Night Shift by Charlaine Harris

night shiftStrange things are happening in Midnight, Texas. Stranger than usual, that is. People are traveling to the crossroads in the middle of the town to commit suicide. Resident vampire Lemuel believes the answer to this epidemic can be found in the old books from the pawn shop, including a book about all the magical and paranormal places in North America. The bad news is the books are written in Etruscan, and Lemuel has to translate them fast before whatever weird force beneath the crossroads starts effecting more than just Midnight.

There were things I both liked and disliked about this book. On one hand, we learned more of Lemuel’s story, which I had been waiting for since the first time he was mentioned. He isn’t your typical vampire, feeding off of both blood and energy. He was also quiet and pretty much left alone by the other people in town in the first two books. Being in his head was interesting, but not particularly unexpected.

The demon-under-the-crossroads story line was interesting. I liked that the whole town had to come together to stop him. I thought the virgin sex ritual was a little awkward, and it’s not like you couldn’t figure out who Fiji was going to pick for her big moment from several chapters in advance. Unfortunately, I thought the whole book was a bit rushed. I discovered after reading that Harris intends this to be the last Midnight, Texas book in a trilogy. Which made the whole thing make a lot more sense. All the explanations were very rushed, and didn’t entirely match up with the setup in the first two books. I was especially bothered by the Teacher/Olivia plot line, which came out of nowhere and ended with Olivia acting rather out of character. I felt like all these characters had a lot more story left to tell, and while I didn’t necessarily want this to turn into a never-ending series like the Sookie Stackhouse series, which I eventually stopped reading, I did think the wrap ups for each character was cookie cutter, uninteresting, and left too many unanswered questions. I hope Harris will change her mind and write more books in this series, because I love these characters and I don’t want this to be the end for them.

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