I read the premise for this book and thought what a great idea – but will it live up to the hype? It does, it does! Bailey Chen is out of college and looking for work. She hooks up with an old high school friend who gets her a job as a bar back. When she accidentally mixes a drink from a secret stash of booze and then hits the streets, she discovers a demon prowling the dark alleys of Chicago; and the screwdriver she consumed gives her powers to fight this ugly monster. Yup, there is a secret society of bartenders, called ale-chemists, who take to the streets, fortified by spirits, to combat ugly demons. Last Call includes recipes for various mixed drinks with the history of the drink, spirits used, and powers given when the magical cocktail is mixed correctly. This is one of the most fun urban fantasies 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. I can’t wait for the sequel
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.
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.
“[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
“A novel of magic and mixology... an intriguing concept.”—Paperblog
“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