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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling Urban Fantasy
Nightlife tells the story of two brothers. Cal - the younger brother who is half human / half 'monster' and Niko the older brother who will do whatever it takes to protect his sibling from the creatures that constantly pursue them.

The story is told by Cal the younger brother, who makes for a cynical protagonist, with an extremely cutting sense of humour. It's...
Published on 11 Mar. 2007 by Lesley70

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3.0 out of 5 stars not a hardcore fantasy/sci fi fan
ok first off i'm a big jim butcher fan which is what drew me to these books in the first place. I read the other comments on here before getting this book for xmas. they kinda had me at more of a negative attitude towards it with their comments about the way the narration changes halfway through etc. well everyone has their own opinion and i don't necessarily...
Published on 3 Jan. 2011 by Amazon Customer


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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling Urban Fantasy, 11 Mar. 2007
This review is from: Nightlife (Roc Fantasy) (Mass Market Paperback)
Nightlife tells the story of two brothers. Cal - the younger brother who is half human / half 'monster' and Niko the older brother who will do whatever it takes to protect his sibling from the creatures that constantly pursue them.

The story is told by Cal the younger brother, who makes for a cynical protagonist, with an extremely cutting sense of humour. It's interesting how when the style of narration changes (Cal undergoes something of a transformation halfway through) that underlying humour is still there, albeit with a much nastier twist.

It does take a couple of chapters for the story to get going, but almost without realising it, you are slowly drawn into Cal and Niko's world. And once you are in there it becomes very hard to put the book down. Although the major focus of the story is the relationship between the two brothers and their struggle to survive, the world is populated with interesting and original secondary characters - Boggy, Georgina, Robin Goodfellow (yes, that Robin Goodfellow :) ), Promise and Abbagor. It's made very clear that these are creatures / people who all have their own agendas and problems to deal with and who don't necessarily have the welfare of the brothers at heart. It's refreshing not to have the good guys and the bad guys made completely obvious.

Because there is a major change in protagonist behaviour halfway through, this is a book of two halves. The change is very much a necessary part of the plot, but I did prefer the narration of the first half more, finding that because there was less interaction with other characters in the second half it did get slightly bogged down in exposition.

Having said that I recommend this book for anyone who's looking for something a little different in the Urban Fantasy line. (Definitely worth checking out if you like the Ukiah Oregon series by Wen Spencer.)

Moonshine the second book in the series is also available.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Entertaining, 24 Aug. 2007
By 
Daniel G. Harris "Grifter" (Cardiff) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Nightlife (Roc Fantasy) (Mass Market Paperback)
At first I thought the book a bit slow to start with a very gradual build up and there is a point in the middle where you just think "Get on with it!!" but the climax at the end of the book makes it all worth while.

A very good read. The relationship between Cal and his brother to me seems very believable having a brother of my own even if the dialogue does seem occasionally cheesy in the way the rib each other. At times the main characters arrogance gets a little irritating but by the end you cant help but like him.

Buy it. You'll like it!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'No chick flick moments...', 13 Nov. 2009
This review is from: Nightlife (Roc Fantasy) (Mass Market Paperback)
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars read this book, 15 Feb. 2008
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This review is from: Nightlife (Roc Fantasy) (Mass Market Paperback)
i bought this book on a whim and at first i found it quite boring but after the first couple of pages you really get in to it and it is amazing.
this book reminds me a lot of the tv show supernatural especially the relationship between the two brothers.
trust me if you like supernatural or books by laurell k hamilton and kim harrison then you will love this.
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3.0 out of 5 stars not a hardcore fantasy/sci fi fan, 3 Jan. 2011
This review is from: Nightlife (Roc Fantasy) (Mass Market Paperback)
ok first off i'm a big jim butcher fan which is what drew me to these books in the first place. I read the other comments on here before getting this book for xmas. they kinda had me at more of a negative attitude towards it with their comments about the way the narration changes halfway through etc. well everyone has their own opinion and i don't necessarily disagree.

first point I should make the whole book is just setting the scene for the rest of the series. obvious right? well yes and no, most first books usually fill you in around a specific event happening such as a crime to solve or whatever. what's been done here is that you a introduced to the world that is cal and niko's life. The way they live and why is explained, friends/enemies are introduced and the characters are all padded out. don't get me wrong this doesn't make it boring or mean that there's no plot at all it's there but in this book just rests lightly in the background for the most part.

The humour and the brotherly relationship is all there and possibly is a little overdone at times (the only real negative that i could find)but it still manages to keep the book interesting to read and help move the story along.

as for the change of narrative style halfway through well i thought it worked. It meant that blanks were filled in on parts of cal's life that otherwise may have been drawn out far too long over future books. Also that is really the point that the background stuff is swapped to the backburner for the story and the action begins to really kick in.

my only real reason for only giving it three stars was because it didn't quite make the same quality level as jim butcher for me. But that's not stopped me from just ordering the next one in the series. and it did have me hooked enough to stay up till 3 am to read it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Urban fantasy with a spin, 13 Nov. 2009
By 
Nick Brett (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Nightlife (Roc Fantasy) (Mass Market Paperback)
At face value this is a typical urban fantasy where all sorts of things lurk undetected in the dark comers of our world. But this is something else too....
In Thurman's Nightlife, the Elves (also known as the Auphe) are very much the bad 'guys' and they are hunting Cal and his brother Nico. They want Cal because he is part human and part something else, and the Auphe have a desperate need for that something else. The first half of the book is about the brothers, giving us a little background and showing us the off the grid life they have to lead to keep one step ahead of the evil that pursues them. So far reasonably standard fare, but then there is a significant change to one of the lead characters which takes the book in a different direction and makes you sit up a bit and try to figure out where the author is taking you next.

An entertaining book, the bond between the brothers is well fleshed out as is Cal's adolescent character and Nico's slightly too perfect one. Once the book changes direction some of the plot and the Auphe's cunning plan becomes a little complex and there were passages I had to read a good couple of times, but this does not detract from what remains an entertaining dark fantasy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Start of Something Great, 13 April 2010
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This review is from: Nightlife (Roc Fantasy) (Mass Market Paperback)
This is the first in Rob Thurman's Cal Leandros series which I bought on a whim a few years back when it was just this and the following title and I was hooked. I admit; Cal took a while to get used to. I wasn't too sure I liked him at first but before long I was hooked on the relationships between the characters which is certainly this author's strength. The bond between the brothers is wonderful without being in any way saccharine, the way Goodfellow slots into their lives and ends up so much a part of it you wonder what they did without him is truly lovely. The dialogue can be a bit forced at times but in others its laugh out loud hilarious. I only give this four stars because Ms Thurman only really finds her feet after this first novel and I missed the brotherly interaction when Cal goes through his...change..which takes up a lot of the book. The emotional effect this change has when Cal finds himself again is a wide-eyed page turner though. Give this one a chance - it's a hugely underrated series which deserves a lot more attention.
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5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful start to a promising series, 5 Aug. 2010
This review is from: Nightlife (Roc Fantasy) (Mass Market Paperback)
I just recently discovered this author and series. I've seen this author and her work around the blogosphere for sometime but just never picked it up until now. My mountainous TBR pile might have something to do with my resistance there.

There are some scenarios in the book where it was just too logistically impossible in which the "suspension of disbelief" has to drop a little. But because of the compelling storytelling quality, I can overlook this as a reader. The story also has unexpected twists to keep a reader glued to the pages. The book is fast-paced, action-filled with humor between the pages and satisfying ending! Love it!

Story telling quality = 5
Character development = 5
Story itself = 4.5
Ending = 4.5
World building = 5
Cover art = 4.5

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read, 27 Jan. 2008
By 
Amazon Customer (Staffordshire, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Nightlife (Roc Fantasy) (Mass Market Paperback)
I really loved this book. The strong family theme throughout mixed with mortal peril at every corner was wonderful. Loveable characters and an intriguing plot line made for an exciting read.
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6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Just bad. . ., 6 Jun. 2009
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This review is from: Nightlife (Roc Fantasy) (Mass Market Paperback)
I really do not understand the positive reviews this book has had. It truly is an awful book. I found myself bored with every page. I couldn't engage with the characters because I just couldn't believe in them.

For example, that main character - Cal - is supposed to be a young man on the run from evil Elves called Grendels. This is, I guess, a teenager...maybe 18 - 19. The problem is - he doesn't talk like one. He says things like he was 'brooding like Heathcliff'. I'm sorry, but I know no male teenager who has read Wuthering Heights. This is supposed to be some cool EMO type goth kid and he's quoting from books kids these days don't read!! More than that, the character has been on the run from nasty grendels - so when would he have time to be so well read? Then he calls his brother Cyrano, as a cheeky insult. Next time you meet a teenager - not a nerd, but a normal teenager, ask them who Cyrano is. They won't have a clue, and if they did, they wouldn't be caught dead using the name as an insult. I mean, when was the last time you heard a teenager say: 'Niko looked at him askance.' Teens don't talk like that!

And that's my problem with this book. The main character doesn't act like his age or act like someone who would be in the situation he is in. And I know it is the author who could decides how a character would act, but please, make it plausible. There are other things that are annoying, like the fact that nothing happens for the first 200 pages!!! Seriously, nothing. It gets so bad, that the author throws in some battle with a monster for no reason other than to make the book seem interesting. But it doesn't fit with the plot at all, and ultimately is as empty as the book itself.

The main character - in whose point of view this book is written - is supposed to be cynical. The author therefore throws in some dry wit - only, it really isn't funny. In fact, it comes across as very forced. Which means rather than be funny, it ends up being annoying.

I rarely hate books. I find good in most books I read. But this really is a badly written book and I just don't understand how the author got himself a publishing deal - he must either have a good agent, or like the Eragon kid, his parents are in the business. Either way, the book should be avoided. Go seek out the Nightside series, or the Dresden Files. You will be entertained and be saved from the mess that is Nightlife. Avoid, avoid, avoid.
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Nightlife (Roc Fantasy)
Nightlife (Roc Fantasy) by Rob Thurman (Mass Market Paperback - 7 Mar. 2006)
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