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I Belong


Review: Shapeshifted by Cassie Alexander

ShapeshiftedTitle: Shapeshifted

Author: Cassie Alexander

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Series: Edie Spence (Book 3)

Publication Date: June 4, 2013

Format: Paperback, 320 Pages

ISBN-10: 0312553412 (Macmillan)

ISBN-13: 978-0312553418 (Macmillan)

Reviewed by: Kristie

Synopsis:

Nurse Edie Spence is once again called upon to save a life…and this time, it’s personal. Can her new community of zombies, vampires, and shapeshifters come to her rescue when she needs them most?

When Edie was fired from her paranormal nursing job at County Hospital, her whole world came crashing down. Now she’s is once again shaken to her core. Her mother is deathly ill and there’s only one thing that will save her: vampire blood. But with the paranormal community shunning Edie, where can she obtain it…without losing her own life in the process?

SHAPESHIFTED

Edie hopes to procure it at her new job at the clinic across town, where the forces of evil loom large. Vampire gang wars are rampant. Old underground enemies are rising to the surface. And Edie’s zombie ex-boyfriend has arrived at the scene—but is he the same man he used to be? And what should she make of the enigmatic doctor with whom she shares an unexpected connection? She’ll have to figure it out soon, because all hell is about to break loose—literally—and time is running out…

Quick & Dirty: Wonderfully written and well-rounded novel set in a world where being supernatural isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Opening Sentence: I’d lost fifteen pounds in six months.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

The third installment of the Edie Spence urban fantasy series begins a little on the slow side but in the end was a wonderful and well-rounded book. This review will contain spoilers from the previous novels. I really recommend reading the first two novels in this series in order to get an idea of the world and who all the secondary characters are. You may be lost as to who’s who and how they have affected Edie’s life.

Seven months have passed since Edie was shunned from the supernatural world and her life has turned out more boring and depressing because of it. She now works at a sleep clinic (still on third shift), has moved apartments, lost “depression” weight and has even begun seeing a psychiatrist. Then Edie gets the news that will completely change her life. Her mother has cancer. Edie knows one way to cure it – by finding vampire blood – but she can’t do that with her shunning. Edie approaches the Shadows hoping they would help her but they only give her a cryptic message that if she finds Santa Muerte then they will speak with her.

Edie abruptly quits her job at the sleep clinic. She can’t take the boring silence anymore, not when all she can think about is her mother’s cancer. Edie is called up about a job offer but it is in the middle of the poor, violence riddled Spanish speaking part of town. Edie can’t speak Spanish so she almost gives in to the loss of a potential job when she Google’s the clinic and sees a mural of Santa Muerte painted on the wall outside. Edie presses her luck and gets an in person interview. She manages to get turned down for the job when a gunshot victim comes into the clinic and she helps the doctor, Hector, work on the patient. Hector reluctantly agrees to hire Edie.

Edie thinks the clinic will help her find Santa Muerte and begins her search. She meets a hilarious teenager in Olympio who gives her a tour of the area. Olympio has some magic to him and he can see that Edie has a curse over herself that his grandfather can help heal. At the same time, Edie finds herself in the middle of two gang wars that want the clinic and Hector on their sides.

Shapeshifted finds Edie getting thrust back into the supernatural world even though she’s shunned. The Hound and Edie’s ex-boyfriend Ti, a zombie, find her at her new apartment before she is once again mixed with vampire politics and crazy shapeshifter personalities.

I really enjoyed the change of scenery in this novel and the fact the Edie seemed to have grown quite the backbone and pursued a lot of the leads on her own, even though she needed a vampire to help save her mother, she often found herself in tight spots and had to get herself out of the situations. She couldn’t rely on the supernatural to come to her rescue. Edie was also quite funny and a little quirky in this novel. I enjoyed her reactions in quite a few of the scenes.

I was really excited by the ending. The last two novels didn’t quite work out so well for Edie in the end so it was nice to have a better, more happy Edie at the end of this one. Although not all the issues were resolved in the end, they are noted and I can’t wait to see what is next for Edie.

Overall, I found this novel really improved on a fun, yet at times a kind of depressing storyline. I still really enjoy the uniqueness of the supernatural world. This is a world where being a supernatural isn’t all fun and games. They have their own issues and they certainly are not pretty. We learned in the last novel that werewolves lose time off their lives every time they change into a wolf, so the life span for a werewolf is not long. This novel uncovers the sad history of Shapeshifters hence the Shapeshifted title. If you want an urban fantasy series that is a little different, I would recommend this series.

Notable Scene:

“Hey, lady.”

The kid from yesterday walked up the block. “Hey,” I said back.

“You still need a limpieza. I can tell.”

“Yeah, that’s still not gonna happen. I gotta get to work. First day on the job.” I pointed with my thumb to the clinic behind me. He wagged his head in exaggerated disapproval at my playing for the other team. “I’m Edie. Who’re you?”

“I’m Olympio.”

“What do you do all day, Olympio?” It was summer now, otherwise I’d have asked him why he wasn’t off at school.

He grinned, showing uneven teeth. “Try to stop people from going in there. You all can’t do half the things my grandfather can.”

“How so?”

“You all take months to figure out what’s wrong with someone, and then pills for the rest of their lives. My grandfather, he can heal you in just one day.”

As a nurse, I’d heard all sorts of holistic health bullshit. I’d seen patients who’d been burned by cupping, who had made themselves ill by eating mislabeled “remedy” pills contaminated with lead. “Yeah?” I said, my eyebrows rising.

“Yeah. You got something wrong with you, lady. I can tell. I don’t know what it is, but my grandfather is a great curandero, he’d know.”

“Well.” I was quiet for a moment, trying to hear the sound again. There was a storm drain across the street—it could be wind going by its entrance. “Well—” I regrouped. “I disagree. No, wait. Actually, I do agree—there’s something wrong with me.” I was sure I looked worried about my mom. I’d seen it in the mirror this morning, in the corners of my eyes. “But it’s not the kind of thing that other people can fix.”

Edie Spence:

1. Nightshifted

2. Moonshifted

3. Shapeshifted

4. Deadshifted

5. Bloodshifted (July 1, 2014)

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FTC Advisory: St. Martin’s Press/Macmillan provided me with a copy of Shapeshifted. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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