PJV Quickie: I can share my feelings about this book with one word: amazing. It takes the right combination of interesting characters, exciting plot, as well as other elements I love, such as romance and humor, to get a 5 star rating out of me. Shapeshifted nailed it. It had everything I love in a book and introduced me to a new series that I can add to my “Favorites” list.
Review: Edie is one of my favorite heroines of all time. She was smart, witty, confident, and incredibly brave. It seemed like there was nothing that could stand between her and doing what was right, no matter the cost. She even risked her own life several times, when most people would just run screaming in the opposite direction. I liked pretty much all of the characters throughout the novel. Some of them, such as Catrina, who worked at the clinic where Edie eventually gets a job, come off very abrasive at the beginning and it’s easy to dislike them. Then you find out that there may be reasons they’re closed off, which can completely change your opinion of them. There’s also characters that are more than they seem. And on that cryptic note, moving on!
The author did an amazing job with this novel in many aspects, but one that I appreciated above all others is the ability to read this and enjoy it without having read the first two books in the series. I’m always a little wary of picking up any book other than the first, because sometimes it can be really confusing if you don’t know the back story or the characters. I feel like just the right amount of back story was revealed, without becoming overwhelming. No, I didn’t know all of the details about Edie’s life prior to Shapeshifted, but that’s the beauty of it. When an author gives away too much info, it feels pointless to go back and read previous books in a series. In this case, I can’t wait to read books one and two (Nightshifted and Moonshifted, respectively). Sure, I already know what’s ultimately going to happen; I just look forward to getting to know some of the characters better that I only met briefly in Shapeshifted.
For those of you that are wondering, yes, there is a bit of romance in this novel. It’s not the focal point by any means, but I wouldn’t expect it to be. Edie’s main focus is trying to find help for her mom, who has a terminal illness, so really the last thing on her mind is men. Some familiar faces from her past do make an appearance, however. Ti, her zombie ex-boyfriend shows up at her door, yet it’s pretty clear that ship has sailed. I think it would have bothered me more if I actually knew something about Ti, but I did feel bad for Edie because it was obvious she had some very strong feelings for him at one time. She has some major sparks with Hector Tovar, the doctor at the clinic where she accepts a job. I thought Hector was great and they had great chemistry together; he has a major secret though, and it was definitely not one I was expecting. Overall, I thought there was just the right amount of romance, considering the situations Edie finds herself in throughout.
I mentioned that Edie’s mom is terminally ill, which is the driving point behind the entire story. This hit me the hardest, and allowed me to connect maybe just a little bit better with her. My mom passed away unexpectedly last October; any time I read a book or story about a character losing a parent, it brings up these feelings all over again (not that I don’t think about it absolutely every day anyway, because I do). I almost think knowing that you have to say goodbye would be harder, so I felt for what Edie was going through. Her reaction was probably what any one of us might have in the same situation; after it sunk in, she started trying to figure out any way to help her mom. It’s hard to accept that there’s nothing you can do for a loved one, and even if you’ve never experienced the loss of someone close to you, it’s not hard to imagine the range of feelings you would go through. Needless to say, I needed a tissue to get through Chapter 2.
I seriously can’t say enough great things about Shapeshifted; it was everything I hoped it would be and more. The author, Cassie Alexander, has definitely gained a new fan in me and I’m so excited to see what’s in store for these characters in the future. Speaking of, book 4 is called Deadshifted and is due to release December 31, 2013.
I was privileged enough to be able to have a little Q&A session with the amazing Edie Spence from Shapeshifted! I hope you all enjoy getting to know her just a little better…and watch out for the answer to the last question, if you’re a little squeamish.
Me: Edie, it seems like life is pretty complicated for you. Do you ever wish you could just go back to before you got sucked into the world of the paranormal?
Edie: Definitely. At certain times more than others. I like the excitement, but it’s a lot of trouble. Then again, I’ve gotten to meet some really interesting people and do things that other nurses couldn’t dream of. I think to be a really good nurse you have to be an adrenaline junkie, and working with paranormal creatures provides endless possibilities for that charge.
Me: I can just imagine. Speaking of the paranormal, what was the biggest downfall of dating a supernatural creature?
Edie: The baggage. I thought I had baggage, but I’d have to manage to live to be a hundred to have as many issues as most supernatural creatures do. They’ve all got that outsider-looking-in complex, and rightly so, but it makes them a little skittish, and they tend to second guess it even when things are good.
Me: I never thought of it like that; they do have a LOT more time to accumulate baggage. And I thought humans had problems! Now let’s look into the future for a second; at the risk of sounding like I’m interviewing you for a job, where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Edie: Dead? Ha. Hopefully not. I’m hoping things calm down a little. It’d be nice to keep working at the clinic and have a year or two or five where things were normal. If everything strange was behind me now, I think I’d be okay with that. It’s nice to relax and not always look out the peephole of the door first all the time.
Me: You’d better take care of yourself, there’s a lot of us that care about your well-being! It’s understandably difficult though, considering the type of, um, people that come calling at your door. I just have to say, you seem like you were born to be a nurse. Did you always plan on entering that career or did you have other dreams when you were growing up?
Edie: When I was growing up I was 99% sure I was going to be an astronaut or a large animal vet, so I’m the first to admit that being a nurse wasn’t a huge calling for me. But after I graduated I wanted a way to get a professional career quickly, and I liked science, and was good at math, and I really wanted to be out and on my own. To be the self-sufficient kid instead of being like my brother. I fell into nursing, but it turns out that it suits me.
Me: It definitely does suit you. I dreamed of being a vet, but ended up going the nurse route for the same reasons you mentioned. So we have a bit in common! So last question, let’s make this interesting. I know all nurses have awesomely insane stories. What’s the craziest/most shocking thing you’ve seen during your career?
Edie: I’m having a hard time choosing between shocking gross and shocking crazy and shocking sad.
I degloved someone’s toe on accident once. After I was done almost throwing up in my mask, I put it back where it belonged. They were going to die anyway (and wound up dying within 24 hrs of that, not of anything toe-related, I swear!) and I didn’t want their family to see another wound on them, especially when there was nothing at that late stage in their disease process that could be done. (They had Steven’s Johnsons, and they were completely, utterly, sedated for pain, so I doubt they felt anything either. I still felt awful though. Still do.)
That’s all for our interview! I’d like to thank Edie for taking the time out of her busy schedule to chat with me, and I feel like we all got to know a bit more about what makes her tick.
So, have I convinced you yet of how awesome Shapeshifted is? I bet you’re thinking about buying it right now; what if we give you a chance to WIN your own copy? Not just any copy, a physical copy…and signed!! Excited yet? Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win. Only open to people in the continental U.S. If you have any other questions, refer to Parajunkee Giveaway policy.