In this gritty yet oddly colourful depiction of New York, there's a troll under the Brooklyn Bridge, a boggle in Central Park, and a beautiful vampire in a penthouse on the Upper East Side. Of course, most humans are oblivious to this supernatural underworld, but Cal Leandros is only half-human and very much in the thick of things (he wishes he wasn't). His true lineage is nothing short of inhuman -- so, when Cal and his brother Niko start seeing monsters everywhere they realise that it's fight or flight time once again. They've been running from their past for years, and now it might just be catching up with them...
This book was fantastic. I knocked off a star only because there's a significant alteration in narrator halfway through the book which got a little trying after a while. I enjoyed it initially, it was a clever move on behalf of the writer, but I did get tired of it! That criticism aside, I loved almost everything about Nightlife. I'd ummed and ahhed over this series for some time now, not wanting to waste my time picking up another long started series I might hate... so I read Thurman's other novel 'Trick of the Light', of which there is only one at the moment, thinking it'll be a faster read being only at one book. Unfortunately for me I disliked it and ignored this series as a result. However, I gave in (weak willed that I am when it comes to books) and bit the proverbial bullet: upon finishing 'Nightlife' I wondered why I hadn't started the Cal series sooner! Always the way!
Cal is the first person narrator of this novel and it's delightful to see the world through his eyes. Cal is 19, extremely lazy, half human and works in a dump of a bar. He has an older brother named Niko who is a stalwart warrior with a Roman nose who he's nicknamed 'Cyrano'. Heh. I loved the relationship between Niko and Cal. Niko is a warrior in the truest sense, reserved, guarded, heroic -- plus he has mad ninja skills. Cal is a typical teenager -- lazy, worships sleep and has a mouth on him that could outsnark even the wittiest of Urban Fantasy heroines. Cal is funny. And not in a trying to be funny way... he's actually funny and very witty with an awesomely wry sardonic outlook on life. He had me laughing out loud several times! Another character I was very fond of was Robin Goodfellow, who Cal hated, who clearly only wanted friends to distract him from his aching loneliness. What was nice about Nightlife was how much (and how quickly) I came to care about all the characters. Especially the trio of Cal, Niko, and Goodfellow.
The plot is twisty and exciting -- a very fast paced book. There's plenty of action and the worldbuilding is original and nicely done. Highly recommended.