Review: This Side of the Grave

Reviewed by Jen

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 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. 4 stars.

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