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Book Review: Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger
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Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge
Paperback | Kindle Edition | Audio CD
Written by Paul Krueger
Quirk Books
Release Date: June 7th, 2016

Bailey used to go through life living at the top – excellent grades, choices of top schools, a bright future. How did she end up cleaning vomit and running glassware for her high school BFF? AND… she’s back living with her parents. She’s hoping that her interview at Divinyl will result in bringing the success she was always sure she would have in life. Her bestie, Zane, was a bartender here at the Nightshade Lounge, his Uncle Garret’s bar, and he seemed a bit different than the guy she knew. He was more sure of himself, walked with a confidence that had he had back in school, she may have seen him as more, the way he saw her back then.

Such is the setup for Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge: A Novel of Magic and Mixology by Paul Krueger.

More below.

One night, after Zane invites her out to the diner after work, he gets a call, and tells her she has to close up. He has to go, and it seems urgent… only he makes himself a quick margarita, guzzles, and goes. Weird…

Anyway, she closes up, but finds a secret stash of liquor and makes herself a glowing screwdriver for the road. She gets powers, and the door opens to the secret world of bartenders who protect the world from disgusting demons. Every drink gives off a different power, and the novel also serves as a magical recipe book. Turns out demons aren’t the only things she has to fight. Read and find out!

If there were such a job as a personal shopper for books, besides being the first one to apply for the job (and doesn’t a book reviewer do that anyway?), I would have him/her shop primarily at Quirk Books. When a book is sent with Quirk as the publisher, I automatically know that I’m going to like it. So when I picked up Last Call At The Nightshade Lounge to start reading, I interviewed the book like a good little student (that’s English 101 right there), and yelled to my husband, “Superhero bartenders!” Hooked immediately. One, I was a bartender for many years, and two, superhero bartenders! I love a good monster-alien-superhero story as much as the next guy, but this was a fresh and unique premise. I read A LOT, and am rarely surprised by a concept, so when I suddenly am, it feels like someone gave me an extra surprise.

Back to the novel – Buy it. Read it. Let’s have a book discussion in the comments congratulating each other on reading such a fine book, while drinking magic cocktails.

Official book synopsis:

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.

Last Call Nightshade Lounge Paul Krueger Cover

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