Monday, January 20, 2014

Review: Up From The Grave by Jeaniene Frost

Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress series is one of my favorite book series I've ever read. I talked about it in my very first post on this blog, and we've looked at characters from the series many times since then(here, here, and here). I came into the Night Huntress world just before the release of One Grave at a Time (book 6), which is to say quite late to the party, but I've made up for my tardiness with enthusiasm. I've stalked Bones and Cat in New Orleans, and been to Jeaniene Frost events three times (and will be seeing her in Asheville again next week!). I thought I was coming in at a great time, what with three more books to be released, and I could certainly be patient for my favorite hero in anything, ever.

So, when Ms. Frost announced that Up From the Grave would be the last Cat & Bones book, I was surprised and sad, to say the least. I completely respect why she ended the series (which she discussed in this blog post), but I couldn't help being sad. I've looked forward to this release with trepidation ever since.

Would it live up to my expectations? Would she give us a satisfying conclusion, worthy of Cat & Bones? Would I be as devastated when it was over as I anticipated? Click through to see if Up From the Grave is the perfect bow on a fabulous series, or if it fell flat, ending far too soon.



Collage by Olga Daniels
I knew that this early finished copy of the book would be landing in my mailbox early last week, so I was attempting to get through rereading OGAAT, and maybe Home for the Holidays, if I could squeeze it in.  I couldn't. UFTG arrived, and I had to decide whether I would finish the book I was on, or crack open that new book the moment I got home. Turns out, I have no self-control about some things, and UFTG won. I'll be reading it again, after I actually go back and finish OGAAT, but I couldn't wait to find out how Cat & Bones's story wrapped up. Ms. Frost has said, often, that she has always know how their saga would end, so I needed to know, like NOW!

So I settled in for a long's winter's read, and in the first chapter realized that I had forgotten events from OGAAT, so I'm going to have to finish that before I reread this one; it's a tough job, but someone has to do it. But I pressed on, taking notes and marking passages, riveted by the story, delighted (and frustrated!) by my beloved and his wife, interested and rapidly turning pages. Then, around chapter twelve, something happened. I became so engrossed in the story that I forgot to take notes, and forgot where I was for a while. My world melted away. Up to about chapter twenty, the action was so intense that I was completely consumed by the book. The kind of consumed where, once I thought to take a breath and look around, I had to shake my head and remind myself that I wasn't, in fact, a vampire fighting for my life. That's where I forced myself to stop for the night and go to bed. Stupid work in the morning.

The following day lasted forever, because all I wanted was to be back at home, curled up with my book. Finally, FINALLY the world gave me some time, and I waded back into the book. And, again, something strange happened. Something I never do. I procrastinated getting back into it. There were stunning revelations and fascinating stories galore, but I only got through six chapters. I'm sure that I was trying to draw out finishing, making it last, but that is completely unlike me. Eventually I hit my stride again, and finished the book, about two hours after my bedtime. There came a point where I couldn't have stopped if I'd wanted to. I HAD to know how it would end, and let me tell you, it was spectacular.

I'm telling you all this, because I don't want to give away a single thing about this book. The journey is fantastic, the ending is perfect, and I am so thankful that I was along for the ride. I didn't see some of it coming, but a few things I did. Our heroes are perfectly in character, stubborn, fierce, and as in love as ever. I adore Ian even more, and he has my favorite quote of the book--I really need his story. There are some questions left unanswered, such as we still have no clue as to what happened to the Timothy who was human with Bones, Spade, and Ian, leaving me hopeful that Ms. Frost hasn't finished telling stories about this world.

This book hit me much harder than I thought it would. I sobbed through the epilogue, and then couldn't sleep for a while, despite it being after midnight. The following day I felt this pervasive sense of melancholy, which I can only attribute to finishing the book. I knew I would be sad, but I had no idea I would be that somber. The ending of the book wasn't mournful, but as Wench Care reassured me, saying goodbye to friends is always difficult, even when those friends are fictitious.

Among many things I've always loved about Ms. Frost's Night Huntress books, is that they touch me deeply. I cried with Cat many times through this series, both in sorrow and in joy, and it is truly a gift that an author can put together words into sentences into stories that wring that kind of emotion from a reader. UFTG is no exception. I laughed and I got teary throughout this book, and I know that I will carry it with me for a very long time.

Wench Rating:

  
Thank you, Jeaniene Frost, for an exceptional ride. It was worth every page.

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2 comments:

  1. I am so looking forward to this book and so dreading it at the same time. I was hesitant to even read a review about it, even though normally spoilers don't bother me much. So thank you for this spoiler free review. You've eased my mind that my second favorite series ever (after Outlander) will end well, even though I know I'll be very sad it's over.

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    1. It really is fantastic, the lingering melancholy notwithstanding. A must read for any Night Huntress fan. You are so welcome for the spoiler-free review. I just couldn't bring myself to give a single thing away. Every fan deserves to really feel every moment. Come back and let us know what you think after you've finished it!

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