I've heard Lilith Saintcrow mentioned in paranormal/urban fantasy circles for a while, and always with something close to awe. Since I'm working my way through a batch of new-to-me writers in this genre, I picked up her latest--Night Shift, the first in the Jill Kismet series--and gave it a whirl.
Short story: Wow.
Long story: Ms. Saintcrow is an accomplished writer, blending vivid, sensory descriptions with non-stop action and heart-tugging emotional conflicts. Her world-building is nearly flawless and there's enough meat in the story to keep even a gobble-a-book-a-day reader like me busy for a while. I was completely entranced and am adding Ms.Saintcrow to my list of must-read authors.
The few details that didn't quite work for me were basically more of a style preference, with the exception that I never learned the name of the city Jill protects. That bothered me because, description or no, I wanted a clear idea of where I was.
What I truly loved was Ms. Saintcrow's portrayal of Jill as working on the side of God while she fought awful aberrations spewed onto earth by the denizens of hell. It's rare to find an urban fantasy where faith in God is portrayed as good, and Jill's struggle to believe and rely on God while questioning if the actions she had to take would keep her from heaven added depth and emotion to a character I already loved.
I also enjoyed how Ms. Saintcrow's world swallowed me whole within the first chapter and never hit a false note. I can't wait to get my hands on book two!
Verdict: A must read for all urban fantasy/paranormal fans