If you love this, great. I’m happy you and Frost have found each other, and I wish you many hot and heavy installments. But I suggest moving on to another review, because I’m going to be very blunt: I remain unimpressed by paranormal romance, and Frost’s Halfway to the Grave seems a rather mediocre example of the genre.
I occasionally get tempted to try paranormal, searching for that one story to surprise me. In this case, a number of friend reviews, particularly Mimi’s review and the fact that Ilona Andrews, co-author of one of my favorite UF series, is besties with Frost, inspired me to give her a try. Unfortunately, Frost has done nothing to change my opinion of the genre.
How to Write a Paranormal Romance
1) Alienated but speshul female lead who is insecure about her looks, inexperienced with dating, and trying to build identity away from her family. Preferably has under-developed magic or physical power
2) Sexxy, hawt (insert other modern adjective) arrogant male lead who dresses well
3) Dull/clueless boy-next-door admirer (of the female lead)
4) Vampires (sparkling optional). Should include a hawt-but-naughty vampire and an Evil vampire
5) Clueless government representative (evilness optional)
1) Female lead needs to learn to trust rakish male lead while male lead needs to fall in LOVE with female
2) Traditional sex scene
3) Female needs to discover her sexual identity
4) Semi-scandalous sex scene (if you are thirteen)
5) Couple challenged by immortal vs. immortal issue
Plotting, external conflict
1) Evil versus good
1) Substitution of ‘real world’ for world-building
Halfway to the Grave is best summarized with an equation: Blade meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer, minus Buffy’s compassion, intelligence and self-esteem.
Writing was about average for the genre. The family back story took a vaguely interesting angle on the heroine’s background. The heroine had normal to above average amounts of TSTL moments. I did enjoy one scene with a disagreeable ghost, and even laughed out loud at the end of it. I can’t say that I recommend it any more than any other PNR books. It is worth noting it kept me awake on night shift, so it wasn’t a waste of time, but any enjoyment in the story was almost destroyed by the ending.