Review: Switchback by Melissa F. Olson (Nightshades #2)


Switchback by Melissa F. Olson // VBC reviewSwitchback (Nightshades #2)
Melissa F. Olson
Published: Oct. 24, 2017 (Tor)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review 

Reviewed by: Margaret

Rating (out of 5): 3.5 stars

Note: While review will be spoiler free, it does make reference to previous books. If you haven’t started this series yet, check out VBC’s review of book 1, Nightshades.

Switchback picks up about a month after the end of Nightshades. Special Agent Alex McKenna is just returning to work at the Chicago office for the Bureau for Paranormal Investigations after recovering from the injuries he suffered at the end of that book. On his first day back, his team gets called to the small town of Switch Creek, Illinois, where a young man was arrested for drinking blood the previous evening. In the morning, the office manager arrived to find a massacre had occurred at the police station overnight.

I enjoyed getting to know the BPI team some more in this second book. Olson goes in to some of the characters’ backstories and develops the relationships between members of this relatively new team. Plus, the whole paranormal FBI thing is perfect old school urban fantasy and totally my catnip.

I thought the mystery was just okay though. That could just be because I was more interested in the characters than in the plot. It could be that the novella length doesn’t leave room for as much story development as I have would have liked. The connections to characters in the first book also don’t come up until the end, which made this feel like a transitional book more than a standalone.

In my review, I said Nightshades was like “Criminal Minds with vampires.” And the series continues to feel like it should be a TV show. (Hey Netflix, can you make this show for me please?) The ensemble cast and multiple POVs allow us to see the clues as they’re discovered. The novella length also gives the books an episodic feel. And it makes them great for binging! In a way I’m glad I didn’t read Switchback when it first released because I get to go right in to book three, Outbreak, which comes out tomorrow.

Sexual content: Fade-to-black sex

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