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Friday, February 12, 2016

Outtakes From the Grave by Jeaniene Frost


Cat and Bones fans, sink your teeth into this new outtakes compilation from New York Times bestselling author Jeaniene Frost!

Indulge your love of paranormal super couple Cat and Bones with this ultimate “director’s cut” collection of deleted scenes and alternate versions from the first four novels in the Night Huntress series, complete with author commentary on each selection. Includes: the original beginnings of Halfway to the Grave, One Foot in the Grave, At Grave’s End, and Destined for an Early Grave: a chapter written in Bones’s point of view; alternate versions of sections of Halfway to the Grave, One Foot in the Grave, and Destined for an Early Grave; the “white wedding” scene between Cat and Bones that never made it into the final books…and much more!




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This is an interesting collection of deleted scenes from the first four Night Huntress books. It will, of course, mostly appeal to those who have read the series (and the related series), and really probably wouldn't be very recommended for those who haven't read at least the first four books due to spoilers and potential confusion later with the official published version of events and scenes. Equally interesting are Jeaniene Frost's author's notes introducing each snippet, as they help not only to place the scenes in context but also give insight into why they ended up being cut from the final published versions. Overall it's definitely worth the price of admission as they say.




For fans of the Night Huntress series, this anthology does provide some more interesting insights into the characters, giving us a chance to see them in several lighter, more every day sorts of situations as well as to get a few more glimpses into their mindset at various points in the story. Are there any earth-shattering revelations? Not really. But we do get to understand a few of the more minor characters a bit better perhaps. Though aside from the character insights, it's probably mostly for the best that these ended up getting cut.

I found the author's notes to be just as interesting as the deleted scenes, for they really help to give insight into the writing process. She really highlights the fact that there are many considerations beyond technical ones like grammar, word choice, etc. For instance she highlights the fact that most of the scenes that got cut were cut because of pacing concerns and either wanting to get to the action faster or not drag things out longer than necessary. Sometimes it was because even though a scene might be great on it's own, it wasn't adding enough to advancing the story or character development to keep it. These are things that beginning writers many not always think about (Frost admits that she was clueless about such things when she first wrote the books) and so I think seeing the demonstrations of what sort of things may need to be cut and why could be quite helpful for those looking to further their skills.

This is definitely one I'd recommend, though primarily just for those who have read at least the first four Night Huntress books as I noted above. Preferably you'd have read the whole series first, but the outtakes here come only from the first four, so you won't really get any spoilers for later books if you've only read those four (perhaps a few minor spoilers, but nothing major). So for all you Frost fans out there, have at it. You won't be sorry.

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