Sunday, 27 November 2011

Review: Nightlife by Rob Thurman (Cal Leandros #1)

Publisher - Berkley UK
Publication Date - 10th November 2011
Paperback - 368 pages
Genre - Urban Fantasy

Source - Received from publisher for review

Rating - 3 out of 5: I liked it

Book Info - 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 I was one . . .

. . . Well, half of one, anyway.

Welcome to the Big Apple. 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 – and that’s only the beginning. Of course, most humans are oblivious to the preternatural nightlife around them, but Cal Leandros is only half human.

His father’s dark lineage is the stuff of nightmares – and he and his entire otherworldly race are after Cal. Why? Cal hasn’t exactly wanted to stick around long enough to find out.

He and his half brother, Niko, have managed to stay a step ahead for four years, but now Cal’s dad has found them again. And 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. The fate of the human world will be decided in the fight of Cal’s life . . .

My Thoughts - I've heard a lot of good things about this series so I was pleased when a copy of Nightlife popped through my door for review. And I have to say that, on the whole, I really enjoyed this book.

I really liked Cal and his snarky sense of humour and this made him a very entertaining character that kept me turning the pages. The relationship between Cal and his half brother Niko also brought a lot to the story. Although they relentlessly bicker and tease each other (as I'm sure most brothers their age would do!) they also obviously really care about each other. Niko has given up everything to keep his little brother safe and Cal feels a lot of gratitude and respect towards him for this.

There is a lot of mystery surrounding Cal's past (especially the time that he is taken by the Grendals - the race of monster that his father belongs to) and why it is that the Grendals are so keen to get their hands on him. This mystery kept me glued to the story, even though I was a bit disappointed when the answers were revealed, but I will explain more about that later in my review.

There is a great cast of supporting characters in this book, one of whom is George - a psychic girl who helps Cal and Niko at the start of this book. She only plays a small part in Nightlife, although it was enough to get me intrigued by her relationship with Cal and to hope that she plays a bigger part in book two. The second character I really enjoyed was Rob Fellows (A.K.A Robin Goodfellow/Puck/Pan). He talks a lot and likes to think of himself as a ladies man, but underneath it all he is loyal and has a heart of gold.

However, I did lose interest for a while about half way through the book when the storytelling is taken over by a creature known as a Darkling. The story then became focused on introducing this new character - who is a monster obsessed with killing anyone and anything - and I found the way that he is brought into the story confusing to say the least. The narration then became more like the ramblings of a mad man and this did throw me for a little while. But I soon got used to this and managed to wrap my head around the new developments in the story so then it didn't bother me too much any more.

The revelations about Cal's past and why the Grendals are after him come about whilst Darkling is telling the story so, for me, it felt like it was all part of his mad ramblings. I would have much prefered that part of the story to be told by Cal, but I can see how that wasn't possible (although I can't explain why otherwise I will be giving away too much).

Summary - Overall, Nightlife is a very enjoyable Urban Fantasy novel with an intriguing cast of characters. I am interested to see what book two has in store for Cal and Niko.

Other books in this series:
1. Nightlife
2. Moonshine
3. Madhouse
4. Deathwish
5. Roadkill
6. Blackout

Other reviews of this book:
Bitten by Books / Brooke Reviews / Love Vampires
(If you would like your review of Nightlife included here, please leave a link to your review in the comments and I will be sure to add it)


Shelagh said...

Loving the sound of a troll under the Brooklyn Bridge and a female psychic called George!

I'm intrigued, but I may wait until I see what you think of the rest of the series.

The Word Fiend

Jenny said...

I liked this series enough to go out and buy the rest. I haven't gotten to them yet but the whole George thing will get me there eventually. ;) I'm interested to see that go somewhere.

Chrissie (Once Upon a Series) said...

Shelagh - Yeah, the troll was pretty great (and scary too!).

Jenny - Same here! I really want to see what happens with Cal and George. I really hope something happens there in book two :)

kimba88 said...

The concept looks interesting, sometimes a POV change can throw you off. Since it's a series maybe book 2 will be tighter.

Chrissie (Once Upon a Series) said...

Kimba88 - I was definitely thrown by the POV change but I'm hoping it won't happen again in book two. Although I was only thrown for a little while - I did get used to the new voice :)

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