Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge

Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge

by Paul Krueger


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In this sharp and funny urban fantasy novel, booze is magic, demons are real, and millennial Bailey Chen joins a band of monster-fighting Chicago bartenders instead of finding a “real” post-college job.
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 that evil creatures stalk the city streets after hours, and they can be hunted only with the help of magically mixed cocktails: vodka grants super-strength, whiskey offers the power of telekinesis, and rum lets its drinker fire blasts of elemental energy. But will all 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781594747595
Publisher: Quirk Publishing
Publication date: 06/07/2016
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 142,242
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)

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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Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge: A Novel 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read with a fun concept. Hope to see more soon!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The description sounded awesome. Mix a drink, get some magic, kill monsters, save the city. Sounds promising. But it just fell flat for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's a very clever premise, written well. Face paced and funny.
Cannibalgnome More than 1 year ago
LAST CALL AT THE NIGHTSHADE LOUNGE is a fun book. Paul Krueger deftly imbues his fantastic tale with action, intrigue, humor, and humanity. The humanity is especially important as it would be far too easy to make a cast of characters as diverse as his become overly defined by the stereotypes/tropes associated with their ethnicities/genders/sexualities. Somehow, Paul manages to avoid those oft found traps and instead is able to craft characters that are multifaceted and damn interesting; by the end of the tale I definitely wanted to go hang out with them and get a stack of pancakes at 2am. I also wanted to try some of those cocktails even though I'm not much of a drinker; they sounded delicious. So pour yourself a little something and cozy up one evening with LAST CALL AT THE NIGHTSHADE LOUNGE. It's a winning combination.
JollyRogerBooks More than 1 year ago
This is one of the most underrated and under-hyped book I've ever read. EVERYONE WHO WANTS DIVERSE READS SHOULD READ THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW! Let me tell you, this book has it all! POC Main Character, Transgender (And open about it) 'immigrant' (he's Canadian and amazing), a LGBT+ Bar and wise guardian who is not only LGBT+ but also disabled. SAILOR MOON REFERENCES! Alcohol that gives you powers! What else could you want for a book! AND it actually gives you recipes for a majority of the cocktails mentioned in the story. The story follows Bailey Chen, a recent college grad who is struggling to find a good full time job and in the mean time is working as a bar back at her old long-time friend's family bar. When one night, one of the bartenders accidentally doesn't lock up at the end and bailey decides to mix herself a little drinkypoo. Low and behold on her way home not only does she come across a Tremens (creepy disgusting looking monster) but she also finds she has super strength and can defeat said monster. This encounter brings her into this whole new world of discoveries led by Zane, Bucket, & Mona (unwillingly) While there is slight romance, it is (to me at least) extremely subtle and kind of forgotten when the alcohol and monsters come a knockin. I really really enjoyed the plot of this book and would gladly read MORE in this world. The book has great writing and world building that easily sweeps you into it to where you feel like you're fighting alongside Bailey. It also really makes you want a drink.
ReadingGrrl More than 1 year ago
This is a fun read - great for the beach or light reading...more like mind candy. Quirky and interesting, this story twists the modern day bartender into a supernatural bounty hunter here to protect the humans. Through their mixology they create different drinks in exactly the right combination to give them superpowers (don't we all think we have superpowers when we drink?) to fight off demons who prey on unsuspecting humans.
Reading_With_Cupcakes More than 1 year ago
So, I am totally not a drinker in any way shape or form, but something about Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge still called out to me and told me that I had to read it. And I am glad that I listened to whatever that something was! Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge has such an interesting and original premise. It is about bartenders, but bartenders do not just sling drinks and break up bar fights. They keep the people safe from demons that are out and about trying to feed on the drunks wandering the streets late at night! Our main character is about Bailey. She is a fresh out of college business degree graduate that cannot find a job. She has moved home and has started working at the bar that her childhood friend, Zane, is a bartender at. She starts out just running around getting the bartenders clean glasses and making sure that their lemon slices are stocked up...but she isn't a dummy and starts to notice that things aren't as they seem. Oh, and she runs into one of these demons on her way home from work one night! I loved the premise of this book. I was pulled in and found it hard to put this book down. I just had to keep going and going was over. But I didn't want to put it down even when it ended! I wasn't ready for this fantastic world that Paul Krueger created to be over. I found it very easy to relate to Bailey. I have been there. I have been the college graduate that couldn't find a job and had to take the first thing that I could come by...which for me happened to be bookselling (and I stayed with it for 6 years, but this isn't about me). Also, I loved loved loved the character Bucket. He was by far my favorite of the whole cast. I found him quirky with a funky sense of humor. The jokes he cracked always brought a smile to my face and an occasional audible laugh. Thankfully no one was ever really around me while I was reading, they probably would have thought me crazy. Oh, and if that wasn't enough things that I loved about Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge, I also loved the formatting. Placed between the chapters that contained the story, we got to read pages from the Devil's Water Dictionary. This allowed us to read part of the book that the characters got their magical elixirs. It also gave us the recipes to some of the drinks mentioned within the story (so yay! we can make them ourselves) and background information about the ingredients. I felt that this gave a whole other level to the story and really helped me feel a part of it and that the characters were people I could possibly run into them on the street. So to say it again, just in case it wasn't obvious already, I loved Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge. It is a world that I really hope Paul Krueger continues! My Rating 5 Stars Find more of my reviews here: This review is based on a copy provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Laura_at_125Pages More than 1 year ago
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. Original review @ 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.
AuthorPamelaKKinney More than 1 year ago
4 1/2 stars actually. Recent Ivy League college graduate Bailey Chen is currently tending a bar managed by her childhood friend/crush, Zane. Unlike in her childhood, Zane now dresses in suits, has a girlfriend, Mona (who is a bartender at another bar), and seems to manage being an adult well. Bailey has moved back in with her parents in Chicago and is angling for an interview at a company that produces a music app. Her career plans change when she accidentally discovers that the city's bartenders do much more than mix drinks. They also fight drunk-preying monsters, known as tremens, by using correctly mixed drinks that grant the drinker a particular superpower for a limited period of time. After she mixes herself a drink to enables her to kill a tremens herself, she finds that Zane’s uncle is, in fact, a senior member of this group, called the Alchemists. When he offers her the chance to drink something that will produce amnesia about their world, instead, she chooses to be trained as a tremens slayer. Due to the tension between her and Zane’s girlfriend (Bailey has feelings for him), she is assigned a mentor, a blind veteran, Vincent, whose disability was caused by improperly mixing a Long Island Iced Tea. The drink is said to give its drinker possible immortality and much power. But when Bailey learns an owner of the app business she going to interview with is connected to Zane’s uncle, and that the uncle may be perfecting that drink himself, plus that it is the drink that has been drawing the ever increasing numbers of tremens to Chicago, she knows she must do something. Besides a great story, the book includes 14 recipes from a book of ancient cocktail lore, with tongue-in-cheek explanations of their ingredients, historical and cultural origin, and the people responsible for inventing them. The novel is an original twist on how people get magical powers to fight demons. Suddenly, alcohol can cause more than a splitting headache the next morning after an all-night binge. Now it just might give your friendly neighborhood bartender abilities to kick demonic butt!