Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge – Paul Krueger

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge – Paul KruegerLast Call at the Nightshade Lounge: A Novel by Paul Krueger
Published by Quirk Books on June 7, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, LGBT, New Adult & College
Pages: 288
Format: Kindle
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon

Bailey Chen is fresh out of college with all the usual new-adult demons: no cash, no job offers, and an awkward relationship with Zane, the old friend she kinda-sorta hooked up with during high school.
But when Zane introduces Bailey to his monster-fighting bartender friends, her demons become a lot more literal. It turns out evil creatures stalk the city streets after hours, and they can only be hunted with the help of magically-mixed cocktails: vodka grants super-strength, whiskey offers the power of telekinesis, and tequila lets its drinker fire blasts of elemental energy. But will all of these powers be enough for Bailey to halt a mysterious rash of gruesome deaths? And what will she do when the safety of a “real world” job beckons?
This sharp and funny urban fantasy is perfect for fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, and grown-up readers of Harry Potter. Includes 14 recipes from a book of ancient cocktail lore.

girlfighting1 Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger is a fun read that manages to tie bartending, demon fighting and fresh out of college angst together. It really should not work together, but it does and I enjoyed the ride the story took me on. Bailey Chen is newly graduated, in debt, living with her parents and jobless. Relying on an old friend she gets a bar back job at an old dive, The Nightshade Lounge. There she learns that demons might just be realer than she thought and that a well made cocktail may just save the world.

I really liked the plot of Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge. It was a very unique take on the girl fighting demon story and I enjoyed that the book had some of the cocktails included. The writing of Paul Krueger was on point. He was able to meld very different elements together to create a very real world where demon fighting bartenders did not seem out-of-place. I enjoyed his attention to detail and that he featured a very diverse cast. The characters were almost all great, I loved Bailey and the crazy bartender named Bucket. Some of the characters though seemed almost hyper comic and did not fit in quite as well as the others. As mentioned the world built was very strong. The author had a great attention to detail and I could picture the scenes quite well. The pacing did have a few issues where time jumped a bit too quickly for my liking, but it quickly would find a balance. The emotions were there, but not super strong in anyone other than Bailey. A few characters were supposed to have almost a zealot quality to them, but they felt a little flat. I did find myself laughing out loud at a few scenes and one bit made me quite upset, so there was a nice variety going on.

I did really enjoy Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge. This was Paul Krueger’s debut and I think it was a strong one. I honestly hope this is the beginning of a series as I loved Bailey and I can see her leading the charge against a lot more demons. Now, there were a few small issues, but none that truly hampered my reading enjoyment. I can see Krueger doing big things as his writing career continues and I will be sure to keep an eye out for whatever he writes next.

Favorite lines – A little sourly she wondered if any movie hero ever had to take public transit to a crime scene. Well, you’re not a hero, she reminded herself. You’re just a girl with a bachelor’s degree, her dad’s train pass, and a possible death wish.

Biggest cliché – You’re just a girl, you can’t fight.

 Have you read Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge, or added it to your TBR?

Rating Report
Overall: four-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Debut Author Challenge
  • 2016 Diverse Books Reading Challenge
  • 2016 New Release Challenge
  • Mount TBR Reading Challenge
  • Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge
  • The Goodreads Challenge

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Posted May 31, 2016 by Laura in Reviews / 2 Comments

2 responses to “Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge – Paul Krueger

  1. Yes! I’ve just finished reading this one and am about to write my review, so I was very interested to read your review – which pretty much chimes with my take on the book. Like you, I think it’s a great debut and hope to see more from this world.