Book Review: Graveyard Shift by Michael F. Haspil

Alex---former pharaoh, now an immortal mummy---is working as a vice cop in the Nocturn Affairs unit in Miami. When someone starts poisoning the synthetic blood causing vampires to go into blood frenzies, Alex and his vampire partner, Marcus, get thrown into a case that gets more twisty and dangerous the deeper they get.

Book Review: Graveyard Shift by Michael F. Haspil | reading, books, book reviews, fantasy, paranormal/urban fantasy, mummies, vampires
Title: Graveyard Shift
Book Number: Book 1
Pages: 352
My Rating: 4 Stars
More Info: Goodreads, Amazon, Publisher


*I received an ecopy of this book via NetGalley. This has not influenced my review.*

I was excited as soon as I read the blurb for this book because 1) I love uncommon supernatural creatures, 2) I love vampires, and 3) I love Miami as a setting. And I gotta say, the book did not disappoint in those regards. It also lived up to the description of gritty that’s in the blurb in the sense that the creatures, the characters, the city, the police work—none of it was romanticized. It was all just kinda was what it was, even when it was ugly.

I have to admit though, I thought I could get down with the whole police procedural thing, but it was confusing to me at times. There was a lot going on, what with all the different groups (the police units, the supernatural groups, the anti-supernatural groups, the government agencies, etc.) and lots of human and vampire politics, and I’m also just not familiar with how all the cop stuff works. But I think I eventually got all the important stuff down, and I got more into everything as the story went on.

The only other issue I had (just to get the negatives out of the way) was the POVs. There were multiple, and sometimes we would be in one character’s POV for a bit and then all the sudden jump to another POV with no indication. (Or maybe it was just omniscient? It didn’t quite feel omniscient though.) But there were also whole chapters with only one POV, so it was only an occasional issue. And this seemed like more of a plot-focused book anyway.

But, even though this may have been pretty plot-focused, I still thought both Alex and Marcus were interesting, and I liked the parts with their POVs the most. Both have been alive, and around each other, for a long time. My favorite thing was the banter between them, especially when they joked about each others’ pasts or supernatural status, like when Marcus told Alex not to get his bandages in a bunch. And it’s because of these two characters that I want to continue the series.

As for the whole mummy thing, I loved the author’s take on it. I love books about uncommon supernatural beings, and this was the first one I found with a mummy as the protagonist. He had the ability of astral projection, he got his energy from the Egyptian Sun God, he had a cat (because of course he would have a cat), and gosh, his solarium sounded GORGEOUS. I don’t even get my energy from the sun, but I want a solarium just like that for myself anyway. Oh, and let’s not forget his ringtone 😉

The vampires, and the world-building that came with them having been revealed, was interesting too. There were fake blood products being sold, blood clubs, the “S&B lifestyle” (sangers & bleeders), illegal blood trade, etc.

So overall, this book was a really enjoyable read with a neat take on an uncommon type of supernatural, interesting main characters, and fun interaction between them, all wrapped up in a gritty package!


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  1. Greg

    I like urban fantasy when it’s gritty and the whole noir thing but I’m not always a fan of procedurals. I do like the vampire hunting/ secret govt agency tracking down supernaturals thing though. So I could go both ways on this one lol! And a shape shifter too. I need more shape shifters.

    The whole lifestyle/ blood clubs/ grittiness thing I think appeals to me the most. A lot of times with UF it seems like it’s sorta gritty but not really, and it’s kind of punny or banter-y but not really dark, you know? Or maybe just what I’ve read. This actually sounds a little bit closer to what I’d like. I’ll have to go see if there’s a sample…

    1. Kristen Burns

      I don’t think I’d call this dark? But it wasn’t just a snarkfest either like some urban fantasy is.

      I guess this was the first police procedural I had read, so I have nothing to compare it to. Maybe it doesn’t even have that much procedural in it lol. If you like vampire hunting and secret agencies, you might like this!

  2. AngelErin

    This sounds so good, but the POV thing would drive me nuts. Especially lately that is something that really bothers me in books. I’m glad you enjoyed this for the most part though! ??

    1. Kristen Burns

      I find head hopping in a lot of books it seems, and it drives me crazy too. And it makes me wonder, number one, why are editors now pointing this out? Or if they are, why aren’t writers listening? And number two, why does no one ever point this out in their reviews? But anyway, I promise it wasn’t bad in this book. It felt more like there just should have been a little break in the writing to let you know the POV was changing mid-chapter rather than true head hopping.

  3. Karen Blue

    Oh this just reminded me of a show I used to watch called Forever Night. It was about a cop that was also a vampire. It was so good, or at least the concept was. This sounds like a story I would really enjoy, thanks for reviewing it!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I mean, this is the first book I’ve ever read that was considered a police procedural that I know of, so for all I know, maybe there wasn’t even that much of it and I was just confused about other things lol.

  4. verushka

    Oh YAY this is as good as I hoped it would be! The banter you mentioned cracked me up lol and yeah, I am definitely looking forward to reading about an uncommon character in urban fantasy!

  5. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    I like the sound of this book, the story sounds good and I like the crime angle going on with this one. I do think the shifting POV would confuse me a bit and I would find it frustrating but it’s something I could easily get over with a good story and interesting characters and it definitely sounds like you get those. Glad to hear you enjoyed it and want to continue the series.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I tend to get really annoyed with POV issues, but it wasn’t too bad in this one. It was more like sometimes it shifted, and there just should have been a space or indication of some sort. And the rest did make up for it.

  6. Ashley G.

    Hm, this one sounds really interesting! I like what you said about characters. They sound like they have an interesting dynamic, and I’m curious about the police procedures.

    I never like it when authors head-hop though. That’s really annoying and confusing. But if it’s just a little, I can probably deal with it.

    Great review!

    1. Kristen Burns

      They do have a fun dynamic.

      I agree, I find head hopping so annoying, but I can deal with a small amount. In this case, it felt more like there just should’ve been a space between paragraphs a few times to mark a POV change or something, so it wasn’t too bad.

  7. Olivia Roach

    As I read your review I kept thinking, a mummy is a main character? Like, I never have seen that in a book before. EVER. And I have to admit it does sound kind of epic, doubled by the fact that you found this book so enjoyable. I may have to read this one because I am just that intrigued.