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Destined for an Early Grave (Night Huntress, Book 4) by Jeaniene Frost
Review by Steve Sawicki
Avon Mass Market Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780061583216
Date: 01 August 2009 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

This is the fourth entry in Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress series. It falls squarely into the supernatural/paranormal female lead protagonist subgenre which seems to be crowding the shelves these days. Cat Crawford is a half vampire/half human, who, along with her undead lover, Bones, fights the good fight against rogue undead, bad master vampires, and any number of other supernatural baddies.

After three novels of struggling against evil, the two decide to vacation in Paris, only to find that Cat begins having visions of a vampire named Gregor. A vampire more powerful than Bones and who claims to have ties to Cat in a past that even she was not aware of. This begins a battle between Gregor and Bones, with Cat in the middle, that threatens to tear apart the vampire hierarchy and Cat's relation with Bones.

It can be difficult keeping all these series apart. They all tend to have black covers with brooding women striking evocative poses on them. Usually there is a vampire or a werewolf in the background. The other thing that can get confusing is trying to keep straight how each writer is changing the rules around vampires and other supernatural beings. In one case they can stand some sunlight, in others they have an aversion to silver but not to the cross or garlic. Some can still shape change and others can't. It's enough to keep any decent monster follower awake at night. Having said all of that, Frost does develop a consistently believable universe and populates it with interesting characters.

I struggle each time I get a new entry in this particular subgenre because I wonder whether or not that particular book is going to be the one that broke the genre's back. I think it could come at any moment as publishers continue to push out book after book. It hasn't happened yet and it didn't happen with this book which is actually quite well done. But it will happen.

I thought that Jeaniene Frost did a good job with developing her story lines and keeping the action moving forward while managing some difficult plot situations. I liked this book and while I have not read the first three in the series I did not feel it was any huge problem as Frost filled you in with what you needed to go forward in such a way as to seem natural. I think there are better series out there in this subgenre. Having said that I did find the book to be entertaining so it may just come down to a question of taste and preference and simple timing as to which series you come to first.

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