walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

_Outtakes from the Grave_, Jeaniene Frost

The Night Huntress series is basically complete, altho the ancillary series about other characters in it continue. When the last book in the series came out, I reread the rest of the series, so it is all relatively fresh in my mind. I cannot imagine reading this book without having read the series, and if you haven't ever reread, just read the series book by book as it was rewritten, you'll need a sharp memory to make sense of some of this.

What is is: Frost did something that you aren't ever supposed to do if you are going to be published, but of course, you don't _know_ you are going to be published before you are (or at least, that's how it used to work). She wrote multiple books in a series before selling the first one. She recognizes this, and describes how she got started during that period before self-publishing e-books became a viable option, and how having the first several books written both worked for and against her (it is utterly amazing to me that she sold them all). Her publishing/editorial team obviously wanted a lot of rewriting, and Frost's narrative style borders on chatty, so it is unsurprising that there would be cutting. This book isn't all the individual words that got cut -- it's big scenes, whole chunks of subplot that was removed and/or reworked, usually over pacing concerns. These sections might actually work as standalone short stories. They are funny, character driven and have a beginning/middle/end with a point to them (har de har har). Other sections, including the one which is at the end of the book, were removed or extensively reworked because Frost made other choices as an author.

HEY YOU! Patra and Gregory are working together to get YOU if you care about spoilers and keep reading. Yeah, I know you _think_ they're safety out of the picture . . .

Turns out Frost wrote a version in which Gregory didn't just compromise Cat's memory. He got to Bones, too, leading to a very, very different stuck-in-New Orleans sequence, and a lengthy get-to-know-each-other-again storyline. Frost discusses on-and-off through the book how her own personal experience (as she characterizes it, but I suspect it is more representative of her region/sociodemographics than she is implying) leaving home and marrying at 19 led to her write a heroine who is a lot younger than is typical for the genre. One of the most captivating aspects of the Bones-without-memory-of-Cat storyline is the idea of Bones meeting Cat once she's actually grown up. I really liked it, but I agree with the author that it was just way too mean to the characters to actually leave in the official arc of their storyline.
Tags: book review, paranormal fiction

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