Monday, June 23, 2008

Night Shift, Lilith Saintcrow

Oh my Lord God, do not forsake me when I face Hell's legions. In Thy name and with Thy blessing. I go forth to cleanse the night.

This is Jill Kismet's prayer. Jill is Lilith Saintcrow's newest creation. Jill is a rare creature, she hunts hellbreed and other things that go bump in the night. She is a Hunter but she has been infused with a bit of hellbreed herself, to make her faster, stronger and it helps her heal faster too. The fact that she is tainted by the hellbreed is a fantastic source or inner turmoil and it makes for some interesting schenes which Lilith is so excellent at setting up.

It is a very well written, very dark book dealing with a lot of raw emotion, pushing the boundaries of friendship and belief. We have a fantastic counter-foil to Jill's strong kick butt attitude in a Were called Saul. I am not spoiling the storyline but he sounds delicious and acts as a good springboard for someone who has no real life beside killing Bad Things.

The Bad Things are mainly earthbound hellbreed who overstep the line. Jill is called out to help in a spectacularly savage killing of several police out along a stretch of road. She picks up the scent of hellbreed and something else...soon she has two friends tagging along a ride, Harper and Dominic, two Weres who are FBI. With them is Saul and it only after an elaborate dance that Lilith is so good at choreographing, that we discover the premise behind their presence and the scope of the trouble.

It is the first Jill Kismet book and we find that although Jill is very good at what she does, she is quite still new at the game. She takes every killing personally and is both protector and avenger. It is a fantastic role and has tremendous scope as she comes across as loyal, caring and very uninhibited when it comes to hurting Bad People. The setting is very dark, very noir and quite savage. Magic is real and you are as likely to find something trying to eat your face off in the shadows as a Sanctuary where you can purchase spells and charms.

Jill's character is set up painstakingly with enough pathos to make you care about her. There are very few walk-on parts in Night Shift as you can be pretty sure the cast of characters will make a return in future books. They are well thought out and work well alongside Jill.

Lilith has again created a vibrant, strong, female heroine who keeps you running behind her in a breathless charge against forces you just know you would never be able to walk away from completely unscathed. But somehow you do limp away and all you pray for is that your integrity remains intact and what the hell next you will be getting up to with Kismet in that follow-up book!

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