Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

Night huntress, Book 1

Synopsis: Half-vampire Catherine Crawfield is going after the undead with a vengeance, hoping that one of these deadbeats is her father–the one responsible for ruining her mother’s life. Then she’s captured by Bones, a vampire bounty hunter, and is forced into an unholy partnership. In exchange for finding her father, Cat agrees to train with the sexy night stalker until her battle reflexes are as sharp as his fangs. She’s amazed she doesn’t end up as his dinner–are there actually “good” vampires? Pretty soon Bones will have her convinced that being half-dead doesn’t have to be all bad. But before she can enjoy her newfound status as kick-ass demon hunter, Cat and Bones are pursued by a group of killers. Now Cat will have to choose a side … and Bones is turning out to be as tempting as any man with a heartbeat.

Review: I read the first volume of the Night Huntress series in 2009 but at this time, I did not write a review as I did not have a blog where to post it (and it is the same for the other volumes). But I’m in the mood to want to read again all my favorites Urban Fantasy books, so I thought why not start with this one?

Catherine Crawfield (or Cat) is a hybrid, half-human, half-vampire who spends her life to hunt down and kill vampires. One evening in a nightclub when she is hunting, she spots a vampire more powerful than she used to meet. She decides to approach him and then to kill him. But nothing goes as planned. Huntress at the beginning, she became the prey. This vampire named Bones captures her, interrogates her and finally offers her a deal: he will help her to find her father and he will train her so she will become a formidable huntress and in return, she will hunt down vampires that he will chose himself. A strange partnership you might say, if we take into account the visceral hatred felt by Cat against these creatures, but when it comes to kill more undead, our huntress does not hesitate a moment!

I loved the two main characters! Cat is a truly charming heroine, with strong a character but she’s also very stubborn. She kills vampires since she’s 16 years old only in the hope find her father, the vampire who raped her mother a few years earlier. For Cat, vampires are just bloodthirsty monsters and demonic creatures that must be eliminated at all costs. At least that’s what her mother always told her. Moreover, the relationship between Cat and her mother is difficult. Indeed, although Justina loves her daughter more than anything, she cannot help but see through Cat, the vampire who attacked her. So the hatred Cat feels for the undead deeply affects her and she’s going to take quite some time to finally realize that not everything is black or white. She will evolve throughout the novel, she will try to put herself in question and to override her prejudices to finally end up accepting herself as she is and for our greatest pleasure.

Of course the team she forms with Bones will help! Despite his crude language and the rudeness of some of his actions, he loves Cat and is very patient with her. He is far from being the perfect man and his past is more than dubious, but his feelings for our heroine are obvious and sincere and we can’t help but fall under the spell of this sexy vampire. He will do his best to make Cat understand that vampires are not angels, but they are not all bad either. We can also note that in this first volume, we will also meet Bones’ best friend, Spade, another vampire and the hero of the Spin-off First Drop of Crimson.

The investigation led by our two heroes is very exciting; the writing style is fluid and the end … terrible! In short, Halfway to the Grave is a very successful first volume. If you do not already know this series, I can only recommend it to you, it’s excellent.