Audio Review: Nightshades by Melissa F. Olson

Audio Review: Nightshades by Melissa F. Olson
Narrated by Luke Daniels

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Series: Nightshades
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Brilliance Audio
Released on December 1, 2017
Pages: 4 hours 3 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher

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Alex McKenna is the new Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago office of the Bureau of Preternatural 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.

The Delight

The Shades are out of the dark and shadowy closet and now humans are realizing they aren’t quite the top of the food chain.  In fact, they are the prey… I took one look at the blurb and who was narrating and I was all-fired ready to give Melissa Olson and her paranormal thriller a go.


Nightshades is the introductory story in a new series.  It does the job of introducing the background, setting, and the players.  As I learned more about the Nightshades world and this version of vampires I was intrigued.  The case of the disappearing teens and the death of one due to a shade attack, the formation of a new Preternatural Crimes Unit team, and the thrill of story moved along swiftly and steadily to a breathtaking climax.

The story took a while to get going, but that didn’t matter.  It actually was a quick listen and had some great action suspense scenes with a great group of characters.  Alex McKenna is one of the leads with the enigmatic Lindy as the other.  He’s human and an FBI agent and he tracks her, a shade, down to help him solve the kidnapping and murders.  It’s earlier days for them, but they had great rapport, light banter, and a slow-burn attraction that has me excited to keep going with the series.

The big climax happened to finish off the main conflict of this book, but it also introduced what will be the series conflict.  Ha!  I knew Lindy was more than she seemed.  The enemy is a worthy opponent for Alex and Lindy and the rest of the team.  I can’t wait to see what comes next.

Luke Daniels was his usual amazing self doing the narration.  Whether it was light-hearted banter or an intense dangerous moment, female or male, sinister or innocent, he nailed it all.  I really do need to listen to more off his backlist.

So, in summary, this venture into a new to me series was a resounding success.  I definitely want more Nightshades action.  Urban Fantasy lovers who like a good stirring vampire tale and an engaging FBI team should give this one a go.

My thanks to Brilliance Audio for the opportunity to listen to this book in exchange for an honest review.


Romance Roundabout #1 UF
Mt. TBR #4
Literary Pickers #5
First Time Author Audio #2


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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.


  1. Last week I read Moon Called (book1) and Blood Bound (book2) by Patricia Briggs, which are paronormal fantasy/urban fantasy books and I loved them! I’m for sure going to continue the series and I think that after I’m up to date with it I want to read more in this genre. So, I’m putting this on the tbr list!


  2. The suspense sounds well done here and it’s neat the author gave a twist on the vampires. I like the sound of the romance with the banter and the slow burn, I like that type of romances. Neat the conflict of this book got wrapped up and the main series conflict introduced. Great review!

    1. She did a really good job of bringing the reader into the world of the series and giving a riveting suspense story. The romance angle is just how I like them for UF, too.

  3. I was so glad to stumble across this one. It’s a good mesh of the cop thriller and urban fantasy. Yes, that cover is a nice understated bit. I like the tone for this series.

  4. It is true that the first book in the series is usually slow because of the world building, especially on paranormal. I’m glad that you were able to see over it and enjoyed the story overall.

    1. Definitely! Get them to send you the second book, too, because its just as good and better b/c its not the intro book. Luke Daniels does fantastic. 🙂

  5. I love Luke Daniels! His narration is a plus to any story but I got hooked on him from his narration of The Iron Druid Chronicles. This sounds exactly the type of story I’d devour! I love UF! Wonderful review, Sophia Rose! 🙂