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Review: Night Shift by Lilith Saintcrow (Jill Kismet #1)

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Night Shift by Lilith Saintcrow // VBC ReviewNight Shift (Jill Kismet Series #1)
Lilith Saintcrow

Published: July 2008 (Orbit)
Purchase at: Book Depository or Amazon

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

8 Responses to “Review: Night Shift by Lilith Saintcrow (Jill Kismet #1)”

  1. Julie says:

    One of my favorite things about VBC is that you’ll review older titles every now and then. Sometimes it’s something I’ve missed or a book that I’ve already read. But this book has been has sitting on my bookshelf for the longest time with me trying to decide if I want to give it a try. I certainly will now. Thanks for the review.

    • Amy M says:

      This book was on my TBR list for a while until I finally read it. I’ve since read book #2 Hunter’s Prayer as well. I liked that one even more because there was more familiarity with the characters and the world.

    • Thanks, Julie! We try to get a nice mix of older and newer books. If you ever have a suggestion of an older title you’d like to see us review, let me know.

  2. Kristin says:

    This is one of my favorite series:) Glad to see it reviewed on VBC!

  3. Mags says:

    The complete series is currently $8.89 for Kindle. Awesome deal!

    I think it’s easier to read this series all together because it takes a little while to get used to the style. (She makes up words and it bugs me until I get into the story.) I read the last book a year after all the other ones (because it wasn’t out yet) and it was tough at the beginning. But this world is different than anything else I’ve read and it’s totally worth it if you like it dark and dirty.

    • Julie says:

      Thanks for pointing out the deal on Amazon Mags! I have a vacation coming up and now I know what I’ll be taking on my Kindle to read!!! 😀

  4. Joani S says:

    I loved this series, she’s great with the world building and her characters are fleshed out. I love how she went with the religion, also. I hope you like them as much as I did. Now I feel like a re-read coming on!! 🙂

  5. melliane says:

    I also liked this one and I confess I need to read book 2. You’re right it’s difficult to really unterstand the heroine but I’m curious to see what will happen to her now.

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