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The clock struck eleven and Cat the vampire huntress was on the loose, except my battle armor was a push-up bra, curled hair, and a short dress. Yeah, it was a dirty job, but I was going to do it.
Cat Crawfield, Halfway to the Grave
An Urban Fantasy series of books written by Jeaniene Frost, following the adventures of Catherine "Cat" Crawfield, a half-vampire, and Bones/Crispin Russell, a Master vampire bounty hunter. These books are told from Cat's point of view. The Night Huntress World books are set in the same universe, but feature supporting characters in the main roles.
Cat Crawfield is a Half Vampire who hunts her father's kind in order to avenge her mother's rape. Then she meets Bones, a vampire bounty hunter who offers to train her in exchange for her help hunting down a particularly evil group of vampire criminals. Cat agrees, on the basis that the enemy of her enemy is the lesser of two evils, but the longer she knows Bones the more she begins to question her closely held belief that all vampires are evil.
Later the FBI makes Cat an offer she can't refuse - lead and train their team of vampire hunters or go to prison. Special Agent Crawfield and her hand-picked team succeed beyond their expectations, but she still has unresolved issues with more than one vampire in her life.
Night Huntress Novels
- 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 (August 2011)
Night Huntress World Stories
- "Devil to Pay" in Four Dukes and a Devil
- "Reckoning" in Unbound
- First Drop of Crimson
- "Happily Never After" in Weddings From Hell
- Eternal Kiss of Darkness
- Abusive Parents - Justina convinces Cat that her rape and ostracism for being a single mother is all Cat's fault, and that Cat has a monster inside of her she must fight to suppress. When Cat starts hunting vampires in high school, it's the first time that Justina ever shows pride or love for her daughter, not caring that her sixteen-year-old is risking her life to earn her mother's affection.
- The Alcoholic - Cat has high alcohol tolerance, inhuman levels in fact, and drinks gin like water. She also needs a freaking drink more often than would be healthy for a human; Bones comments that her gin bottle is like a security blanket for her.
- All Love Is Unrequited - For Tate at least.
- Battle Couple - Cat and Bones.
- Beautiful Dreamer - Bones thinks Cat is cute when she's sprawled on the bed snoring with her mouth open and hogging all the covers.
- Can't Act Perverted Toward a Love Interest - Gleefully inverted; Bones takes great delight in being as crude and as sexually explicit as he can, under the pretense of helping Cat overcome her blushing naivete.
- Captain Ersatz - Bones is blond, pale, British, and two hundred years old. Remind you of anyone? Word of God denies any deliberate resemblance, but doesn't rule out the possibility.
- Child by Rape - Cat's mother was raped by a vampire, resulting in Cat's conception. Avenging her mother's rape and atoning for her own existence is Cat's primary motivation in the first book. Later we learn that Cat's father mindraped Justina only after the physical seduction had been completed, violating her mind and causing her to believe she'd been physically raped as well. Your mileage may vary on whether that's better or worse.
- Combat Pragmatist: Bone's first rule of combat "always kick them while they are down"
- Conspiracy Theorist - Timothy, Cat's next neighbor in the first book, is convinced the government covers up evidence of the supernatural (he's right). He later goes to work for "one of those magazines that give Cat's boss headaches".
- A Date with Rosie Palms - After Bones tries to burn the prudery out of Cat with a long round of dirty talk, she explores her budding sexuality in the bathtub.
- A Day in the Limelight - Each Night Huntress World novel focuses on a different supporting character from the main series.
- Die or Fly: Bones uses this training technique a lot, more literally in This Side Of The Grave when helping Cat master flying by telling her "fly or swim"
- Dhampyr - Cat is stronger and faster than humans, but not as much as vampires. And while her eyes glow when she's emotional, she can't use them to mesmerize humans. On the plus side, since her heart still beats, vampires generally don't realize she isn't human until she's sliding a silver knife into their hearts.
- Flight - Master vampires can eventually develop this ability if they live long enough.
- Friendly Neighborhood Vampire - Vampires do not need to kill their victims, so good guy vamps aren't uncommon. Bones especially, since he hunts down other vampires who murder, rape and use humans.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom - Vampire eyes glow green when they're emotional or using their powers.
- Heroic Bastard - Cat is the product of rape, and she and her mother are both shunned by their small town for her out-of-wedlock birth. Bones is both a bastard and the Son of a Whore.
- Hollywood Sex - Cat and Bones just love this trope.
- Horror Hunger - Newly turned vampires can think of nothing but their hunger and will shred anything with a heartbeat to sate their thirst. As they age, they gain self-control, but a starved vampire may revert to this condition.
- Hunter Of Her Own Kind - Cat, a half-vampire, starts off murdering all vampires indiscriminately.
- Human Mom, Nonhuman Dad - Cat's mother was human and her father was a vampire.
- Hypnotic Eyes - Vampire mesmer can be used to brainwash humans if they look at the vampire's eyes.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming - every one of the Night Huntress books has the word "Grave" in the title.
- I Hate You, Vampire Dad - After Ian became a vampire, he gave his three best friends the gift of immortality by turning them into vampires against their will. Two hundred years later they're still sore about it but are generally civil. And, of course, Cat's literal vampire dad raped her mother.
- Involuntary Shapeshifting - Very rare, caused by a demon's marks transferring some of his power to the other person. It can be triggered by fear, anger, pain, stress, or hunger, and the affected person doesn't change back until they calm down.
- It Doesn't Mean Anything - Cat insists that her attraction to Bones is caused by alcohol, instead of revealed by it.
- It's Not You, It's My Enemies - This is why Cat leaves Bones.
- Kiss of the Vampire - Vampire venom spreads through the donor's blood and arouses them. Vampires often use this as foreplay with their human lovers, although it can also be used to make rape victims less aggressive.
- Lap Pillow - When Cat is extremely drunk, Bones tells her to rest her head on his thigh. She thinks he's asking for something else, but he laughs and tells her to get her mind out of the gutter.
- Last of His Kind - Half-vampires are exceedingly rare, and the only other one on record died before Cat was born.
- The Load - Cat's mother until Book 3.
- Cat, I Am Your Uncle: in One Foot in the Grave we find out that Don is Cat's uncle
- Mayfly-December Romance - Bones, the two-hundred-twenty-year-old vampire, and Cat, the twenty-year-old half-vampire. Later Bones reveals that between her half-vampire blood and the occasional drinking of vampire blood, Cat can live for as long as he can, making this a May-December Romance.
- The Men in Black - Cat works for them as Special Agent Crawfield. They're an undercover operation of the government charged with studying and eliminating the undead.
- Mistaken for Cheating - Happens with Denise and Spade, when she's told that "the vampire" is in a bedroom with another woman. Becomes a Crowning Moment of Funny when she furiously pounds on the door only to find she's got the wrong vampire.
- Our Demons Are Different - There are two kinds of demons, those in their own corporeal bodies and those possessing hapless victims. A possessor cannot be killed, as they simply jump away into the nearest living thing when their current host dies. Corporeal demons are vulnerable to salt and cannot cross thresholds without an invitation.
- Our Ghosts Are Different - Sentient ghosts are rare, and are created when a person felt an usually strong emotion at their time of death. They can only be seen by the undead and a few humans (mostly crazy ones). They cannot possess humans but they can experience sensations such as drinking alcohol by passing through the human's body.
- Our Ghouls Are Creepier - Ghouls are a sister race to vampires, created when a human drinks vampire blood during life and is given a ghoul heart transplant after death. They must eat human flesh on occasion but generally stick to raw meat. They can only be killed by decapitation.
- Our Vampires Are Different - Vampires can only be killed by shredding their hearts with a silver knife. They are inhumanly fast and strong, and only need to breathe or beat their hearts during unusual physical exertion. They can mesmerize humans with their glowing eyes, and wipe their memories or give them orders. Their blood can temporarily transfer some of their powers to humans. Their secret society has an elaborate hierarchy based on lineage from a Master vampire.
- Second Act Breakup - Twice; first Bones leaves Cat until she can figure out how she feels about vampires, and then Cat writes Bones a Dear John letter.
- Son of a Whore - Bones' mother was a prostitute, also making him a Heroic Bastard.
Since the day I was born.
- Super Senses / Super Speed / Super Strength - all in the domain of vampire superpowers.
- Training From Hell - Bones puts Cat through this, regularly beating her unconscious and chasing her through dark forests at breakneck speeds.
- Vampires Are Sex Gods - Their venom acts as an aphrodisiac and they have centuries of experience to back it up with.
- Vampire Hunter - Cat tries this on her own at first, as a self-taught and mostly lucky amateur. After Bones teaches her, she works for the government training and leading their special agent vampire hunters.
- Van Helsing Hate Crimes - Cat is convinced that all vampires are bloodsucking demons. After she learns that not all of them are evil, she has the realization that some of the vampires she killed may just have been looking for a snack and a one night stand, and killing them may not have been self-defense.