Thursday, August 04, 2016

Nightshades by Melissa F. Olson

Title: Nightshades
Author: Melissa F. Olson
Genre: Paranormal Thriller, Urban Fantasy 
Series: N/A

Trade Paperback, 208 Pages
Publication: July 19, 2016 by Tor

Source: I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.


Alex McKenna is the new Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago office of the Bureau of Paranormal Investigations―the division tasked with investigating crimes involving shades.

Or vampires, as they’re more widely known.

Children have been going missing, and agents are routinely being slaughtered. It’s up to McKenna, and some unlikely allies, to get to the bottom of the problem, and find the kids before it’s too late.

I’ve been a fan of Olsen’s work since the debut of her first novel Dead Spots. What I’ve come to notice from Olsen’s work is her characters are realistic and well developed, her writing is always engaging and she puts a spin on vampires like no one else. Vampires have saturated the market for years and for some it’s become too familiar and monotonous. However, Olsen always finds a way to breathe new life into the overused supernatural creature of the undead, making it fresh and exciting; which is what readers will find when they pick up Nightshades.

New series means new location. Olsen opts for a change of scenery for her vampires in Heavenly, Chicago. Unlike her Scarlett Bernard Series, the vampires of Nightshades are undomesticated and are looking to over throw the human population. And they’re freakin’ scary and ruthless as hell. If you’re looking for the sparkly, glorified, domesticated kind of vamps then you’ll need to look elsewhere. Olsen’s vampires A.K.A Shades are dangerous hunters who believe they shouldn’t remain in the shadows anymore and that they’re the superior species, and that humans are nothing but blood bags for the taking. Which takes us to the main issue at hand; teenagers are being snatched all over Chicago and the BPI, Bureau of Paranormal Investigation is taking lead on the case with Alex, a newbie Agent at its helm.

I thought Alex and Lindy were both great leads. The book is pretty short, less than 200 pages but Olsen did a great job at building the world and foundation for subsequent books. And what little I saw of Alex and Lindy, I thought they worked well as partners, and hinting that there may be more to their relationship other than work, but again, it’s too early to tell. Alex is a typical male lead, he knows when to play and when to work and when to be a friend and boss. The most interesting character of the bunch is definitely Lindy. I don’t want to spoil the fun for anyone, but let me just say there’s more than meets the eye and at a glance readers might find Lindy a demure introvert but she is full of surprises. That ending, was just…WOW. Character crush!

Overall, I really liked Nightshades. The story wrapped up nicely but the ending left a lot open for future books. I’m crossing my fingers that this is the start of a new series and that the next book will be longer because this book felt way too short. I didn’t want it to be over yet, especially when things were getting so good! I highly recommend Nightshades to all Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, and police procedural readers. And if you haven’t tried any of Olsen’s books yet, Nightshades would be a great place to start!

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