Author: Jeaniene Frost
Series: Night Huntress, #7
Published: January 18th 2014
Format: Paperback, 384 pgs
There’s always one more grave to dig.Lately, life has been unnaturally calm for vampires Cat Crawfield and her husband Bones. They should have known better than to relax their guard, because a shocking revelation sends them back into action to stop an all-out war…A rogue CIA agent is involved in horrifying secret activities that threaten to raise tensions between humans and the undead to dangerous heights. Now Cat and Bones are in a race against time to save their friends from a fate worse than death…because the more secrets they unravel, the deadlier the consequences. And if they fail, their lives—and those of everyone they hold dear— will be hovering on the edge of the grave.
The ending of a series isn’t necessarily a bad thing, even if it is a well-beloved one. Sometimes, the timing is just right, and with Cat and Bones, it was already a bit overdue. These strong and passionate characters had very little left to give, it was time to put them to rest.
The Night Huntress series was always a rare treat – halfway between urban fantasy and paranormal romance, it had the best of both genres. The first few books were simply fabulous, action-packed, often funny and steaming hot. Frost’s biggest strength is her sense of humor, but she also writes fabulous romances and her secondary characters are always fleshed out and memorable, a fact proven by her three very successful spin-offs.
However, with the fourth installment, the series clearly started losing its steam, and the last two were almost embarrassingly bad. Yes, I read them solely because I was eager to reunite with the characters, but the disappointments kept piling up and it was clear to me that Frost was a bit tired of this story arc.
Up from the Grave unfortunately offers more of the same. It is finally time to face Madigan, a strong enemy from the previous two books, under the threat of an all-out war. Cat has a huge personal investment this time, and she fights for her race, her friends and her family. The action scenes were always one of Frost’s strengths, and yet in Up from the Grave, the action seemed almost cartoonish. In fact Frost herself (in Cat’s voice) compares the biggest fight scene to a cartoon. Another thing that bothered me immensely was the repetitiveness. There was a great emotional, almost devastating moment earlier in the series which was basically repeated in Up from the Grave, with similar results. As heartbreaking as it was the first time around, this time, the outcome was pretty clear from the start, and I was mostly bored and severely annoyed.
Now, I love and need my happily ever after as much as the next girl, especially after seven installments, when I care about the characters so much it hurts. But believe it or not, there is such a thing as a too perfect ending, when things align to give the protagonists (and everyone else) something no one even dreamed about. One of these was served to us on a silver platter in this book, and while it was emotionally satisfying, the rational part of me was quite unhappy.
Nevertheless, after years of following this series, it was nice to say a proper goodbye. I do hope we’ll see more of Cat and Bones, in spin-offs or novellas, but I’m perfectly happy even if we don’t. I was more than ready to part ways with them.