Night Shift by Lilith Saintcrow

Jill Kismet, Book 1

Synopsis: Not everyone can take on the things that go bump in the night.
Not everyone tries.
But Jill Kismet is not just anyone.
She’s a Hunter, trained by the best – and in over her head. 
Welcome to the night shift…

Our review: You all know my love for urban fantasy books, so how to not succumb to this new series by Lilith Saintcrow? This book has everything we could like, a great heroine, demons, werewolves and many other things.

Jill Kismet is an extraordinary young woman. In fact, since the death of her teacher and the only person she loved, she became the hunter of the city. Trying to be strong, she decides to dedicate her life to her job. Her mission is something she takes very seriously and nobody can approach her territory with impunity. But more than that our heroine is a broken character. We discover her throughout the novel, knowing what she had to go trough to be the person she is. It is so sad to understand her feelings and pain. The difficulty of being alone, having lost the only person that mattered to her, she leads a constantly battle against the demon with whom she is under contract. Many things that make the life more complicated for Kismet. I enjoyed the Lilith Saintcrow ideas in this first novel. She creates a special world, where we encounter creatures that I had not yet had the opportunity to meet and I was really intrigued by them. Of course, we collect some information about them but there are still many unanswered questions. Especially about Perry, the creature who forged a contract with Kiss. We try to understand what he really wants from her, something quite difficult because he loses us many times. But anyway our heroine is determined to not let him do what he wants and she avoids him as much as possible. Problem? Avoiding him seems more complicated than expected.

In this novel, Jill will face a creature killing many people in her city. Usual thing for her, except that this case is ultimately much more difficult than expected. And when the werewolfs come to town looking for one of them, she finds herself with many people involved in the events. We discover Saul, a werewolf who comes to live at Kiss home during the time of his investigation. This man is awesome, and we hope from the start that he could fill what’s missing in our hunter. He is understanding, caring and seems willing to help her as he can. We fall quickly under his spell and we try to understand him as best as possible. He also acts strangely and although we try to find out what is really happening, we’re left with many questions that we hope will be resolved in the next novel.

So it was a very nice new first volume to discover and I’ll surely read the second one soon.

I did not know this series at all and suddenly I was eager to meet this Urban Fantasy heroine, Jill Kismet. The world that Lilith Saintcrow has created is original, rich and very interesting. But it is also quite complex and fortunately there is the glossary at the end of the French Edition to help us see things more clearly. I had to refer to it two or three times. I must admit that at the beginning I had difficulties to get into this book. Indeed, the descriptions are numerous and there is lot of information and at times I was a bit lost in all this mass of details. I had also some difficulties to visualize certain scenes, especially the fight scenes. But I must say that it is the first book of Lilith Saintcrow I read so therefore it took me some time to get familiar with her writing style. But once managed in the second half of the book, I was completely caught up in the story. 
The story takes place in a city overrun by demons that only bring chaos and corruption. Jill is a demon huntress. People call her for everything related to the supernatural and this includes even some exorcisms. She is a pretty tough girl. She is impulsive and does not hesitate to snub those who care a bit about her. To the reader, she could pass for a disagreeable heroine but gradually pieces of her past are revealed and we finally understand why she is as tough. She has built an armor to protect herself emotionally. She is a young woman scarred and tormented by her heavy past. Her mentor’s death, completed to break her. She was very attached to him and she feels guilty for not being able to save him. She works alone for only six months and he misses her terribly. But she is a strong woman who suffered a lot in the past and now she is determined to maintain order in her city. When the bodies of five policemen are found mutilated, torn, she does not need more to investigate. In this case, she will team up with Harp and Dominic, two Weres from the Martindale Section (= division of the FBI in charge of tracking down the nocturnal world criminals) and Saul, a Were tracker. I loved these three characters. Harp and Dominic are compelling and nice and the least we can say is that they are familiar with our heroine and her bad temper. Concerning Saul, well I can say I’m already in love. His meeting with Jill is tumultuous but he really seems to care about her and be a perfect housewife! She is very lucky! 
We also meet a great number of characters ranging from policemen, coroners, then there is Avery, the official exorcist of the police or Galina… And there is Perry, the demon with whom Jill signed a pact earlier to become the formidable hunter she is now. Perry is a scaring character and difficult to understand, we wonder why he wanted to sign a contract with our heroine. We do not know much about him in this book except that he is very powerful and that he is a sadist. 

The story is quite exciting and there is a lot of action. However, we regret the lack of information about the apparition of the demons. From the first pages, we enter the heart of the matter without any explanation, which is unfortunate. It was however a nice read and I will read book 2 with pleasure.

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