Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger

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A sharp and funny urban fantasy for “new adults” about a secret society of bartenders who fight monsters with alcohol fueled magic.

College grad Bailey Chen has a few demons: no job, no parental support, and a rocky relationship with Zane, the only friend who’s around when she moves back home. But when Zane introduces Bailey to his cadre of monster-fighting bartenders, her demons get a lot more literal. Like, soul-sucking hell-beast literal. Soon, it’s up to Bailey and the ragtag band of magical mixologists to take on whatever—or whoever—is behind the mysterious rash of gruesome deaths in Chicago, and complete the lost recipes of an ancient tome of cocktail lore.

SourceARC from the publisher, Quirk Books–Thank you!!

Bailey Chen has recently graduated college and is working, much to her and her parents’ dismay, as a barback instead of her chosen field. The good thing about this is that she gets to spend time with her best friend from high school, Zane, whose uncle owns the bar. One night, left alone, she mixes herself a drink, which gives her super strength, which she uses to kill a beast that attacks her. This beast is unbelievably strange, something she’s never seen before. But Zane has.

Zane explains to Bailey that bartenders defend people against these beasts, or tremens, as he calls them. Tremens are demons that feed on people. Bartenders use their knowledge and skills to make drinks that they use to defeat tremens and keep citizens safe and unaware of their existence. It is an ancient and complex practice and Bailey, sensing that this may be her calling, asks, and is granted permission, to join.

What follows is a fun, funny, and original book. This is one of the few books I knew I wanted going into BEA and I’m so glad I stood in line for it. I also was able to meet the author, who is from Chicago, the setting of the book.

I love a kick ass heroine who is capable of saving the day and Bailey Chen is exactly that. I wish that there would be more adventures with Bailey & Zane because there could easily be more stories in this universe. My favorite parts were the parts between the chapters, which told the reader about the many different drinks and their history. The book is a great, imaginative tale with a little urban fantasy, a little mystery, and a lot of laughs. Also, I really loved the highly diverse characters. Well done, Mr. Krueger! Cheers!

4/5

daphne

 

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