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Reviews of books in a series, with a focus on urban fantasy.
Other genres include mystery, paranormal romance, and crime thrillers.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Bite Before Christmas (Anthology) by Jeaniene Frost and Lynsay Sands


The Bite Before Christmas is yet another anthology, though this one only has two stories. I read the Cat and Bones story but not the Argeneau story, so I'll just be reviewing half of the book.

After reading Down These Strange Streets, I wasn't really expecting much from yet another anthology. I was pleasantly surprised by Jeaniene Frost's entry, Home for the Holidays.

Fair warning, I have a feeling this story will be important to the series, so if you enjoy this series, you'll need to read the story at some point. The story does not fit the chronology though, as this story comes before the events of  One Grave at a Time

Here's the blurb:

Cat and Bones are looking forward to a normal holiday-at least as "normal" as it gets for the combustible vampire couple and their otherworldly friends and family. But their yuletide plans are shattered when a stranger shows up and reveals long-buried family secrets that threaten to take a bite out of their holiday cheer . . . and lives.

This story has it all - great plot, wonderful character building, more history and backstory on a character who is full of mystery, and a chance to spend time with old friends. This series was my favorite series for a long time, and is now merely in the top ten. Home for the Holidays reminds me of why it was once my favorite series.

As for the writing elements:
  • The plot was pure genius and creativity. The muse must have been working overtime on this one.
  • Pacing was well done.
  • Prose and dialogue were also nicely done.
  • Character development was a large part of the book, even though I had thought these characters were fully developed already.
  • World-building was consistent with previous books, but also brought more brain-twisting metaphysics into play.
I won't rate the entire book since I didn't read the entire book, but Jeaniene Frost's entry easily gets a 10 of 10 from me.

Also, the end of the book gives us a preview of  Once Burned, the Vlad book we've all been waiting for.  I love the set-up, and I hope the follow up is as good as the beginning. I was disappointed in the "Universe" books, let's hope the Night Prince series gives us something closer to the Night Huntress novels.

Night Huntress Novels
1. Halfway to the Grave (2007)
2. One Foot in the Grave (April 2008)
3. At Grave's End (December 2008)
4. Destined for an Early Grave (July 2009)
5. This Side of the Grave (February, 2011)
5.5 Home for the Holiday in The Bite Before Christmas  (October 2011)
6. One Grave at a Time (August, 2011)

Night Huntress Universe 
1. First Drop of Crimson (Feb 2010)
2. Eternal Kiss of Darkness (July 27, 2010)

Night Prince / Vlad and Leila series
1. Once Burned (March 2012)

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