REVIEW: Deathwish by Rob ThurmanWednesday, March 25, 2009 13:00
The thing about really loving a series is that when the new book comes out you’re either elated, or frustrated when it doesn’t meet the expectations you’ve been building for a year. There’s no hate like hate for a disappointing book in a series you love. Luckily for me, Deathwish didn’t let me down and I shall once more wait on eggshells for the next release in my favorite series. (And I shall once more go to multiple bookstores until I find one that has it. Why has this happened to me twice with this series? The universe is taunting me.) Seriously, if Rob Thurman writes a disappointing book I’m probably going to become depressed.
Deathwish‘s gimmick is that we get more than Cal’s point-of-view; the chapters alternate between him and older brother Niko. We learn two very important things from this format: Niko isn’t as zen as he seems on the outside and Cal doesn’t exaggerate as much as you might assume when he refers to himself as a monster. (Cal is an unreliable narrator. Niko seems slightly more reliable, though perhaps he simply lies better.) Plus, this series wouldn’t be half of what it is without their intense relationship so it’s nice to see the other side of things.
As always, there are multiple plots going on for maximum action. The detective agency is hired to protect Seamus, an old flame of Promise, who is less-than-thrilled by her current relationship with Niko. Promise’s daughter shows up, on the run from a guy who is seriously bad business. (And no, Niko isn’t thrilled to learn his girlfriend has a daughter.) And don’t forget the Auphe. (Who could, after the cliffhanger ending of Madhouse.) They’re still unhappy and still prone to show up at really bad times. I saw one of the reveals regarding the Auphe coming, but it’s suitably horrifying I can’t blame the brothers for being in denial.
While the brothers’ relationship is as strong as ever, their romantic relationships may not be. Promise and Niko’s trust issues come to the fore (they have been brewing since Moonshine) and it seems Cal’s chance at even a friendly relationship with George is dead. Of course, it seems like more than a just sex relationship could develop with Delilah, which would be excellent since she’s a total badass. Of course, the puck Robin is ever lucky in lust and he may be lucky in love as well.
But basically, what makes these books great holds strong. There’s tons of snappy dialogue and narration, strong friendships, and tons of action that manages to not blur into a mush. However, my sense of “this can’t end well” greatly increased during this book. Deathwish really hammers home the facts that Niko is a human in a world of beasties and Cal ain’t all there. And I really want things to end well.
For those who haven’t read the first three books in the series, I think you can really start with any of the books including Deathwish. All of them integrate the history into the story so that newbies can be caught up and oldies won’t be annoyed. Thurman does play pretty loose with mythology which might throw some people off, but each beastie’s abilities are well-defined within the series’ world.
I want the fifth book now, but unfortunately have to wait until next year. Luckily, the first book in a new series, Trick of the Light, comes out in September 2009. It’s already on my to-buy list.
In a nightmarish new york city, life is there for the taking…Half-human Cal Leandros and his brother Niko are hired by the vampire Seamus to find out who has been following him—until Seamus turns up dead (or un-undead). Worse still is the return of Cal’s nightmarish family, the Auphe. The last time Cal and Niko faced them, they were almost wiped out. Now, the Auphe want revenge. But first, they’ll destroy everything Cal holds dear…
No excerpt available.
Other books in this series: