Title: The Night Owl and the Insomniac (Shifter U #3)
House Line: Dreamspun Beyond #23
Author: j. leigh bailey
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: July 3rd 2018
Genre(s): Paranormal, Shifters
Page Count: 240
Reviewed by: Jia
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Long nights lead to intrigue… and infatuation.
Chronically ill with a mysterious condition, Yusuf “Joey” Franke escapes his smothering family and doctors by moving halfway across the country to enroll in Cody College. Not long after arriving on campus, some of his symptoms disappear, only to be replaced by debilitating insomnia. Joey spends his nights wandering the halls of his dormitory and hanging out with gregarious and affable Owen, who works the night shift.
When he suddenly shifts from a sick college kid to a massive Asiatic lion, Joey discovers another side to Cody College—it’s a haven for shifters like himself… and like Owen, a part-time great horned owl. And being a shifter is hereditary, which means his parents have some explaining to do.
When Joey and Owen investigate, they discover more than they bargained for—a family deception, a dangerous enemy with international connections, and a love that might be too new to survive the backlash.
The blurb basically explains the whole plot so no need to repeat. It’s an intriguing plot and entertaining to read, I liked the reactions of the characters, and basically I like the whole story. It has many different elements from Joey’s social awkwardness and shyness, as his upbringing never allowed for having friends, to the first friend and first kiss. I thought the feelings and the first shift was very well described in a way I could picture really happening in real life for a person. This is the third book of the Shifter U series although it can be read as a standalone, which I did.
What I didn’t care for was the first person narrative in this book and another point which I’ll bring up in a moment. Narration from first person point of view isn’t wrong, but I’m not a fan of this style simply because there’s an added element to this kind of narrative – like chemistry between two people in real life – when they clash or don’t mesh well, the whole story can be ruined. It doesn’t mean the story (or the other person) is bad, merely that it’s not something I’d seek out or want to read. Which of course doesn’t mean it’ll be the same for you, I’m positive many will like this narrative just because it is in first person. I just didn’t like the atmosphere this particular voice created for me.
The other point is there were some phrases which did not sit well with me: “I did the questioning-whine thing again” and “did the biting/sucking thing again” . I don’t know which response the author wanted to create with these but to me it points more toward laziness of not finding other words to describe the action the second time the character did it. Then it is the “was his/mine/ours to protect” if this was to signify some kind of opposition between the character and his inner animal or something similar, then it would have been better to write it out. For me this merely felt like immature writing which the rest of the book didn’t have.
If these things aren’t something you care about then I’m pretty sure you will like The Night Owl and the Insomniac a lot. Because the plot is intriguing and the characters interesting.