Review: Shapeshifted (Edie Spence #3) by Cassie Alexander
I feel like I need to apologize for this review, as my original one was eaten by my content management system. Rewriting is hard, y'all.
I've been holding off on my review of the third installment of Cassie Alexander wonderfully unique Edie Spence series, as the farther along in a series one gets, the tougher it is to really talk book specifics without ruining the earlier novels.
So, please excuse the vagueness and generalities in my attempt to avoid being spoilerific.
Minor spoilers, which are also reference in the book's official summary, follow in this review. If you want to remain wholly unspoiled, read my review of the first novel in this series, Nightshifted.
I cannot express strongly enough how much I abhor being left behind.
At the conclusion of Moonshifted, much of nurse Edie Spence's "normal" life was reset. The routine and community she'd developed--crazy though it was--fell apart and Shapeshifted finds her trying find a new place for herself in the wild, messy, complicated paranormal world she's embroiled in. This is made all the worst as Edie learns that her mother is terminally ill, and Edie is determined to utilize her, well, unusual, connections to save her.
This is made all the worst as Edie learns that her mother is terminally ill, and Edie is determined to utilize her, well, unusual, connections to save her.
As always, Edie's trying to go it alone, while also trying to save everyone.
I just wasn't good at keeping track of people. The fact that no one ever seemed to keep track of me either was not lost on me.
But despite her best efforts to remain a solo artist, Edie finds herself tangled up with the conflicts of her new community. And, naturally, these problems seem to be of the paranormal variety. In her new community, Edie connects with Olympio, a neighborhood boy who's grandfather claims to be a brujo. Olympio brings lightness to Edie's usually dark world, and I loved watching her soften just a smidgen around this young boy.
The thing about Edie is that even though she's jaded and tries to isolate herself from carrying about anyone, at her core, Edie does care--she's a fixer. This is why she's 1) a nurse and 2) found herself tangled up with the paranormal underworld to begin with. And, really, that's why this series is so compelling, Edie's prickly voice combined with her impulsive, yet well-intended, actions make her memorable and complicated as a reader. Three books in, and I know what to expect from Edie, but Cassie Alexander continues to surprise me with this character's growth.
I wasn't sure when it had happened, or how, but when I searched my heart, I knew it was true. Maybe because someone else was there instead. My heart always liked to bet on the darker, more damaged horse.
Shapeshifted brings some (perhaps temporary?) resolution to Edie's love life, which has been challenging at best. I feel like this signifies a new chapter in Edie's life as a whole, but Cassie Alexander has a knack with the unexpected in each of these novels, so I can't begin to speculate what's in store for her the next time around.
I would be remiss in focusing solely on the darkness in this series--it's Edie's voice that carries this series.
"This whole night is hard to swallow. But you know all about that, huh?" I asked Jorgen in an attempt to be lighthearted. He had just eaten a person. It was weird. Should I offer him some Tums, or should I go off and violently puke out my disgust in a corner? I didn't know...
Despite that she's constantly running head-on into trouble, Edie's sarcastic observations of her situation always leave me grinning--at the most inappropriate moments. Basically, Edie's inappropriate humor speaks to my inappropriate humor-loving heart and it's one of the big reasons I love this series so much.
As much as a love urban fantasy, I'm actually fairly picky about the genre's novels. I look for fresh voices and original worldbuilding. As a result, the series I'm all in committed to are few. Favorites include Mercy Thompson, Arcadia Bell and now Cassie Alexander's Edie Spence. This series is a keeper and I hope that readers normally reluctant to pick up paranormal/urban fantasy will give it Edie a chance.