Monday, July 27, 2009

Destined For An Early Grave Book Review *Jeaniene Frost*

When I had finished At Grave’s End, the third book in Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series, I was on the fence whether I wanted to go ahead and read Destined For An Early Grave. If you read my review for At Grave’s End, you know I was less than pleased. I was upset with my reaction because Cat and Bones are one of my favorite literary duos from this decade. And to think that I could turn my back on them because one book in a series I loved failed to deliver. It may be silly and pathetic to some, but when you invest such emotionally into a series and turn you back in it because it no longer delivers the goods, it can be earth shattering.

I can say with much certainty that Destined For an Early Grave is Jeaniene’s way of basically sitting on top of me and say- “I won’t let you go without a fight!”. This book was a wild ride with a lot of action, drama and more snark then ever before. And the steamy, passionate love that Bones and Cat share that I found lacking in At Grave’s End? That has been pushed up a notch. Bones does love to use his fangs on Cat in so many ways. Destined For an Early Grave digs deeps into the psyche and emotions of Cat and Bones. This time they are not only tested by both outside sources, but also their inner turmoil. There is one such individual who wants Cat because he had her first before Bones. And then there are those doubts Cat still has when it comes to Bones. Cat may know how to kill the bad guys with great skill, but when it comes to Bones she shuts off. And because of these esteem issues she has, she is the one responsible for the possible destruction of her relationship with Bones.

Destined For an Early Grave begins with Cat and Bones going on a much needed vacation. Cat wants to go to Paris for no reason that she can think of. Bones is all for it because he wants to give his lady love and vampire wife the world. Off they go not expecting an adventure that may ruin their whole foundation of devotion and trust. Cat shares her heart and body with Bones but won’t allow him access into her mind and deepest thoughts. Bones feels hurt even though he knows the Cat has problems with letting others get too close to her. I really do wish these two would go through some marriage counseling. And they are going to need some major counseling after they finish with Gregor.

Gregor wants Cat. A few weeks before Cat and Bones met at the bar where Cat so eloquently asked Bones, if he wanted to fuck her, she was taken by Gregor to Paris. Gregor tried to gain the trust of the fragile sixteen year old Cat, seduce her and marry her because he knew what Cat would be capable of in the years to come. Cat doesn’t remember Gregor at all because Bones, grandsire Mencheres was able to erase Cat’s memories of her time with Gregor. Mencheres also knows how important Cat is because he can see the future. He made sure Cat and Bones met. Mencheres manipulated their relationship but let nature takes it course. Now Gregor is invading Cat’s dreams. Gregor is a dream snatcher and can grab people from their dreams. He is trying to take Cat away from Bones because he believes that Cat is his wife.

Cat knows her heart belongs to Bones, but she needs her memories back. Bones is scared and doesn’t want Cat anywhere near Gregor. What if Cat regains her memories and wants to be with Gregor instead? Both Cat and Bones are walking around egg shells with one another. Cat wants to confront Gregor and the issue head on. Bones wants to place Cat in a protective bubble and kill Gregor himself. And when Cat goes off and deals with Gregor even after Bones tells her not to, he is fed up. What happens after that will have you clutching the book and gasping because the thought of Bones and Cat not being together is horrible.

Not only does Destined For an Early Grave give the reader more insight on the vampire culture Jeaniene has created, but this is where she shows how important friends and family are. Bones and Cat’s support system is wonderful. There are many times that Bones and Cat annoyed me to the point I wanted to smack them because they are just too stubborn to listen to one another. But to circumvent this, there are a few other characters that have grown on me. They keep things in perspective and lighthearted. Jeaniene has written a great group of male figures. Bones will always be first in my eyes but now I am total fan girl of Spade, Ian and even Vlad. At first I felt Vlad was a bad rip off of the whole Dracula myth but Jeaniene really makes Vlad shine here. Menecheres is the voice of reason even though he is a manipulative bastard half the time. We also get a different side to Cat’s mother, Justina. She can be a harpy but something shocking happens that may change your mind about her.

The tension is very thick in Destined For An Early Grave but there are moments where the laughs come out. Jeaniene is a near genius at dialogue. The snarky one-liners are all over the place. I couldn’t stop chuckling and shaking my head at the same time because they are so good and will make you blush.

One example comes from Cat when a female patron at the Palais Garnier Opera House shows her appreciation for Bones a bit too much for Cat’s liking. Cat is on line at the bathroom and her bladder is about to explode, so she is not a happy camper to begin with. Cat’s response to the woman is priceless:

“He fucks even better than he looks,” I settled on saying. Several heads turned. I didn’t care, I was pissed. “And that beautiful face is going to be clamped between my legs as soon as we get ooome, don’t you worry.”

Not only are some pieces of the dialogue shocking in nature, but Jeaniene keeps thing lively with the vampire fighting and death. Some of the characters may not make it in the end and you will have no idea who will be alive at the end. Jeaniene does keep you guessing.

Destined For An Early Grave was a very enjoyable and fun read. Those who are fans of this series will be very happy with the results especially that of Cat and how she resolves her issues with her vampire heritage and her feelings for Bones. (Avon)

Final Grade: Between a B and B+



Mandi said...

I can't wait to get this tomorrow. This is one of my favorite series! Glad to hear this one is good:)

orannia said...

Bones does love to use his fangs on Cat in so many ways.

The mind boggles :) Hmmmm...perhaps I should hunt the first book in this series down... It sounds intriguing :) Thank you KB!

SciFiGuy said...

Really looking forward to this one. Some real bite in the dialogue I see :)

Alcott said...

Thanks for the post. I had similar feelings after book 3 and was on the fence about this one.