Sunday, 28 February 2010

Review: First Drop of Crimson by Jeaniene Frost

First Drop of Crimson by Jeaniene FrostFirst Drop of Crimson by Jeaniene Frost - The night is not safe for mortals. Denise MacGregor knows all too well what lurks in the shadows—her best friend is half-vampire Cat Crawfield—and she has already lost more than the average human could bear. But her family's past is wrapped in secrets and shrouded in darkness—and a demon shapeshifter has marked Denise as prey. Now her survival depends on an immortal who lusts for a taste of her.

He is Spade, a powerful, mysterious vampire who has walked the earth for centuries and is now duty-bound to protect this endangered, alluring human—even if it means destroying his own kind. Denise may arouse his deepest hungers, but Spade knows he must fight his urge to have her as they face the nightmare together...

Because once the first crimson drop falls, they will both be lost.
From Amazon US

I am a huge fan of Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series, following Cat and Bones’ relationship and the supernatural problems they come up against. When I heard Jeaniene would be writing a spin off series of stand alone novels, and Spade would get his own story, I was seriously excited. One, it’s Jeaniene Frost, and I just love her writing, two, it’s still set in the same world as the Night Huntress series, and I love the mythology, and three, Spade gets his story – meaning it would be from his point of view. Jeaniene didn’t didappoint; First Drop of Crimson is amazing!

Before I carry on with my review, I just want to clear something up for you all, which might be confusing to those who have yet to read any of Jeaniene’s novels. The books following Cat and Bones – Halfway to the Grave, One Foot in the Grave, At Grave’s End, and Destined for an Early Grave – are in the Night Huntress series. The stand alone novels in the spin off series are collectively called the Night Huntress World series. I thought it may be a bit confusing, because sometimes I even have to think about which is which.

Back to the review. The story was incredible! We come across creatures we’ve not met before in this world; demons. There’s a whole new mythos to discover, and it’s just so awesome! I can’t really go into the demons because it’ll be spoiling things for you, but the creatures are great, and the plot is just so unique!

There is plenty of action, like we’re used to, a lot of suspenceful, edge-of-your-seat fighting several times throughout the novel, but the pacing is a little different. This one story spans about five weeks, where normally Jeaniene’s stories span several days. Sometimes hours, even days, go by without us having seen the characters for that time, the time has just gone as nothing eventful or important happened. It made it a little difficult to keep track of how long the characters had been together, which sometimes made the feelings of the characters seem to come about really quickly. On the plus side, we also meet some other characters we love, including Cat and Bones! Just fantastic!

There were a few things I didn’t expect in this novel. All the books in the Night Huntress series are writing in first person from Cat’s point of view, but this book is written in third person from both Spade’s and Denise’s points of view. It was a little jarring at first reading third person, simply because I was more used to Jeaniene’s first person style. I don’t have a problem with third person generally, it just wasn’t expected. As I said, I loved the book, but I do think I prefer first person, simply because these characters are just so awesome, I want to be right in their heads and have them tell me the story – rather than have the story told to me by “someone” who seems to be able to read everyone’s mind. It’s not a big deal, it certainly didn’t make the story less enjoyable, it’s just my own preference.

Despite being in third person, we get into a Night Huntress World’s vampire’s head as much as we can, and that is what I was most looking forward to! It’s odd reading Spade’s story – or rather Denise’s – because I’ve always imagined Spade as pretty easy going from the other books, but he is really quite intense. It was great to get to know the real him, his backstory, and how he fits into the circle of undead friends. It was also really awesome to get to know Denise; she had always been this small secondary character, who wasn’t that important of a character to me, so it was great to get to know her as more than just Cat’s best friend, and the woman who lost her husband. She’s an incredible character, seriously amazing but so complicated, I can’t really go into her in much detail without spoiling the story.

But the most enjoyable part of this new structure is that Spade is British, and so uses a lot of British words where Denise would use American. A lot of the Urban Fantasy novels I read are written by American authors, and normally I don’t notice when American words are used – until a British character is introduced and starts talking. Don’t ask me why, but I always get excited, with a stupid grin, and think “You talk like me!” What was really great in First Drop of Crimson, however, was how well Jeaniene kept up her British words and slang for when we were following Spade the whole way through, and had Denise use American words and slang when we followed her. It was just so cool! The only thing I noticed is that, if I remember rightly, Spade took off his “pants”, not his “trousers”, but it’s no big deal! I just loved it!

I really loved this book, it was brilliant! Fans of Jeaniene Frost will love this book, and there’s enough explanation in First Drop of Crimson for new readers to understand the world and who the characters are. I highly recommend it, and I can’t wait for Eternal Kiss of Darkness, the second in the Night Huntress World series, which will be released 27th July.



Published: 9th February 2010
Publisher: Avon
Buy on Amazon US
Jeaniene Frost’s Website

My reviews of the Night Huntress series:
Halfway to the Grave
One Foot in the Grave
At Grave's End
Destined for an Early Grave

Other reviews of First Drop of Crimson:
Literary Escapism

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