Callista 's Reviews > Blackout

Blackout by Rob Thurman
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Oct 06, 12

bookshelves: urban-fantasy, four-star-novels, vampires-after-all, werecreatures
Read from September 23 to October 05, 2012

** spoiler alert ** 4 1/2 stars.
I'm impressed that this series is still going strong and getting stronger at some levels.
Given the blurb, I was afraid this book was going to be pitch dark, darker than Cal and Niko's wardrobe dark; but it surprised me. Of course it wasn't unicorns and rainbows happy--this series will never be that, and I wouldn't want it to be--but there were some genuinely funny moments and some heartfelt moments, as well.
Thurman uses the partial amnesia plot device expertly. Instead of going with a totally Auphed-out Cal, as book 5 would've led the reader to guess, she went with a Cal who has his Auphe side temporarily repressed. And he's no Boy Scout, but he believes in the possibility that he's a good person, even while a voice in his head tells him all monsters are evil. My concern for the character and dread of what he might do next were similar to what I felt back when Harry Dresden started wielding Hellfire. What Niko does, with Robin's help, to try to keep the alternate version of his brother around because he thinks Cal is happier that way is so poignant.
When I reached the end, when Cal chose to face the truth and had to deal with a new problem I'd never even considered, I definitely felt melancholy. The writing taps into the mixed emotions and expresses them wonderfully. What could have been, what could never be, what Cal and Niko have to do to survive...I had to sit with it all and think about it awhile. It's entertaining urban fantasy on one hand and something more, something amazingly deep on the other.
BTW...Thurman does a hell of a job with her action scenes, and she (like Caitlin Kittredge) out-guys some male authors in terms of writing from a male point of view, with its locker-room and strip-club talk. Definitely not for those who prefer their fiction PG-rated.
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