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Halfway to the Grave
Jeaniene Frost
Narrated by Tavia Gilbert
Blackstone Audio, 11.5 hours

Halfway to the Grave
Jeaniene Frost
Jeaniene Frost is the author of the Night Huntress series and Night Huntress World novels. She lives with her husband and their very spoiled dog in Florida. Although not a vampire herself, Jeaniene confesses to having pale skin, wearing a lot of black, and sleeping in late whenever possible.

Jeaniene Frost Website
ISFDB Bibliography

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Julie Moncton

Not a month goes by when yet another new urban fantasy series is released featuring a cast of paranormal characters consisting of ghosts, zombies and definitely vampires. I picked up the audio version of Jeaniene Frost's Halfway to the Grave, expecting a bit of easy brain candy. Well, instead of listening to a light book to accompany laundry and errands, I was glued to my ear buds, following a fast-paced and thrilling mystery.

Catherine Crawfield is on a mission. Ever since learning that she was conceived when her human mother was brutally raped by a vampire, she has made it her vocation to eliminate vampires from the world one silver stake at a time. The score is Catherine: 16 -- vampires: 0 when Cat meets the vampire Bones, a bounty hunter who chases down other vampires for a living. With a common goal of killing vampires, Cat enters into an uneasy alliance with Bones. But before Cat is ready to take on the really badass vampires, she needs to hone her physical strength and learn to control her half-vampire skills.

Bones puts her through an intense vampire-hunter boot camp. The typical day is a 15-mile trail run carrying weights, followed by hand-to-hand combat against Bones until she wins or passes out trying -- and all that before lunch. As Cat spends more time training with the sexy Bones, she begins to question her preconceived notions about vampires. Was Bones killing vampires purely for profit, or could he really be trying to save lives? And was it possible that not all vampires were evil? As Cat and Bones take on the scum of the undead world, not only does the suspense and action heat up, but their relationship also begins to sizzle. The pace of the story goes from fast to insane as they uncover a deep conspiracy involving not only the dregs of the undead, but also the scum of the alive-and-kicking kind.

From the very first track, I was hooked on this story. The action is fast and the dialogue is snappy. The clever repartee between Cat and Bones was not only funny, but tinged with a teasing eroticism. I found myself quickly captivated by both of the main characters. And like all good heroes, both Cat and Bones have difficult pasts, endearing character flaws and internal conflicts. The author does an excellent job of interspersing humor and sensual romance into an absorbing urban fantasy tale. One small caveat -- this audiobook is for mature readers. The erotic scenes are well done, but very sensual and explicit -- probably best not to have this in the car while picking up the kids!

The unabridged audiobook is brilliantly narrated by Tavia Gilbert. She expertly performs different character voices, from Cat's tough yet vulnerable Midwest twang to Bones' sexy Australian dialect. And as we all know, vampires being the diabolical phenomena that they are, Gilbert also had the challenge of quite a few other foreign accents, which she executed extremely well. Halfway to the Grave is the first title in The Night Huntress series and there are currently four books in this series available in print. OK, now for the bad news -- this is the only book in the series currently available in audio. The good news is that the second, third and fourth titles are scheduled for publication in November, December and January, respectively. Careful though -- these books are so addicting that a month gap between releases may seem agonizingly long. But don't worry -- it's definitely worth the wait!

Copyright © 2010 Julie Moncton

Julie Moncton is one of the owners of an audio book store in San Jose, California -- a good thing since it keeps her well stocked in books to both read and listen to. You can see what books are on her shelf (or iPod) on her goodreads page.

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