Reviewed by: Amy
Rating (out of 5): 3.5 stars
Jill Kismet is a Hunter. She’s been trained to deal with the creatures of the Nightside. When a were, hellbreed or trader steps out of line the police call in Jill Kismet to mete out justice. This time around, however, it’s the cops getting killed by an unknown assailant and it’s up to Jill to figure out who is killing in her territory and why.
Night Shift took a little while to get into, but once I got past the first third of the book, I couldn’t put it down. Jill Kismet is a former prostitute, taken off the streets by her mentor (and lover) Mikhail who teaches her to be a Hunter. Jill hasn’t had an easy life, and with the death of her teacher only six months prior, she’s on her own and still grieving.
I found her character to be a little difficult to take at times. She closes herself off from the people who seemingly just want to be her friends and help her. She comes across as bitchy and brash. Yet there are subtle times when she shows kindness, enough not to count her out completely. There are reasons why Jill acts the way she does and Lilith Saintcrow is very good at drawing out the information. We only get it in little bits and pieces along the way, so by the end we are rooting for Jill. I want to see her make the right choices and say the right things, not just think them.
This is definitely an urban fantasy, but Saintcrow does throw in a little bit of romance as well. It’s pretty predictable who her love interest is going to be, but I think that was intentional. More focus could then be put in the mystery part of the story. Plus if you already know that something’s going to happen, sometimes it’s interesting to see how it all comes together.
The world Jill polices is complex and I’m sure we have only learned the bare amount about it in this first book. Humans and the supernatural live side-by-side. The weres, at this point, seem to have similar characterizations as other shifters. The hellbreeds, however, have different subspecies and levels of power. Jill happens to be indebted to a high-ranking hellbreed and it causes no small conflict of interest in her work. A problem, I assume, will pop up further in the series.
While it may have started out a little iffy for me, Night Shift definitely turned around in the end. I’m interested to see what is in store for Jill in the future. In typical Saintcrow fashion I’m sure there are a few surprises waiting in the wings.
Sexual content: Kissing, references to sex, references to prostitution