Monday, February 3, 2014

Review: Up From the Grave (Night Huntress, #7)


Up From the Grave (Night Huntress, #7)Author: Jeaniene Frost
Series: Night Huntress, #7
Published: January 18th 2014
Publisher: Avon
Format: Paperback, 384 pgs
Buy: Amazon

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.



14 comments:

  1. I've read the first book in this series and while I liked it, hearing that these last three books are less-than-stellar dampens any resolve I may have had to continuing with the series. I'm not head-over-heels crazy for Cat and Bones yet and I'm not up for spending all that much time in their world, so perhaps I'll check out one of Frost's spin-off series instead. I'm glad you're glad this is done, though, Maja. Absolutely lovely review, as always dear!

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  2. Oh gosh, I am starting book five right now and you have me worried. I didn't realize this series had lot it's steam. I am sad now because this is one of my favs.

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  3. I am a book behind in this series, and was hoping to hear they were getting stronger, like the Hollows are. I still will read them because like you I love these characters and need my HEA.

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  4. At least it ended and did not drag out foreeeever like some books

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  5. I agree with the repetitive stunt in the beginning, but as you know, I didn't catch on it and was freaking out on Twitter (Thanks for the heads up!), so it didn't bother me that much. But I have to say that the ending was too much. I'm not mad over it, but at the same time, it didn't need to happen. Cat and Bones would've lived happily together wither ways. Anyhow, I'm sad to see that the series followed a downhill slope for you, but I'm glad that you stuck around for the ending. Lovely review, Maja! :)

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  6. I am not a HUGE fan of urban fantasy and paranormal romance so I don't think this series would be the best for me but I agree, I love HEAs, but sometimes they get too sweet and unbelievable.

    Fab review, Maja! <33

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  7. I've found that a lot of final books seem to be 3-star reads lately. However, even if they're not stellar stand-outs, it's great to tie everything up and get a final goodbye from favorite characters.

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  8. I'm glad I stopped reading this series at book 3. I hate it when books drag on and on and you have to encounter the same story line repeatedly. I also completely get what you mean about a too perfect ending.
    I'm happy this was satisfying for you overall, Maja.
    Lovely review.

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  9. OK I'm buying the first book and I'm going to READ this series (well, at least the first two books!) Where have I been? Thanks for steering me in the right direction!

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  10. SHOOT MAJA!!!! I was so hoping this series would finish strong because I so adore Cat and Bones. I got to meet Jeaniene yesterday at a signing and she's adorable, but I'm a little disappointed this one didn't blow you away as I'd hoped it would. I'm of course still going to read it though because I need to finish the series out:)

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  11. oh it's sad it's not as good ad the first ones. I confess I was really disappointed with book 6 so I'm really anxious about this one but I really need to read it and see how everything will end.

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  12. Yeah I know what you mean. I loved the first three books but the fourth lost steam and I haven't read the fifth. I figured this wouldn't be spectacluar. I was hoping for more. Oh well!

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  13. I'm behind on this series and I'm so bummed about that. :( Still, glad to know that the ending was a good one. I know what you mean about a too perfect ending, but I would rather have one of those than those that just totally leave you hanging or leave too many unanswered questions. Maybe that is why I have a hard time with last books? Nothing will satisfy me. LOL I can't wait to continue with the books. For me, even a bad Cat and Bones book is a good time. :)

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  14. I am a bit behind on this series :( but I did love the first 2 books, just other things got in the way. Hearing that this is over is bittersweet. But I am glad to hear that the ending was well wrapped up.

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