding scenes, wait, I take that back, There was some during the sex scenes, but that was for sexual gratification and she wasn't really feeding. I wanted to see Cat drinking for food from a vampire who wasn't her husband.

Pro:
Cat gains a new ability that has a side-effect that makes her "hungry" for sex like no one's business.

Con:
She blacks out during the whole sex-craze and you get a recap story from Bones. I would have much rather read about THAT in detail than the long drawn out "death" scene of one of the characters.

Pro:
The characters were accountable for their actions and I appreciate that in a story. If they said something wrong, someone else called them on it and that always gets my respect.

Con:
Cat did some stupid things in the story, not a lot, but one thing that stood out to me was ignoring phone calls from her husband while she was hunting down the ghouls. She just assumed he wanted to "chat" and claimed she didn't have time. I thought this was stupid because he could have been calling to say something important such as "I found our bad guy" and she'd never know because she didn't answer her phone. Then afterwards when she trying to return the call, Bones didn't answer. I thought that was a lost opportunity. JF could have put some spark into the story at that point by putting Bones and Denise in peril. Instead, it all worked out and everyone laughed gaily when they reunited and realized they were just playing phone tag.

So bottom line is: The characters personalities were improved upon. The villain seemed to be focused and his scheme wasn't so convoluted like Gregor's and Patra's was. But there just wasn't enough interesting things going on in this book to keep me on the edge of my seat.
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This Side of the Grave (Night Huntress, Book 5)
This Side of the Grave (Night Huntress, Book 5) by Jeaniene Frost (Mass Market Paperback - February 22, 2011)
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