The Night Shifters by Emily Devenport

Posted February 20, 2012 by Kate in Liked It, Review / 0 Comments

That’s the last thing Hazel remembers her mother saying. She really means to keep that promise. But she suspects she’s broken it – or maybe just failed to fully realize it, because she hasn’t become a doctor, or a lawyer, or a mermaid — or anything much, really. Yet, in one way, she has kept her promise — because Hazel is a Grand Champion Dreamer. When she’s asleep, she dreams a dazzling universe full of heroes and monsters, princesses and goddesses, cities and temples and gardens that make the most wonderful places on Earth seem dull in comparison.
During the day, she does what she has to do to pay the bills. At bedtime, she turns in, confident that she will dream, and that the sun will come up in the morning. So on the evening of her last day, she embraces the night wholeheartedly and drifts into the universe of her imagination.
But when the alarm goes off, she opens her eyes to darkness. The sun hasn’t come up, the world outside has become a City of Night, and the dwellers there are Night Shifters — gods and elves, daemons and djinns, dreamers and wizards. All of them have their own agendas, all of them are chasing Hazel, and as she fights to understand this world of dreams and her place in it, she can’t help remembering what her mother said.
And she wonders. All those years ago, when she swore to never give up on her dreams, did she really understand what she was promising?
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book, because it is a book that basically takes place in two separate settings according to the synopsis. It can be quite confusing for a reader to have to understand and follow a person who exists in two worlds throughout one book, and I have to say that was a concern for me when I started reading the book. I will say that it was a slightly valid point. It takes a little while for you, the reader, to catch on to the premise of the book. While reading the first chapter I did have some issues, thinking to myself what is going on here? all while thinking I was missing some important piece of the puzzle. But at the same time I think that might have been part of the authors intent, I mean even though I was confused I was interested in finding out what was really going on, but then again so was the main character Hazel. 
While reading this book I do have to say that I thought this book slightly reminded me of something that would come out of the imagination of someone in a drug induced stupor. But then again that is what some dreams come off as, so I guess it is no surprise that the dream land that Hazel exist in has a bit of an out their feel to it. 
I do have to also mention that while I liked Hazel I didn’t find her to be 100% believable. While she is a good character and is interesting to follow along with, she doesn’t always feel authentic. She is a 26 year old woman but for me feels like she was written like she was a teenager, and that alone made it very hard for me to be completely invested in her as a character. I am a reader that really needs to connect with the main character or the book just isn’t as successful in pulling me into the plot as it could be. 
Overall the book is short, and really what you get out of the book is what you want to. It is definitely a book that allows the reader to decide how they feel about the book and what they want to take away from it. The dream land is a unique concept and one that keeps the reader guessing which is always a good thing to have in a book. I don’t think the writing was award winning but it was definitely a solid work. Moreover I think the audience for this book could either be the YA audience or a younger adult audience, because like I said I often felt like Hazel was written more like a teenager than as a 26 year old woman. If you are interested in a book that transports you into a trippy unique universe than this is the book for you. 

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