Book Review — Nightlife

Title:  Nightlife
Author:  Rob Thurman
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
Pages:  Paperback, 339
Publisher:  ROC
ISBN:  978-0-451-46075-2
Opening Lines:  "People . . . They do the craziest shit."

Rating


"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 otherwordly race are after Cal.  Why?  Cal hasn't exactly wanted to stay 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 . . ."

~ Jacket copy


Shortly after this book came out, my former sister-in-law sent it to me as a Christmas present.  I eagerly picked it up, started reading it, and then promptly put it back down.  It was clear from the writing that it was her first book, and I couldn't convinced myself to push any further.  However, after a lot of nagging, "guilting", and pouting on the part of my former SIL, I dusted off the book and gave it another chance.  The second time must have been a charm!  I was able to tear through it in a few days.  

A few months ago at a gaming session, this book came back to mind.  I remembered loving it and needed to reacquaint myself with it.  Sadly, I couldn't find my damn copy and went on a quest to get my hands on it again.  Sadly, I had a similar experience to the first time I tried reading it.  Yes, it was interesting, but . . .


Cal is a monster.  He's the misbegotten spawn of a union between a drunken fortuneteller and something that has all the vestiges of a demon.  His mother is loath to even acknowledge his existence, his father lurks in the shadows and watches every movement, and his half brother is left as his only guardian.  After escaping from his father's realm four years ago, Cal and his older brother have been on the run.  Now, however, after things appear to be calming down, Niko (his older brother) spots a dreaded Grendel in Central Park.  



Please do not mistake my intro, this book is not a bad book and has the markings of a great story!  In fact, if I recall correctly, the later books get progressively better and are riveting.  For me, however, this book really fell short.  

At best, most of the characters are extremely two dimensional and lack a real zest or spark which gives them something a bit more.  Most of them are easily forgettable once you put the book down.  

The pacing of the book felt off, too.  There were points when it felt rushed, veered off, and slowed down considerably.  

Honestly, I am sitting here trying to squeeze myself for something to say, but nothing is coming out.  When it gets right down to it, there was nothing truly memorable about this book.  What I remember most comes from later books and how the characters were later developed.  It is obvious that this book was a first one, and the author definitely started to come into her own. I might recommend this series to people just for the later books, but I almost wish this one could be skipped.  

If you want a simple read that doesn't require too much commitment and big words thrown in for good measure, this isn't a bad book to pick up.  It is definitely a far introduction to the later books, which are far better—if memory serves.



Much love, Sinn

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    "If you’re a freak like me, Wave your flag! If you’re a freak like me, Get off your ass! It’s our time now, To let it all hang out!" I am a recovering English major, closet bibliophile, breve addicted, zombie lover with a rockabilly and heavy metal fetish.