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(Cal Leandros #4)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  5,961 ratings  ·  222 reviews
In a nightmarish New York City, life is there for the taking...

Half-human Cal Leandros and his brother, Niko, are barely getting by with their preternatural detective agency when the vampire Seamus hires them. He's being followed, and he wants to know by whom. But the Leandros brothers have to do more than they had planned when Seamus turns up dead (or un-undead).

Worse sti
Mass Market Paperback, 336 pages
Published March 3rd 2009 by Roc
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Average rating 4.10  · 
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 ·  5,961 ratings  ·  222 reviews

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Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
"People on Dr. Phil have issues. We have atomic-powered, demon-flavored, fresh-from-the-pits-of-hell, full-blowing fucking neuroses. Freud would've been in a corner sucking his thumb after one session with us."

I've now read four books in this series, and the same issue remains for me. It's a unique series that offers a different groove of Urban Fantasy tropes: male lead; two brothers fighting against the world; a dark, demented elfish race; lack of strong romantic interest for the male lead; no
“I’m a cranky asshole with a gun and superpowers, remember? Try giving me a day to work on it, at least, before you start bitching.”

I just love this series so much! And I really love this book in particular because it is the first time we get a POV from Niko. The first time I read this series it took me awhile to warm up to Niko and this book was when it happened. He seems all stoic on the outside but once you get into his head it's clear that he's just as messed up as Cal is, albeit in slightly
"Part-time bartender, private investigator/bodyguard/jack-of-all-trades to the nonhuman world, and one suspicious son of a bitch, that was me." Caliban Leandros, p3, a perfect introduction/reminder of who the central character is.

I was really excited to get this next adventure with the Leandros brothers. I love the sardonic tone and dark style of the books. Overall, I was pleased, but it wasn't the best in the series for me. The author experimented by switching back and forth between the 2 brot
Jul 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, read-2015
3.5 Stars

Deathwish book 4 in the Cal Leandros series by Rob Thurman is another solid addition to the series. Solid is a good word for all of these Urban Fantasy delights. They are consistently engaging, fun, and we'll executed. In this outing the brothers find themselves chased by the Auphe...again. They also put themselves in harms way as they work a case involving a large hunter who has some really nasty cats.

Again, is clearly the word that describes quite a bit of this book. We have been dow
Kelly H. (Maybedog)
This was as good as the first one. I don't know why I find the angst and drama so thrilling but I do. This one actually split perspectives between both brothers in alternating chapters and I really liked it. It was nice to hear Nico's voice and his perspective on the same issues. For the first time we see his reasons for protecting his brother and they make more sense than Cal's. I also like that this one had Nico showing vulnerability and fallibility. He's not always the superhero and since we ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
I'm in the middle of this...and it's not bad, but it has to go on hold till I finish a couple of library books. I also have a reading group book that may have to be bumped up. I am truly over committed.


if you have followed my reviews of the other books in this series you know that I've given each 3 stars. They are good reads....mostly. I only had a few gripes with them. I'm not much into anti-heroes with angsty, negative, nihilistic outlooks on life. And Cal definitely qualifies for tha
Adrian Phoenix
The best one yet and I've loved the previous three. This one just about broke my heart. I'm on to the next book in the series. ...more
Jul 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
The Cal and Niko Leandros series is one of my favorite urban fantasy series, a fact which owes much to its well-developed characters and the originality of its fantasy world. Mythological stereotypes are turned on their heads---there's a merman here who is a barely humanoid shark, a chupacabra who plays Go Fish, and vampires who (usually) rely upon iron supplements. And I adore the interplay between the two brothers Cal and Niko---they clearly love each other, and Deathwish in particular shows h ...more
Μαρία Γεωργοπούλου

Niko, Cal, Goodfellow...

You can see the following review also here:

I’m trying to write this review for a while, but it’s not easy. Why? Because I absolutely loved this book and I believe that five stars are not enough! I knew that I was going to love this book when I saw that it has POVs from both brothers! I was expecting to read Niko’s POV since I read the first book and I was not disappointed. Like the previous books, it’s dark, non-stop action and ful
The fourth book in Cal Leandros series breaks my heart in more ways than one. I think it is the most emotional book, the most thoughtful as well, among all books I have read in this series so far.

The 'key' for this is the inclusion of Niko's point of view. For the previous three books, we only get the story from Cal's. But this time, the book has chapters from Cal and Niko. So we get to see how Niko thinks -- we get to see how a moment in their life from different perspectives. In result, the b
Mar 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: magic, urbanfantasy
Deathwish is Thurman really hitting her stride. The story is smoother and less confused than the previous three: this is probably because it's the first one that wasn't based on something else. Cal has finally grown up some, and Niko gets it, and that in itself drains a lot of the criticism I had of the previous book.

I guessed the Auphe arc fairly early in the book, but that did not in any way lessen it -- the author rather neatly has Niko guess it about at the same time, without explicitly say
Mar 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
Not five stars because it's not for everyone -- the angst and vivid archetypes make it seem potentially more juvenile than other novels. But the main characters really resonate for me, the solution to their problem, though inevitable, was daring and somewhat satisfying, and reading the first chapters written from Nik's point of view was much better than I expected. A lot of authors ruin characters by changing to their point of view -- Nik's read like Thurman wrote the chapter from Cal's point of ...more
May 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
These just keep getting better. This one really pulled me in.
At first, I wasn't sure I would like the chapters alternating Cal's and Niko's points of view, because the previous 3 books have been from Cal's POV (aside from the Darkling business in book 1, but that was filtered through Cal) and I'm very fond of Cal. However, I ended up liking the structure a lot. Finally, we got to see what really makes Niko tick, why he does what he does, how truly fierce his love for his brother is, what kind of
Lady Pestilence
Apr 03, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sold
It's a sad moment to realize that you don't care about the characters of a book anymore. Whether by Niko's obnoxious pestering or Cal's excessive whining, I realized that I couldn't give two fucks. Yes, we are aware that you do not approve of Cal's eating habits, Niko. Please, continue to explain how Cal is making sure he is meditating with his mantra beads. Oh, we do indeed know that Robin is a whorish puck. What Cal? You're half Auphe and you hate it? Really? It's the same overused ploy of hum ...more
Jul 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2009
If I could give this book 4-1/2 stars, I would.

I really liked the book, but I did not like the alternating POVs between Cal and Niko. It took me out of the story and that is never a good thing.
Don Bradshaw
Great story but a little heavy on the angst. This would have been a 5 star story but I didn't care for the Niko to Cal alternating POVs. ...more
Sana Zameer
This was much better than it's predecessor. If it hadn't been for the ending I wouldn't have picked the next book in Cal Leandros series. As much as I find the dynamics between the brothers refreshing, the plot never seem to fully grip my attention.

The previous books were told from Cal's perspective. In Deathwish we get to be in Niko's head. Although his voice isn't as distinguished as Cal's it was a much needed change of perspective for me. I was really getting annoyed with Cal's incessant whi
Jul 29, 2020 rated it liked it
This is the fourth book in the Cal Leandros series by Rob Thurman. I will start by saying I didn't enjoy this book as well as the first three in the series. This one had Cal and Nik and their friends pitted against too many super-powerful supernatural entities. Cal's continuing angst is also starting to wear a little thin. Also, the switching back and forth in this book from Cal's perspective to Niko's kept it from being as good as the others in the series. I have all the books in this series an ...more
Joey Cruz
Aug 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
I'm usually a very tolerant reader, but when a series starts going downhill for me, I don't expect it to ever pick up again. This has held true for even the best writers; once you lose that special something, there's no coming back from it.

No so with Rob Thurman's Cal Leandros series! The last book, Madhouse, left off on an interesting enough cliffhanger that I wanted to know what happened next, but the book itself felt like we were going through the motions. I didn't expect the series to get be
Sep 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
So in Deathwish, Cal and Niko are having almost as many personal problems as their usual problems. Cal discovers that he can create gates now without even trying. Promise introduces the brothers to an old vampire friend of hers named Seamus for a job. Seamus seems to believe he's being followed, but even with his vampire-heightened senses he can't seem to pinpoint by who. Niko and Promise's relationship is put on rocky status when Promise also turns out to be a not-so-proud mother of a vampire d ...more
Jun 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Well another book down in this series and I must admit every time I pick one up I question doing so since Cal Leandros is such a whiney Character hes hard to stand at times. However I was mildly surprised to say the least that Cal appeared to be less whiney in this book by quite a large margin, and more of his snarky attitude came through than anything else which I can live with and enjoy. Different for this book than previous instalments was the split between two character views, giving us a lo ...more
Cherry Mischievous
Being book 4 in the series, the world building and character development has been done a long time ago. Although new characters were introduced, it is done in the same flare as the first book. Very good indeed. A 5 out of 5. So what else can I say about this book that I haven't said already in the previous books? The ending. The story ended with a bang and satisfying closure, but, some of the scenes there had some feasibility issues. It just tells you that this and that happened. It didn't take ...more
Hazel *Craves the Angst Reviews*
This series just keeps getting better and better! Deathwish is the fourth book in Rob Thurman's, Cal Leandros series and by far the absolutely best one yet! Whereas I thought Ms. Thruman really found Cal's voice in Madhouse (book 3), she simply took it one step further in this book. In addition to Cal's sardonic POV, we also got a treat with every other chapter being in his enlightened and virtuous brother, Niko's, POV. This book picks up immediately on the cliffhanger in Madhouse. Cal and Niko ...more
I cried, I literally cried, and more than once.
Compared to 'Madhouse', it's a completely different book in quality, coherence and climax. Where all these points made me consider 'Madhouse' to be the one I liked least of the series, it makes 'Deathwish' the best.

The story worked and delivered in more than I had been hoping for.
The writing was much better, though I still sometimes have been wondering if some sentences were examples of slang, or just plain awfull and incorrect writing. I'm not a n
Aug 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
My favorite book in the "Cal Leandros" series so far. Not only was the plot really intriguing, I also loved that the book wasn't told just from Cal's POV, but also from Niko's. I hope the author sticks with it, that she continues writing the book from both the brothers' POV, it's much more interesting, especially in situations where Cal turns Auphe raving mad.

There were so many things that I loved about this book, first and foremost the brotherly love between Cal and Niko, their co-dependency an
YES! Finally! Now this is the Cal that I've been waiting 4 books to meet! Cal is finally growing up. While he still has whiny and yes, definitely many more lazy moments, in this book he steps up to take some responsibility instead of letting Niko make all the decisions. By embracing and accepting the Auphe in him instead of rejecting it, he becomes stronger all around. Ms. Thurman switches from Nik's POV to Cal's and back again which does wonders for the development of the storyline but even mor ...more
Mar 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy, 8-5-10
OK, wow, this was probably the strongest instalment in the Cal Leandros series for me. Partly, I think, because of the clear character development we've seen on Cal's part since Book #1, and partly because FINALLY, we get inside Niko's head as well.

Therein, we discover that while our super-honourable-ninja-assassin may *look* like he's got it all together from the outside, inside he's every bit the epitome of broken competence I love so much in all the other characters I meet it in (yes, Starbu
May 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Play Book Tag: Deathwish by Rob Thurman 4 stars 1 4 Jul 09, 2021 11:03AM  

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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, non-st

Other books in the series

Cal Leandros (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Nightlife (Cal Leandros, #1)
  • Moonshine (Cal Leandros, #2)
  • Madhouse (Cal Leandros, #3)
  • 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)

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