This first book in the series is available for free from e.g. Amazon and Smahswords and from the series’ own website: http://shadowunit.org/episodes.html.

Publication year: 2007-2011
Format: ebook
Page count: 153 in pdf
Publisher: CatYelling

This is a collection of short stories and novellas. In the foreword about the origins of Shadow Unit Emma Bull writes that this is a TV show which just happens to be in the written format. And that’s what this is. Clearly these people are huge fans of Criminal Minds and have put their own twist to the series. I’m also a fan of the series and so I was very curious about this collaborative project. Each of the writers have contributed their own stories to the collection. The stories have the same characters.

Shadow unit is a nick name for Anomalous Crimes Task Force. It’s a special branch of FBI’s BAU unit, the Behavioral Analysis Unit. In essence, this is a team of profiles who are hunting serial killers, just like in Criminal Minds. The twist is that in this universe, paranormal things happen and some of the serial killers have been influenced by outside forces, the paranormal. Here it’s called Anomaly. The people who have paranormal powers are either gammas (really powerful and they seem to have some internal story with explains their powers to themselves) or betas (some powers but they can control it).

The character files are here: http://shadowunit.org/agents.html
On the surface, many of the character bear more than a slight resemblance to Criminal Minds’ characters. However, it seems to me that CM characters were the starting point and all of the characters were developed in different ways. And they do have some original characters, too. Daphne Worth is the new person on the team and the first POV character. She’s an experienced BAU agent and a former paramedic. We get to know the Shadow Unit characters and the world through her eyes.

Overall, I enjoyed these stories. Their format follows very closely CM episodes but they had more personal times: one of the (shorter) stories is about the agents’ evening get together for barbecue.