Patrick's Reviews > Nightshifted

Nightshifted by Cassie Alexander
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it was amazing

Simply said, I liked it.

Slightly less simply: I really enjoyed it a surprising amount.

First, an interesting premise: Main character is a night shift nurse who works in the secret wing of the hospital that treats the city's supernatural population.

Second, new twists on old tropes: Yeah, there are vampires and Were-things. But they're different. What's more, we don't spend a whole lot of time learning everything about them. This does two nice things. 1) It keeps the story moving. 2.) It actually makes me more curious about the details of these creatures and their underground societies.

Third, good execution: Nice tight chapters. Good movement and action. Clear writing. Good dialogue.

Fourth, and most importantly, nothing stupid: At no point did I roll my eyes at anything. No glaring plot holes. No inconsistent characters. No "Let's split up and search the haunted house" moments.

Was it pure, white-hot brilliance? No, but it was solid with some very clever bits. Given that it was Alexander's debut novel, I'm willing to overlook a few rough patches here and there and give it a full 5 stars.

Ultimately, the test of a book like this is whether or not I want to read the next one. And I do. If the local bookstore was open right now, I'd be doing that instead of writing this review.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
October 8, 2012 – Shelved
October 8, 2012 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-18 of 18 (18 new)

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message 1: by Elizabeth (new) - added it

Elizabeth May Ah, I heard about this one from io9; it sounds right up my alley. Great review, Pat!


message 2: by Chris (last edited Oct 09, 2012 11:29AM) (new) - added it

Chris McGrath I'm wary of most urban fantasy, particularly that published by women, because too often they seem to be primarily romance novels with some weak action thrown in. How "girly" would you say this one is?

I'm a huge fan of The Dresden Files, and enjoyed Sandman Slim and Iron Druid Chronicles, looking for series that don't put quite so much emphasis on the romantic/sexual aspect as many of the female authors in the genre seem to.


message 3: by Chris (new) - added it

Chris McGrath Allow me to rephrase the question then. There is a fine line between urban fantasy and paranormal romance. Which side of that line does this book fall and how far over that line is it? Because I enjoy the former quite a bit, but have no interest in the latter.


message 4: by Jake (new)

Jake Dekker Since Kevin is just being useless, I'll give it a shot. From what I've heard Gunner, it has many elements of urban fantasy, but then will just throw sex into it...a lot, with a love interest that is supernatural. Glancing through the reviews, it seems to depend largely on who is reading the book, but I would guess this might not be your cup of tea as much. Hope this helps.


message 5: by Chris (new) - added it

Chris McGrath Thanks Jacob, that's exactly the sort of thing I was curious about.


message 6: by Joseph (new)

Joseph Cain If it's as consistent as Mr. Patrick "Wise Man" Rothfuss review says it is, hell yeah, I would gladly read it... Last time I took his advice was with "The Way of Kings" from Brandon Sanderson, and I can say that was freakin' awesome.


Patrick First. Don't be dicks to each other here. Either actively or passively.

Second. There wasn't much sex in it. And what was in there I thought to be perfectly appropriate.


Shannon (Giraffe Days) "we don't spend a whole lot of time learning everything about them."

This tends to be my problem with urban fantasy (one of my problems, some of the time), in that for me, I find it frustrating, like there's not enough world building - though that can be a fine line, it's true. What I mean is, would you say that there's enough detail/explanation to give it solid ground and dispel confusion? I haven't been having much luck with urban fantasy lately. They tend to skim over things so much, whereas I'm used to - or I prefer - the greater detail in fantasy books. Ugh, I think I'm going 'round in circles now...


Camille hello gunner! let me just say that you are spot on in your observation - there seems to be a fine line between urban fantasy and paranormal romance, and many female authors tend to not know the distinction between the two. however, you may want to try reading the kate daniels series by ilona andrews. it's actually written by a husband and wife team, and while there is a bit of tension between the lead characters, there is not much romance and not a single sex scene in the first few books. i find them to be a fun and action-packed read. no glittery and romanticized vampires either, which is a huge plus in my book. just my two cents. hope you give these books a try. :)


message 10: by Jake (new)

Jake Dekker Patrick wrote: "First. Don't be dicks to each other here. Either actively or passively.

Second. There wasn't much sex in it. And what was in there I thought to be perfectly appropriate."


That's interesting to learn, it does make me much more likely to read the book. And I apologize for being a dick, period, it wasn't respectful. Love your books?


message 11: by Oj (new)

Oj Stapleton "Don't be a dick" is always good advice, no matter who it is coming from.

That said, since it's gets a 5-star review from Patrick, that's good enough for me to check it out.


message 12: by Chris (new) - added it

Chris McGrath Camille wrote: "hello gunner! let me just say that you are spot on in your observation - there seems to be a fine line between urban fantasy and paranormal romance, and many female authors tend to not know the dis..."

Thanks Camille. I tend to think the issue is not necessarily the female authors' fault, but rather simply a result of the different ways men and women think. Women are typically much more emotionally and relationally oriented in their thinking, which makes stories that focus primarily on the relationships between characters their natural strength. They enjoy reading those kind of stories, and they enjoy writing them.

Men tend to be a bit more action-oriented in our thinking, and so we appreciate and write stories where "more stuff happens."

Sex and relationship have their place in both types of novels, and certainly there are authors who defy those stereotypes, and readers who can appreciate both styles for their differences. The Time Traveler's Wife is one of my favorite books, but most assuredly written by a woman and primarily concerned with relationships.

Sadly, the result of this difference is that men seem to write action packed urban fantasy (with a little sex thrown in because, of course, men do like to think about sex), and female authors lean toward writing books that focus on the relationship between a witch and a vampire.

I may be overstating the reality a bit since I have been turned off from reading the female authors in the genre. To rectify this I've decided that while I wait for The Emperor's Soul to show up from Amazon, I'm going to read the first Mercedes Thompson novel and see if Patricia Briggs can do anything to change the stereotype I've set up in my own head.


message 13: by Brandt (new)

Brandt If you are up for a recommendation, Gunner, then try out Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series.
I found it to be a lot more action and magic oriented than Mercedes Thompson.
Mercedes Thompson use a lot of her time philosophizing over which werewolf she wants to date and whether she wants to be “dominated” by them, and in my opinion that seems to be the primary plotline. (You can try to read my review on it, I focused a lot on how enjoyable it was from a male perspective)
Kate Daniels also date some sort of were creature (no way around that), but it seemed a much more natural part of the plot, and her love interest was just a lot less obnoxious than Mercedes Thompson’s..
Kate Daniels is kind of a reverse stereotype, she’s a sword-wielding, magic-using, mercenary, who spends much more time doing, than thinking.. Of UF series written by female authors that I’ve read, I found it to be the one that is most comparable with the Dresden Files.. Which in my opinion is the upper standard for all UF series..
:)


message 14: by Chris (new) - added it

Chris McGrath Mab wrote: "If you are up for a recommendation, Gunner, then try out Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series.
I found it to be a lot more action and magic oriented than Mercedes Thompson."


Funny, that's the suggestion another reader made earlier in the thread.

I've already bought a bunch of the Mercedes Thompson novels for a dollar a piece, I figure I should probably read one so I can decide whether they should continue taking space up on my shelves. =)


message 15: by Brandt (new)

Brandt Oops I overlooked that.. I second Camilles suggestion then :)


message 16: by Paul (new)

Paul Ever since I read your review on Libriomancer and decided to pick it up, I will give anything a read that you recommend Pat.


Camille i like the mercedes thompson series as well, although not quite as much as i love kate daniels. let us know what you think after you go through the first book, and here's to hoping it'll be the first step in helping change the stereotype you mentioned earlier.


message 18: by C (new)

C Ditto Mercedes Thompson.


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