RogerBW's Blog

Nightshades, Melissa F. Olson 04 October 2017

2016 modern fantasy novella, first in its series. There are vampires in the world; the FBI is hunting down the bad ones.

This feels like the pilot episode of a TV series. Here's the teaser with a bunch of expendable characters so that we can see how dangerous the threat is; here's the brilliant young FBI agent, son of the first female director, who's out to prove that he's good in his own right; here's the "good" vampire who's the co-lead (cop/not-a-cop yet again), and there are some of the rest of the ensemble cast. Meanwhile, over there is the villain of the week, and the figure behind her who'll escape to be the season's big bad, and the ending that sets up the next episode. It feels very much by-the-numbers, the sort of thing that usually emerges from TV production where multiple layers of executives and focus groups can sand away anything distinctive and produce a rounded-off pill for the audiences to swallow; it's a shame to see a solo author following this path.

Which is all rather a pity, because apart from those problems the book is well written and a pleasure to read; the characters do their best to escape from the clich├ęs they've had assigned to them, and occasionally succeed. I wish Olson would do the same.

I can't really recommend this yet, but if the story goes somewhere a bit more interesting in future volumes then it may pull together. To be followed by Switchback.

[Buy this at Amazon] and help support the blog. ["As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases."]

Series: Nightshades | Next in series: Switchback

Comments on this post are now closed. If you have particular grounds for adding a late comment, comment on a more recent post quoting the URL of this one.

Tags 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 3d printing action advent of code aeronautics aikakirja anecdote animation anime army astronomy audio audio tech aviation base commerce battletech beer boardgaming book of the week bookmonth chain of command children chris chronicle church of no redeeming virtues cold war comedy computing contemporary cornish smuggler cosmic encounter coup covid-19 crime cthulhu eternal cycling dead of winter doctor who documentary drama driving drone ecchi economics en garde espionage essen 2015 essen 2016 essen 2017 essen 2018 essen 2019 essen 2022 essen 2023 existential risk falklands war fandom fanfic fantasy feminism film firefly first world war flash point flight simulation food garmin drive gazebo genesys geocaching geodata gin gkp gurps gurps 101 gus harpoon historical history horror hugo 2014 hugo 2015 hugo 2016 hugo 2017 hugo 2018 hugo 2019 hugo 2020 hugo 2022 hugo-nebula reread in brief avoid instrumented life javascript julian simpson julie enfield kickstarter kotlin learn to play leaving earth linux liquor lovecraftiana lua mecha men with beards mpd museum music mystery naval noir non-fiction one for the brow opera parody paul temple perl perl weekly challenge photography podcast politics postscript powers prediction privacy project woolsack pyracantha python quantum rail raku ranting raspberry pi reading reading boardgames social real life restaurant reviews romance rpg a day rpgs ruby rust scala science fiction scythe second world war security shipwreck simutrans smartphone south atlantic war squaddies stationery steampunk stuarts suburbia superheroes suspense television the resistance the weekly challenge thirsty meeples thriller tin soldier torg toys trailers travel type 26 type 31 type 45 vietnam war war wargaming weather wives and sweethearts writing about writing x-wing young adult
Special All book reviews, All film reviews
Produced by aikakirja v0.1