Author: Rob Thurman
Series: Cal Leandros #7
Cover Art: Chris McGrath
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Reviewed by: Julia
Excellent – Loved it! Buy it now & put this author on your watch list.
Half-human/half-monster Cal Leandros knows that family is a pain. But now that pain belongs to his half-brother, Niko. Niko’s shady father is in town, and he needs a big favor. Even worse is the reunion being held by the devious Puck race-including the Leandros’ friend, Robin- featuring a lottery that no Puck wants to win.
As Cal tries to keep both Niko and Robin from paying the ultimate price for their kin, a horrific reminder from Cal’s own past arrives to remind him that blood is thicker than water-and that’s why it’s so much more fun to spill.
Filthy and profane and fabulous, DOUBLETAKE seduced me with it’s sly wit and cavalier heroes. Though this was my first Cal Leandros book, Thurman’s combination of recap and forward momentum meant I dove in without a hitch. Robin Goodfellow’s Panic flew by in a haze of hormones and g-strings, and by the time things moved on to murderous automatons and mummified cats, I was hooked.
Though the first third of DOUBLETAKE was an entertaining rush, switching gears from horny pucks to a homicidal nemesis slowed things down considerably. The world building was still fascinating, but the quips were harder to come by. Just as Cal and his partners didn’t know how to to defeat their enemy, so the story meanders as they pursue numerous avenues looking for an edge. There was no shortage of distractions along the way, however, everything from a mostly dead Greek god to a subterranean black market. In addition to those goodies, I’m a sucker for a good buddy story, and the devotion of these two brothers and their puck sidekick more than qualifies. It was this rough and tumble camaraderie that held most of my attention, and by the time the story had reached Cal’s rotund, amorous arms dealer (and a plan to move forward), I was invested in the plot again.
Thurman has created characters that leap off the page, equal parts dark and funny in a blend that is a rare delight to find. And though I thought DOUBLETAKE slowed down in the middle, I admire the organic way various plots and schemes wound through this book and the series as a whole. As this was my first book in the series, I didn’t have a particularly strong reaction to some of the bombshells sprinkled through out the plot, and I don’t know if I’ll ever go back and read the pain and insanity Cal has struggled with in prior books. Going forward, however, I’m certainly invested in the metamorphosis he’s on the cusp of now. Thurman’s brand of black humor and vivid world building is well worth checking out.