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Deathwish (Cal Leandros) Mass Market Paperback – March 3, 2009
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An Amazon Book with Buzz: "The Four Winds" by Kristin Hannah
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“All the great elements I’ve come to expect from this writer.”—#1 New York Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris
“A roaring roller coaster of a read…[it’ll] take your breath away.”—New York Times bestselling author Simon R. Green
“A beautiful, wild ride.”—New York Times bestselling author Marjorie M. Liu
“Thurman continues to deliver strong tales of dark urban fantasy.”—SFRevu
About the Author
- ASIN : 0451462629
- Publisher : Ace; Original edition (March 3, 2009)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 352 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780451462626
- ISBN-13 : 978-0451462626
- Item Weight : 5.9 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.16 x 0.88 x 6.79 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,691,585 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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All that said, and despite this being my favorite book in the series so far, I wouldn't recommend starting here. The action picks up immediately where book three ("Madhouse") ended, so I would either begin there or with book two. If you are a firm horror fan, beginning with book one ("Nightlife") would make most sense, but I, who am not a firm horror fan, liked that first book substantially less than the others. (Without delving into spoiler-ridden details, I will say that there was a stretch of more than a hundred pages that I found unpleasant to read.)
One of the reasons that I preferred this book to the earlier ones is that it switches between Cal's perspective and Niko's perspective, and I thought that worked very well. The books in general have a nice progression, both in storytelling, such as the introduction of Niko's point of view in this book, and in the ongoing situation. Some series fiction, especially detective fiction, is much more static: a mystery/crime is solved during each book, but the protagonist returns to their baseline at the book's end.
For anyone else who enjoys the Cal-Niko friendship, I very highly recommend two other series that are on the border between dark fantasy and horror: the Los Nefilim series by T. Frohock, and the Tarot Sequence by K. D. Edwards. Both series are anchored by characters that I love, characters who care about each other, characters that I still think about after the book is finished.
About my reviews: I try to review every book I read, including those that I don't end up enjoying. The reviews are not scholarly, but just indicate my reaction as a reader, reading being my addiction. I am miserly with 5-star reviews; 4 stars means I liked a book very much; 3 stars means I liked it; 2 stars means I didn't like it (though often the 2-star books are very popular with other readers and/or are by authors whose other work I've loved).
Like with her previous books there seemed to be simultaneous plots and bad guys happening at once. I love how the author is able to do this without losing the reader or making the book a hot mess.
This book we finally get some flashback memories of Niko and Cal’s childhood. The brotherly angst and codependency is also strong as ever in this book. I don’t know why but this completely increases my enjoyment of this book.
“I think we have codependency issues.” “There’s no one I would rather have them with, little brother.”
We also get background on Promise with the introduction of her daughter Cherish and past lover Seamus which causes drama. I think the problems that Niko and Promise were very realistic and ultimately in the end will cause their relationship to be stronger.
The introduction of the Vigil was interesting and I’m wondering how that will go in the future. Thurman seems to be hinting that the relationship in the future will be antagonistic as it’s mentioned multiple times that they view Cal and Niko as threats. I can’t wait to see how that will go.
I really enjoy Robin's character. I enjoy the wit between the brothers and between Cal and Robin. I like the richness of several of the characters. I like the brotherly love angle -- to a degree. I like the action and the pace.
Things I find lacking in the series in general: how many times a day does Nik need to smack Cal upside the head? Am I reading 50 Shades for Brothers or the Leandros series? It gets old. Also, some sequences are obviously just stuck in there for the characters to react to, and the reactions tend on the melodramatic. It's like the author inserts certain scenes just so we can see Nik get angry (although she states he rarely does), narrow his eyes, smack Cal upside the head, etc.. Yes, yes, we get it, the characters are smoldering, brooding, etc etc.. The other thing that bothers me, in fact, it takes me right out of the story every time -- are their ages. Nik was originally 4 years older than Cal. His mother popped the baby out and handed him over, and he, a four year old, cared for him with only minimal initial help from a neighbor. Let me tell you, my kids are 4 years apart......it's not plausible. I wish she'd made Nick even a little bit older. Even just a couple more years.
Regarding this particular story, I really enjoyed the character evolution. I liked how Nik is letting go a bit and Cal is taking initiative. I enjoyed the subplot with Cherish. But there was soooo much introspection. Too much navel gazing. The thing with Promise not telling Nik every detail of her past and him getting all bent out of shape? Silly. Just a set up for us to see Nik get angry and add more tension and more introspection to the story.
And one last thing, if Georgina is never going to tell us anything useful, can't we please just leave her out completely?
Top reviews from other countries
After the massive cliffhanger at the end of the previous novel, when the Auphe come back in force, I was dying to get my hands on this book. And it doesn't disappoint. The Auphe are one of my favourite villians, and there return can only be a good thing (unless you're a character in this novel, of course, in which case it's most definitely NOT a good thing)
In the previous book in the series we learnt all about Robin's background, as a bit of a subplot. This time around it is Promise's past that gets slowly revealed to us through several of the subplots. And speaking of subplots in this novel there is so much going on, two main plotlines with so many other minor plots going on, it was really good. Seamus, the Vigil, Oshossi, so much.
There is a bit of a change from previous books in that the narration is no longer just from Cal, but regularly switches between Cal and Niko. This was a bit distracting, and detracted a little from my overall enjoyment. Not enough to give it four stars, but nearly.
One of the great things about this series is the way the characters progress as the series goes on. Robin is still suffering from the events in the last book. Promise and Niko's relationship is examined and put to the test in this novel. Events actually have an impact on the characters in the future. It's rewarding for the reader to be able to watch the characters grow as the series goes on.
Read this series in order, you won't regret it.
P.S. A word of caution, at the end of the book there is a preview of Doubletake (Cal Leandros 7) at the end of the kindle edition (not sure about the paperback edition) which I wrongly assumed would be the next book in the series, it's not, it's the 7th book. I started reading this to get a taster of what was coming next and read a couple of spoilers. I would advise against reading this.
In my personal opinion, the switching back and forth in this book from Cal's perspective to Niko's was what let this book down and kept it from being as good as the others in the series. I could sort of see why this switching was done as there was some stuff going on between Niko and his vampire girlfriend Promise - I won't spoil it for you by telling you what - but as a result I found this book less exciting and humorous than Thurman's previous efforts. It was still good, but not gripping.
That said I am on to 'Roadkill' now and it seems to be back to normal, which is excellent.
Thurman implies this will be the last one for some time, so make the most of it! And Rob, if you read this, PLEASE tell me what happens next!