Nightshades by Melissa F. Olson – Review

Cover- Nightshades

Published: July 19, 2016


Genre: Urban Fantasy

Pages: 176 (Kindle)

My Rating: 4.0/5.0


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.

I was unsure what to expect when I requested a book about vampires and FBI agents from NetGalley, but I’ve always been fond of vampire books so I figured I’d give Nightshades a shot. I was pleasantly surprised at how much excitement was packed into this little novella and found myself wishing it were a little longer.

Nightshades is set in a world where vampires exist and everyone knows it, though the common knowledge is a recent development. In light of this new threat to humanity, the FBI has created a division specially tasked with handling the vampire threat and learning more about them in an effort to defend their fellow man. This division, called the Bureau of Preternatural Investigations, has several branches in the United States, but the primary focus of this story is on the Chicago branch where a string of civilian kidnappings and vampiric attacks on agency members have occurred. The division is in the spotlight, but not in a good way and FBI golden child Special Agent Alex McKenna has volunteered to be the new lead agent of the Chicago division. He’s got his hands full, recruiting a decent team, getting information, and even working with vampires to achieve his goals.

This story is well developed and engaging despite its short length. In fact, it’s very nearly the perfect length and it left me wanting to read and learn more about this alternate world filled with vampires. I love the slight air of mystery that I was left with – clearly there is a long history with two characters in particular that I would LOVE to learn more about. Lindy, a vampire masquerading as human, is great – she appears very normal at first glance, but upon further inspection she’s more than she seems. Lindy is actually more than just your average vampire, which makes me want a sequel desperately. The epilogue of this novella left a very clear opening for continuing the storyline – YAY!

I found Nightshades to be intense and appealing- special agents and vampires are a great combination and I look forward to reading more! The closest I can come to a comparison to this book is The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black, which was surprisingly awesome for a YA vampire novel. I realized after finishing Nightshades that I actually have another of Melissa F. Olson’s books on my Kindle and I had totally forgotten that I had it! At some point I’m going to have to make time to read Boundary Crossed, which was featured as a Kindle First book some time ago.


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