Review: Moonshifted by Cassie Alexander
Series: Edie Spence #2
Author: Cassie Alexander
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Format: eBook, 352 pages
Published: November 27, 2012
ISBN #: 0312553404 / 9780312553401
Genre: Urban Fantasy
My Copy: NetGalley
After surviving a brutal vampire attack, Nurse Edie Spence is ready to get back to work—attending to supernatural creatures in need of medical help. But her nursing skills are put to the test when she witnesses a hit-and-run on her lunch break. The injured pedestrian is not only a werewolf, he’s the pack leader. And now Edie’s stuck in the middle of an all-out were-war…
With two rival packs fighting tooth and nail, Edie has no intention of crossing enemy lines. But when she meets her patient’s nephew—a tattooed werewolf named Lucas with a predatory gleam in his eye that’s hard to resist—Edie can’t help but choose sides. The question is: can she trust this dangerous new ally? And can she trust her own instincts when she’s near him? Either way, Edie can’t seem to pull away—even if getting involved makes her easy prey…
Cassie Alexander has really hit her stride with this second installment by adding werewolves into her unique para-medical world. The story is richly detailed, the plot is complex and Edie Spence is absolutely delightful. Moonshifted offers a fresh perspective on a popularized genre by combining nursing with dark humor and wackiness to create a winning blend that’s not to be missed.
Instead of the typical who-done-it, this book’s plot revolves around who-can-be-trusted and the answer isn’t as straightforward as you might expect. Through no fault of her own, Edie finds herself surrounded by questionable friends. Everyone seems to have their own hidden agenda except for Edie, she just wants to do her job and have the odd one night stand. I enjoyed the constant power plays in this installment; it was hard to know who to trust and the ending does a bang up job of disproving all of your suspicions.
The heroine of this series really stands out amidst the sea of women in Urban Fantasy. She’s a very life-like fictional character with real responsibilities and I’m happy that Alexander continued to build upon this aspect after Nightshifted. Edie isn’t your typical protagonist that leaps before looking; she makes real, conscientious efforts to avoid trouble but unfortunately for her, trouble loves company. On more than one occasion she voices that she’s about to do something silly but it’s usually an attempt to stave off an even worse outcome so you can’t help but admire a heroine who’s not only able to identify evil but chose the lesser option. The only thing about her personality that has me a little perplexed is her penchant for one night stands. After two books there still doesn’t appear to be a clear cut love interest which is fine just… a little peculiar for this genre.
I consider myself to be a rather tough werewolf critic so I was surprised by how easily Cassie’s lupines passed my tests. I honestly wasn’t expecting the lore to be very thorough seeing how each installment in this series revolves around a different breed of preternatural but Alexander’s attention to detail is commendable. She describes the differences between bitten and born wolves, old blood vs. new, and how the moon affects each subgroup. The hierarchy, history and mourning process are also explained. This book kind of makes me wish that Alexander would write a spin-off werewolf series!
Moonshifted demonstrates that there are still untapped areas left to be explored in Urban Fantasy and that Cassie Alexander has found one with her Edie Spence series.