A Rogue Librarian's Reading List

{February 8, 2010}   Shadow Unit

Ok, so Shadow Unit isn’t a book which means I don’t have a cover to offer. It is however a guilty pleasure of mine that helps me get through the slow periods at the reference desk. So there you have it, my deep, dark secret, I occasionally read at work. ;P (But I’m a librarian! We’re supposed to read!)

Shadow Unit is a fake TV show that reminds me of Criminal Minds with a supernatural twist. I call it a fake TV show because there is no film, and it will (probably) never go on the air. Each episode is a short story that has the pacing and feel of a TV episode. It is also written by some of my favorite fantasy and sci-fi authors including, though not limited to, Elizabeth Bear and Holly Black. And it is completely free. You can read it online at shadowunit.org.

The story follows a unit of the FBI referred to affectionately as WTF. These are profilers, much as in the BAU (Behavioral Analysis Unit), but they profile a very specific type of serial killer. The head of their unit, Dr. Reyes, discovered something he calls the anomaly. Little is known about it except that it grants its host (or gamma) a supernatural power (which they call manifestation) and often drives them to kill. Their job is to stop these gammas and find out as much about them as possible.

I’m not a huge fan of crime shows, generally. Not because I don’t like the stories but because I truly have to become invested in the characters in order to stay interested. That’s how they got me. Shadow Unit has a diverse and interesting cast (women! people of colour! gay characters!). I read these stories as much to find out about the agents as the crimes they try to solve.

I’m half-way through season 2 and it’s still going strong. Season 3 has just begun with the novel length episode entitled “The Unicorn Evils”. I’m looking forward to it.


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