After finishing up A Storm of Swords and that taking up a good chunk of my reading time, I have finally finished another book. This was something that shouldn’t have taken me as long to read as it did, but for one reason or another I spent a few weeks on it. I think part of the problem was ASoS was sucking me in and this one took awhile to grip my attention. However, I know the first book in a series can often be the most difficult to get into so I pushed onward. Which brings us to today’s review: Jill Kismet #1: Night Shift.
I’ve really been in the market for another supernatural series to grab me like The Dresden Files and Iron Druid Chronicles but with a female protagonist. The tricky part is, of course, finding a series that DOESN’T rely too heavy on the “supernatural romance” that seems to plague supernatural books with female protagonists. Oh, sure, it can HAVE romance, but I don’t want that to be the focus of the work. Sorry, I would just rather READ about women kicking demon ass, not sleeping with it.
Which was the main reason I picked this book up. The cover was promising because it did not feature our female lead posing provocatively with a sword and/or gun in her hand. It was sitting on my shelf for some time, however, before I actually cracked it open. The story is basically this: Jill is a hunter who takes care of demons/hellbreed. She gets help from the police on occasion, as well as, Weres. She has also made a contract with one of the hellbreed in order to gain extra abilities…a contract that comes with a price. Her current job, however, is hunting down a rogue Were who seems to be working with a hellbreed, something that was thought to be an IMPOSSIBLE match. And Jill has to do this while juggling with the lingering loss of her former teacher, her guilt, and budding feelings for a certain were-male.
So, as I stated previously, while I’m not a fan of supernatural romance (or paranormal romance as I think it’s called), this one worked for me. Mostly because it is NOT the main focus of the book and it is NOT something that is immediate. Jill has bigger things on her plate than who she wants to date and even when she DOES start to have feelings for the guy, there are other priorities first. This made me really like Jill because she wasn’t pining over some guy.
However, while the romance works, I will say that the set-up of this first novel is a little shaky. I had trouble getting into it and Jill doesn’t seem to have much of a personality at first. She’s about what you have come to expect a woman in this genre to be like and it would be nice if she had some traits OUTSIDE of her job as a hunter. The author does eventually convey how damaged Jill is, but I think I had trouble getting sucked into this world because the first couple of chapters are just not that exciting. I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily dull and it’s not like she sits down and tells you everything about the world she is setting up. It’s just…not enticing. It took me a few chapters to really feel like I should be invested in these characters and keep reading.
That being said, once the book got going it was good. Some excellent characters in here, although I found myself wanting to learn more about the weres involved than the main character which is probably not a good sign. I did start to like Jill however and sympathize with her. In a way, she reminded me of what we know about Natasha/Black Widow in Avengers which helped keep my interest because I’m still dealing with an Avengers high.
I guess the question really is: Will I read the next book? While I am not sure I would rank this with Iron Druid Chronicles or The Dresden Files just yet, it does hold promise. I would like to see what Jill can do and, as I said, it’s difficult to judge a series based on the first book alone. The first book is for establishing things, setting up the characters and the world, and getting our feet wet. I might not read the next book any time SOON, but I do plan to follow the series at least a little longer.
Rating: 3 out of 5 Ass-Kicking Chicks Who Get Stuff DONE.