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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Destined for an Early Grave by Jeaniene Frost (spoilers)

Posted by Irish in Uncategorized0 Comments

Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: 28 Jul 2009
ISBN: 0061583219
Format: Paperback
Pages: 400
Websites:
Jeaniene Frost – Official Site
Jeaniene Frost – Blog
Jeaniene Frost – Twitter

Place(s) Traveled to: New Orleans, Louisiana, Bavaria, Unnamed locations in Europe and America.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

**Caution: this review may contain spoilers as it is part of a series and I really need to rant about it. Proceed at your own risk**

Synopsis: Since half-vampire Cat Crawfield and her undead lover Bones met six years ago, they’ve fought against the rogue undead, battled a vengeful Master vampire, and pledged their devotion with a blood bond. Now it’s time for a vacation. But their hopes for a perfect Paris holiday are dashed when Cat awakes one night in terror. She’s having visions of a vampire named Gregor who’s more powerful than Bones and has ties to her past that even Cat herself didn’t know about.

**Caution: this review may contain spoilers as it is part of a series and I really need to rant about it. Proceed at your own risk**

Any regular follow of this blog can tell you that I LOVED the first three books in Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series. I devoured them all in as many days and enjoyed them so much that I hosted a contest to give the series away to one lucky reader. When people have asked for recommendations of a fun, non-sparkly vampire series to read I’ve happily offered up the story of Bones and Cat for them. So when Destined for an Early Grave was released in July you can assure yourself that I rushed right out to buy it. And then despite numerous attempts to start it I’d only read a few pages before losing interest and putting it down. This saddened me because I had such high hopes for it.

I recently picked it up again and while I managed to read it to the end a part of me almost wishes that I hadn’t. This book had stilted dialogue, poor editing (as in it seems vital transition scenes were axed making some things flow badly), and a plot that was drawn out way to long. One example of the poor transition editing comes on page 212 when Cat is heading up a rescue mission to get Bones out of New Orleans the scene reads as follows:

On-screen, I saw [Geri] nearing Bones. He was at Pat O’Brien’s, in the outside area, drinking what I guessed was his usual whiskey. His arm was slung around a pretty brunette, who was almost glued to him. Even now, her hand ran along his hip. I clenched my fists. B***h, you and I are going to have a long, bloody chat after this. Canelle couldn’t hear my mental warning…

Now I use this scene because now where leading up to Cat naming Canelle does she give any indication that she recognized who the girl with Bones was (Canelle is someone from Cat’s past). It just made me pause and go, huh? Where did she come from. It just seemed like there should have been something more. Not a lot, but something.

I also found Destined for an Early Grave to be highly repetitive with a lot of random scenes that had no point. Like in the beginning when Cat and Bones first travel to New Orleans. Cat mentions she has no clean clothes so changes into a robe with nothing underneath and sits an seethes because Bones left her for a meeting. When Bones returns their conversation starts off pleasantly but then out of nowhere the two just start having a knock down drag out fight. It was one of may WTF is going on here moments that populated this read. Anywho during the fight it is mentioned that Cat’s robe starts to come undone her naked breasts spilling out for all in the room to see. Things continue a few paragraphs more and then Bones and Cat start to make up and Bones runs his hand up her thigh meeting little resistance as she is wearing nothing under her robe because she hadn’t had time to change. Um….yeah….thank you Captain Obvious for making it known that Cat was pretty much naked the entire time. I didn’t quite get it so I appreciated the constant reminder to her lack of dress.

I also got so annoyed at the double standards that both Cat and Bones had for the other. Bones would get all upset that Cat was ‘trying to protect him and treating him like a weakling’ when she’d try and stop Gregor from interfering with their lives. So much so that he got all huffy said they were done and stormed out cutting off all communication. THIS from the man who built an entire panic room/cell in a safe house and tossed Cat into it, locking her in – for her own safety because she could be hurt – when there was a ghoul attack. Cat isn’t human, she is half vampire and filled with a whole lot of kick ass. It just didn’t make sense. Nor did it ring true since the two had fought side by side in every previous book.

Another example of the poor transitioning also came from the end when all of a sudden it was just a fact that Cat would turn into a vampire. There were a couple of instances in which she’d be chatting to one of the other vampires in the story and then the topic would just switch to something like ‘so when are you going to tell Bones that you decided to turn?’ They dialogue in those scenes was just so stilted and didn’t really ring true. There were so many conversions that occurred throughout the book that I just couldn’t imagine taking place. That’s just how awkward they were.

I don’t know maybe I just expected too much from Destined for an Early Grave but it was just a struggle to get through. I persisted only because of my love for the previous books in the series that I was sure that it would get better. Only it didn’t. Now I wonder if I’ll even bother to check out the next Cat/Bones tale (because after what Frost did to Cat’s mother you know there will be another book) or the spin-off series that Frost has recently started. I also can’t in good faith recommend this book to any of my readers. If you like Jeaniene Frost, please, I beg you stop after book 3 – At Grave’s End – do not read this book. And if you are new to Frost I do still highly recommend the first three in the series. Just know that you might want to skip this one.