Hunter: keeper of the night, exorcist, killer
Jill Kismet is a hunter. She meets justice upon Hell’s creatures and avenges those wronged by hellbreed. Taught by one of the best, Jill is determined to forget her life before becoming a hunter and keeps those memories locked behind a closed door with the lights out. You don’t live long as a hunter with distractions.
With her mentor’s encouragement before he died, Jill went to Hell and brokered a deal. This deal gave her the ability to heal faster and to be stronger than other humans. An invaluable tool in her fight against Hell’s citizens. But it costs her, too.
It’s only been six months since Jill’s teacher was murdered, leaving her in charge of the city.
As the city’s hunter, Jill is an arm of the law; when five cops are torn apart and eaten, she is called in and immediately picks up the sent of a hellbreed and something else…something rank.
Jill is not the only person looking into strange murders. A couple of werecat Feds are tracking a crazy werewolf that is leaving a bloody trail. As the hunter and the Feds consult each other it soon becomes clear that their cases are connected, and the Feds ask Jill to allow a friend of theirs to stay in her home as back up, never expecting a romance to evolve.
Lilith Saintcrow has created a new interesting series about an exorcist/night hunter named Jill Kismet. In the introductory book, Night Shift, we meet the angry, damaged and vulnerable heroine, Jill Kismet.
Jill is a woman full of contradictions and her past as a prostitute is mentioned, but not fully investigated. I’m assuming that as the series evolves, more will be told about her life on the streets. I never pitied Jill though, nor did I feel disgust at her former profession. I think it’s because she doesn’t dwell on it, or lament, “poor me.”
One of the strong points in Night Shift is the author’s ability to avoid telling the reader things, focusing on showing. This is a great thing, but can be irritating because we don’t learn all the details, just bits and pieces.
Ms. Saintcrow created a hellbreed character, Perry, who is central to the story. He is described as being ordinary and the kind of person that you overlook because of his normal appearance. To underestimate him would be a mistake. It’s not hard to have mixed emotions about Perry, but by the end of the story I had made up my mind and knew exactly what to think of him.
If you’ve read Ms. Saintcrow’s Dante Valentine series, you know what to expect in her writing. Clear, concise pictures and emotional hardballs that work together to create an entertaining and enthralling tale told from the first person point of view.
Jill Kismet is an urban fantasy that takes place in the present time, despite the label of the book of Fantasy/Horror. (I don’t get the horror part.)
The Jill Kismet series is similar to Dante Valentine in small ways, but it is not the same story rewritten. To learn more about Night Shift check out Loves Vampires, Graem’s Fantasy, Tez Says, and Blood of the Muse.