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The Night Huntress Series

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The Night Huntress Series of books is a set of seven novels and a novella detailing the story of Cat Crawfield a young girl who hunts vampires.  She has been told all her life that vampires are evil and have no place in the world and need to be eradicated. The first twist in the story is that she herself is ‘half vampire’.  She is unique, a rarer than rare phenomenon, after her father – a newly turned vampire allegedly raped and fed from her mother. 

 

Due to her heritage, she can pick out vampires who can blend in with humans and she lures them out and then kills them, this plan has been working well for her until she meets Bones, a wily, ruthless and strong vampire who she comes across, she is unable to kill him and they form an unlikely alliance as he isn’t so different from her, he is a Bounty Hunter who tracks down fellow vampires with a price on their heads and kills them.  A grudging respect grows and eventually they fall in love, and he shows her that not all vampires are evil, but there are other aspects of this story which are unique and nothing like I have ever read before, for example, the top-secret government-funded military facility which knows about the existence of vampires and other supernatural creatures and has pretty much the same attitude as Cat’s mother towards vampires until Cat is manipulated and blackmailed into joining them and she gradually shows them another way.

 

It is an original and refreshing take on the traditional vampire story and the usual rules don’t apply either, in these stories, Cat discovers that most of the rules surrounding vampires are myth, for example Vampires can go out in the daytime, but they are weaker in sunlight and prone to getting sunburnt, new vampires actually pass out at dawn until they acclimatise to their new status, in these stories vampires are not averse to garlic and can eat normally but generally choose not to as food is tasteless to them and they only do it to ‘blend in’ with humans.  Vampires can enter your home without being invited and wooden stakes aren’t fatal.  The only way to kill a vampire is decapitation or a silver stake to the heart – but which has to be twisted to be fatal, something which Cat uses to great effect to get information out of vampires, as they become very accommodating and docile with a silver blade pressed into their hearts and the slightest movement could finish them.  There is also a hierarchy of vampires, which is explained, the older the vampire the bigger the aura, (a kind of manifestation of their powers which alerts other vampires of who they are dealing with) but a vampire can cloak their aura so they appear to be weaker and newer than they actually are. Also the older the vampire the more special powers they can acquire, for example, mind reading, flying, telekinesis etc.  A Master Vampire is a vampire who has sired his own line and at the bottom of the heap are masterless vampires who have been turned and abandoned or whose sires have then died they are vulnerable to being abused by other vampires unless they are welcomed into the line of another master.

 

I personally think it’s a cracking series, the characters have depth and layers and the vampires are portrayed as ruthless and manipulative and even the love story has an edge to it and many surprising moments not to mention a compelling storyline, there is a dry humour which runs through the stories and yet there are also some incredibly moving moments and of course a fair amount of blood, killing and gruesomeness. Each novel is a complete story but there are references to things which have happened previously and each book seems to start to set the scene for the next book to come so they could be read individually but to fully understand what is going on it is best to read them in order.

 

From this series came a number of spin-off novellas and a spin-off series surrounding other supporting characters, which I have also read and I would strongly recommend that anyone who likes these stories to give them a go.

 

The Full set of novels (in the reading order) are:

HALFWAY TO THE GRAVE
ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE
AT GRAVE’S END
DESTINED FOR AN EARLY GRAVE
THIS SIDE OF THE GRAVE
ONE GRAVE AT A TIME
UP FROM THE GRAVE
 
and the novella I read is called HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, which (I think) fits into the timeline either before or after One Grave at a time

 

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