Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Nightshifted (Edie Spence, #1)

Nightshifted (Nightshifted, #1)Author: Cassie Alexander
Series: Edie Spence, #1
Published: May 22nd 2012
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Mass market paperback, 331 pages
Source: publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository

Never judge a book by its cover. Based on the cover alone, you’d think Nightshifted is a light, borderline fluffy urban fantasy about one chirpy nurse and her supernatural patients. You’d be wrong. Nightshifted is dark, twisted and often extremely gory, and the strongest emotion I got from it was an overwhelming feeling of loneliness.

Is there a person lonelier than a single, nightshift nurse? After reading Nightshifted, I sincerely doubt it. You try working all night, coming home to an empty apartment, sleeping until 3 pm, eating junk food because you can’t afford much else and worrying about your addict brother. Rinse and repeat. That’s the life of Edie Spence.

On her days off, she goes out dancing and usually ends up back in her apartment with a nameless one night stand whom she kicks out before either of them even catches their breath.
Things were a bit better back when Edie was working in a private clinic. Sure, she still had a brother addicted to heroin and not a single friend to talk to, but at least she could afford more stuff. But then some powerful strangers approached her and offered to fix her brother if she agreed to work at the secret Y4 ward in the County hospital – a place where supernatural creatures come to seek medical attention. The fact that Edie now works with vampires, dragons, zombies and shapeshifters doesn’t much help her day-to-day life, or her budget, for that matter. It just puts her in all kinds of dangerous situations.

I loved that Cassie Alexander put so much thought into her supernatural groups. Her vampires are exactly as they should be: cold, well-connected, organized, detached and extremely political. Weres and shapeshifters are not nearly the same: weres change to animals, while shapeshifters turn into another human being they touched at some point, through the DNA they collect. There are zombies, weredragons, vampire daytimers and the ominous Shadows that employed Edie. And of course, there’s my personal favorite, the German-speaking ghost that resides in an old CD player.

When I first read that Edie’s love interest is a zombie, I was more than a little worried. I love zombies as much as the next girl, but not everyone is Isaac Marion, you know? I was afraid that Cassie Alexander bit off more than she could chew and it turns out I was right, in part. I liked Ti, he seemed genuinely nice and caring, but he came with his own set of issues, and besides, he wasn’t exactly in the best shape physically, so the whole thing became downright disgusting towards the end. Not exactly a swoon-worthy romance, but then again, it wasn't meant to be.

All in all, Cassie Alexander skillfully avoided clichés and wrote a book that is fresh, although sometimes hard to digest.

Make sure to stop by next week for an interview with Cassie and a giveaway of Nightshifted.

An advanced copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher, St. Martin's Press, for review purposes.


  1. Very interesting. It sounds like a very sad and lonely life for Edie. I agree about the zombie thing. Although I didn't even like the romance in Isaac Marion's novel. R totally creeped me out. I loved Bram from Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel. I think that is the only zombie I've read about that I wouldn't mind dating. lol But this Ti guy was in bad shape and it became disgusting!? I'm a bit disturbed lol but I do like when authors push the envelope.

  2. You made this sound more interesting than I ever suspected it could be, based on the cover alone. The part with her brother really intrigues me because there really is no good treatment for addiction - I can understand why she would make that trade! And actually, I'm interested by the yucky non-romance. Wonderful review!

  3. Wow, it definitely does sound different to its cover! I really want to read this after seeing your review. :) Thanks for sharing!

  4. You're right. I definitely had this one peg as just your ordinary UF story with a General Hospital setting. Glad I was wrong. I really admire the author for doing something different with her paranormal characters. And yeah, I couldn't have a zombie as a love interest. Thanks for the review, I'll definitely check this one out and stop by for the interview. :)

  5. This books sounds amazing I remember when you picked it as your wow and it had grabbed my attention then! I think this will be one urban fantasy book I will definitely checking out! Brilliant review my love! :)

  6. I love that you mentioned Isaac Marion! Reminded me a bit of the very first time I ever had a crush on a zombie. Haha! Sigh, I love me some Warm Bodies.

    Anyway, back to the topic, I wasn't really familiar with this book but when I saw the cover I was immediately intrigued. I am taking nursing and I'm on my last year so I think I might be able to really relate to the nursing part. Although, Edie being able to work with supernatural creatures is definitely strange and new! I could say that I am doubly intrigued by this now and I'd really think I'd enjoy it even though I could tell how disgusting it is to be in a relationship with a zombie. ;) Sorry for my rambling but great detailed review, Maja!

  7. Still processing this review. I am inteigued by the supernatural medical ward and I loved the way you described all the creatures. I want to meet that German ghost. The whole love affair with a zombie yeah that is a little weird. I think this is a book I would like to check out because it is fresh but I am not a big fan of excessive gore :(

  8. Due to working as a receptionist in two clinics and having a nurse practitioner for a mother, I've developed a definite interest in the medical world over the years. Still, I'm glad you wrote that bit about the cover at the beginning of the review because, while I was interested in this book when I first heard about it, I WAS expecting light and fluffy. I definitely want to read this one though. It sounds like something I'd be interested in!

    Thanks for the review, Maja! :)

  9. oh great review. I'm really intrigued by this book because I have a lot of family members in the medical field and I actually love urban fantasy, so it's like two fields I like mashed into one for a great read. I love that it's darker than most people would think. can't wait to get this one!

    Ashelynn @ gypsy book reviews.

  10. Don't judge a book by its cover is my mantra, but sometimes I just can't help myself -- I was totally intrigued by the contrast of a doctor and a dragon all in one! x) But I love that this one is more of a dark urban fantasy than a light one, especially with the whole complexity of the supernatural aspect! That's the thing I love most about urban fantasies: They can have amazing things like weredragons in them! (And we can't forget the German-speaking ghost LOL!)

    Sometimes it's like you write your reviews with all the points that would get me intrigued, Maja! :') Even though it wasn't perfect, you've got to give a book brownie points for avoiding cliches! <3

  11. Ummm....I'd take a nameless stranger over a zombie any day.

  12. You've definitely got me interested in this book, Maja, it sounds like Cassie created a strong female character in Edie.

  13. "You try working all night, coming home to an empty apartment, sleeping until 3 pm, eating junk food because you can’t afford much else and worrying about your addict brother. Rinse and repeat."

    This totally describes my first year after graduating from college. I saw daylight so little I started believing maybe I was a vampire myself. o.O

    I've been really curious about this one since I first saw it, so I'm happy to see you liked it! I love that there is a distinction between weres and shapeshifters in this one, I'm totally intrigued. The premise does sound light and fun, it's good to know not to expect that going in!

  14. Maja, you have made the cover come alive with your review! The title and the cover looked nice enough but I LOVED the cover and could appreciate it only after the premise was made clear. WOW, it sounds so unique and original... I definitely want to read about a supernatural medical ward and I LOVE that the creatures are portrayed as they should be. Cold vampires, original were-creatures?- yes, please. The romance with a zombie sounds iffy but this is definitely to-read list worthy!

  15. Whoa. Like whoa whoa whoa. Her love interest is a ZOMBIE? I can see why people fall in love with vampire, were, shapsifter, angel, fairy... you name it. But zombie?? *gulp* Er, well... interesting choice. I think I'm going to feel sad for the main character. Her life seems very lonely. I hope she can have a girlfriend she can rely on in the ending! Um, and it'd be better if she's not in love with zombie I think. It's not... practical.

    I'm very interested to read how the romance goes though. Totally fantastic review, Maja! <3


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