Review: Switchback by Melissa F. Olson

Review: Switchback by Melissa F. Olson
Narrated by Luke Daniels

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Series: Nightshades #2
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Brilliance Audio
Released on December 1, 2017
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher

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Three weeks after the events of Nightshades, things are finally beginning to settle for the Chicago branch of the BPI, but the brief respite from the horror of the previous few weeks was never destined to last.

The team gets a call from Switch Creek, WI, where a young man has been arrested on suspicion of being a shade.

The suspect is held overnight, pending DNA testing, but seemingly escapes in a terrifying and bloody massacre. But is there more to the jailbreak than a simple quest for freedom?

The Delight

Their enemy is still out there and they barely took a recruiting breath before they are on the hunt, but then a slaughter in a rural town happens and the team has their hands full.  Is it vampires?  Is it related to their open case against Hector?  And will the secrets a few of the team members are keeping  prove dangerous?  Oh, I most certainly needed all the answers.


Switchback is book two in the Nightshades series and must be read in order since the book carries on the story which began in book one.

Alex is just recovered from his life-threatening injuries and is still somewhat shaky and bewildered because Lindy, a shade pretty much saved his life, and he is attracted to her on top of this.  Lindy knows Hector will not go to ground and stay gone so she goes on the hunt while feeling fear and worry for the first time in centuries and she knows why.  She cares about the people in her preternatural crimes team and Hector knows this.  And what is this warm sensation she feels for Alex.  It’s all almost too much when she also contemplates the human government’s stance on shades is changing and her very existence is steadily being threatened particularly when they might change their mind about her.

Meanwhile, there is another intense and twisting case for the team.  A brutal multiple murder scene likely done by Shades in a small, mostly upper middle class town outside Chicago where petty crimes used to be the worst that could be expected.  It was a well-paced and I was right there in the story save for one thing.  I found it distracting and unnecessary.
We go from hunting down murdering vampires to pulling over from the story to take political potshots at the whole community because it’s populated by ignorant rich and entitled white folks and a few token people of color living in the suburbs.  It had nothing whatsoever to do with the plot and didn’t advance the story or shed light on the characters save maybe a little explanation into Agent Hadley’s background.
I know we need open dialogue on racial issues and I have no problem with addressing ignorance or worse, but is it really necessary to do this by put down one race to build up the others?  Does it have to be an all or nothing mentality here?  I assure you it doesn’t if we truly want our words to make a difference with those who most need to hear and heed them.

The story ended with the current case wrapped up, but then some zingers hit in the last scene and left things on an ominous note making me anxious for when the next book will release.  It wasn’t a drastic cliffie, but more a lead in to the next installment.

Just like with the first book, I listened to this one and Luke Daniels was the narrator.  What more can I say that I haven’t already?  He does a fabulous job and made a good story even better.  I thought his handling of deep emotions and the underlying tension of the story was magnificent.  I think I would feel bereft to not get the rest of the series in audio.

All in all, this second leg of the series was even stronger than the first in my opinion.  This was mostly because the job of introducing the series is behind us and we can get straight into the plot and further development of the characters.  I anticipate it staying strong with all the good elements it has going for it.  Definitely a recommend for urban fantasy lovers.

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


Romance Roundabout #7 UF
Literary Pickers #7
Woman on the Cover Audio #4
Mt. TBR #5
COYER #23 



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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.