Review: One Grave At A Time by Jeaniene Frost
Having narrowly averted an (under)world war, Cat Crawfield wants nothing more than a little downtime with her vampire husband, Bones. Unfortunately, her gift from New Orleans’ voodoo queen just keeps on giving–leading to a personal favor that sends them into battle once again, this time against a villainous spirit.
Centuries ago, Heinrich Kramer was a witch hunter. Now, every All Hallows Eve, he takes physical form to torture innocent women before burning them alive. This year, however, a determined Cat and Bones must risk all to send him back to the other side of eternity–forever. But how do you kill a killer who’s already long dead?
I think that Cat & Bones just jumped the shark in this book. The other Dolls think I’m being polite because they think the shark was jumped in the last book. None the less, book five in the Night Huntress series finds Cat & Bones and their motley crew of allies fighting a 500 year old poltergeist serial killer who is ready to kill his next group of victims on Halloween. But how do you stop a ghost?
Frost leads us through Cat & Bones Ghost Busting 101as they consult with ghosts, then with mediums and then with a group of paranormal investigators. Really the only thing missing was to call the Catholic Church in and perform an exorcism. And why they didn’t do that Frost only knows. So why do we care if every year a nasty ass ghost comes back to life and then rapes & kills three innocent women? This is the question Bones poses at one point in the story putting into perspective that yes it is a terrible thing but in light of ALL the terrible things going on in the world why prioritize this? Cat responds quite simply along the lines of because we can.
Alright – but really – this may be the real issue with this book. The Challenges that Cat & Bones have faced in books one through three were so tough, so huge, so amazing and now they are battling a poltergeist. Hmmmm. Well – he’s a very nasty dude but the whole story is just kind of “Meh.”
Here’s the problem. Frost is a really talented writer. Her action sequences are tight and explosive! Her dialog is snappy. She mixes in super natural creatures from vampires to demons. And while she didn’t create vampires she certainly created a very new approach to the mythos when she created a half vampire who becomes a full vampire but must drink from the dead instead of the living. Oh, and when she drinks from the dead she can absorb their powers. That is creative! What isn’t creative? Bones – who so strongly resembles Spike from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, I have a hard time separating the two in my mind; Juan, as the Latin Lover who must flirt with every woman; and now, Tyler, the over the top African-American Gay florist who is also a medium. Frankly, Tyler reminded me so strongly of Charlaine Harris’ character Lafayette from the Sookie Stackhouse novels and later Alan Ball’s “True Blood” version that I wondered how in the world she allowed herself to write this character. I just wish Frost would move away from the clichés and stereotypes.
The secondary story line involves a new manager replacing Tate as director of the government unit Cat used to work for. This story line is so boring. Frankly – maybe Frost should let that whole government story line die away. She’s created such an interesting story line with the vampire network anything involving the human government just seems stupid.
One Grave at a Time was a letdown. It didn’t move the overall story forward in an interesting way. The new characters were 2 dimensional stereotypes, and the sex scenes were weird. Really – having sex while flying in the air just because you can. O.o
So – where is Frost going with this series? Maybe it’s run its course? I think that many great characters and stories are ruined because they are extended beyond their natural expiration date. Maybe an author can’t let go of the character or the publisher can’t let go of a success. And when you are as talented as Frost, your misses are much more noticeable. She is held to a higher standard. Unfair? Maybe but I don’t think so. Now I ask myself – if Frost had carte blanche what would she write?
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