It’s been a while since I took a look at a single book (if you don’t take into account anything related to Dune). The fact is that even though I’m pretty caught up in even more Dune books, I am of course reading something different as well – and one of the members of the “other” group is the fantasy series written by Thurman beginning with Nightlife.
I stumbled upon it by accident while I was browsing through my library to pick something for the summer and I’m glad I did. This cycle (called The Cal Leandros cycle) composes of 6 books and even though I’ve read only 3 so far, I’m thrilled already – but let’s focus on the first book from the series.
Humans are definitely not the only intelligent species on Earth; in fact, they’re more like usurpers who simply came too fast in overwhelming numbers and deprive other, much more powerful being of their rightful place. Of course, that doesn’t mean that trolls can’t make half-dead slaves under the Brooklyn Bridge, boggles can’t eat thieves and homeless people or that you can’t encounter a hungry wolf.
Although it’s the 21st century, rest assured that inhuman creatures still roams on the surface of our planet and some do even more than that – they want the planet back for themselves. The Auphe (also known as the Grendels) are very bad and deadly elves who are greatly dissatisfied with the current number of humans. They develop a master plan and that plan includes Cal (Caliban) Leandros.
Being a half-Auphe and half-man, Cal and his brother older brother Niko have spent most of their lives on the run from various monsters, especially the Auphe who are desperately after Cal. If we were to analyze the duo, Cal enjoys fast food, sleeping as long as possible and sarcastic comments – whereas Niko is into meditations, martial arts and healthy food (as well as sarcastic comments).
Both brothers have almost no other friends, live under fake ID and make a living either by bodyguards (one simply must excel in fighting if he is to survive the attention of Auphe) or by bartending / training martial arts. Even though they’d like to settle down, for now, they’re just happy they’re alive.
Both brothers have managed to live in New York for a while now and they also usually managed to stay out trouble (for the most part). They’re practicing their fighting skills, hanging out and Cal is developing a bit of platonic romance for the first time in his life towards a young psychic named George.
Things get a little ugly and when they’re trying to buy a car to get out of town, they encounter another magic creature – Rob Goodfellow, one of the last Pucks in existence – they are famous for drinking, having orgies with virgins, lying, thieving and simply enjoying life. Somehow, this particular Puck overcomes his natural predispositions and befriends the brothers, something unheard of for both sides involved.
But things are about to get substantially worse – Auphe are sick of humans and their plan to get rid of them include Cal (which has been born for this very purpose). Do they manage to take over the world? And why will be Cal afraid of mirrors for a long time?
- 9 out of 10
Thurman created a new fantasy world which has all properties necessary to become a bestseller. All “heroes” are definitely not classic good heroes as we’re used to from fairy tales; especially Cal’s Auphe part makes him to walk over dead bodies towards his goal, without much regards to his surroundings.
The book has fast pace and even though the theme is dark, Thurman creates an excellent balance by humorous comments from narrators. I can definitely recommend this book and also the other two sequels I’ve read, Moonshine and Madhouse.
Thank you for reading!