Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Review of Moonshifted by Cassie Alexander

Moonshifted (Edie Spence, #2)It's no secret that I heartily enjoy urban fantasy, particularly the kind with kick-ass female leads and large scale monster hunts. The Edie Spence series is more of the same, except that the heroine is not particularly kick-ass at all. Edie is a nurse working third shifts at a hospital ward secretly dedicated to creatures of the night--shapeshifter, vampires, and vampire's servants. Moonshifted is the second book in the Edie Spence series.

After the events of the first book, I thought it was interesting to see that Edie is becoming even more settled into her role at the hospital, and in fact might even enjoy knowing the secrets of the supernatural world. This, despite the fact that her zombie boyfriend left her, she witnessed a brutal hit-and-run on a werewolf, and she's been asked to appear at her vampire friend's induction ceremony.

What made this book (and the first one) work for me is Edie. She's incredibly well written, and she just feels real to me. She's relatable because she's both an underdog and a bit of a screw-up, yet she's not stupid. Throughout the book, she's genuinely trying to make the best moves and work out who she can trust, but she makes mistakes and the odds are against her. In addition to the supernatural conflicts--the fight between werewolf leaders and the vampire politics, we also get a painfully realistic look at her personal life. Edie's brother is the motivating factor for her working in the supernatural ward in the first place--the powers that be keep her brother off of drugs as long as she works for them. She really and honestly loves her brother, she wants to help him, but she's also faced with the constant realization that her help can only go so far, and she can never afford to trust him completely. Plus Edie is broke, PB&J for dinner every night broke. The girl can't catch a break. My point is, there's something cathartic about seeing Edie's messed up life and her bad decisions with regard to men and her endless fight for survival as a human in a tooth and claw world. She survives on pure determination, and it's awesome.

While I obviously can't say enough about how much I like Edie, the plot of this book in itself was nothing too special. The power struggles of alphas, like we see with the werewolves, is on the point of being old hat in the urban fantasy world. Same with the vampire politics. To her credit, the author does a good job of making us question who Edie can really trust and what the smartest path for her really is. To her discredit, by the time I finished the book I was left with few truly memorable plot points to carry me forward. We'll have to see, with book three, if the originality of the plot improves.

To sum up, I've really been enjoying the fish-out-of-water nature of Edie's story, and I love her character, and for that reason I do continue to recommend this series. I expect good things from it in the future. 4 stars.

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