Friday, May 24, 2013

Audio Review: Nightshifted by Cassie Alexander

by Cassie Alexander
Edie Spence #1
Narrated by Tai Sammons
Published May 22nd 2012 by Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  Source: Purchased at

Nursing school prepared Edie Spence for a lot of things. Burn victims? No problem. Severed limbs? Piece of cake. Vampires? No way in hell. But as the newest nurse on Y4, the secret ward hidden in the bowels of County Hospital, Edie has her hands full with every paranormal patient you can imagine—from vamps and were-things to zombies and beyond...

Edie’s just trying to learn the ropes so she can get through her latest shift unscathed. But when a vampire servant turns to dust under her watch, all hell breaks loose. Now she’s haunted by the man’s dying words—Save Anna—and before she knows it, she’s on a mission to rescue some poor girl from the undead. Which involves crashing a vampire den, falling for a zombie, and fighting for her soul. Grey’s Anatomy was never like this ..

Nightshifted had a kind of slow start for me. It took me about half of the book to really get into the story. But I think the biggest part was due to the narration. Tai Sammons didn't change her pitch enough so I was confused sometimes as to which character was speaking. I felt like she was just reading the book to me instead of "acting" the story out like some great narrators can do. With that being said I will be listening to the next book, Moonshifted because it's free through my library and I'm on a time crunch to get it done so that I can read the 3rd book, Shapeshifted. And that will be the real telling point for me if the narration is what brought Nightshifted from a 4 Halo book to a 3 Halo book. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

What drew me into Nightshifted is the fact that the story is set mostly in a hospital so I knew that it would be a different kind of book. (Cassie Alexander is a nurse by day (or night) so I was a little worried that the medical parts would be a little too technical but she did a great job of keeping it in dumby terms.)  I thought of the hospital scenes in Larissa Ione's Demoncia series when I started and was wondering if Edie's hospital would be similar. There was a few small similarities in the fact that Y4, the supernatural underground level of the county hospital is a secret from the humans and they only treat the supes. But that was about it.

Edie is not your usual urban fantasy heroine. First she is just a plain human, no special abilities. She's just a nurse working the nightshift that switched over to Y4 to help get her drug user brother some help. She made a deal and now he can't get high or drunk no matter how much he tries. We'll have to see if he change the type of person he is in the following books. (I'm assuming we will see more of him.)

While Edie is working a shift at Y4 she makes a rookie mistake with a vampire patient causing his death. But before he dies, he asks Edie to help Anna. So now our everyday human nurse has a mission to save a girl that she has no clue where or who/what she is. Not only is Edie is trying to keep afloat in her life by working to pay her rent, trying to keep her brother from ending up dead by a drug overdose but now she has to keep her promise to a patient that she feels she killed.

Alexander kept me entertained with the developing mystery within the plot about Anna and I grew to like Edie as the main character. Some of the secondary characters have potential. But one thing I didn't care too much for was the romantic relationship that Edie has with the zombie patient (I don't even remember his name). He was a good guy but the part where he has to replace his body parts with other people's was just a little off putting for him to be the romantic lead IMO.

Another thing I had a hard time with was the grandfather speaking German through a radio. I was very confused by who's grandfather it was. I'm not sure if the grandfather was Edie's or one of her patients. I don't know if that was just not written well to be clear or if I had tuned out during the part it was explained. (A bad side effect of having a not so great narrator.)

There was some funny moments. One that sticks out for me is the scene where a dragon shifter with syphillis get loose in the hospital and Edie wonders at one point if she had slept with the dragon shifter while he was in his human form.

In any case I enjoyed Nightshifted enough to check out the next book to see if Edie and her world will grow on me more.


  1. This is on my maybe list! I like the concept and I am glad to hear it is funny :)

  2. Edie's relationship with Ti (the zombie) kind killed this book for me. I liked pretty much everything else but having a bf that has pieces falling off of him kinda creeped me out. Glad to hear that you're sticking with this series though!

  3. Nice review, Jennifer. This book felt a lot darker to me than a lot of the UF I've been reading lately though it did have it's moments of humor. And I totally agree about squick factor of the zombie boyfriend. Yuck! That didn't work for me either. I also plan to give the next book a try. I thought there were some really great secondary characters and I'm curious to find out what happens next! Looking forward to your review of the next book -- hopefully, I'll have read it by then. BTW, the grandfather talking through the radio was the grandfather of the boy in the hospital. :)


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