By Heather A.
3 out of 5 stars ★★★☆☆
Alex McKenna is the new Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago office of the Bureau of Paranormal Investigations–the division tasked with investigating crimes involving shades.
Or vampires, as they’re more widely known.
Children have been going missing, and agents are routinely being slaughtered. It’s up to McKenna, and some unlikely allies, to get to the bottom of the problem, and find the kids before it’s too late.
An ARC was provided by the Publisher for an honest review.
Nightshades is a novella-length urban fantasy about an FBI agent trying to prove himself and a vampire (shade) woman he recruits to help him hunt other, more dangerous vampires. Much of the story seemed pretty trope-y to me and reminded me of Jim Butcher or Charlaine Harris in terms of the world-building.
McKenna is a tough FBI agent and he has his buddy as backup in this new adventure. Lindy is a femme fatal shade (but doesn’t know it, apparently, as she’s described as a sexy Kindergarten teacher) that is seeking protection from the FBI. There’s some romantic attraction between the two main characters, but I felt that this was forced. Lindy doesn’t seem like the type who would fall for a regular guy. She also didn’t seem to have much sexual agency in the whole plot.
I read an interview with the author about giving weapons to the shades to make them more of a threat, but I think this only works when they are fighting other vampires. Against humans, weapons are pointless because humans are already inferior.
There are a lot of things worth exploring for future sequels, including the politics of whether the government decides a shade is a human or not human. The bureaucracy surrounding the shades and how to deal with them was supremely accurate. Recommended for those who would like a light, quick read.