(Author: Paul Krueger) + (Year: 2016) + (Goodreads)
Well… here’s for trying. I mean, Mr Krueger certainly tried to make this different and interesting. But I think it turned out just a bit too different.
First of all, I tried explaining this to several people and most laughed me off at “supernatural, demon-fighting bartenders”. In an age when everything has been written, it is true that one needs an original idea, but the point is for it not to be so original that it is laughable. I gave it a chance, because I am weird and I like experimenting with my books. But I can assure you that many would just drop it right where they took it from with no more than a look of surprise.
That being said, generally, for someone like me, this sounds like something that might have some potential: A Chinese-American girl (I am pointing it out because the author was extremely intent of us not forgetting it throughout the entire book) starts working in a bar and not long after she finds out that her boss, and practically everyone who works at the bar, are “bartenders”, magical soldiers, fighting the tremens, demons which like sucking the life out of drunk people. The bartenders prepare special magical cocktails and go fight the tremens, while at the same time trying to find the Holy Grail – the magical recipe for the philosopher’s stone, the Long Island ice tea.
I had my reasons, okay?
The book is just messy. There is this entire bartenders lore, but aside from the cocktails themselves, little is explained about the bartenders, how they came to be, how they found magic and so on and so on.
Bailey is just an intolerable human being and so is Zane, her male counterpart. She is either referred to as very smart, in fact, brilliant, very educated and hard-working and yadda-yadda-yadda, or as the loser that she actually is, because she is not really doing anything with her life whatsoever before accidentally stumbling into the bartender life. And she has no clear aims, aside from being able to afford gel nail polish, apparently. She is a downer, has serious issues with competition, despite having no grounds to think of herself as brilliant, and is way overpraised by everyone. All of her powers and abilities were plain and simple ~magical~. She didn’t work to gain anything in this book, she was just kind of able to do it, which is… yes, you guessed it, just the author making her cooler than he could by actually building her as a character and letting us decide without shoving it in our faces.
Zane was even worse. And after all of his disbelief, meanness, rudeness and plain stupidity, he was still shown to us as a good guy and Bailey just forgave and forgot all of his crap. The scene after the court was just a giant proof that he is a horrible person, but that was miraculously forgotten by everyone.
I really did not care about anyone in this book, sadly.
And that was basically it, bad characters and an insane story.
The only thing that I did like about Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge were the cocktail recipes. Those were handy first, because they explained many details I did not know about different beverages, as I was not aware that vermouth is dry wine, and second, because they provided recipes. I approved of that a lot, at least.
PS. Bailey? Baileys? What? Anyone?