With the conclusion to the fabulous Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost coming in January, we took that as an excuse to re-read the entire Night Huntress series, with all the novellas and spin-offs (aka Night Prince and World books) in chronological order. Honestly, we really didn’t need an excuse, it is a great series after all, but why not celebrate this series by doing a read-along? So that’s what we’re doing and each week we’ll be posting a discussion of each novel.
My apologies for the delay in posting this week’s discussion. Between the holidays, colds for four of us, and the final week of school prior to winter break, it’s been a little chaotic. *grin*
After a disastrous reunion with her father Max, and a rescue from Bones, Cat has her first real fight with Bones that deals more with their relationship than a disagreement over any course of action.
I’d fight Bones to see the error of his ways over treating me like a damsel in distress, but I wasn’t giving up on us. Not now, not ever.
Cat still has a dislike of Mencheres, but the why is unknown. Could this be a hint of future trouble?
Truth be told, I didn’t know why I always had a knee-jerk reaction of dislike with Mencheres. Maybe we’d been enemies in a former life.
Cat finally acknowledges that she’s more than a simple human. After Bones’s death, she stands on a precipice of decision – is she human or vampire?
“I meant it must be difficult for you to decide what you are. I never had to wrestle with that. When I changed into a vampire, I couldn’t revert back to my humanity under any circumstances. Yet you wake up every day trapped in yours.”
It is because of Bones’ death that Cat decides to quit her job and stop working for Don. She’ll continue to help out on missions, but she’s no longer employed.
Bones finally turns one of Cat’s men into a vampire, but shows concern when Tate volunteers to be the first.
“Motivation is my concern,’ Bones said at once. “What if bitterness overwhelms him when he can’t pry her from my side, and let me assure you, mate, you won’t. So the question remains – is he choosing this for himself, or for her? If he does it for the wrong reason, he’ll have plenty of time to regret it.”
At last Tate spoke. “My reasons are my own, and my commitment to my job won’t suffer for them.”
Bones officially asks Cat to marry him. *grin*
Bones merges his line with Mencheres, and in the bargain gets a few additional powers: his vision and hearing are clearer; more power in terms of strength; the ability to wither to a state of true death in order to confuse enemies; and telepathy.
“Did you just just call me a pig?”
I froze. Had I said that out loud?
“Bloody hell, no you didn’t!” he answered for me.
Vlad makes his first appearance and it’s obvious Bones doesn’t like him.
Bones gave an irritated growl. “It’s the bloody show hound.”
Tate volunteers to be the first person from Cat’s team to be turned into a vampire.
“You hate vampires!” I burst out. “Why would you want to turn into one??
“I hate him,” was Tate’s immediate agreement. “But you’re the one who said it’s the person who makes the character of a vampire, not the other way around. Which means I would have hated Bones when he was human, too.”
Max makes his final appearance in a last ditch effort to kill Cat. He obviously doesn’t succeed, but he does earn some extra private time with Bones. Especially since he had just spent a good half hour torturing Cat.
“He’s going to dearly wish I’d kill him before I’m through with him.”
We learn more about Annette, what her life was like before Bones turned her.
Three new vampires are added to Cat’s entourage:
- Rattler, who looks like a young Sam Elliott
- Zero, who has long blond hair and cold eyes
- Tick Tock, who has black skin, black hair, and black eyes.
Patra is a Master vampire of Egyptian descent. She is the daughter of Cleopatra and Mencheres’s wife.
Vlad, aka Dracula, is the same Vlad Tepesh of historical fame and has the powers of telepathy and pyrokinetic.
Juan is the second member of Cat’s team that is turned into a vampire. Things with Tate finally go too far, and Bones turns Juan rather quickly and takes him with them. Juan reinforces the idea that humans remain themselves after being turned.
“I must thank you for many things, amigo, but this most of all. You have made women even more appealing to me, ah, the scent of them. Their heartbeats. And how they taste…” He closed his eyes. “Delicioso.”
I swung my gaze to Bones in disbelief. “You’ve turned him into even worse of a pig!”
Ian sides with Bones and Mencheres in their war on Patra.
“Do you know why I am [here]? Because for once, you asked for my assistance. You’ve never done that in all the centuries I’ve known you.”
Doc is a 160 year old vampire who was turned by Annette, and now a Master in his own right, but is fighting alongside them out of loyalty.
Vampires respect what they fear. Mercy is considered a weakness.
Did you know that vampires can regenerate limbs, or any part of their body, that have been torn or sliced off? My impressions is it happens pretty quickly, but not definitely not painlessly.
Practicing any form of witchcraft is forbidden; however Patra secretly studied it and uses it on Cat & Bones.
Finally admits that Max might not have raped her all those years ago once she’s forced to confront what she has believed in.
“Max is the one who told you all vampires were demons, right? You think he’s capable of telling the truth, even after this?”
Bones and Justina get some bonding time together, without Cat, when she agrees to accompany Bones for Max’s showing. This is also the first time she has voluntarily touched him and has said anything nice about him.
I’ve waited a long time for this. I’ll be fine. We’ll shake on it.”
Justina finds out that Don is Max’s brother and finds another hard truth.
“So both of us used her for our own selfish reason. That vampire over there has treated her better than her own family.”
The first notable change in Justina’s attitude occurs when she agrees to stay with Rodney during the relocation efforts.
“If my choices are staying in a barrack with a bloodsucking new vampire on the premises, or at the home of a ghoul, I”ll take the ghoul.
Justina may still not like Bones, but it’s becoming very obvious that she’s changing her mind about the supernatural.
I stared at her like I’d never seen her before. “Did Rodney like them?” I asked.
She huffed. “Did he like what, Catherine?”
“The balls on you, that’s what!”
Bones becomes the target of a Master vampire, Patra, who believes he will be the one to kill her.
“Centuries ago, I saw a vision of a many marrying a woman who was neither human, vampire, nor ghoul, and then the same man wielded the knife that killed Patra. So you see, Bones…as soon as Cat was revealed to be a half-breed and you wed her at Ian’s, Patra knew what I’d told her all those years ago had come to pass.”
“I am well sick of seeing you forced to prove your strength on my behalf.”
Most of the time Bones’s honesty was what I loved about him. Then there were the times when I wished he would just fucking lie to me.”
“You’re Dracula?! You have got to be shitting me!”
Oh, Dracula as well, Annette? I guess if Frankenstein and the Wolf Man were real, they’d already have double-teamed you.
“Because, Cat, it’s the feminine persuasion that’s always the deadliest.”
This is a dream, it occurred to me. A dream, and I will thank Don from the bottom of my heart for this fake chance to hold Bones again. God bless modern science and tons of codeine mixed with sedatives!
Always the left arm, the dispassionate part of me mused darkly. First burned by Max, now this. If it could talk, it would never stop bitching at me.
Here we were, following on the magic carpet of Mencheres’s power behind the vengeance-filled wraiths he’d raised.
I personally loved Justina in At Grave’s End. There are three scenes I simply adored her in and they all feature her interacting with other supernaturals. Plus you have the emergence of Tate and Juan as vampires and know things will definitely be changing. You can read more of thoughts at my review.
If this is your first time reading At Grave’s End, what did you think? If you’ve read it before, what was your favorite scene/quote? What was your reaction to the events following the train station setup and Cat/Vlad’s theatrics? *grin*
If you’re as hooked as we are, we’ll be discussing the fourth novel, Destined for an Early Grave, on Monday!