Nightshades Audiobook by Melissa F. Olson (REVIEW)

Posted by on Mar 20, 2018 in Reviews | 22 comments

Review of: Nightshades Audiobook
Melissa F. Olson

Reviewed by:
On March 20, 2018
Last modified:March 20, 2018


Nightshades Audiobook

By: Melissa F. Olson

Narrated by: Luke Daniels

Published by: Brilliance Audio 11/02/17

Nightshades Audiobook by Melissa F. Olson read by Luke Daniels

4 Hearts rating image Hot Listens

Nightshades #1

4 hrs and 3 mins

Genre: Paranormal Thriller

Nightshades Audiobook Sample

Nightshades Audiobook

4 Hearts

I’m not gonna lie. I saw that this was “paranormal thriller” and Luke Daniels and decided I had to give this series a try. I’ve really been on a thriller kick and I’ve always been a paranormal fan (going back to middle school). I’m a huge fan of Luke Daniels, so I was willing to give Melissa F. Olson a try. I’m so glad that I did. I really enjoyed this story.

So in this world, vampires are called shades. Not a lot is known about shades. They have managed to capture one. They have him contained in a prison they call Camp Vamp. When describing the main character’s visit to Camp Vamp, it was described very similar to the scene in Silence of the Lambs when Jodie Foster visits Anthony Hopkins. The cell has plexiglass and a sliding drawer to exchange stuff with him. But, they haven’t been able to learn much from him. Congress hasn’t classified vamps as non-humans, so his has all the same legal rights as any other American citizen, including no experiments or torture.

Our main character, Alex McKenna takes a job that no one else wants, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago office of the Bureau of Preternatural Investigations. There is talk about even letting the shades have control of Chicago. Too many people have died. Too many agents. But Alex wants to prove that he is a good agent and that he didn’t just get his job because of his mother. He also knows that he is going to have to come at this issue in a new way, because the old ways aren’t working.

So this is a fairly short story, only about four hours long, which equates to less than 200 pages. I do wish this story was a bit longer. I thought this was a great start to the series. We meet some great characters. The story is set with the fight for Chicago against the shades. We get to meet the villains. We learn more about shades as Alex uses his new methods to tackle the Chicago problem.

If I was going to fault this story for anything, it would be the length. I would’ve liked a longer story. This one ends with a cliffhanger, which I am not a fan of (who is?). It would’ve been great if the author had kept the story going just a bit longer and found a better place to end, in my personal opinion. That being said, I really enjoyed the story and characters of this story. I already have book two in this series. I will be diving in soon. I really hope it doesn’t have the cliffhanger ending that this one does.

Nightshades Audiobook Narration

5 Hearts

As I said, I’m a huge Luke Daniels fan and he didn’t disappoint with the narration of this book. He does a great job with male and female voices. He had a few accents that he had to manage in this book and he did them really well. I love his pacing for the story too. He always knows when to add more pauses for suspense and when to speed up because of the action. If you’ve never tried Luke Daniels, I highly recommend you search him out.

Author: Melissa F Olson

Author: Melissa F Olson

Melissa Olson studied film and literature at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. After a brief stint in the Hollywood studio system, Melissa moved to Madison, WI, where she eventually acquired a master’s degree from UW-Milwaukee, a husband, a mortgage, two kids, two comically oversized dogs, and two chinchillas, not at all in that order. She loves Madison, but still dreams of the food in LA. (Literally. There are dreams.)

As of 2017, Melissa has published eight novels in her Old World series for 47North, two novellas for, and a standalone mystery. Her journalism and academic work has been published in The International Journal of Comic Art, The La Crosse Tribune, U-Wire, Women on, the compilation Images of the Modern Vampire,, and She spends most of her non-writing professional time traveling around to conventions and conferences, where she speaks about issues related to genre, feminism, writing, and parenting.


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Narrator: Luke DanielsLuke Daniels was born into a family of actors. Both his father and mother have been performing and teaching for almost five decades. It is because of their influence that, from a very young age, Luke and his two brothers often found themselves in rehearsal halls at repertory theatres all over the country; watching innumerable productions of Much Ado, Julius Caesar, and Midsummer’s.

Luke’s first theatrical role came at the age of 5 as Fleance in a production of Macbeth. He immediately loved the creativity and camaraderie of the theatre. (It also didn’t hurt that he was allowed to miss school for certain performances.)

Over the years Luke has performed at many repertory theatres across the country, including the Utah Shakespearean Festival, Connecticut Rep., and Hope Summer Rep. in Holland, Michigan. Luke has his Bachelor’s from Western Michigan University and his MFA in performance from the University of Connecticut.

Luke has worked professionally as a director, teacher, audiobook narrator, voice-over, commercial, and industrial actor.

But he maintains that the greatest role he has ever played is that of a Father to his daughter.

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I like to thank Brilliance Audio for providing me with a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewed by:

ML Simmons Reviewer

  • 4
    editor rating
Melanie Simmons
I’m Melanie and I live in Ohio. I have two horses and a dog. I’m an animal lover, avid book reader and audiobook listener. I like to live vicariously through fictional characters. I enjoy reading and listening to mostly fictional books in the paranormal genre, including Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance and Horror. My favorite paranormal creatures are shifters, doesn’t matter the flavor.


  1. Ok… here’s a silly question. Did they only call the vampires Shades? Like, did they not even have the word ‘vampire’? Because I’m wondering why, if you call them Shades, you’d name the detention center Camp Vamp. It’s completely random, but I thought of that when I read this.

    And you’re right about Luke Daniels… I’d try a book from a new author just on the strength of his narration. He’s fantastic.

    • Vampire is used, just not as much as Shades. They refer to themselves as Shades. Vampire is used, but not as much. Almost derogatory, maybe. Luke Daniels is amazing.

    • I just listened to book two. Another cliffie. 🙁 Still a fun series.

    • I just listened to book two. It was fun too, but another cliffie and book three isn’t out yet.

  2. Oh yep, she likes her cliffies. I’m waiting with baited breath for book three. But, it is a fantastic series and worth the sudden surprises at the end. And Luke Daniels!!!

  3. I’ve liked the four books I have read by this author so far. I think I’ve listened to 3 of them. You have me intrigued even though I really hate cliffhangers. Glad you enjoyed Melanie.

    • I’m not a fan of cliffhangers either, but this series has really got me hooked. Now just waiting for book three to come out.

  4. Ooo I love the cover for this and it sounds right up my alley! Thanks for introducing me to this one, I definitely want to check it out more.

    • I like the cover, too. Book two is fun too. Now I’m waiting for book three.

  5. Short audio. Just another thing I’d like to try. He’s a great narrator.

    • I’ll take audios in any length. I just listened to one 7 minutes long (the new one from John Oliver, “A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo”) and I’ve listened to The Stand by King which is 48 hours.

  6. sounds like the start of something great Melanie. I’m a fan of Daniels too so this goes on my list!

  7. Ah man, I was really excited about this. Paranormal Thriller with vampires, what’s not to like. But a cliffhanger? Nope, that just ruins a book for me.

    • I don’t like cliffhangers, but they aren’t deal breakers for me. I really enjoyed this story.

  8. Ok, adding it to my list. I’ve been on a paranormal and UF binge. Despite the length, it does sound like it holds promise as a series.

    • When I realized how short they were, I was a bit worried too. They are a full story, just ones with cliffhangers. I’ve already listened to book two. Another great story, but again, cliffhanger.

  9. It sounds like a good start of a series. I read a good paranormal suspense series recently, so I can see how a paranormal thriller would work well too. Too bad it’s a bit short, but I hope book 2 is a good one too.

    • I just listened to book two. It was short also, but a fun story. Now I’m just waiting for book three. 🙂

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