Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Review: Up From the Grave


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.


I'm going out on a limb here, one that will probably result in a backlash of unhappy readers that will disagree with me simply because they love the series, but I've always been honest about the books I read, so this is no different. Up from the Grave was a bit underwhelming for me considering that this was meant to represent the final installment of Cat and Bones, although my reasons for saying that aren't because the book was bad. Quite the opposite, in fact. This was exactly the sort of book that I have come to expect from Jeaniene Frost, full of non-stop batshit crazy vampire action and I liked it...a lot. So why was I feeling underwhelmed at the end? Here is my breakdown:

Let's start with the Pros in a totally un-spoilerish way!

*wonderfully written with a balance of action, drama, and plenty of sarcastic vampire humor

*Ian! I so wish he would get his own little spin-off because he's just so...debauched and selfish, which translates to any woman that's capable of snaring his undivided attention must be totally kickass which definitely makes for some good reading.

*an extremely unexpected turn of events that was nothing like what I could have predicted as an ending point for stand alone Cat and Bones

*Denise and Spade come to play in this one and I was more than thrilled to see them again

*Tyler (and his beloved dog, Dexter), psychic power and of course, Marie Laveau

Now let's talk about the Cons. This might be spoiler-y so avoid reading if you want a clean slate.

*Repetitive actions, like Bones "dying" and the battle sequences with Marie, are nothing we didn't see with the last book so when they happened again I didn't feel the personal connection that's needed to buy into a storyline. The first time Bones died, can't recall what book that was in because my mind is still suffering from being on vacation, I was floored, simply devastated by the idea of Cat going on without him, and my heart was broken...until he came back, and then I was overjoyed by the clever plot twist! The trick worked and the payoff was huge. Not so much the next time Bones decides to die, ya know?

*Cat's inability to learn from her mistakes leads to some pretty horrible decision making on her part, which isn't unusual for her because that's always been part of her charm, but it can be frustrating since the entire conflict stems from the need to protect vampirekind from going to war with the ghouls so impulsive behavior, even when it's done to save your friends, is not smart. It's a good thing that Bones understands her so well otherwise things would have gone south pretty fast. I don't hate this aspect of the story, but considering how much Cat has grown over the course of the series, her reckless choices sometimes make me want to yell.

*This next one is a biggie for me. There is definitely not enough sexy fun time with Bones! Yes, the fate of the world is hanging in the balance and taking a break to have crazy monkey sex with your insanely hot vampire husband might be inappropriate, but come on, this is the end of the series! Maybe I'm just a spoiled brat.

Overall, I'm still rating Up From the Grave a solid 4 star so try not to send me hate mail because I dared to offer a constructive review, okay.

Goodreads      Amazon        Jeaniene Frost website

No comments: