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(Cal Leandros #8)

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  2,499 ratings  ·  203 reviews
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 bro
Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Published March 5th 2013 by Roc
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4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,499 ratings  ·  203 reviews

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Hazel *Craves the Angst Reviews*
Find This and Other Reviews At Craves The Angst.

5+ Rip-Roaring, Mind-Blowing Stars!!!
The Best Is Yet To Come? Nope, It Has Arrived!

The Review:
I. COULD. NOT. PUT. THIS. BOOK. DOWN!!! :) Seriously, it was THAT Awesome!!!

As the old cliché goes, “I didn’t think this could get any better” but here we are with the eighth installment in the Cal Leandros series and the “get” keeps on “getting” and the “go” keeps on “going”. This series just gets better and better with each book and in no way seems
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. As someone new to the series, I was immediately invested and in love. I've already started making a list o ...more
Originally posted at

Favorite Quote: “He touched my little brother-I stopped his heart. Seemed fair to me.“

Revenge is the name of the game when the past merges with the present. Supernatural crime fighting duo, Cal and Niko Leandros, have to use their deadly skills and talents to defeat an enemy from their past. As children, they came very close to falling victim to a serial killer. Though they defeated him, they are now faced with a much larger problem. T
Aug 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Dresden fans or ex-Dresden fans
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, read-2016
4 Stars

Slashback is the 8th adventure for the Leandros brothers. The Cal Leandros series by Rob Thurman has been a guilty pleasure series of reads for me that I have truly enjoyed reading. As a pleasure of mine, I have a hard time finding things to criticize as these books are real page turners.

"“Sheep versus human . . . yeah, that might very well point to an identity crisis on my part.
When it comes down to it, I’m a monster. There was some human in me, true, although less all the time. I’d tr
Nov 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
After the chaos and mayhem in last book it seemed maybe this time Cal and Niko would catch a break, not so much as in true Leandros fashion the brothers are once again pitted against an evil that makes Jack the Ripper look like a choir boy!

The book alternates from 12 years ago to present day, the reason behind this changing from past to present becomes apparent soon enough .

Once again we are treated to these two fractured souls standing fast in their belief that each brother must fight to his l
Nicole G.
Jan 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Cal kicks so much ass it can't be contained. Literally. Have loved each book that came out and this one is no exception. I love the Leandros brothers, who balance each other out and who's loyalties have no bounds. If you are looking for a snarky, sarcastic, troubling looking, wise ass then Cal is everything you need. It's amazing watching him grow into who is he is. The story and characters in this book are so original and blow me away each time. Cal embodies that part of each of us where we wan ...more
Lori K
Aug 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
best so far!

"“He touched my little brother—I stopped his heart.
It was a fair trade.”

Thurman, Rob.
Kathy Davie
Apr 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Eighth in the Cal Leandros dark urban fantasy series revolving around a young man struggling to maintain his humanity in New York City.

My Take
Oh man. Another zinger from Thurman! Although, there weren't as many clever T-shirts or that gritty, dark humor I usually find in a Cal Leandros story. Of course, the subject matter in this one was grim---a drunken mother who abused her children and children who worked hard to cope and stay together. The older learning some hard lessons from the younger.

Jesus Ibarra
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Rob Thurman’s fantastically entertaining series starring the Leandros brothers: Cal and Niko, returns with another great story that answers some questions you didn’t know you had and gives us a ton more character development for the brothers.
Picking up some time after the last book, Cal is now increasingly erratic behavior (even for him) is worrying Niko and the rest of their friends. But aside from those problems a new supernatural killer has hit the big apple, and is targeting the brothers fo
He touched my little brother—I stopped his heart. It was a fair trade. - Niko

It didn’t matter if you were from Above or Below or somewhere in the middle; you touched my brother and you died. - Cal

This is probably my favorite book in the whole series, and I'm sure it's not a coincidence that it's arguably the most angsty as well. I mean Cal is always fairly angsty, but the entire plot of this book is built around mirroring a time when each of the brothers got kidnapped and they are blaming themse
Dec 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I've been a fan of Rob Thurman's Cal Leandros series for several years now and just when you think a series can't improve upon itself, along comes Slashback. I fell in love with the Niko POV in the earlier book, Deathwish. I've been dying to hear it again since. This time, we not only get the Niko POV, but the POV of a 15 year old. Finally seeing that trigger that turned Niko from protective big brother to Super Ninja.

As much as I enjoyed the present day part of the story, the flashback chapters
Apr 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Ok, let me get THIS out of the way's been abundantly clear from book 1 that Niko and Cal love each other, live for each other, suffer to protect each other, endlessly bleed for each other, and nearly die for each other...sometimes more than once per book. However, I'm getting a little weary of the long and rambling mental expositions (of each brother) that repeat all of the above for page upon page. If this is your first exposure to the Leandros brothers (and it shouldn't be because i ...more
Update: after a reread my opinion of this author is even stronger. This book tugged at my heartstrings almost at the same time as making me laugh. I read it in preparation for the new release of Downfall which I have already started.

Old review:

Well, this series keeps getting stronger and stronger. Cal is becoming one of my all time favourite fantasy characters and he keeps jumping on those hurdles life throws at him and shoots them in the face!

For anyone who hasn't read the Leandros series, do n
Mary Brebner
Mar 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
First date: Cal can be a little scary. Awesome, a total bad boy with the street cred to match it up but scary nonetheless. He's also a bit of an asshole, though he's working on that. But there's a reason for it (*snort* isn't there always?). He had a really rough childhood, one we explore in depth throughout this novel, as Cal and Niko dodge whiskey bottles slung by their mother and the serial killer next door (no, seriously.) while trying to deal with Cal and the supernatural creatures stalking ...more
Mar 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone that's allergic to cliches
Became the proud owner of this masterpiece a few days ago. If it weren't for a crazy outside life, I would've inhaled this symphony of magnificence in three hours, tops. The first line of the book instantly drew me into a world I knew I'd love, as if it were home. I won't spoil anything, but the way the end of every chapter compliments the beginning of the next is stunning. It highlights the powerful bond between Cal and Niko.

The flashbacks are flawless peeks into the world of the young brother
Excellent storytelling. My heart ached when fifteen year-old Niko made eleven year-old Cal tell him one good thing that happened that day before they went to bed, he tried so hard to give his little brother something resembling a decent life. Once again, Thurman is amazing at balancing exciting, action-packed adventure with terrific character development. This series remains among my very favorite.
D.B. Reynolds
Mar 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What can I say? I love Cal and Niko. This book was great, not just for the typical Cal and Nik adventure, but because of the flashback story running parallel to the narrative. It fills in some of their backstory, and for the first time we see what it takes to break Niko's notorious cool. Lots of brotherly love and loyalty in evidence. Loved the book, and can't wait for the next one!
Oct 23, 2012 rated it liked it
Nothing against Chris McGrath, whose work I loooove, but I'm not a fan of this cover. I really think it's because of the model; I want the old Cal back. This guy looks like the pouty singer of some morose band.


I honestly had no idea how to rate this book. With one huge, possibly series ruining exception, it’s pretty much a five star book. Because of that game changer, I was ready to give it one star. I settled on three stars, but my finger was twitching to hit one or two.

Apr 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thurman-rob
They're baaa-aaack! The Brothers Leandros, that is. And despite some misgivings I had during the early pages of Slashback, they are back in style in a way that surpasses the last book on every level, to my mind.

Let me begin by saying Rob Thurman is a very strong writer who has created a super Urban Fantasy world with the Cal Leandros books. I have loved them from the start, and am happy to say that my disappointment over some of the things in the last book, Doubletake, has been completely elimi
Dec 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: paranormal
I've been reading this urban fantasy series for a long while now, and it's one of the most enjoyable ones on the market.

'Slashback' was an average tale among the others in the series. This novel provides a large amount of background information about our favorite brothers. Thurman has done a good job of writing a tale that alternates between Cal talking about the present and his brother talking in the past when they were children. As both parts mirror each other in certain details, it helps bin
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You can see the following review also here:

Once more I am going to say that this series is one of the best urban fantasy series I’ve ever read! Every time I read a book with Cal and Niko I am sure that there is no way the next one to be as good. But every time I am wrong. This series is just getting better and better!

But there is one reason to love this book even more. There is again Niko’s POV and it’s from twelve years ago! And I have to say that I love
All Things Urban Fantasy
Oct 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Nov 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This series won't be a classic. It won't stand the test of time. It won't become required reading years upon years from now. No one will look back at these books and want to read them to say they conquered some monstrosity of wordsmithery. After it's finished, it will live, but eventually this series will be forgotten.

That's alright with me.

I won't pretend this is a masterpiece, I won't pretend it's flawless and deserves your undivided attention. I won't. I will say, though, that this series h
Sep 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sharon Stevenson
Mar 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned, urban-fantasy
This is the 8th book in Thurman's urban fantasy series centring around the action packed lives of brothers Cal & Niko Leandros. Cal is a sarcastic and lazy part-monster and he is the main narrator, though Thurman has taken to switching the narration between him and one other character since the 4th book.

These books are set in solidly built worlds and the characters are well developed and massively likeable. Slashback is split between Cal's POV in the present & Niko's POV in the past. The
Siew Ee
May 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Reading the Cal & Niko Leandros series is like taking a roller coaster ride - you get nail-biting, twisting and turning excitement in some books but more character development and exploration of relationship issues in others. The dual tones of the series seem to work well, and the best part of it is that you can’t predict what’s coming up in a new instalment.

In “Slashback”, the action sequences are toned down, and the book moves at a more sedate pace. The author seamlessly mixes in alternati
Miss Clark
Apr 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Mature readers
"How do you know I have a brother?" Cal wasn't playing anymore.

"You always do. Or a cousin or a best friend bonded by blood."

While admittedly a "twist", the reincarnation aspect also seemed to largely devalue the scope of the story without adding anything significant.

The flashbacks to 12 years ago, narrated by a 15 year-old Niko, were easily the best part of the story. Seeing more of Niko and how he and Cal were when they were younger is always a treat. Niko did sound pretty much identical to hi
Mar 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone who loves urban fantasy
I have a crush on Niko and I want to go drinking with Cal. And I just want to have dinner with Goodfellow and Promise.

This book is crafty, suspenseful, cleverly presented and so well written to make any writer sit up and take notice, then want to be Rob Thurman. The tale is told so well between the past and the present as well as from the viewpoint of both brothers in alternating presentations. In the hands of most writers this would be a confusing mess, but Rob handles it with ease, switching
As I've said in past reviews of this series, there is a fuck-ton of re-hashing of how badass everyone is, how close Nik and Cal are, and whole lot of the author telling not showing what is going on.
It's book 8.. I think it's pretty obvious by now that Cal and Niko are Superman. Not superMEN .. but one entity.
Basically I think all that baddassery couldn't have possibly fit into one character without making them lame i.e.: Superman. So, two people.
But Superman sucks.
Perfect people suck.
Perfect p
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do I have to? 5 34 Nov 26, 2013 05:28AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Slashback by Rob Thurman 1 3 Mar 26, 2013 01:13PM  

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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

Other books in the series

Cal Leandros (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Nightlife (Cal Leandros #1)
  • Moonshine (Cal Leandros #2)
  • Madhouse (Cal Leandros, #3)
  • Deathwish (Cal Leandros, #4)
  • Roadkill (Cal Leandros, #5)
  • Blackout (Cal Leandros, #6)
  • Doubletake (Cal Leandros, #7)
  • Downfall (Cal Leandros, #9)
  • Nevermore (Cal Leandros, #10)
  • Everwar (Cal Leandros, #11)
“He touched my little brother—I stopped his heart.
It was a fair trade.”
“How do you know I have a brother?" Cal wasn't playing anymore. The suspicion was real and I was already moving, the switchblade hidden in my hand.
"You always do. Or a cousin or a best friend bonded by blood. Something of thet dramatic overwrought nature. Someone who is wirtually attached to you at the hip. Let me speak to him. He's invariably more reasonable.”
More quotes…