Nightlife (A Cal Leandros Novel) Paperback – 10 Nov 2011
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"A Roaring roller-coaster coaster of a read... Sharp and sardonic, mischievous and mysterious... [It'll] take your breath away."
From the Back Cover
'There are monsters among us. There always have been and there always will be. I've known that since I can remember, just like I've always known that I was one . . . Well, half of anyway.'
Cal Leandros is 19. He eats junk food, he doesn't clean up after himself and fights with his half brother Niko. It's a fairly normal life, but for the fact that Cal and Niko are constantly on the run. Cal's father has been after him for the last four years. And given that he's a monster whose dark lineage is the stuff of nightmares they really don't want him and his entire otherworldly race catching up with them. But Cal is about to learn why they want him, why they've always wanted him - he is the key to unleashing their hell on earth.
Meanwhile the bright lights of the Big Apple shine on, oblivious to the fact that the fate of the human world will be decided in the fight of Cal and Niko's lives . . .See all Product description
Top customer reviews
Nightlife has been on my radar for sometime now after hearing about the series from several US bloggers but I'd never quite got around to ordering a US copy. When I found out the series is finally being released in the UK I jumped at the chance to read it. I'm glad that I did and I'm pleased that we don't have too long to wait until the rest of the series will be published over here too (the next 3 books will all be available from Berkley UK in 2012).
I haven't read much urban fantasy told from a male perspective before so that made a nice change for me. Cal is a great narrator and I loved his sarcastic sense of humor and the relationship between him and Niko. I have to admit the narration change towards the end of the book threw me for a few pages but it worked well and was a clever way for the author to tell us more about Cal's background and the grendels. I preferred the parts from Cal's point of view though so am glad that it switches back to him at the end.
At 19 years old Cal is a pretty typical teenager in most ways, he does act a little younger than his age at times but that is understandable considering his missing two years (I'm not going to explain that further for fear of spoilers but you'll know what I mean if you read the book). Cal can be quite lazy, he loves sleep and he loves his junk food, he also has a smart mouth that often gets him into trouble but he uses humor as a weapon because of his insecurities. All of his life he has been told by his mother that he is a monster, the only person who has ever loved and cared for him is his brother but knowing who his father is makes Cal terrified that he really is evil. Niko sees the real Cal though and has spent years protecting him and trying to build Cal's confidence in himself. I loved the banter between the two of them, they act like typical brothers - often arguing but the first to jump to each others defence. I'm looking forward to seeing more of them together as the series continues.
The world building is strong and Rob Thurman has put some interesting twists on creatures that we think we already know. Along with the standard creatures you come across in paranormal stories there are a few thrown in that I've not really seen much of before which makes a nice change. I'm interested to find out more about Robin, Georgina, Rafferty and Catcher - it's always good when a series has a strong cast of side characters. Nightlife was a great start to the series and I'm looking forward to seeing where the story takes us in the next installment.
The novel revolves around two brothers, Cal and Niko. Cal, or Caliban to give him his full name (some readers will instantly spot the reference, for any who don't it is quickly explained) has a human mother, and an Auphe father. It is him that narrates the novel to us, and shares plenty of his bitter and pessimistic attitude with the reader. His one liners quite often put a smile of my face, and it's his narration that is one of the highlights of the series. I won't say any more for fear of giving some of the story away, but they are on the run from the Auphe. Cal himself has plenty of luggage when it comes to being half monster.
Another resounding success for the series were the descriptions of the various creatures they come across, Boggle (the less I say the better, for want of spoiling the surprise) and Abbagor, a troll who they go to for information, in particular. The description of the troll conjured some very vivid images in my head, and I felt this was a really unique outlook on trolls. And the Auphe, the main bad guys in this novel, and the bane of Cal and Niko's lives, are a fantastic creation. Very, very scary creatures indeed. Again, I don't want to give too much away.
There are plenty of other, smaller characters introduced in this first novel. Robin Goodfellow (Again, some readers will instantly spot the reference) and Promise are two of the more prominent characters in this novel. Neither are human, but could be described as on the side of the good guys. Both have their own past and agenda's, which is only hinted at.
This is a great introduction to a series, plenty of interesting characters who have their own stories and agenda's to be revealed at a later date. It has its own unique mythology, a lot of the creature concepts are new and clever takes on old legends. Cal has plenty of attitude and comes out with a lot of funny one liners.
As a little extra point, this novel doesn't take itself too seriously. It is fun, and an enjoyable romp through New Yorks seedier side. Highly recommended for fans of urban fantasy. I can't wait for the next entry in the series. A very promising entry.
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