Desert Isle Keeper
Halfway to the Grave
Narrated by Tavia Gilbert
We’re starting out today with a close look at Jeaniene Frost’s Halfway to the Grave, an urban fantasy romance with a kick. What’s the kick? Bones the hero. Read on!
Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series is one that garners a good bit of attention from time to time here at Speaking of Audiobooks. Halfway to the Grave is the first in this excellently written series that has a boatload of fans both in print and audio although the audio version carries with it some cries of disappointment over Tavia Gilbert’s depiction of Bones, a vampire around 200 years of age.
Bones is front and center in the series and I believe he is one of the best-written heroes – ever. I can’t recall when I have found one single character as entertaining and I fell for him immediately. Ms. Gilbert understands Bones perfectly but she also performs his character as written complete with a Cockney accent from around 1800 although this fantasy world is set in present day. And that is where the complaints come from. I guess we want Bones to sound like the American modern day hero he is.
I’ll readily admit that the Bones factor made me hesitate to start the series in audio plus I’m not a big fantasy romance fan (that seems to be changing). But I had one thing pushing me to listen and that is the sizable group of Bones and Cat audio fans here at Speaking of Audiobooks – fans who think Bones’ character shines through especially well in audio. Now that I have listened to the first two in the series, I completely agree. Yes, I’m thankful I was forewarned that his accent would be a bit challenging at first but that awareness just made me concentrate on his character all the more. And, oh, what I would have missed if I had let a Cockney accent get in the way. Bones is served up just right in audio and now I can’t imagine wanting his character performed in any other manner.
But I guess I need to talk about Cat’s character as well, since she is a large reason for this series’ success as well. Half human and half vampire, Cat started hunting vampires and killing them when she was a teenager. Her mother carries a deep hatred for vampires and encourages Cat in her activities. While searching for her next vampire, Cat meets Bones and tries to kill him as well.
Cat is quite simply a highly likable character despite her vampire killing instincts. She is one of those kick-ass heroines (something I usually dislike) but the bitchiness and I-can-do-it-all attitude that I associate with that type of heroine are not part of Cat’s makeup. She joins with Bones to fight for good and some revenge as well. And they make one heck of a couple.
Breakdown of Grade – Narration A and Book Content A