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Night Shift Anthology {3 Stars}

Night Shift is an anthology with stories from Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Lisa Shearin, and Milla Vane consisting mostly of urban fantasy/paranormal genre stories with one exception. Night Shift claims to delve into the stories that happen after dark and I guess a fair amount of screen time is spent at night, but it’s a bit of a stretch at times ;-). What Night Shift does do well is give you a chance to try out several authors’ styles and possibly find a new series to try out! I know I certainly did :D. If you’re looking for a sexy and fun introduction to four worlds of magic and grit, Night Shift might just be perfect for you.

Note: I received a copy of Night Shift from the publisher. Also I’m structuring this review a bit differently because the individual stories impacted me quite differently.

This book has adult content.
Night Shift Anthology {3 Stars}

Night Shift by Ilona Andrews, Lisa Shearin, Milla Vane, Nalini Singh (Kate Daniels, Psy-Changeling, SPI Files)
Published by Berkley on Nov. 25th, 2014
Genres: Adult, Dark Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Page Length: 378 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
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New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh delivers a smoldering story with Secrets at Midnight , as the scent of Bastien Smith’s elusive lover ignites a possessiveness in him that’s as feral as it is ecstatic. And now that he’s found his mate, he’ll do anything to keep her.

In #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews’ novella,Magic Steals , when people start going missing, shapeshifting tigress Dali Harimau and jaguar shifter Jim Shrapshire must uncover the truth about the mysterious creatures responsible.

From Milla Vane—a warrior princess must tame The Beast of Blackmoor to earn a place among her people. But she quickly discovers that the beast isn't a monster, but a barbarian warrior who intends to do some taming himself.

It’s seer Makenna Frazier's first day on the job at Supernatural Protection and Investigations, and her first assignment is more than she bargained for when bodyguard duty for a leprechaun prince’s bachelor party goes every which way but right in national bestselling author Lisa Shearin’s Lucky Charms.

3 Stars

Secrets at Midnight by Nalini Singh

  • I think Secrets at Midnight was my favorite story of Night Shift. The two lovebirds Bas and Kirby were freaking adorable. It was a great story of two people who had been lonely for a long time and finally found someone they clicked with *swoon*.
  • The world of Secrets at Midnight is not your typical urban fantasy and I am so intrigued. It is clear that everyone in the world knows that there are shifters and apparently a race of psychic beings as well. I love it when there isn’t a secret underground world of magic but instead day to day life just factors it in.
  • Secrets at Midnight did a great job of giving me enough information about the world and I assume the actual series so that I wasn’t confused without going overboard. I know enough to be very interested (see above for an excellent example), but wasn’t overwhelmed by info dumps in such a short story.
  • While it can be argued that it made sense in the context, there is definitely insta-love in Secrets at Midnight *shrug*.

Magic Steals by Ilona Andrews

  • While it breaks my heart for Magic Steals not to be my favorite, I have to be honest. Magic Steals had a pretty significant problem with info dumping in order to explain the entire Kate Daniels world. Maybe it’s because I know everything from the series already, but I couldn’t help but cringe at solid paragraphs of information.
  • We have been waiting for a Dali and Jim story for so long and it finally exists :D. I absolutely love Dali and Jim and they’ve been dancing around each other for so long that their romance could easily be fit into a short length of time without seeming forced ;-).
  • I loved finding out a lot more about Dali and her special powers other than being a shifter because wow she is so much more than a white-tiger shifter (as if that weren’t enough!?!?). I ended up thinking of her in a much different light by the end of Magic Steals and I really enjoyed that. I want to go back and read the Kate books where Dali is introduced and see how things seem different now that I know her better.
  • I’m always impressed when a short story is able to pull off a cool plot and even throw in a mini twist :D. I would honestly have loved for Magic Steals to be a full length novel so we could find out more about the creepy magic used!

Lucky Charms by Lisa Shearin

  • I’m honestly having a hard time thinking what to say about Lucky Charms at all. The plot centers around chasing down a leprechaun prince who is off partying. It just isn’t the kind of plot that keeps you glued to your seat, nor did it get me excited about the world or series at all.
  • There was a strange amount of information being repeated in Lucky Charms. There were several times when some information that did need to be established was discussed once and then slipped in again a page later like the first occurrence had never happened. I guess this could be just due to a writing style that didn’t click with me?
  • It’s always weird when you’re reading a finish copy of a book and you find rather obvious typos. Lucky Charms just fell lower in my esteem when I had to backtrack and try to figure out what a word was supposed to be.
  • I think there was supposed to be a simmering romance in Lucky Charms, but it just didn’t spark, oh well.

The Beast of Blackmoor by Milla Vane

  • Oh Beast of Blackmoor, how strange you are. I guess the first thing that really needs to be said about The Beast of Blackmoor is that there is a lot of graphic sex and violence in it. There was naughty bits being chopped off and slaves being treated like animals and sex that made me quite uncomfortable, etc, etc. Just ew.
  • The other strange thing about The Beast of Blackmoor is that it was a clearly high fantasy setting whereas the other three were urban fantasy/paranormal romance. It was downright strange and jarring to get to the last story and realize that it was completely different than the first three. In the end it made the anthology feel a bit messy I guess.
  • While I was uncomfortable at times, I do have to say that The Beast of Blackmoor had fairly realistic sex scenes as opposed to many many sex scenes where you just laugh and say “in your dreams hon…” ;-).
  • As you can guess from the blurb of The Beast of Blackmoor, there is a weird relationship dynamic involving “taming” and it quickly led to insta-lust and then insta-love. And a whole lot of it!

Summary:

My enjoyment of Night Shift clearly ran the gamut from super fun to rather uncomfortable and I ended up sort of averaging my feelings for the rating ;-). I’m happy that I had the chance to read the first two short stories, Secrets at Midnight and Magic Steals, since I got to find a new author to love and revisit a series I already love. If you’re a fan of sexy times and don’t mind some darkness, Night Shift is a great chance to try out four authors at once and see how you like them!

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
– Anya

 

 Night Shift by Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Lisa Shearin, and Milla Vane

© 2015, Anya. All rights reserved.

Comments

  1. This was a pretty great anthology. I’m still hoping that Jim and Dali get their own full length novel at some point down the line though. I’ve loved both this short story and Magic Dreams which starred them.

    And I love Nalini Singh, both her Psy/Changeling and Guild Hunter series are awesome!

    • Agreed, though it sounds like from the author’s blog that they are having a hard time writing Jim and Dali for some reason :(. I will definitely be looking into Singh’s series now, they sound amazing!

      • Yeah, I noticed that they were having a hard time writing Jim and Dali as well. I think they said it was because of the amount of research they would need to do for their idea. :( Hope you like Singh’s series when you get to them! :D

  2. As much as I like the SPI Files by Shearin, that story was weak. Both Lucky Charms and Magic Steals had a lot of info dumping. The Nalini story was my fave also, and I need to start that series. The Vane story, meh. Too dark, not a good fit with the other stories and whoa, that sex was explicit and unexpected. That was a really odd choice for inclusion in the anthology.
    Bea @Bea’s Book Nook recently posted…Steph Reviews The Incredible Adventures of Fredrick Von Wigglebottom: Dreamtime in Alice Springs by Edward MoldenhauerMy Profile

  3. I loved how you structured this review! Easy to read, easy to scan, perfect! You should do any future anthologies this way.

    Great job!
    Mulluane recently posted…Nora Roberts | Weekly Quote 34My Profile

    • Haha will do! It definitely seemed the easiest way to do it. I honestly tend not to read anthologies much since I don’t care for short stories, but I’m sure I’ll read another one eventually ;-)

  4. Even though a partying leprechaun prince doesn’t sound like the most exciting plot, of those four stories, this is the one that I want to read the most. Probably because it sounds so different from everything that I’ve read so far.
    Hellen recently posted…Review/Reseña – Endgame: The Calling (Endgame: La Llamada) – James Frey & Nils Johnson-SheltonMy Profile

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