Thursday, March 21, 2013

SLASHBACK by Rob Thurman

Cal Leandros Book #8
Penguin ROC Fantasy Books, March 2013
Obtained via:  publisher
ISBN 0451465024, ISBN13:  978-1-451465023
Urban Fantasy

The latest Cal Leandros book from author Rob Thurman, SLASHBACK, is out on the shelves and Thurman fans could not be happier.

Cal and Niko Leandros make a living taking on supernatural monsters.  Cal is half monster himself.  The brothers are grown up now, but when they were children, they were almost victims of a human serial killer who, unbeknownst to them, was acting as an apprentice to a much scarier monster, the legendary Spring-heeled Jack.  Jack hasn’t forgotten the Leandros brothers or what they took from him.  Now he is back and Cal and Niko are going to pay.

This reader has read all the Cal Leandros books and is a huge fan.  So when SLASHBACK showed up in my mailbox, there may have been some initial whooping and hollering.  Thankfully, the story lived up to expectations and then some.  Cal and Niko are just so lovable.  Okay, maybe that isn’t quite the right word, but tighter brothers would be hard to find.

Ever since Cal found out he was half monster, he and his brother Niko have been trying to learn what exactly that means while doing their best to look after each other and stay one step ahead of the other monsters.  In SLASHBACK, Cal has come to accept some of the “gifts” that come with being half monster, gating (tearing a whole in the universe to move from place to place) being the most useful of those skills presently.  But if not for Niko keeping Cal’s moral compass pointing north, Cal might give in to his monster half and that would not be good for anyone, human or monster.

SLASHBACK switches back and forth between present day and a period in the brothers’ past when they were just beginning to realize the monsters Cal saw were real.  This story provided some background into the characters that this reader has been eagerly awaiting since picking up the first story in this urban fantasy series.  The villain in the story is unlike any that have come before him and appears to be impossible to kill.  Of course we know if there is a way, Cal and Niko are going to find it.  The world building is once again spot on and the dialogue quick and spicy.  The storyline moves at a rapid pace and the fight scenes are both gory and get the blood flowing. 

If you are a fan of urban fantasy and have not yet read any of the Cal Leandros books, SLASHBACK is just as good a place as any to start as the book is able to stand on its own just fine.  Of course, jumping in with book eight will only result in going back and reading the first seven books, so be warned.  The Cal Leandros books are addictive; one just better than the next and SLASHBACK is no perhaps the best so far.

Reviewed by T. Barringer

"This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book."


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