Nightshades: A Paranormal Thriller by Melissa F. Olson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
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*An ARC was provided by the Publisher for an honest review.*
Nightshades is a novella-length urban fantasy about an FBI agent trying to prove himself and a vampire (shade) woman he recruits to help him hunt other, more dangerous vampires. Much of the story seemed pretty trope-y to me and reminded me of Jim Butcher or Charlaine Harris in terms of the world-building.
McKenna is a tough FBI agent and he has his buddy as backup in this new adventure. Lindy is a femme fatal shade (but doesn’t know it, apparently, as she’s described as a sexy Kindergarten teacher) that is seeking protection from the FBI. There’s some romantic attraction between the two main characters, but I felt that this was forced. Lindy doesn’t seem like the type who would fall for a regular guy. She also didn’t seem to have much sexual agency in the whole plot.
I read an interview with the author about giving weapons to the shades to make them more of a threat, but I think this only works when they are fighting other vampires. Against humans, weapons are pointless because humans are already inferior.
There are a lot of things worth exploring for future sequels, including the politics of whether the government decides a shade is a human or not human. The bureaucracy surrounding the shades and how to deal with them was supremely accurate. Recommended for those who would like a light, quick read.
One thought on “REVIEW: Nightshades by Melissa F. Olson”
Novellas are always a tough length. They have to build a world and develop characters while maintaining a tightly paced plot. Hopefully if Olson writes more in this series, she’ll be able to build on this book a bit.