Audiobook Review: Halfway to the Grave

I received this book for free from Library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Audiobook Review: Halfway to the GraveHalfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
Narrator: Tavia Gilbert
Length: 11 hrs, 17 mins
Series: Night Huntress #1
Published by Blackstone Audio on March 31, 2010
Genres: Mystery, Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible

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 unlikely partnership.

In exchange for help 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 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.

As I was listening to Halfway to the Grave, I posted a couple of snarky updates on Goodreads, as one does when one feels so inclined. I got a rather odd comment in reaction to my calling the book clichéd. The argument was that I was being too hard on a book that’s almost seven years old, since the PNR tropes I was mocking were still fairly new. Just for the record, I think that a) by 2007 there was tons of PNR stuff already for Frost to pull from with her flavor du jour, like Buffy and Twilight and b) even if she was the first to do every single one of those things, that doesn’t mean I can’t be annoyed by them. So, be warned, this will probably be both ranty and irreverent.

We meet our oh so humble, God-loving heroine as she goes out hunting for vamps to kill. This has been her life’s mission ever since she got old enough to lure vampires with her feminine wiles, all to wreak vengeance on the bloodsuckers, because one of them raped and impregnated her mother. Cat loathes her vampire half and is determined to kill them all and hopes to stake daddy one day.

At 22, Cat’s not yet done with college, but she’s still working on it. She’s beautiful but doesn’t know it (trope alert!), and uses her pretty face and red hair to lure the vampires. Right at the beginning of the book, she meets a hot British vampire who will obviously be of no significance to the story. He will also be the only one she doesn’t manage to kill. She will be taken captive, tortured a little, and then challenge him to a battle, and, if he wins, she has to be his vampire-hunting partner, because SURPRISE he’s a good vampire. Spoiler: he wins. Trope trope tropeitty trope.

Now it’s time for VAMPIRE KILLING MASTER CLASS brought to Cat by her instructor Bones, because that’s not remotely intended to be sexual. Cue training montage full of injuries and Cat having to drink Bones’ blood for healing. Congrats, Cat, you passed the class! Yay! But you’re not a fully-licensed vampire hunter yet! Cue makeover montage. Now all that remains is to put on a skanky dress (you know, one that ends ABOVE THE KNEES) and you’re a vampire killing machine.

If slut-shaming bothers you highly, do not read this book. Cat slut-shames like nobody’s business. She’s not a virgin, but her only sexual experience was statutory rape after which she was dumped. Aside from that, she’s a goody-two-shoes, innocent, blushing little miss. Any skirt that ends basically above the knees = you might as well just get SLUT tattooed across your forehead. She has an automatic distaste for pretty women who cross her path. Of course, for all her uses of the word slut and her morals and all of that, she sure has a lot of sex with a vampire. But it doesn’t count because she’s the main character, DUH.

Speaking of that, the romance. I did not feel any sparks between Bones and Cat. I was really hoping it wouldn’t go there, because I do not see his appeal at all. Of course, this could have been because of the audiobook version that I listened to. What Frost was likely going for was Spike from Buffy, but what Tavia Gilbert did was…not that. I wish I had words to describe it, but I do not. The whole book involves lots of awkward word choices, which were obviously meant to be very clever, and the sex scenes are particularly bad. Frost uses all sorts of creative language to describe genitals that left me in stitches. Also, apparently vampires have bloody semen, because ummm yeah.

Cat is not the sharpest tooth in a vampire’s mouth. She is continually surprised by things that are monumentally obvious, uncomprehending even when someone explains something to her straight out. For example, here’s a paraphrased conversation:

Cat: Cool car. Where’d you get it?
Bones: Got it for you for Christmas, luvvie. Sorry it’s a bit early.
Cat: Ha ha. Pull the other one.
Bones: No, seriously, here’s the title on the car.

Okay, I’ll admit that’s not the best example ever, but the downside of audiobook listening is that most specific conversations do not imprint on my brain and this happened at the very end. Deal with it. Please make note of the wealthy vampire buying her things trope. Where have we seen that before other than EVERYWHERE?

But, pardon me, I got distracted. I have a better example of how dumb Cat is for you. Now, Cat, who, as I mentioned before, was all nigh virginal until she met Bones is getting some constantly. When she comes home covered in hickeys and wearing a man’s shirt (seriously, not the brightest), her awful grandparents and mother yell at her about how she’s a whore and her mom’s like “did you at least use protection?” On the inside, Cat’s all “oh, I totally don’t need that because my boyfriend is a vampire.” While, it is lovely that vampires magically do not have to worry about venereal disease, WHY IS CAT NOT WORRIED ABOUT PREGNANCY? Obviously that happens, since she’s a freaking half-vamp herself. GODDAMN, GIRL.

The plot is pretty standard stuff about evil vampires doing evil people-eating stuff and evil humans being in league with them and blah blah blah. Of course, part of their fiendish plan to trap Bones is to abduct Cat’s mom, and they’re all WE MUST SAVE HER. I’m probably supposed to feel for her, but Cat’s mom is the worst and I’d just be like “bye, bitch, bye.” I mean, for real, her mom tells her (later but whatevs, Cat knew this would happen, that if Cat doesn’t end it with Bones they’re over. If that’s how much your mom cares about you, then who the fuck cares about her?

All of that aside, I was rather morbidly entertained by this train wreck of a novel. Mostly because it made me laugh in it’s badness. Seriously, during that first sex scene I was howling with laughter. As such, I’ve rated the book up a full star, as content alone would definitely get this a .5. The audio entertained me enough for some bonus.

Though I was amused, I don’t plan to continue with this series, even though I’ve been told book two travels into a new frontier: butt sex. Nor do I really recommend that you spend your time this way, unless, like me, you think this might amuse you in its absurdity.

Tl;dr – Book in a GIFfy:

so fucking lame

5 responses to “Audiobook Review: Halfway to the Grave”

  1. This was on of the most entertaining reviews I’ve read recently! 😀 At least you got the book from the library and didn’t pay for it…

  2. Gillian says:

    “The sex scenes are particularly bad. Frost uses all sorts of creative language to describe genitals that left me in stitches.” If you do not tell me what they are one day I will be quite put out.

    “Also, apparently vampires have bloody semen, because ummm yeah.” O_O WHUT.

    “Cat is not the sharpest tooth in a vampire’s mouth.” LOLLLLLLZ.

    Oh, but this book sounds dreadful. *stakes the slut-shaming*
    Gillian recently posted…Review: Defy by Sara B. LarsonMy Profile

  3. This review was beyond awesome and funny. Although I’m sorry you had to endure it, I’m glad you did so that you’d review it!
    Dana (Little Lovely Books) recently posted…#ReadingCram check inMy Profile

  4. Kayla Beck says:

    Bloody semen is more than I ever wanted to know about a vampire in my life. You know, dude probably told her that all vampires have that because nothing screams venereal disease more to me. That being said, when I pick up my night classes again, I have a new series to turn to. I was listening to Christine Feehan in the car so I wouldn’t fall asleep. (Nothing makes me laugh more than over-the-top, raunchy vampire sex.)

    By the way, I think I may just hit you with one of those for Sadie Hawkins. I need the laughter in my life.
    Kayla Beck recently posted…Blog Tour (Excerpt & Giveaway): Clan by Realm LovejoyMy Profile

  5. For some reason, I totally didn’t mind this book – except for the slut shaming, because that’s my One Thing. Then again, I am so NOT a paranormal/urban fantasy/whatever reader so I hardly ever come in contact with those particular tropes and cliches.

    However, moving forward with the series, I decided to give up after book two or three (can’t remember exactly which one.) The fact that there wasn’t one single female-female relationship that was healthy really pissed me off. I could have looked past all of the weirdness and just had fun with it if it had represented ANY OTHER WOMAN besides Kat in a positive light.
    Bekka @ Pretty Deadly Reviews recently posted…Review: Perfect LiesMy Profile

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