Downfall: A Cal Leandros novel

Courtesy of goodreads.comAh! A day late! My excuse is that I spent the weekend having awesome good outdoor fun with the hubby. 🙂 So anyway, on to Downfall by Rob Thurman. This is the latest book in the Cal Leandros series. At this point, Cal has managed to kill off every Auphe except for himself and his fairly newly discovered half brother Grimm. Grimm is trying to make a new Auphe race out of succubae but that isn’t working so well. Cal and Niko can wipe the floor with those suckers and Niko is one hundred percent human.

Still, Grimm is getting trickier and more persistent. He wants to break Cal, wants to prove he’s the better Auphe. And the way to do that is the get rid of Niko in one way or another. The problem is, Robin Goodfellow knows this. He also knows that if Cal dies, then Niko dies with him. Even if Niko survives physically, he’d soon follow Cal wherever Cal ended up. Robin has been watching it happen over and over again for millenia. He won’t let it happen again.

Rob Thurman does an excellent job of keeping us guessing by throwing Robin’s perspective in this book, as opposed to just Cal and Niko’s. We learn a lot more about my personal favorite character in this series, both in how much he can care and how devious he is. And even then, it isn’t a guarantee that things will turn out well for our favorite underdogs.

I enjoyed the hell out of this book. It was full of sneakiness and deviousness and yet there were warm fuzzies too. And I’m not just talking about the werewolves. 😉 I think it would help to read a book or two of the rest of the series but I came in about half way through and I’ve managed to catch on just fine without reading all the books. Still, a little background reading would not go amiss and I don’t think you’d be disappointed with any of these books. Rating: A

Cal Leandros, Part I

I often use’s recommendation list to look for new books to read.  This doesn’t always come out well, as I’m sure you well know.  However, sometimes it pops up with some gems.  I found author Rob Thurman through the recommendations list on

The first book of hers the list came up with was Deathwish. Unfortunately this was book 4 of a series that is 5 books total so far, so I was a little confused when I started reading it. Actually…I was a lot confused, and it put me off reading it for a while.  So did her writing style for this particular series.

Each chapter would start off with the name of a character (Cal, Nico, Promise etc).  That chapter would then be written from that character’s perspective.  Occasionally she will go over an event twice, once from Cal’s POV and once from Nico’s.  Generally speaking, if she went into details on some sort of action scene while under Cal’s POV, she would not rehash it in equal detail under Nico’s POV, which was good.

Deathwish kind of starts out in the middle of an action sequence that would have made a lot more sense to me if Amazon had bothered to inform me of the fact that this was book 4 of a series.  They do now list it as Deathwish (Cal Leandros, Book 4).  However, once I got over the fact that I was picking up in the middle of the series, it’s actually an enjoyable book.

The main character is, obviously now, Cal Leandros.  Cal being short for Caliban. Those of us who either had to read Shakespeare in high school or rather enjoy the Bard now that we have free time, will recognize the name from The Tempest as the sad and comic monster figure who was working for Propsero, though not because he wanted to. Cal may be a monster (being part Auphe) but he isn’t sad and is only occasionally comic.

He has an older brother by the name of Nico who basically took care of him from the moment he was born to present.  Nico knew what Cal was long before Cal ever did and he trained his brother from day one for the fact that one day, they were going to have one hell of a fight on their hands.

One of the more enjoyable characters of this arc is a puck named Robin Goodfellow. This character could, has and probably will again starred in pornos, written to Penthouse and authored the Kama Sutra.  And he is willing to expound upon it at length. Not that she ever gets truly graphic with it, but it is there.  The character of Robin Goodfellow is quite entertaining though and is definitely the main comic relief (just don’t say that to his face).

As you may have guessed, Rob Thurman isn’t afraid to break out the cussing, the violence or the sex.  There isn’t really an instance of overt sex in the book, but it is talked about ad nauseum by Goodfellow.  I don’t mind.  It makes it a little more realistic. If you’re getting into the situations that these two brothers get into on a regular basis, and you aren’t cussing a blue streak then, as Lewis Black says, “you have anger issues”.

At any rate, Deathwish was an enjoyable book and one that kept me guessing quite a bit.  I have a problem with being able to fairly accurately guess the outcome of things like books, TV shows and movies. It impresses my husband and sometimes my friends, but it also can make it hard to really get into a book.  When I think I figure it out, I start mentally going “please don’t let it turn out like I think it’ll turn out”. I didn’t really have that thought with this or the other two books of hers that I’ve read.

Eventually I might read the first three books of the Cal Leandros arc, but for now I have this one and Roadkill under my belt.  I grade this book as a B since I did have a tough time starting it and staying with it, but it was good overall. I would recommend starting at the beginning of the series because I would have if I’d known it was a series.