Saturday, May 7, 2016

#Saturday Review - Night Shift by Charlaine Harris (Urban Fantasy)

Series: Midnight, Texas # 3
Format: Hardcover, 320 pages
Release Date: May 3, 2016
Publisher: Ace
Source: Publisher
Genre: Urban Fantasy

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse novels—“the Mark Twain of things that live under your bed”*—comes a new novel of Midnight, Texas, the town where some secrets will never see the light of day...

At Midnight’s local pawnshop, weapons are flying off the shelves—only to be used in sudden and dramatic suicides right at the main crossroads in town.

Who better to figure out why blood is being spilled than the vampire Lemuel, who, while translating mysterious texts, discovers what makes Midnight the town it is. There’s a reason why witches and werewolves, killers and psychics, have been drawn to this place.

And now they must come together to stop the bloodshed in the heart of Midnight. For if all hell breaks loose—which just might happen—it will put the secretive town on the map, where no one wants it to be...

Night Shift, by author Charlaine Harris, is the third installment in the Midnight, Texas series. Midnight, Texas is a strange place. It is a crossroads and the place where an eclectic bunch of paranormals and humans call Home. There is vampire (Lemuel Bridger), witch (Fiji Cavanaugh), psychic (Manfred Bernardo), were-tigers (Rev, Diedrik, and his father John Quinn), Fallen Angels (Chuy Villegas and Joe Strong), and humans Olivia Charity, Bobo Winthrop, Teacher and Madonna Reed.

As we have learned over the previous two installments, Midnight is a strange and bizarre place to live. In fact, some really don't know what to think of the town, or the people who live there. There are those who like to think the residents of Midnight are all hiding from their own pasts. That may be. But, when the suicides start, and they all have a certain connection to resident witch Fiji Cavanaugh, the residents start to wonder if everything they've come to love about Midnight, is about to come to an end. 

In reality, this story highlights Lemuel and Fiji more so than it does the rest of the cast. No worries though, Harris does manage not to entirely ignore the rest of those we've come to know. For Lemuel, ever since discovering books written by an ancient vampire in a language that is no longer spoken, he has put aside almost everything else to find a way to unlock what is written in the books. He knows that something bad is going to happen, but until the books are translated, his hands are tied. He also knows that Fiji will be the one person who will play the biggest role in ensuring their survival.

I have to say that I am grateful that Harris took the time to make Fiji stand out above the others. She's been my favorite, along with her cat Mr. Snuggly, since the very beginning. I am happy that she can walk and face the darkness that is coming, and not blink or run away screaming into the night. I love that she faced off against her overbearing and ignorant sister and can now move on without worries. I love her relationship with almost everyone in town, but especially Diedrik who is now charming all the ladies who he meets, and John Quinn who I would have liked to see more of. I'm happy that she and Bobo resolve some issues that have been simmering thanks to Bobo's unawareness about how she feels.

Even though the story does revolve around Fiji and Lemuel, there are some interesting revelations about Teacher and Madonna Reed that readers will be sure to find shocking. Nope, don't ask me since I don't want to spoil the holy shit factor. On top of everything that is happening, there is a new resident calling himself Sylvester. Yes, like Sylvester the cat, except his heritage is American Indian. He carries secrets and baggage that are slowly teased, but not revealed until everyone must come together to not only fight the darkness, but save one of their own from some rotten eggs.

I have no clue whether or not this is the final installment in this series or not. If you read this review, and have some idea what happens next, leave me a comment. I think that there could be another book, but is one necessary? Nope. Except for the mysterious resident of Midnight Hotel that has watched over the town, there's really nothing left to explore. I liked that Olivia's past was explained, even though the details were cringe-worthy. I liked that Lemuel
honestly felt that if and only if Olivia was ready, he would grant her immortality since he loves her deeply and truly. I also liked that Manfred found a hopeful romance. 

So, whether or not this is the end my friends, I am A-OK with how the series wrapped up.

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