Book Review: Last Call At The Nightshade Lounge

Another book crushed during the NEWTS! I know that it is now September but I am just getting around to writing the reviews for the NEWTS books now because I was so busy trying to read them all before August was over. This one was called Last Call At The Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger.

Synopsis: 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.

This book was so good! When I heard about it through a booktuber named “Drums Of Autumn”, I knew I needed to have it. The concept of mixing drinks that enable the person to have superpowers alone is fascinating and I was instantly intrigued.

And then I start reading and find out that it is a diverse book with a mixed-race main character named Bailey and I love it even more. It is really enriching to see more diverse sets of characters in strong leading roles. There is also a Canadian character that I absolutely loved because they didn’t exactly show a stereotypical Canadian person with the “Sorry’s” and the “I love maple syrup” but gave them a multilayered personality that was just a joy to experience.

The book would end some chapters with drink recipes explaining what powers this drink gave you and the magical history behind how it was discovered among the bartenders and mixers. They had drawings of the drinks in an old victorian sketching style.

I normally don’t gravitate towards a book with historical elements (not a fan of historical fiction) but I would love to learn all about the mixing lore and the discovery of magical drinks.

There is a lot of action, some romance and a take on superpowers that I have never experienced before. It was very easy to get through and I found myself having a hard time putting this book down! I would recommend this book to anyone that wants a fun urban fantasy book that is very well-paced and honestly should be a series….hint hint….Paul, make another book like this!

Book Rating: 5/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads!

Disclaimer: I was given this book as a gift and I read it because I wanted to. I was in no way compensated to give it an honest review.


It is finally September and I completed my NEWTS TBR but until I make that video, here is my September TBR where I talk about the books I will be reading this month and announce my giveaway winner!

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Book Spotlight: The Devil’s Apprentice

I’m very excited to share this book with you all today! The Devil’s Apprentice in the first book in the incredibly imaginative, and wonderfully entertaining, YA Fantasy series, The Great Devil War.

There will be exclusive content and a giveaway so be sure to read on!

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The Devil’s Apprentice (The Great Devil War #1)

Genre: YA Fantasy

Philip is a good boy, a really good boy, who accidentally gets sent to Hell to become the Devil’s heir. The Devil, Lucifer, is dying and desperately in need of a successor, but there’s been a mistake and Philip is the wrong boy. Philip is terrible at being bad, but Lucifer has no other choice than to begin the difficult task of training him in the ways of evil. Philip gets both friends and enemies in this odd, gloomy underworld—but who can he trust, when he discovers an evil-minded plot against the dark throne?

Even though the story (mostly) takes place in Hell and deals with themes like evil, death and free will, it is also a humoristic tale about good and evil seen from a different perspective. A tale that hopefully will make the reader – young or old, boy or girl – laugh and think. – Kenneth B. Andersen

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Excerpt

“You’re fairly young, aren’t you?” A forked tongue moistened his scaly fingers, and he flipped through more pages. “How old are you?”

“I’m thirteen.”

“Thirteen?” the beast mumbled, clearly impressed. “It’s not very often they come to us so young. You must’ve done something really horrific.”

“What do you mean?” Philip shook his head. “What is this place?”

“This place?” The monster raised an eyebrow. “Haven’t you figured it out yet? Oh well, evilness and stupidity often go hand in hand.” His crooked smile revealed pointed teeth, and his gruff voice lowered to a hiss. “This, my boy, is the outer court of Hell. That—” he directed a hooked nail at the black gate, “is Hell.”

“Hell?” Philip whispered, and he saw it all again in his mind. The cat that had spoken to him. The shove to his back that had sent him hurtling into the street. Sam’s triumphant howling. The sound of squealing brakes. The car and the elderly man behind the wheel. And the darkness that had followed.

A dream, he’d said as he stood at the top of the long stairwell, knowing deep inside that it was a lie. This was no dream.

The car hit me, he thought. It hit me, and I’m dead. I died, and now I’m in… in…

“Hell?” he repeated, totally confused. How could he be in Hell? Only evil people went to Hell. Right? “I’m in Hell?”

“You need to say that three times before it sinks in?” the demon said, skimming through his book. “But it could be worse. Plenty others have to say it many more times before it sinks in. Ah, here it is! Let me see.” From the breast pocket of his robe he drew out a pair of silver-framed spectacles and put them on. The demon scanned the page quickly, using his finger as a guide.

“Just like I said,” he shouted angrily, pounding the book with his balled fist. “No one was supposed to enter tonight! Not for a few hours anyway, when an entire troop of politicians were to arrive!” The creature shook his head resignedly. “Well, since you’ve already spoiled my night off, I might as well send you straight to your punishment. What is your name, kid?”

Philip didn’t reply, but stared at the demon, dumbstruck.

“Wake up! We don’t have all night. Eternity waits. Your name?”

Philip cleared his throat timidly. “Philip.”

“Philip, Philip, Philip,” the demon mumbled, riffling back and forth a few pages. He wrinkled his brow. “That’s odd. Last name?”

Philip told him his full name, and once again the demon searched in his book. The wrinkles in his brow deepened, and his yellow nails scratched at his scalp. Then he shook his head and clapped the book shut with a sigh. “That name isn’t in the registry. Some dumb fool has made a mistake, kid. You’re not supposed to be here.”

“I’m not?” Philip said and felt a warm relief spreading through him. Then his eyes fell on the inky, thick darkness that enveloped the walls of Hell, and his sense of relief vanished. “Then where should I be?”

Available on Amazon!

The Great Devil War Books 1 – 3

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For your chance to win a digital copy of The Devil’s Apprentice, click the link below!

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About the Author

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I WAS BORN IN DENMARK ON A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT IN NOVEMBER 1976 …

… and I began writing when I was a teenager. My first book was a really awful horror novel titled Nidhug’s Slaves. It didn’t get published. Luckily.

During the next 7 years, I wrote nearly 20 novels–all of which were rejected–while working as a school teacher. The rest of the time I spent writing.

In 2000 I published my debut fantasy book, The Battle of Caïssa, and that’s when things really took off. Since then I’ve published more than thirty-five books for children and young adults in genres ranging from fantasy to horror and science fiction.

My books have been translated into more than 15 languages and my series about the superhero Antboy has been adapted for film, which is available on Netflix. An animated tv series is currently in development.

A musical of The Devil’s Apprentice opened in the fall 2018 and the movie rights for the series have also been optioned.

I live in Copenhagen with my wife, two boys, a dog named Milo and spiders in the basement.

About THE GREAT DEVIL WAR: The Great Devil War was published in Denmark from 2005-2016, beginning with The Devil’s Apprentice.

Even though the story (mostly) takes place in Hell and deals with themes like evil, death and free will, it is also a humoristic tale about good and evil seen from a different perspective. A tale that hopefully will make the reader – young or old, boy or girl – laugh and think.

Welcome to the other side!

Kenneth B. Andersen | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram


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Blog Tour Schedule

August 19th

Reads & Reels (Review) http://readsandreels.com

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Interview) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

Gwendalyn’s Books (Review) https://gwendalynbooks.blog/

August 20th

YA/NA Book Divas (Excerpt) http://www.yabookdivas.com/

Ity Reads Books (Review) http://www.ityreadsbooks.home.blog

Reviews and Promos by Nyx (Review) https://nyxblogs.wordpress.com/

Quirky Cats Fat Stacks (Review) https://quirkycatsfatstacks.com/

August 21st

B is for Book Review (Excerpt) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

An Ocean A Glimmer (Review) http://anoceanglimmer.wordpress.com

I’m All About Books (Excerpt) https://imallaboutbooks.com/

J Bronder Book Reviews (Excerpt) https://jbronderbookreviews.com/

August 22nd

Jaunts & Haunts (Review) https://jonathanpongratz.com/

Shalini’s Books and Reviews (Review) https://bookreviewsbyshalini.com/

The Bookworm Drinketh (Review) http://thebookwormdrinketh.wordpress.com/

I Love Books and Stuff (Excerpt) https://ilovebooksandstuffblog.wordpress.com

My Bookish Bliss (Excerpt) http://mybookishbliss.com

Didi Oviatt (Excerpt) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

August 23rd

Breakeven Books (Excerpt) https://breakevenbooks.com

Entertainingly Nerdy (Review) https://www.entertaininglynerdy.com

Cats Luv Coffee (Review) https://catsluvcoffeez.blogspot.com/

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I know I said I was on a book buying ban but here are all the books I got for my birthday!

Also for all you fantasy lovers out there, my friend Moud Adel (author of the War Remnants which I reviewed in July) has created this new game called Majority Rules where you get to decide what happens in his fantasy story. You will read the story and then vote in a poll for what you want the next scene to be. YOU take control and YOU make the decisions. Every Thursday, there will be new scene options so it is a continuous game! Check it out by clicking on the image below!

Join the game:

https://mastoperia.com/majority-rules/

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Book Highlight: Kingdom Of Jior

Hey Fantasy lovers! I have your next series right here! Check out the Kingdom of Jior series by Wendy L. Anderson. Below are a few snippets from each book to get you started and a chance to win the whole series in print!

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Publication Date: November 14th, 2016

Publisher: Infinity Publishing

Prince Lorn of Jior is what’s left of an evil empire. King Kullorn was the epitome of evil. Together they led demon hordes reaping death and destruction. Kullorn is killed, leaving Lorn alone to wallow in the desolation of defeat. Years later, Lorn is accused of following in his father’s footsteps and kidnapping Princess Lililaira. Risking capture, imprisonment and death Lorn attempts to learn who is using his name to start another war. During a rescue of the Princess, Lorn is badly wounded and they must fight to remain together as he is healed by her, body, heart and soul.

Memories of how life used to be, circled through Lorn’s mind as he contemplated the events of five years ago. His father, King Kullorn of Jior, had raised him with one purpose in mind and that was to lead the Jiorian armies out of the Violent Mountains and conquer the entire island continent of Vedt. Kullorn had been an evil tyrant who had reigned over the once vast empire of Jior that was now only jagged mountains, left to the encroaching forest and wild animals.

Goodreads

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39898786Redemption of the Fallen

Publication Date: April 17th, 2018

Publisher: Infinity Publishing

Five years have passed since Lorn liberated himself from Lan-Loe, his evil father’s Sorcerer. Legends were born from tales of the great battle between Lorn and a black-winged demon, of Lan-Loe’s death, and the defeat of demon-kind. Ever since that time, people have been flocking to Jior to make their homes there, and the Kingdom of Jior is revived. Lorn is crowned King of Jior, Lililaira is Queen and they rule peacefully side by side.
Now a new war threatens everything they have built and everyone they love. One hundred miles away from the City of Jior, the combined armies of Vedt march toward Jior intent on slaying everyone in the kingdom and taking revenge for Lorn’s past evil deeds. With the forces of the whole country coming against them, Lorn and Lililaira have little hope of defeating their enemies.
In the midst of impending war, strange dreams plague Lorn’s sleep at night. He feels that something is waiting, something he needs very badly, something is calling him!
When he answers the call, he learns that he is a descendant of a race of winged people that profess to be from the Heavens. He also learns more about his past and is given hope for the future, but that hope comes with a high price. Lorn is given a choice: he can save his family or watch them die.
Lililaira and their daughter are taken prisoner by her father, the King of Skoria, Lorn must call on all his resources to rescue them. Forced out of the protective walls of Jior, he must face his many enemies who use his wife and daughter as bait. King Lorn must deal with old enemies and new friends, but will he be able to tell the difference?

Strange dreams plagued his sleep at night. At first, he thought the dreams were caused by apprehension over the news of the army advancing on Jior. Each night the dreams seemed to grow more urgent, and he could not assign blame to that cause anymore. As soon as he closed his eyes, images of a strange place haunted him. Night after night he dreamed of the same mountaintop. On the high peak stood an ancient structure with tall marble columns, circling a huge stone floor. The columns did not support anythin solid but seemed to hold up the deep blue sky that quickly swelled with impending snowfall. The wind swirled ice crystals through the columns and seemed to call his name in the whispery tinkle of ice against stone. Lorn felt compelled to fly west. He strained to resist the compunction, telling himself it was the greatest folly to think that a place from his dreams truly existed and that he could find it.

Goodreads

Amazon

44033265Heirs of Jior

Publication Date: February 27th, 2019

Publisher: Infinity Publishing

This set of adventures starts out with Princess Lyra Song, young and beautiful, stepping into maturity. She and her family attend the funeral of a dear friend. During this sad time, she pursues her hopes and dreams endeavoring to explore a betrothal with the Heir of Krickgold. However, when she is mistaken for a witch by a Lord from a neighboring country, her dreams are dangerously interrupted. Waylaid, taken prisoner and thrown into an iron cage, the delicate Princess of Jior is charged with a crime she didn’t commit and she must do whatever it takes to escape or be wrongfully executed.

Prince Vannier of Jior, known to the Ny-Failen as Little Wing, has been devastated by what happened to his sister Lyra Song, but life must go on and he goes forward with his plan to marry his childhood love. The day of the wedding ceremony he finds his betrothed with another man and now he must face devastating reality and some difficult choices. When his younger brother Dark Star goes missing, Vannier must set aside his own problems to go into the Violent Mountains and find who has taken his little brother. Amidst the turmoil of the hunt, Vannier must face danger, loss, and possible heartbreak.

Dark Star, the youngest Prince of Jior, has been changed forever by the events of his capture and he remains troubled and unable to find peace. A mysterious compelling draws him away from the safety of his home and family. He sets off on his own to investigate and finds a black castle and a beautiful sorceress in dire need of his help. Dark Star must face a demon from the Hells to free them both.

Panic struck like a lightning bolt, and he stood up and whirled around, taking stock of the boundaries of his prison. It was nearly his undoing as pain, nausea and dizziness overtook him. Since his capture by the Troggs a few years back, Dark Star could not stand confined spaces. His wings beat against his back as if telling him to fly and escape. Searching for a door or exit, he could not find one, so he threw himself against the bars on all four sides, testing their strength. He flew up to the barred cage top and heaved. It was no use, he was imprisoned in a strong, heavy, iron prison, and that was all there was to it. He was locked in with no way out, like a bird in a cage. His brain kept screaming over and over, ‘Not again! Not again!’ and he flapped uselessly around the confines of his cage until the pain in his head forced him to stop. Tamping down hard on his terror, concentrating on settling his breathing, he stood in the middle of his cage, wrapped his wings around himself and huddled within their protective embrace. Closing his eyes, he retreated into his mind and waited.

It seemed like hours later when the sound of a door opening and closing reached through his self-imposed trance. The faint glow of a lamp barely drew Dark Star’s attention. He was standing completely still, cocooned within his white wings watching through barely slit eyes. He had withdrawn into his own mind, holding madness at bay.

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For your chance to win a paperback set of the whole series, click the link below!

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About the Author

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Wendy L. Anderson is a Colorado native and mother of two boys. She has an English Degree from Regis University and writes books, short stories and poetry. Wendy is a devout reader of the classics, fantasy, sci-fi and historical fiction. She has decided it is time to write down the fantasies from her own mind. Writing about everything from fantastical worlds to the stuff of her dreams she takes her stories along interesting paths while portraying characters and worlds she sees in her mind’s eye. Her goal is to deviate from common themes, write in original directions and transport her reader to the worlds of her creation.

Wendy L. Anderson | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

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Book Review: Taken with a Dark Desire by Dennis Scheel

Another book review from yours truly! This one was called Taken With A Dark Desire by Dennis Scheel. It is a story involving angels and demons so naturally I was intrigued.

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Synopsis: Never trust a deal with the Devil. Lucifer wants Denida’s ring though he promised not to interfere in Denida’s world. He sends Claus to kidnap Daniel to force Denida to trade. Daniel tells the story of his Dad’s secret past to unsettle them. Nina, Denida and the Colonel use all the resources of the Underworlds to find Daniel. Neither they nor the Devil knows there is another person interested in Daniel for their own reasons.

I had many things I liked about this book and many things I didn’t. I will start with the pros. It was about angels and demons so PRO right there. Fantasy books are the best. They always have so much potential and can go in any direction which makes for an exciting read.

I really bonded with the character of Michelle. She was a badass and very powerful in ways the other characters couldn’t even imagine. I tend to like the evil characters more so that is probably why I like her. Lucifer was pretty fun too. Of course I am drawn to Lucifer’s character 😛 *insert evil laugh*

It was pretty cool how Daniel was a side part of the novel where he is telling a story about how his father came to power. This made it split the plot into two storylines, one in the present and one in the past.

And now the cons. First off, the character names. They were all so similar that it was hard to distinguish who was who at times. Some examples are Denida, Nina, Dan, Daniel, Danyel…. they all sounded similar and a lot of the time I had to really concentrate to know who was speaking. I feel like it would be much better if the names were a little more diversified.

There were some grammatical errors which bugged me a bit. The worst thing is when you are deep into an exciting adventure and then all of a sudden you are ripped out of the fantasy due to person “petting a house” instead of “petting a horse” (this is not one of them, just an example). There were only a few so it wasn’t too bad but still brought me out of the fantasy every once and awhile.

*SPOILER ALERT* – skip this part if you plan to read the book

The ending was very anticlimactic for me. The entire time you are expecting this big fight between Denida and Medusa and don’t get me wrong, there is a fight but it lasted 2 and a half pages. This book is 400 pages and the final fight was a mere 2 and a half pages. I was hoping for destruction and mayhem. At least a whole chapter of it. But nope, just like that, it was over. And if Denida had all this power, why didn’t he use it earlier.

*SPOILER ENDED*

All in all, it was a decent book. This book is for the fantasy lovers out there. I had very mixed feelings on it but I would still say to give it a read so I could hear others thoughts on it.

Book Rating: 3/5

You can find this book on Amazon and Goodreads.

Disclaimer: We were sent this book by the author in physical format to read and give an honest review.


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