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Nightlife (Cal Leandros, #1)
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Group Reads Archive > March 2012 Urban Fantasy Group Read: Nightlife

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message 1: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments Read, discuss... USE SPOILER TAGS! :-D

Anyone have some things to consider....Laurl?? :D


message 2: by Danielle The Book Huntress (last edited Mar 02, 2012 10:59AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) I read this a few years ago, and I was completely sucked in. This is one of my favorite UF series. It's lower rated, but I love it! Niko is the husband of my heart, but my love for Cal has also grown over the course of this series.


message 3: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments Lady Danielle "The Book Huntress" wrote: "I read this a few years ago, and I was completely sucked in. This is one of my favorite UF series. It's lower rated, but I love it! Niko is the husband of my heart, but my love for Cal has also gr..."

My copy came in a few days ago but I'm going to try to finish The Hundred THousand Kingdoms first.


Maggie K | 730 comments I couldn't find this and had to order it from thriftbooks, but it is enroute!


 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) Wow, Maggie. I didn't realize this was getting HTF. I found my copy at the used bookstore. At first I didn't get it, but I am glad it kept calling to me.


Maggie K | 730 comments maybe its just that it has been a few years, I see some of the newer books of the series, but not Nightlife.


message 7: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, *good karma* (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 7282 comments Maggie wrote: "maybe its just that it has been a few years, I see some of the newer books of the series, but not Nightlife."

I got mine used from Amazon.


Mike (the Paladin) (thepaladin) | 5387 comments I read this a few years back as LadyD said. I like it (them) only one minor gripe (view spoiler)


Chelsea (rocktopusjones) | 338 comments I'm really interested to see what people liked about this book, because I was ultimately underwhelmed by it. I liked the author's tone and voice in the beginning, but by the end, I found it overly cynical and sarcastic and it took some enjoyment out of it for me.


 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) I liked how dark it was, Chelsea. But I do like the noir tone in urban fantasy novels.


Mike (the Paladin) (thepaladin) | 5387 comments I picked this up after I had finished all the Dresden books that were available at the time. While I don't like them nearly as much as Dresden, this one (and the others I've read from this series) are far superior to a lot of UF I tried at the time.

What I like... Well, while the book has some romance in it, it stays in the back ground and doesn't overwhelm the story. The story is (as noted) dark, but it's not hopeless (a lot of that comes from the interplay between the brothers). There are interesting characters and interesting twists on existing "mythical" characters.

What I don't like? Well...the new-takes mentioned above on mythical characters don't always work. Another thing (view spoiler) I'm not overly fond of what I suppose I'd call the crudity here. The darkness of the story is separate from this aspect. You'll see what I mean if you read the book.

All in all however I like these pretty well.


message 12: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) Mike (the Paladin) wrote: "I picked this up after I had finished all the Dresden books that were available at the time. While I don't like them nearly as much as Dresden, this one (and the others I've read from this series) ..."

Hilarious.


 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) (view spoiler)

My focus and the best thing about the book to me was the relationship between the brothers. I find family relationships in fiction very fascinating, especially close siblings, since I am very close to my sister.

So for me, the bromance was the focus and the highlight of the book. And like Mike, I liked the interesting twist on traditional elf/faerie mythology and the infusion of other mythical creatures into a modern landscape--the highlight of urban fantasy to me.

This book found me in my sophomore years of reading urban fantasy and it blew me away.

I like this series more than Dresden (although I also love those books), but it's because I love the brothers' relationship and Dresden doesn't have that for me.


Chelsea (rocktopusjones) | 338 comments Lady Danielle "The Book Huntress" wrote: "[spoilers removed]

My focus and the best thing about the book to me was the relationship between the brothers. I find family relationships in fiction very fascinating, especially close siblings, ..."


Honestly, I thought the touch of romance was just that, a little tidbit to keep things interesting and provide tension in some key moments.


message 16: by John (new) - rated it 3 stars

John | 8 comments I enjoyed this story and thought the action and creatures were well done. Also the relationship between Niko and Cal was handled very well. I'm always a sucker for altruism, so Niko's devotion to Cal was a plus for me.

On the down side, Cal really bugged me. He came off as a whiny, sarcastic schlub, and I wanted Niko to hand him his head more than once.

Also, the profanity from Cal seemed forced and gratuitous. As I get older, I suppose it stands out more, but having said that, The Blues Brothers and My Cousin Vinny are a couple of my favorite movies, and both of those got and R rating pretty much solely for profanity. But the swearing from Cal seems almost tacked on to give him an edgy feel, rather than sounding like just the way he talks.


 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) I can see Cal being sarcastic and mopey considering the life he's led. So it didn't bother me at all.


Mike (the Paladin) (thepaladin) | 5387 comments I noticed some of that. Cal did get on my nerves sometimes, but then he was supposed to have been "shattered" pretty much.

I notice the use of profanity in most books. Some authors (Stephen King) seem to think everyone uses profanity simply as a matter of course.


Maggie K | 730 comments I read it this weekend...and also was kind of underwhelmed. I just really didn't connect with Cal or the magic system I guess.


Jenny (jennyc89) I'm 25% in and I'm enjoying it so far. I too really like the bromance. I also like that they have creatures that aren't your typical werewolves, vampires, and zombies (although I do enjoy those, it is nice to shake things up). I'll be reading more today.


Jalilah I almost did not start this one. I did not think I'd like it. I am glad I did try it. I am about half way through and really liking it.


message 22: by carol., Senor Crabbypants (new) - rated it 3 stars

carol. | 2616 comments Started my re-read today--it's been a while since I first read it. I'm a little past the boggle scene, where we go into Cal's past. I really enjoy Thurman's writing even though the tone of the book is very, very dark. The humor is mostly sardonic, our hero is troubled, and the landscape is filled with hinted-at danger from 'Grendels.' I believe in the atmosphere of this story, and the strong relationship between the two brothers. Sophia--my goodness, how grim of an upbringing--but it feels real too, and that's always the trick of UF--how to get your audience to believe in your alternate but modern reality.


Scarlet I'm not even halfway through this book and I'm not really enjoying it...sure it's funny and there is a potential, but I want more action!
The prologue was interesting and all but I can't see it coming in the story...I just hope it will pick up soon.


message 24: by carol., Senor Crabbypants (new) - rated it 3 stars

carol. | 2616 comments Just finishing up and now I remember why I don't regularly re-read... while Thurman builds a good story, great characters and involves us in one of the ultimate urban settings (hello, NY!), at the point where (view spoiler) it becomes very dark. I feel like Thurman achieves the psychopathic narrator, I just don't enjoy reading that kind of character at all. Maybe had she switched to Niko, but it would be a different story. Overall, I feel like it is a well-written, fast read, it's just the narrator switch that had me down. I love the way she builds lonliness into the Puck.


Maggie K | 730 comments I liked Puck too. I also liked the relationship between the brothers...and I agree, maybe some Niko scenes would have been a little more to my liking. Still ate it up though!


Jalilah I am at that point now too and am not liking it nearly as much now. It has become unpleasant.


message 27: by carol., Senor Crabbypants (new) - rated it 3 stars

carol. | 2616 comments Jalilah wrote: "I am at that point now too and am not liking it nearly as much now. It has become unpleasant."

I remember that happening to me the first time through, and I started skimming at that point. This time, I paid a little more attention to the writing and have to admit she did the (view spoiler) quite well. I believed the mix. Now I've gotten onto a roll, so I'm on to Nightlife


 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) I guess this book didn't strike quite as dark as you guys found it. I am a moody reader, so I must have been in the mood for that kind of subject matter. Carol, I admit I was impressed with that twist that Thurman took with Cal's character.


message 29: by Scarlet (last edited Mar 25, 2012 11:38AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Scarlet I finished the book last night, and I have to say, it does get better (view spoiler) but I still had an issue with this book, you see the writer has such great ideas, for example elves aren't soft and shiny, that is something, but sometimes when you put a lot of brilliant ideas together the result may be bad, in this book I felt it was hovering near ridiculous, since it's the writers first book I'm gonna give him a break, I'm just not sure if I want to finish this series


message 30: by carol., Senor Crabbypants (new) - rated it 3 stars

carol. | 2616 comments What did you think was 'hovering near ridiculous,' Scarlet?


message 31: by Jenny (last edited Mar 25, 2012 12:22PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jenny (jennyc89) Scarlet wrote: "I finished the book last night, and I have to say, it does get better [spoilers removed] but I still had an issue with this book, you see the writer has such great ideas, for example elves aren't s..."

Scarlet, the author is actually a woman. I was surprised when I found out and I think it made me read the book from a little different of a perspective. It wasn't better or worse, it was just different. I wonder if Rob Thurman chose to use a stereotypically male name on purpose, or if she just always goes by Rob. I noticed in the About The Author "she" and "her" is not used and it seemed deliberate. There was also no picture. I also think it's interesting that she had a female character named George in the book. At first I definitely thought that George was going to be a boy, and when Cal started describing her I had to go back and reread it. I like it when authors challenge preconceptions.


 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) Her name is Robyn, so Rob is just a diminutive.


Scarlet Carol wrote: "What did you think was 'hovering near ridiculous,' Scarlet?"

The number of mythical/magical creatures they 'stumbled' upon yet we- normal human beings- have no clue about... I mean too many ideas that shouldn't fit in one book.

a woman?!!!!
that doesn't change my opinion of the book but it does give me a new perspective..next time I should check the author first.


message 34: by Jalilah (last edited Mar 26, 2012 06:24AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jalilah I've finished and have changed my mind about this book. I always say "never say never", but the way I feel now I will not continue with this series.
I started liking it less at the point when the narrator changes. I hope that does not give away too much! (I don't know how to put up the spoiler hiders!)
In the later part of the book the fighting scenes were too detailed, but other important details were only implied, for example what exactly happened with George or Promise. Also, when reading a fantasy novel, I like it when there is also beauty in the magic, it can be a dangerous, deadly magic, but there should be moments of wonder too, or if not that, humour, but there was nothing like that in this book. Not for me in any case. Mind you I find a lot of Urban Fantasy too dark. I prefer writers like Charles De Lint, Patriccia Briggs or Robin Mckinnley.
What I did like was the relationship between the brothers and I also found the premise to be very original.


message 35: by carol., Senor Crabbypants (last edited Mar 27, 2012 06:53AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

carol. | 2616 comments Jalilah-I think you hit exactly the point that has been bothering me about the series--there is very little goodness to balance the twisted/evil. Even the puck has a complicated, difficult history that makes him quite as human as everyone else. I suppose George is the only 'good' side of the supernatural, but Cal manages to destroy it. There really isn't good, exactly; there's good-but-avenging (the peri), predator-but-not-evil (the Boggle); and deliberately twisted (pretty much everything else). I can't take Thurman in large doses for that reason, but I still think the Leandros series has great writing.


Maggie K | 730 comments I agree Carol--in small doses this would be fine! I prefer the complexities of gray....


message 37: by carol., Senor Crabbypants (new) - rated it 3 stars

carol. | 2616 comments Scarlet wrote: "The number of mythical/magical creatures they 'stumbled' upon yet we- normal human beings- have no clue about... I mean t..."

Oddly, that part didn't bother me very much. Although Thurman didn't go out of her way to explain it, it seems like a UF explanatory given that people turn the 'blind eye' to what they don't understand. Then a lot of the twisted/evil monsters were creatures of the dark/predators, so I certainly buy the part about preying on the 'invisible' people like the homeless.


Mike (the Paladin) (thepaladin) | 5387 comments Have you read The Wolfen? Again lots of profanity but an interesting story. You brought it to mind in mentioning the plot device of monsters/evil creatures dining on people that socioty turns a blind eye to.


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Books mentioned in this topic

The Wolfen (other topics)
Nightlife (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Rob Thurman (other topics)