“Nightshades” was a fast, fun read that felt like watching the pilot episode of a series that you REALLY REALLY want the SyFy Channel to buy.
It opens with some gritty and scary action that tells you that you’re not dealing with the sparkly type of vampires here but with the kind that love ripping people apart just because they can, and moves quickly into an “FBI vs the monsters” sequence that managed to combine threat, dark humour and pop-culture references in a way that felt very real-world
After that, the plot goes to some unexpected places. The FBI SAC is an unconventional guy who makes surprising but insightful choices.
The rest of the book is driven by the relationship between the SAC and the new person he brings onto the team as a consultant. Both characters are clearly (if economically) drawn and are people I want to know more about.
Add to that a fresh way of thinking about the who, how and why of vampires; a complex and not completely revealed backstory; violent, blood-drenched action scenes, a really evil lead vampire and just a taste of decadent passion and you have a story that sweeps you along and leaves you wanting more.
“Nightshades”, which is more of a novella than a novel, is an interesting story and a great set up for a series but it left me wanting more RIGHT NOW.
If Melissa Olson decides to stick with the novella length for this series, I hope she keeps them coming fast and frequent.