Rob Thurman, Blackout

Posted July 12, 2011 by Kathy Davie in

Blackout: A Cal Leandros NovelBlackout: A Cal Leandros Novel by Rob Thurman
Series: Cal Leandros, 6
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sixth in the Cal Leandros urban fantasy series set in contemporary New York City. Cal and his brother, Niko, are loners who live to fight the supernatural.

The Story
Cal gets amnesia from the bite of a Nepenthe spider while battling them in Central Park and gates to Nevah’s Landing in NC where his most current memory, that of a 7-year-old takes him. A fantasy of a childhood haven where Cal learns what it’s like to simply be human living a human life. A wish he expresses to Niko when he and Puck find him.

A wish Niko tries to make come true even as they battle an ancient monster taking other monsters and sucking their souls. A battle they are losing until Cal gets around the protections Niko and Puck have placed around him and rediscovers his other side. The side that makes him the biggest monster of all.

The Characters
Caliban Leandros is half-Auphe, half-human. The first successful genetic experiment. I love his sense of humor—the T-shirts Thurman has him wearing crack me up and so beautifully express his character. I love people. They taste like chicken.. Then there’s Eat me (before I eat you). Cal is irreverent with no sense of the social niceties. He hasn’t got time for ’em and doesn’t care enough about people to be concerned. Except for his brother…

Niko Leandros is older than Cal and has been taking care of him almost from the moment he was born. Their mother was a mother in all of the worst ways. Completely human, Niko is constantly training, he teaches at NYU, meditates, is in love with Promise, and, much to Cal’s dismay, is a vegan.

Robin Goodfellow is outrageously overt in everything and good friends with both the Leandros boys. Currently in a monogamous relationship with a peri, Robin is constantly informing the women he encounters of his current monogamousness handing out cards with the local suicide watch number. His pet mummified cat, Salome, is about to get a friend.

My Take
I love this series. Yes, it’s dark. VERY dark. Thurman writes so very well that I can feel the grimness of their lives, the grittiness of New York, the peace that Peter Pan brought to Cal as a child. The loneliness he experiences as himself along with the regret he feels for leaving behind that scrap of humanity he got to experience.

Yet we also experience the love and respect he has for Niko. Both good men. Cal comes to understand the place he holds for Niko and the support only he can provide.

As for the lesson Cal learned in Nevah’s Landing and the acceptance he received from Lew and Miss Terrwyn, I wonder if this humanity will continue to affect his thoughts…

The Cover
It’s definitely Cal on the cover tucking his beloved Desert Eagle back into his holster but I can’t place the buildings. I know it must be New York City but it has more a feeling of Rome. The title, Blackout, is perfect as Cal spends almost the entire story in one.

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