Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Nightshifted (Edie Spence, #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.