Review: Slashback (Cal Leandros #8) by Rob Thurman

March 8, 2013 Review 4

Review: Slashback (Cal Leandros #8) by Rob ThurmanSlashback by Rob Thurman
Series: Cal Leandros #8
Published by Roc on March 1, 2013
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Pages: 352
Source: Publisher
Excerpt: Excerpt
Book Trailer: Trailer
Sexual Content: References to sex and prostitution.
Reviewed by: Julia
5 Stars

I stopped and let them circle me, first because it was intriguing and, second, because, honestly, what could they do? Only knives, but all armed, and that made them even more interesting. Interesting. Fun.


Taking on bloodthirsty supernatural monsters is how Caliban and Niko Leandros make a living. But years ago—before they became a force to be reckoned with—the brothers were almost victims of a very human serial killer.


Unfortunately for them, that particular depraved killer was working as apprentice to a creature far more malevolent—the legendary Spring-heeled Jack. He’s just hit town. He hasn’t forgotten what the Leandros brothers did to his murderous protégé. He hasn’t forgotten what they owe him.

And now they are going to pay… and pay… and pay.…

This is only the second Cal Leandros book that I've read, and once again I find myself wondering how I could have let this awesome series slip through my fingers for so long.  SLASHBACK is even more accessible as a standalone than DOUBLETAKE, as the narrative flicks back and forth from past to present, giving a perfectly balanced glimpse of Niko's adolescence and Cal's current state of mind.  This structure, combined with Cal's rough and hilarious voice, had me hooked from the start. I've already started making a list of friends who need a copy of SLASHBACK, it is the perfect gateway book to seduce new readers into this world.

Part of what makes SLASHBACK so relateable and accessible is the focus on Niko and Cal's relationship. There are few relationships as appealing as a deep friendship, and as as devoted, damaged, and codependent as the brothers Leandros may be, they are also indisputably friends. Head smacking, prank pulling, smart-assing compatriots; essentially my ideal leading men. While Cal seems to spend most of his waking moments trying to provoke a response for his big brother, it is obvious how much love is interwoven with all that annoyance and mischief.

Two data points isn't enough for me to make any sweeping recommendations regarding this series, but SLASHBACK is so good on it's own that shouldn't matter at all. I had a copy of NIGHTLIFE on order minutes after finishing SLASHBACK, but whether you read from start to finish or just swoop in to enjoy SLASHBACK as a standalone, this book is not to be missed.

Series Titles:

1. Nightlife
2. Moonshine
3. Madhouse
4. Deathwish
5. Roadkill
6. Blackout
7. Doubletake

More Reviews:

A Book Obsession - 4/5
Smexy Books - B+
Open Book Society - 4/5

Similar Titles:

The Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher
Dante Valentine series by Lilith Saintcrow
The Hollows series by Kim Harrison

4 Responses to “Review: Slashback (Cal Leandros #8) by Rob Thurman”

  1. Mary @ BookSwarm

    Just had a Speed Date with Cal yesterday on my blog! This was my first Cal book, too, and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I’m definitely going back to the beginning with these boys.

    • Julia

      I’m glad I’m not the only one, Mary… and I’m insanely jealous of that date.

  2. Suzie

    This series has always been on my buy list but everytime I go to the big bookstore (which is in another state) there are incomplete. The middle books are always out of stock! However the brothers angle would make me think of the Winchester brothers from Supernatural which leads to Wincest, hahahaha. Although, I never read any of those Wincest ff, I swear!

    • Julia

      I wrestled with myself to *not* mention Sam and Dean (because I didn’t want to confuse someone not familiar with Supernatural), but that is totally what I was thinking while reading SLASHBACK. The interplay between Cal and Niko is quality brother banter, you’ll love it!