I really enjoyed this book!
This is officially the first urban fantasy (or paranormal romance) book that had me in danger of crying. I read the ending while sitting passenger-side during a four-hour road trip. I think if I had been alone, the tears would have actually rolled. As it was, my eyes watered and I tried my darned-est to hold back the tears as Cat made her final decisions in the book. All the while, I was trying not to look like I was about to bawl, so my husband wouldn't have to ask me what was wrong, and then I wouldn't have to say, "Cat has to leave her undead boyfriend, so that she can protect him and her mother. And I wish I could fix it all for them, because I just want those two crazy kids to make it work, because . . . THEY COMPLETE EACH OTHER. Waah!" That would make me look pretty foolish, I think.
Halfway to the Grave was formulaic in a lot of ways. For example, we have the near-virgin woman and the much-experienced man who falls deeply in love with her and breaks down her emotional barriers. We have the vampire-killer who initially believes that all vampires are evil but eventually sees the error of her ways. We have the half-breed who doesn't know where she belongs in the world and fights too hard against her "evil" half. But despite the formula, I loved every minute of it.
The book was a lot fun, with lots of bloody action, sexy vampires, and sexual innuendo. The author managed to achieve the perfect ratio of character-development/touching scenes to action scenes. This book may have followed a formula in many respects, but "formulas" exist for a reason. Sometimes they work! And this author did a fine job making the formulas her own, by creating believable and engaging characters. (I just love Bones to pieces!) I bought it, hook, line, and sinker. I was never bored--not once.
I thought the ending was pretty great. The climax was a series of several beautifully choreographed action sequences, which I could visualize perfectly in my mind's eye. And it was clear to me that the author had put some thought into creating a bad-guy crime network that spanned both supernaturals and humans. I appreciated that. It took some of the cliche out of the book.
I am definitely looking forward to reading the second book in this series.