Book Review: Shadow Unit 1 by Emma Bull

Shadow Unit 1

Shadow Unit is written by four difference author’s, Emma Bull, Elizabeth Bear, Sarah Monette and Will Shetterly.  This series is only available as an eReader and was written because the author’s wanted to be part of a long term series involving a group of FBI agents – in a way they are writing a book based loosely off of Criminal Minds and CSI.

Shadow Unit isn’t about dealing with common people though, the team don’t deal with deranged killers on a mental break, they deal with something else, people who have unlocked a special power, who are called Gamma’s.  These people are controlled by the abilities they have unlocked and go on a spree of killing, which they are either unaware that they are doing or take sheer glee from doing it.

The Shadow Unit aren’t just a group of human’s though, although the human’s are called Alpha’s, they also have a few members who are called Beta’s; these are people who have special abilities but are not controlled by them.

When reading the first episode – the authors like to think that although a book many people reading it would link it towards a TV series – it was rather confusing, as the author would keep switching around from using a character’s first name to their surname and then nicknames, all before the reader could figure out who was speaking and who was being spoken to.  Then you had all the extra information to take onboard as well, who were the Beta’s of the team and who were the Alpha’s.

Regardless of that though, I found myself enjoying the book, the stories were interesting and the short tales between each story gave a bit more depth to the character’s – although the last one about Nikki Lau was a bit disappointing, since there wasn’t much that we learned about her character to begin with.

Shall be looking forward to reading more about these characters and the cases that the team go into in the next book.

Overall however it is a very good concept and I want to read more about the cases the team do and learn more about the individual characters as well.

I would give this book a 4 out of 5, just given how well written it was, but it loses a star due to the confusion of names.


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