This Side of the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

Night Huntress, Book 5

Synopsis: Danger waits on both sides of the grave.

Half-vampire Cat Crawfield and her vampire husband Bones have fought for their lives, as well as for their relationship. But just when they’ve triumphed over the latest battle, Cat’s new and unexpected abilities threaten to upset a long-standing balance…

With the mysterious disappearance of vampires, rumors abound that a species war is brewing. A zealot is inciting tensions between the vampires and ghouls, and if these two powerful groups clash, innocent mortals could become collateral damage. Now Cat and Bones are forced to seek help from a dangerous “ally”; the ghoul queen of New Orleans herself. But the price of her assistance may prove more treacherous than even the threat of a supernatural war… to say nothing of the repercussions Cat never imagined.

Review: After their victory against Gregor, Cat and Bones didn’t have a single moment for themselves. Once a battle is over, a new one appears. In this fifth book, Cat and Bones investigate about the influx of ghouls and the disappearance of several vampires without Master in Ohio. It seems that this is the work of Apollyon, the ghoul who is the source of rumors about Cat and now we have some tensions between vampires and ghouls. The truce between the two species is about to be broken and therefore our favorite couple will have to prevent a new war as it could have a disastrous impact on humanity. And as if all that was not enough, Cat will also have to manage the concerns that her mother and her uncle cause to her. 
I was eager to read this fifth installment of the Night Huntress series. And although I am a great fan of Cat and Bones, I must admit that I was disappointed by this book. 
Concerning our two heroes, I have not found in them what I had so enjoyed in previous books. In fact I would say that both seemed to me a bit insipid. Bones has lost some of his luster. He is less present in this book. Cat seems to have finally learned from her past mistakes. Now she does not hesitate to talk with Bones instead of rushing headlong into the fray. Well, when they do not agree, she rebels herself but overall she is more reflective. It was good to see her evolve like that, but I still was a little disappointed. I found that their relationship lacks of passion. They are more united than ever and yet something is missing, that same little something which turned them into the explosive couple we loved. 
I have not really been transported by this book. On the contrary, some passages seemed to me very long and I put more time to finish it, unlike the first four books that I read straight through. Nevertheless, it was a very pleasant reading, and as in the previous books, we can see with pleasure the characters we appreciate particularly. Ghosts are very important here and Fabian is still loyal to Cat. He does everything he can to help her without complaining. The relationship between Cat and Mencheres also changes for our greatest pleasure. She finally sees him differently and she is not as uncomfortable in his presence as before. Moreover Mencheres has changed a lot since he is with Kira. Spade and Denise are there too and Vlad remains true to form. We learn a little more about Marie Laveau, the ghoul voodoo queen of New Orleans, who is a calculator and who knows to wait patiently her time before striking. However concerning the enemy, I must say that I was not really convinced. In fact we do not see him much and I didn’t find him very threatening. The battle seemed won for our two heroes. 
To conclude I would say that we have here another book very nice although I didn’t enjoyed it as the previous ones. It is not the best novel in the series but it is always a pleasure for fans like me to find Cat and Bones. 
Note: It is preferable to read the two spin-offs First Drop of Crimson and Eternal Kiss of Darkness before starting the book 5 because chronologically their story takes place between books 4 and 5.

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