In A Nutshell

  • Genre: Paranormal, Action, Romance
  • Notes: This book is an absolute blast, with a kick ass protagonist and a lead vamp-guy that defines the web acronym UNF. (Don’t know what that is?  Look it up. Your welcome.) Plenty of action, fun, depth, and an ending that made me scream for the next in the series.
  • Recommended for: People who liked Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, but who also wanted her to be more of a baller. People who like strong independent women and British accents.

Sookie Stackhouse, Eat Your Heart Out . . . There’s a new vamp-tramp in town and her name is Catherine Crawfield. To put a new twist on an seen-before plotline. Catherine is a vampire slayer – the only difference from before? She’s half-vampire. Check out the synopsis:

Half-vampire Catherine Crawfield is going after the undead with a vengeance, hoping that one of these deadbeats is her father—the one responsible for ruining her mother’s life. Then she’s captured by Bones, a vampire bounty hunter, and is forced into an unholy partnership.

In exchange for finding her father, Cat agrees to train with the sexy night stalker until her battle reflexes are as sharp as his fangs. She’s amazed she doesn’t end up as his dinner—are there actually good vampires? Pretty soon Bones will have her convinced that being half-dead doesn’t have to be all bad. But before she can enjoy her newfound status as kick-ass demon hunter, Cat and Bones are pursued by a group of killers. Now Cat will have to choose a side . . . and Bones is turning out to be as tempting as any man with a heartbeat.

I picked this book up after stalking goodreads recommendations from readers with similar book interests and most of them had either this book or the author Jeaniene Frost as a favorite. They couldn’t all be wrong could they? They weren’t. And while I believe “The Night Huntress Series” is a dumb name (and random – they never mention night huntress in the books) the books are not.

The reason I recommend this book to people who are previous fans of BTVS is because I see many similarities in descriptions of characters beyond the general “vampire slaying” premise. In fact, I lent this book to my sister who is also a fan of BTVS and she thought it might have started out as a fan fiction for that series. I do think that if it was at one point a fan fiction – that Frost eventually took it deeper than that.

The characters are completely different. Where Buffy is a flighty, girly-girl who has the ability to kick ass and take names, Cat (aka Catherine Crawfield) is an emotionally damaged, cocky, tom-boy, who is out for Vampires to avenge her mother’s rape.

I do see similarities in the character of Bones who in description is almost identical to Spike (from BTVS) but has moments where he’s like Angel as well. And aside from one use of the word “wiggins” and a mention of a black trench-coat that was a Spike detail from BTVS, The night huntress series strikes out on its own.

I think my favorite aspects about this book, and the series as a whole, is Frost’s ability to hone out and express her characters in ways that make you addicted to their stories. Cat isn’t perfect – no one in these books is – but she isn’t trying to be perfect and that makes her more human than vampire in this book.

I also see similarities in the characters of Sookie Stackhouse and Cat Crawfield. First of all they both are freaks in their own eyes who get exposed to the freaky supernatural parts of the world and realize that it’s not just them. But where Sookie finds other telepaths at some point in that series, Cat is the only half-breed of her kind. She has no one to relate to – and that’s a feeling every reader can relate to at some point. Another similarity between the Sookie Stackhouse Series and The Night Huntress series is that they both go out of their way to show that while Vampires and the supernatural are monsters – humans can commit just as many sins and be just as evil.

What I think is the best part of all the series above is how it shows these women realizing this immutable truth:

“Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.”      – G. K. Chesterton

I think I’ve done a good job of showing what this series is similar to, but why should you read this if it’s so like those previous stories?

Well to start – it’s the first time a ginger is the heroine of one of these and not a blond. Go gingers! And I really do see Cat as a completely new heroine. Her motivations are completely different. After her mother tells her what she is and how evil is embedded inside her, Cat has to war not only with the outside worlds of reality and the supernatural, but inside herself. That constant struggle makes her develop defensive mechanisms both physically and psychologically. She covers any vulnerability with sarcasm and has a huge problem opening herself up to people.

Another thing I enjoy about these books are not just the main characters, but the sub-characters that she’s now started to write spin-offs for. As I said earlier, the characters in this book are the driving force, but especially in this novel the plot is excellent as it deals with the subject of abduction and human-trafficking.

My only hope (and worry) is that they don’t make this into a television show or movie because you just aren’t going to be able to make this book better on-screen, all you will do is strip it down to the similar aspects of the other shows previously mentioned. Look at true blood? If you’ve read the SSnovels you know – they aren’t doing those books justice, but hey Alexander Skarsgard nekked is worth the price of admission. Am I right?

So if you are in the mood for a supernatural romp with a feisty, dark-humored, ginger – this is the book for you. Have fun!

RATING: ★★★★★