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Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge: A Novel Paperback – June 7, 2016
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“[Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge] features an appealingly sharp-yet-vulnerable heroine in recent college grad Bailey Chen, an effortlessly inclusive cast of fun supporting characters, and plenty of awesome snark. But as with the best humorous fantasies, the snark never gets in the way of the book’s big, earnest heart, which it wears proudly on its (occasionally tipsy) sleeve.”—Sarah Kuhn, author of Heroine Complex
“Krueger’s human cast is quirky and diverse, and…[he] keeps the story grounded in such a way that the reader easily forgets that they are reading fantasy and starts to feel as if Bailey’s adventures could easily be their own.”—Tor.com
“One of the most fun urban fantasies that I have ever read, with a sharp, kick-ass heroine who faces demons, a pushy mom, a possibly unrequited love interest and a plot to take over the world. You know you should be reading this with a tall, cool glass of your favorite libation close at hand.”—San Diego Union Tribune
“Krueger’s enjoyable light contemporary fantasy novel will satisfy fans of bars and bartenders…the winning main characters and the occasional histories of the drinks provide plenty of fun.”—Publishers Weekly
“The main character makes this book great, as the voice and insight are believable and fun. This book will appeal to a wide range of sf fans as the rest of the cast is believable and the hidden world of tremens (demonlike creatures) is great.”—Booklist
“Hooked immediately. . . a fresh and unique premise.”—Geeks of Doom
“With Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge, Paul Krueger bursts onto the urban fantasy scene with a premise so amazing it’s a wonder no one’s done it before.”—Light speed
“For a novel that does double duty as an entertaining read AND a recipe book for your holiday cocktails, Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge…is the way to go.”–Geeks of Doom
“A fast-paced thrill ride…[w]ith shades of Buffy and Harry Dresden….when you throw in the cocktail recipes, Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge may just be the quintessential summer read.”—Paper Blog
“Fast-paced, fun urban fantasy.”—Fantasy Literature
“Magical booze, nasty demons and a whole lot of witty and quirky dialogue.” –Creatyvebooks.com
“I was pulled in and found it hard to put this book down…I wasn't ready for this fantastic world that Paul Krueger created to be over.”—Reading is Better with Cupcakes
“If you are looking for a fun summer book to read while sipping a Long Island Ice Tea this is the book for you! Cocktails, magic, demons and a conspiracy fill the pages of a book which I found to be a lively read.”—J.B. Dickey, owner, Seattle Mystery Bookshop
“An unexpected treat - effortlessly blending the supernatural and cocktails with the effortless skill of a master mixologist.”—Helen Marquis, bookseller at Google Play
“This was a fun, fast-paced book. Who doesn't want to read about magical cocktails?”—Charity Park, librarian at Pope County Library System
“Excellent Story...now somebody get me a drink!”—Carolyn Harnick, librarian at Enoch Pratt Free Library
About the Author
Paul Krueger is a fantasy writer and cocktail connoisseur whose work has appeared in the Sword & Laser anthology. He lives in Los Angeles.
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Top customer reviews
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It's not often that I read a New Adult book, but I was interested in this one by some of the book trailers from QuirkBooks YouTube page and decided to give the book a try (seriously, look them up. They're really cool!) There were so many good characters, too. Bucket and Vincent were, hands down, the best two characters in this book! I kinda wish they were main characters, but then, that might take away some of their charm. Seriously, Vincent almost had me crying and Bucket almost had me crying tears of laughter. You gotta love it!
And the story was not predictable to me. It was very well thought out and well paced. There were plenty of non-forced or plot-hole-driven twists that kept me guessing about the outcome. This story and this world are wonderful to read and I really want more!
So, here's why it only gets 4 stars, not 5. Relationship drama. Every time the main character did something stupid, it was because of relationship drama. She wasn't even that interested in Zane until she found out he had moved from his crush on her high school and gotten a girlfriend. This aspect of the story literally had me putting the book down a few times and completely kicked me out of the book. If it weren't for the other characters and the interesting world, I may have not liked the book at all.
That being said, I did enjoy the book. A lot. That's how awesome the rest of the cast of characters are. That's how interesting the world is. I absolutely love that bartenders are protecting their patrons and baristas are healers to the bartenders. Coffee really does cure all that ails you. So, if you can get past the relationship drama, I highly recommend this book. Be forewarned, though, it may make you want a drink or two.
Last Call is a fun, lighthearted read that I felt took itself just seriously enough. In between narrative chapters, we are treated to chapters of The Devil’s Water Dictionary, the guidebook our alechemists use to make the magic happen. These entries provide us with humorous world building details as well as real life cocktail recipes. I adored the premise and these chapters were a wonderful way to make that premise work.
I also, for the most part, liked the cast of main characters. It’s always refreshing to see diversity, especially when the things that make these characters unique aren’t treated like a gimmick or a big deal.
On the other hand, I did not like the romantic subplot. The romantic rival, Mona, struck me as a fascinating character, and I was more interested in her mysterious backstory than how often she was glaring daggers at Bailey. On top of that, I didn’t find the love interest, Zane, to be particularly likable any time romance was involved. He’s the classic dorky best friend who’s been in love with the protagonist, but when the going gets tough, he’s not a /good/ friend.
With all that said, I really liked the book, and I look forward to seeing more of this universe.
Obviously there's also lots of booze and demons involved :). The magic system is well fleshed out and has intuitive rules.
The one aspect that I was kinda "meh" on was Bailey's relationship with Zane. It wasn't particularly well developed (but I also mainly read romance so I like lots of relationship development :P). I also want to know more about Bucket and Mona, bc they're super cool characters.
I hope there's a sequel.
In terms of the magic system, Krueger has made the rather ingenious connection between alchemy and bartending. A lot of thought has been given to various drinks and their effects. The plot itself is rather conventional, but I found the themes - very relatable ones of finding yourself technically an adult with a degree that has not really prepared you for life - to give it a boost many similar urban fantasy books lack. I would definitely like to see a sequel.
Most recent customer reviews
Based on the idea that perfectly mixed drinks grant the user superpowers, it's an interesting mesh of alchemy and...Read more