Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Nightlife (Cal Leandros #1)” as Want to Read:
Nightlife (Cal Leandros #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Nightlife (Cal Leandros #1)

3.64  ·  Rating Details  ·  10,805 Ratings  ·  733 Reviews
There are monsters among us. There always have been and there always will be. I’ve known that since I can remember, just like I’ve always known I was one ... Well, half of one, anyway.

Welcome to New York City - a troll under the Brooklyn Bridge, a boggle in Central Park, and a beautiful vampire in a penthouse on the Upper East Side. Most humans are oblivious to the pretern
Mass Market Paperback, Roc, 339 pages
Published March 7th 2006 by Penguin (first published January 1st 2006)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Nightlife, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Reanne There are two M/F love interest pairs and minor M/M unrequited interest and one-sided flirting of both the M/F and M/M variety, but it's not a major…moreThere are two M/F love interest pairs and minor M/M unrequited interest and one-sided flirting of both the M/F and M/M variety, but it's not a major part of the story. At one point off-screen sex is implied, but in book 2 it's clarified that it didn't actually take place.(less)
City of Bones by Cassandra ClareMoon Called by Patricia BriggsHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingVampire Academy by Richelle MeadMagic Bites by Ilona Andrews
The Best Urban Fantasy
58th out of 2,895 books — 10,190 voters
Storm Front by Jim ButcherHounded by Kevin HearneChanges by Jim ButcherSummer Knight by Jim ButcherDead Beat by Jim Butcher
Urban Fantasy With Male Lead Characters
20th out of 625 books — 1,131 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
BR with my MacHalo Freaks starting May 4, 2015.

DNF at 39%. Because there's only so much boredom I can take.

Oh I know exactly what you're thinking here: "oh, look! A new addition to Sarah DNF graveyard! Surprise, surprise!"

Well I am sorry to disappoint you but this is not yet another case of "Sarah has less patience than a rabid rabbit in heat." No it's not. Of all the delightfully dysfunctional Freaks that buddy read this book with me, at least three DNFed is as well. Ha! Didn't expect that did
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
I loved this book. It was very different and kept my interest in a way that a great urban fantasy should. I really fell in love with Cal and his brother Niko. I love books that show a positive view of siblings since I love my sister and get along so well with her. If you enjoy the relationship between Sam and Dean on Supernatural, you'd probably like this book for that reason. Some of the elements of their relationship bring to mind the Winchester brothers. Niko is a man that I could marry. His ...more
Carole (Carole's Random Life)
3 Stars

When a group of friends on Goodreads decided to read this book, I thought it sounded like a great idea and joined in. This book was an okay read for me. It had some really strong moments that I loved. It also had some moments that I thought were more than a little boring. The beginning of the book was absolutely fantastic and I just knew that I was going to love this series. Unfortunately, the book as a whole did not live up to those opening scenes. I have been really torn about how to ra
May 01, 2013 Amanda rated it it was ok
Shelves: meh, blog
I have come to the conclusion that I should not buy urban fantasy books that were first published as mass market paperbacks. I can only assume it's the publishing world's version of "straight to DVD" or a SyFy original movie.

Nightlife isn't terrible, but it isn't great. It's been-there-done-that territory for me and just wasn't worth my time. The plot is somewhat original: The Auphe (apparently another name for elves) need a human/Auphe child to help them open a gate to the past. The problem? A
Mar 20, 2012 Carol. rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Leandros fans, urban fantasy fans
Thurman's Leandros series tends to be very dark, both in world view and in the voice of the sardonic, damaged narrator, Cal. It's one way the book distinguishes itself from it's UF brethren, but also inhibits me from issuing a ringing endorsement. I can only take so much of the sarcastic, callous, lazy narrator before my inner drill sergeant is tempted to provide a swift kick in the narrative.

One of the most interesting things about the series is that the relationship between the brothers is a
Dec 22, 2007 Dara rated it it was ok
It's an interesting world, with lots of possibilities, but I definitely got a 'first novel' vibe. A bit clunky in places (esp. in the middle, when there's a kind of POV shift of sorts), and the narrator was annoying an asshole at times (though he is 19, so that could be on purpose). The brotherly interaction has a touch of Sam n' Dean, so SPN fans might dig it.

There was just a little too much, if you know what I mean. Does the older brother have to have long luxurious locks AND be awesome with s
May 29, 2008 Paxnirvana rated it it was ok
Shelves: tried-to-read
I got half way through this, kept putting it down and picking it back up again. But I was forcing myself to read it. So I finally just stopped.

Why? Too much snark. Niko is too perfect, which is a liveable flaw, but damn it, Cal will just NOT SHUT UP with the snarky inner commentary. Some is apparently required in the Urban Fantasy genre, but constant? Really, move on with the story and quit with the quips for a minute, will you?

It annoys me more because what Mr. Thurman has started here is a pr
May 06, 2015 Cathryn rated it did not like it
DNF. I just can't anymore with this book. I got through 11% and I was just so bored. Maybe it picks up but if you can't draw me in by now then I can't be bothered to continue. Too many books, too little time.
Apr 09, 2009 Anita rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Dresden Files fans
I think I've found my next favorite series. I LOVED the sarcastic humor, the well-imagined fantasy creatures, the relationships among characters, and the plot. (I didn't see the plot twists coming.) If you're a fan of Harry Dresden, you might like this series - it satisfied the same literary craving as the Dresden files from my perspective.

Basic storyline: Cal is half demon/Auphe/Grendel - whatever you want to call it. His mom got paid to give birth to him. (His mom was a drunk and a whore.) Cal
3.5 stars

Quick and dirty review: Pretty good... It dragged a bit in the middle, and was a bit too repetitive with the whole "woe is me; I'm a monster" thing... but it was dark and different from other urban fantasy that I've read, and I liked it for that.

One thing that I really enjoyed was the humor, and I loved the interaction between Cal and Niko, and Niko and Robin as well. Niko is a bit too straightlaced and too perfect at everything, but he makes for a great straight man to play off of.

Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*

“What're you still doing up? You know all good little ninjas should be in bed, visions of homicidal sugarplums dancing in their heads.”

Urban Fantasies told through a male point of view aren't that common. There are a few out there but they're in the minority. This one's a brother team with Cal, being the younger brother, and Niko, the older, stronger, and more disciplined one. They both grew up with a horrible mother and no father, and Niko, in college, did what he could to protect and guard
Apr 22, 2012 Tammy rated it really liked it
Shelves: dhggrc, shifters, vampires, uf
I really liked this one! This is the first book I've read in the genre with a male main character so it was a nice change of pace.

Cal is half-grendal (elf/auphe). He was abducted by the grendals when he was younger and managed to escape. Since then he and his brother Niko have been on the run, always trying to stay one step ahead of the grendels. But Cal is tired of running and wants to find out more about his connection to the grendals.

I love Cal's sarcasm, I think that anyone who's half some
Dec 02, 2009 Felicia rated it liked it
I'm listing this book because I believe that guys who want less vagina in their Urban Fantasy would enjoy this. I wasn't sucked in, but it was pretty good. I do think that others might be and that's why I'm listing it!

If you like Jim Butcher then read the blurb and decide!
Mike (the Paladin)
These are pretty good. A cut above some of the Urban fantasy out there. It does have one of my pet peeves however...a vampire romantic interest, ugh. I'm so sick of "friendly", "tragic", "misunderstood", and "romantic" vampires. As I've observed elsewhere...what if after you've fallen asleep from a wonderful and long session of lovemaking, she feels like she needs a snack?

Think about it.

The story here while not completely original (I mean what story is?) this is a pretty original take on it. Ca
Sh3lly ✨ Bring on the Weird ✨
Putting this on hold. I can't get into it, the characters are meh, the pacing and writing style is not working for me.

Jan 27, 2016 Gergana marked it as zzz-books-not-for-me
Stopped at 40%
Read from February 18 to 20, 2015

What I liked:
-The overly-protective bad-ass elder brother
-The protagonist being a half-dark-"elf", hunted by the evil side of his family.
-The dark atmosphere, the urban setting and the creatures living in popular New York landmarks.
-The relationship between the two brothers

Why I stopped reading:
-Story wasn't progressing fast enough for me
-Cal, the main hero, is too cynical and sarcastic, which I don't mind, but mix it with immaturity and lame commen
Kelly H. (Maybedog)
Wow. I was looking for a new urban fantasy series to supplement my Dresden Files addiction and I sure found it. They aren't the same by any means but this series gives me everything I want: intensity, drama, biting humor, creativity, believable characters, villains to hate, heroes to love and worry about, unusual creatures and foes, powerful yet vulnerable protagonists, etc. etc. Add in two brothers who live to protect each other and I've also got a series to help me while I wait for the next se ...more
Oct 17, 2009 Summer rated it it was amazing
In 'Nightlife' the main character is Caliban (Cal) Leandros and his half brother Niko. They share the same human mother, however Caliban has a Grendel for a father. Grendel is what the brothers call the monsters. And Caliban's father's specific breed of monster is elf. These elves are not pretty and serene in the Lord of the Rings kind of way. They're scary, violent, and have been watching Cal all his life. Several years ago the Grendels finally made a move and kidnapped Caliban and killed their ...more
Shera (Book Whispers)
Genre: Urban Fantasy

It has been such a long time that I've read a book and at the end want to obsessively stroke the cover. This was one of those books, it pretty much had me going all Gollum after the last page turned. Considering this was a reread for me, even better.

One of the main things that I love about Nightlife is the running dialogue. If you've ever watched an episode of Gilmore Girls (not that the two have anything in common story wise) you can appreciate witty conversation. N
May 13, 2010 Mel rated it liked it
Recommended to Mel by: Tara
A good start to a new UF series. This one is about two brothers, Cal and Niko, who have lived a life on the run, trying to escape the ghost… or better: monsters from their past. But the monsters have caught up with them.

My biggest problem was that I didn’t understand why the Big Bad was/were so bad. We were told the Grendels were horrible but we hardly witnessed, why.
The Grendels and Darkling felt a little cardboard. Or like a James Bond antogonist who is bad, but you don't really know why. Bec
In a nutshell, I would say this book is not worth reading....or any of the authors work.

The author used more metaphors than clear sentences, making the scenes extremely difficult to follow. Which lead to a general lack of interest, and I found my mind wandering, even in the most intense scenes. I didn't even realize I wasn't processing all of it. I had an overall sense of boredom.
There was a redundancy throughout the book that got on my nerves. 'Yes, he's the spawn of a monster, I get i
Jan 17, 2009 CD rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: no one
It started out ok. Thurman has an interesting take on the Dark Elves and his world of trolls and boggles and a Puck is quite inventive. I was even ready to chomp into the relationship between the brothers Cal and Niko as that seemed so different than the other urban fantasy books I have read. However, the book is disappointing and I ended up skimming through to the end. There is a try for humor that falls flat. The characters are never really fleshed out and their relationship to each other seem ...more
Dec 07, 2009 valee rated it liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Well...this book was different. I'm giving 3 stars to this one, I would give 3 1/2 if I could. I'm giving 3 because eventhough sometimes I felt bored, while I wasn't reading the book I was thinking that I needed to read it to know what would happen, LOL. So I guess I got hooked without even noticing it.

I must say that this book surprised me. I thought it wouldn't be a good book because of the slow beginning, but the ending was amazing.
I love to read first person books, so that was something I re
This book feels like the TV show "Supernatural" in a paper format. And because I love that TV show, I also love this book. Two brothers running away from evil creatures, fighting, protecting each other, having no one to turn to for help. Until they meet a certain puck, a vampire girl and a psychic.

The book does have many cultural references that are rather hard to understand for someone who lives on a different continent though. It's not names and places but phrases that pop up in famous TV sho
May 04, 2015 Jennavier rated it liked it
Buddy Read with the MacHalo tribe.

I liked Nightlife, but I didn't love it. It had plot problems. It wasn't sure what the baddies were actually doing and so Cal couldn't really act against them. Considering this is the first book in a UF series that isn't completely surprising. They normally have issues, which is why I'm very willing to hop into the next book. Plus it did get somewhere and made a pretty huge bang when it got there. Not bad!

Cal meanders like a 90 year old woman. Seriously, the guy
Jun 10, 2015 Mindy added it
Shelves: pnr-uf, read-2015, dnf
Buddy Read with MacHalo girls!

DNF @ 18%

This is my first DNF! My book OCD has always made me finish books, even if I wasn't enjoying them. Since joining GR, however, I am learning life is too short for this and...

So-many-books-so-little-Christopher-Zelig.jpg (340×270)

This one just wasn't for me.
I'm a HUGE fan of this series. Thurman creates a world that is so easy to lose yourself in. I flew through the first 3 books in less than 2 days.

You can see the following review also here:

If I could choose a favorite genre of books to read then I would choose urban fantasy. This book is definitely the perfect example for my choice. It has it all. A dark and very interesting world-building, complicated characters that hold your attention from the first page until the last, non-stop action, humor and emotional moments.

Although this book came highly recommend by a dear friend, I still didn’t know if
Jan 15, 2010 Dorri rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
I picked up this series of books, mainly because I loved the cover artist. I'd loved Chris McGrath's cover art on the Dresden comics, so when I saw he had done a series of covers for this author, Rob Thurman, I figured I'd search out the books to see if they might be something I'd be interested in. Found the first one at B&N, read the back, sounded good so I picked it up. Read the first two in a couple of days (work interrupted me) and I'm currently working on the third. I love the snarkines ...more
Cal Leandros is only half human. His father was one of an evil otherworldly race that Cal and his brother refer to as 'Grendels'. And their mother was an uncaring drunkard, so that side of the family sucks too. The only reliable and constant in Cal's life is his big brother Nik, and they have spent the last 4 years on the run together, moving from city to city, trying to stay away from the rest of the Grendels who are desperately trying to get hold of Cal for their own nefarious purposes.

But it
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Sisters in Fantasy and Sci Fi 9 44 Nov 02, 2014 11:38PM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: Nightlife by Rob Thurman 2 4 Mar 24, 2012 12:08PM  
  • Unshapely Things (Connor Grey, #1)
  • A Devil in the Details (Jesse James Dawson, #1)
  • Master of None (Gavyn Donatti, #1)
  • Dog Days (Dog Days, #1)
  • Child of Fire (Twenty Palaces, #1)
  • Hard Spell (Occult Crimes Unit Investigation #1)
  • Dead To Me (Simon Canderous, #1)
  • Death Most Definite (Death Works Trilogy #1)
  • Blood Blade (Skinners, #1)
  • Staked (Void City, #1)
  • The Better Part of Darkness (Charlie Madigan, #1)
  • Imperium (Caulborn #1)
  • Necropolis (Matt Richter #1)
  • Street Magic (Black London, #1)
  • Staying Dead (Retrievers, #1)
  • Heart of Stone (Negotiator Trilogy/Old Races Universe #1)
  • A Kiss Before the Apocalypse (Remy Chandler, #1)
  • Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth (Nightside, #6)
Rob Thurman is currently writing three series for Penguin Putnam's imprint ROC FANTASY, as well as a brand-new mainstream series for Simon & Schuster's POCKET BOOKS.
Rob has also written for a Charlaine Harris & Toni L.P. Kelner Anthology, WOLFSBANE AND MISTLETOE. This year, Rob contributed a post-apocalyptic, "grim" faerie tale Western to the anthology, COURTS OF THE FEY.

Rob's work is dark
More about Rob Thurman...

Other Books in the Series

Cal Leandros (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Moonshine (Cal Leandros #2)
  • Madhouse (Cal Leandros, #3)
  • Deathwish (Cal Leandros, #4)
  • Roadkill (Cal Leandros, #5)
  • Blackout (Cal Leandros, #6)
  • Doubletake (Cal Leandros, #7)
  • Slashback (Cal Leandros, #8)
  • Downfall (Cal Leandros, #9)
  • Nevermore (Cal Leandros, #10)
  • Everwar (Cal Leandros, #11)

Share This Book

“When life gives you lemons. . . You might as well shove 'em where the sun don't shine, because you sure as hell aren't ever going to see any lemonade.” 92 likes
“We all have our security blankets in this world. Some are just sharper than others.” 53 likes
More quotes…