Nightshades by Melissa F. Olson

Nightshades Book Cover

Melissa F. Olson
Sci Fi & Fantasy
19 Jul 2016


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.

Nightshades is a new gritty urban fantasy from Melissa F. Olson.

"Melissa F. Olson writes with razorblades made of moonlight, cutting through shadows to share with us the beating heart of her characters and story. My only problem with being immersed in Nightshades is that I had to keep coming up for air. If I could breathe words, they’d be hers." — Charles de Lint, World Fantasy Award Winner

Nightshades’ surprised me in a positive way, it is not a unique idea but the writing style, the way the story evolves is (even though a bit slow) well done. I never read a book by Olsen before so I had a look at the previous books she wrote and judging by the covers they are just not for me. The cover art of ‘Nightshades’ however stands out compared to the previous covers. I’m a graphic designer, so yes the cover means something to me. So there’s 1 thumb up already.

‘Nightshades’ is a good and fun read, really, but it feels (after finishing it) it has been cut short.

*** Spoiler alert***
The book takes about 60% to explain the situation and the set up of the FBI team and maybe 20% of what we are searching for in a thriller: the action, the conflict between humans and shades in this case. That 20% is at the end of the book and could have been longer, there’s just 1 action moment in the whole book and if I didn’t see the Kindle app % counter nearing 100% I would have expected more. Would have wanted way more! Double the amount of pages and fill it up with action moments!
***End Spoiler alert***

Olsen’s writing style is good, there’s speed, it reads fast, no looking at grass growing. I like this.
I feel this is the beginning of a series of books; there’s loose ends to be solved and the ending is open, to bad though one of the main characters is dead already. I just hope Olsen, if there’s more books to come, will put in a bit more (what do I say?), no: a lot more action in it. She can do it, she’s good at it.

In the end I do feel positive: I enjoyed this book, the story and the style. There’s just… you know what I mean.


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