My rating: 5 of 5 stars
**** A BIT OF SPOILERY BUT PLEASE DO READ THE LAST PARAGRAPH AT LEAST ****
By the time this book was released I was thoroughly anxious to read more about Cat and Bones. In the run up to the release date I was telling everyone who wanted to listen that they simply cannot NOT read this series. Reading about Cat and Bones again felt like a homecoming. As expected I loved this book and cannot wait to read more.
We catch up with Cat and Bones shortly after the events of the last book and Cat still having to fight of angry prejudices being fuelled by the ghoul Appolyon. Of course I heroes quickly start to plot his downfall as Cat learns that Appolyon has been orchestrating a vampire / ghoul war for 100’s of years. At the same time Cat has to face some very personal tragedies in the death of her beloved uncle, Don and must also learn to deal with her unique feeding habits. At least this time around she has the full support and love of Bones and the couple’s relationship truly grows from strength to strength. Ultimately a war is prevented (for the moment) but some new agenda’s are potentially revealed in respect of the mysterious ghoul Queen Majestic. An old character also rejoins the team in supernatural form.
WHAT I LIKED
It was very satisfying that Cat and Bones’ most endearing characteristics were ever present in this newest instalment to the Night Huntress series. Cat is still sarcastic, hot-headed, stubborn and brutally blunt. Bones is still nonchalant, arrogant, passionate and, let’s be honest, frankly perfect. All my favourite characters (especially Vlad) are also present and accounted for and ensured that this book was just as fun and easy to read as its predecessors. I enjoyed the new plot which was interesting and fresh.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
Although I enjoyed the plot it did feel a bit empty to me. After finishing the story I suspect that it might be because of new future plot lines being introduced and in hindsight it did feel a bit like a “middle” book. My reservation about this aspect of the book may however be simply because I felt that I did not have the opportunity to spend some more time in the Night Huntress world and I really would not say that it is a true criticism about the story or the book.
SO WHAT’S THE VERDICT?
I would not dare to give This Side of the Grave anything but a very resolute two thumbs up. It will be pure torture to wait for the release of the next book in which I strongly believe the action will be stepped up even more!
This Side of the Grave is set to be followed by One Grave at a Time which shall be released on 30 August 2011. Watch this space for a new feature to my blog in the form of a trivia questionnaire for my loyal followers accompanied by.... a giveaway of course!