Release Day Review: Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger

June 7, 2016 Review 2

Release Day Review:  Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul KruegerLast Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger
Published by Quirk Books on June 7,2016
Genres: Fantasy, Humorous, Paranormal, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 288 pages
Source: NetGalley
Sexual Content: references to sex
Reviewed by: Kristina
3 Stars

A sharp and funny urban fantasy for “new adults” about a secret society of bartenders who fight monsters with alcohol fueled magic.

College grad Bailey Chen has a few demons: no job, no parental support, and a rocky relationship with Zane, the only friend who’s around when she moves back home. But when Zane introduces Bailey to his cadre of monster-fighting bartenders, her demons get a lot more literal. Like, soul-sucking hell-beast literal. Soon, it’s up to Bailey and the ragtag band of magical mixologists to take on whatever—or whoever—is behind the mysterious rash of gruesome deaths in Chicago, and complete the lost recipes of an ancient tome of cocktail lore.

LAST CALL AT THE NIGHTSHADE LOUNGE is a quirky urban fantasy story where getting drunk with the correctly made cocktail gives you superpowers to beat up monsters. The concept that bartenders are a part of a secret monster killing society due to their ability to get superpowers from alcohol is a pretty cool one. Who wouldn't want to gain super-strength from chugging a drink at a bar? The various types of powers one can get from the drinks was amusing, especially the one page 'excerpts' of each cocktail given at the end of each chapter outlining the drink's origins.

The characters are pretty over the top and each one has their own weird quirk about them. I only remembered them by their quirk and nothing else which basically meant they could have replaced eachother at any time and I wouldn't have noticed. Bailey is a typical struggling 20-something whose first job out of college happens to be bartending hence the reason for her getting pulled into this strange world. I thought she was a bit immature but pretty determined to prove herself. In fact all of the characters came off as a tad young (more teen than 20-something).

The actual story fell apart a little for me on a few fronts. Where did the monsters come from? Are they the only types of monsters out there? What makes the attracted to alcohol and how much attracts them? When did the bartenders decide to band together into this vast network? There are more questions I would have liked to have some of the answered to give background and atmosphere to the world the story is set in. This was an okay book with a fun premise that fell a bit flat on the world-building aspect. It might have worked better as a series to flesh out characters and the plot.

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2 Responses to “Release Day Review: Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger”

  1. Jessica @ a GREAT read

    Hmm…this has me slightly worried! I bought this one at BEA a few weeks ago because I thought it sounded cool! Like you said bartenders who fight monsters? Awesome!! Sad to hear it’s not quite all you could hope for. Worldbuilding is a biggie for me, as well as characters. I need to understand what world I’m in and how it works. Hopefully it’ll still be a fun read like you said! Nice review!

    • Kristina

      Yeah, I got it at BEA too actually and was sort of disappointed at it. It had some potential!