Nightlife (Cal Leandros Series #1)

Nightlife (Cal Leandros Series #1)

by Rob Thurman

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“There are monsters among us. There always have been and there always will be. I’ve known that ever since I can remember, just like I’ve always known I was one…

…Well, half of one, anyway.”

Welcome to the Big Apple. There’s a troll under the Brooklyn Bridge, a boggle in Central Park, and a beautiful vampire in a penthouse on the Upper East Side—and that’s only the beginning. Of course, most humans are oblivious to the preternatural nightlife around them, but Cal Leandros is only half-human.

His father’s dark lineage is the stuff of nightmares—and he and his entire otherworldly race are after Cal. Why? Cal hasn’t exactly wanted to stick around long enough to find out.

He and his half-brother Niko have managed to stay a step ahead for three years, but now Cal’s dad has found them again. And Cal is about to learn why they want him, why they’ve always wanted him…for he is the key to unleashing their hell on earth. The fate of the human world will be decided in the fight of Cal’s life…

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780451460752
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/07/2006
Series: Cal Leandros Series , #1
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 314,856
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.70(h) x 0.94(d)
Lexile: 750L (what's this?)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Rob, short for Robyn (yes, he is really a she) Thurman lives in Indiana, land of rolling hills and cows, deer, and wild turkeys. Many, many turkeys. She is also the author of the Cal Leandros Series: Nightlife, Moonshine, Madhouse, and Deathwish; has a story in the anthology Wolfsbane and Mistletoe; and is the author of Trick of the Light, the first book in the Trickster series.

Besides wild, ravenous turkeys, she has a dog (if you don’t have a dog, how do you live?)—one hundred pounds of Siberian husky. He looks like a wolf, has paws the size of a person’s hand, ice blue eyes, teeth out of a Godzilla movies, and the ferocious habit of hiding under the kitchen table and peeing on himself when strangers come by. Fortunately, she has another dog that is a little more invested in keeping the food source alive. By the way, the dogs were adopted from shelters. They were fully grown, already housetrained, and grateful as hell. Think about it next time you’re looking for a Rover or Fluffy.

For updates, teasers, deleted scenes, and various other extras, visit Rob Thurman's website and her LiveJournal.

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Nightlife (Cal and Niko Series #1) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 164 reviews.
jaglover More than 1 year ago
Looks like a great book. Too bad that the book you actually download is NOT this book. I've called B&N three times. I did get my money back, but they have yet to actually fix it so that the correct book is on here. It will go to the correct place in your Nook. It will show the correct cover. However, once you open the eBook, you will be reading Night Life by Elizabeth Guest, with a prologue in ancient Egypt, then moving to Vegas. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the Cal and Niko series by Rob Thurman. I even looked the book up on, where they allow you to read the first few chapters for free, to be sure. Anyways, B&N has known about the problem for about two weeks at this point. I just downloaded the free sample and it's still the wrong book. There is no warning on the page yet, and it's not fixed. So here's my warning: Download the free sample first. Don't spend your $6.99 on the wrong book. If you already have spent your money, call B&N. They were very nice about giving me a refund. As far as getting the eBook, though... It looks like we either go paper or go elsewhere at this point in time.
Usagy More than 1 year ago
ROB THURMAN has created her own twist to the mythology we all know and loved. Her version of warewofs and other creatures gives the story a new spin. So if you think you have read all there is about demons, elves, warewolfs, pucks, and vampires, and more....well think again. THat is what makes the book interesting and guaranteed u will not be bored by the same old storylines. The most amazing part of the book is tge family connection the charachters have, you just cant stop rooting for the good guys, while mesmirized by the power of family and friendship ( and not in cliche way) trust me. Its not all hugs and kisses, but two brothers kicking ass (the bad guys and each others, cause thats what brothers do). If you are a fan of the show supernatural, you will love the Leandro brothers. If you are a fan of action, humor, and fantasy, then this is the book for you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I got this book on the recommendation of a friend and I loved it. The characters were rich and had so much depth, the layers just kept coming. The relationship between the brothers was strong and made it even better. Add in the colorful and likable supporting characters and it's just a wonderful read. Plus, I found Cal's smart mouth charming, yet he also possesses a faint vulnerability. It's an intriguing combination.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rob Thurman has breathed new life into what, until recently, had become an almost clichéd storyline. When I initially picked up the book, I did so only because I did not recognize the author and am in constant pursuit of new literary blood. I wasn¿t overly hopeful. And things weren¿t improved by reading the synopsis on the back¿-this had been done before! Then I started skimming a few pages while I was in the bookstore¿-and I was completely hooked. Consumed. I couldn¿t put the thing down, even though I had a dozen other things of considerable importance to which I needed desperately to attend. I ignored them and read the whole thing practically without stopping. Thurman¿s characters have astonishing depth. Their thoughts and emotions and reactions to situations are thoroughly believable, and Thurman¿s descriptive abilities are such that you can easily see a character¿s expression, can hear what he hears and see what he sees. I suppose that this is what sucked me in so thoroughly¿for the first time in a long time, I really felt I was there with a character, experiencing things with him. Nightlife isn¿t going to change your world-view. It doesn¿t offer any insights or solutions into current global crises, and it isn¿t going to spark a world-wide controversy. It¿s pure, delicious fantasy. But it¿s the most thoroughly moving, most thrilling, and the absolute funniest thing I¿ve read in years. And best of all, there¿s a sequel coming out next year . . .
harstan More than 1 year ago
His mother is human trailer-trash and his father is a ¿demonic sperm donor¿. Cal can live with being a half monster though he does not like either of his parents. He has more problems with his ever perfect sibling, Niko, who does everything much better than Cal does. Still the brothers are close --- Their closeness is put to the test when the insane Auphes mutant elves better known amongst the in crowd as Grendels attack the brothers. They fight back when forced, but mostly flee because the odds of winning are nil. The Grendels need the half monster to help them achieve great power. On their quest for safety the brothers run into a supernatural hodgepodge from a canine who once was human to Puck selling used cars to weird humans who should have been paranormal, but then again this is New York --- NIGHTLIFE is a terrific coming of age urban fantasy starring a likable teen Niko and a not so likable sarcastic Cal, whose mockery can become irritating for us older readers even if it seems genuine a little silent Cal would have been less realistic but nice. Together they are a formidable loyal team until women begin to strain their allegiance to one another. Even with this strong cast, the astuteness of the exhilarating story line besides making sure that all the purebred, hybrid, and lesser begat monsters seem real lies in the delightful way Rob Thurman presents clues as to why everyone is after Cal. Fantasy fans will want more treks around New York starring the dynamic siblings. --- Harriet Klausner
hlnkid More than 1 year ago
Yes, this book sets itself firmly in the world of the supernatural and urban fantasy, but it's the intense co-dependent relationship between brothers Cal and Niko Leandros that hooks you to this book...and the the entire series (which keeps getting better). And hey, if you're a fan of the Winchester brothers from the TV show Supernatural, you will NOT be disappointed in the Leandros brothers of Nightlife. Snarky, smart-mouthed little brother Cal and super-ninja big brother Niko are two of the most addictive characters in the genre today. Nightlife is also full of allies and villians and characters that wander that grey area...all of which make this a must read for anyone who enjoys the world of the supernatural - with true humanity mixed in.
Addicted_2_books411 More than 1 year ago
In this first book we learn how the two brothers came to be, their struggles, but the uncondional love and devoted, brotherly relationship between Cal and Nicko is what so wonderful in this book. Excellent plot, characters and writing skills without unnecessary descriptions. Excellent!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have become fascinated lately with the subjects of vampires, warlocks, gremlins, etc in my reading. I have become a great fan of Jim Butcher, PN Elrod and Greg Rucka as examples. Using these authors as a baseline, this book sucks. I found it boring and the characters obnoxious. I read between 3-5 books a week and this is by far the worst book I have ever read except for Fight Club.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Half man. half grendel'Auphe'. All mouth. Picked this book up, cause I thought it interesting about a diffent kind of human/monster hybrid. When I read it, it blew me away. The action, the characters, everything. I loved it. Moonshine was dope like whoa, too! Can't wait to catch Madhouse.
BellaMiaow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not bad for a first novel (I think it is one?), but I'm not really interested in re-reading it. It is an interesting concept, and a different take on several concepts than most of what I've read in the urban fantasy genre. I'll probably give Thurman a second or third chance.
SweetAmber on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A very fun and quick read. The brothers really made this novel stand out. Amazing characters that you just can't wait to hear more about.
hagelrat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved Nightlife, it was brilliant, well written tense, funny, sweet, dark, everything a really good fantasy should be. Her characters are likeable and fallible and honestly it's nice int his genre to have a pair of male protagonists who are just trying to survive.Ok a bit about the book, Caliban and Niko are brothers, half brothers I suppose as Cal's father was not human. The book begins with a page from later in the book and you then jump back to the begining of the story, it's actually a really good way to start this book because after that you need a little back story, Cal & Nik's mother, their childhood, Cal's dissapearance for two years when he was taken by his father's people. It could have been a slow start, but with a punchy introduction it is nicely handled and succeeds in interesting you in the boys and gives you some understanding of their relationship. The action kicks off properly a few chapters in and by then you just have to know how it all works out. A large part of the book (from the middle to near the end) is told by one specifice viewpoint, ignorant of what else is going on. Again, this should have been annoying but neccessary, instead it's fascinating as you get the odd glimpse of other events, but not enought to put them together. It's Thurmans skill as an author that makes this work. Nightlife is well crafted and entertaining.
FicusFan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book, but it does have some issues. I rated it 4 stars which is a bit high, but its better than 3.5. Perhaps 3.75 would be more accurate, but it isn't an option.The story is the start of a series that can be called dark fantasy, paranormal, or urban fantasy. The basic premise is that magic and fantasy/horror beasties are real and walk the streets of the modern day real world. I like the sub-genre a lot, though some are better than others. I don't mind sex and romance if its worked into the story, but I prefer stories that are not just glorified romances (with a few exceptions). This book has no sex, and very little romance, it focuses on 2 brothers and is more dude-lit than chick-lit.Cal is the younger brother and he is half human and half elf. In this book elves are nasty, evil, mindless killing machines, not the elegant aristocrats of recent books and films. Perhaps an echo to the older representation, when people believed in the supernatural. There are other changes to how fantasy creatures are portrayed, but that is poetic license. Niko is the older brother with the badass ninja vibe. He is all human and has spent his whole life looking after and protecting his brother Cal. Their mother is a low life gypsy, who would rather sell them than care for them, and is dead when the book opens. Cal's monster family has been chasing him for years, they want to carry him off to their realm which is in another dimension. In fact they succeeded when Cal was 14. He was gone in our world 2 days, but aged 2 years in theirs. Cal has no memory of what went on, so neither brother knows what they want with Cal.The book is about their efforts to hide from the elves, to live as normal a life as possible while lying low, and the connections they make (friends and allies) in their latest home (NYC). There are many other fantasy creatures who make a cameo, and help or hinder the brothers.The writing is pretty good for a first book, though there are some rough patches. A few transitions that are bad, and a couple of sentences are so awkward you are brought to a halt. Minor stuff. A larger irritant is the tone and attitude of the POV Cal. He is about 20 when the book opens, but due to the missing 2 years is only matured to 18. He is sarcastic which is OK, but his constant use of cliches is not. It becomes annoying, his cheesy smart-mouthed dialog and thoughts. It would have been a killer if it was used for the whole book.Luckily there is a twist and the POV's tone changes (won't give away more) half way through the book. I liked the twist and the change in tone. I also liked how Cal matured after it. The other aspect of the book that was really strong was the close brotherly relationship between Cal and Niko. I enjoyed that and it was very well done. I will keep reading this series and expect it to get better and really earn the 4 stars.
TheLibraryhag on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Cal and his brother Niko have been running from the Grendels (their name for all monsters) for years. They know the grendels want Cal but they are not sure why. They know that Cal is not all human but what they don't know is that he is the only living product of a project to create a half human, half Aulph (elf) creatures. When they are finally tracked down in NYC, they find they are not only fighting for themselves but for the future of humanity itself.This book was a lot of fun. I will be reading the others in the series.
angeltyuan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What I do like so farBrothers. I always like stories about brothers, and this book does remind me a bit of Supernatural in terms of them travelling together and protecting each other from any threat. They aren't always together, but live together and keep tabs on each other, instantly suspicious of anyone that gets close to either of them. The older brother Niko's loyalty and sense of duty to protect his younger brother Cal is pretty intense, almost to the extent that he gives up his own lifestyle to revolve around him. Brotherly banter is almost a constant, which is a plus for me no matter how juvenile the writing is.The mystery surrounding Cal's origins/interaction with the Grendles/age-skip, and the underlying threat of him becoming a "monster" does intrigue me enough to want to find out how it goes.What I don't like so farThe writing is a bit too keen on veering off into a convoluted adjective/metaphor-fest at random intervals. The chronology is slightly confusing when flashbacks appear (without italics/distinct text style) in the middle of a conversation.The dialog isn't particularly stimulating, sometimes tries too hard to insert a joke in every breath, but there's the rare amusing phrase here and there.The narrator is a bit too fixated on his own woes and takes every few paragraphs to reaffirm again that, yes, he is a monster, but I suppose that's expected of a teenager. I hope Niko gets some good character development too even if Cal is the narrator.
narwhaltortellini on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is one of those with an ungodly amount of five star ratings on Amazon. ...Time to be the nitpicky prick?...Time to be the nitpicky prick. *hangs head* The unfortunate thing about me reading pulp fantasy is that no matter how much I remind myself I'm just in it for a good time, irritating lackluster writing is still irritating lackluster writing.This series seems popular, and I can see why. It does a good job dishing out elements that sound ripe for a good, fun, if not original time. We have here:¿Snarky main character(s)¿Who is half monster and thus has to fight the 'evil' in his nature¿Cute dedicated brothers relationship¿A city full of urban fantasy baddies¿Plot full of action and blood and swords and knives and guns and thingsIf that stuff hits some of your buttons and the writing is decent, you're pretty much set, right? Yes for most, I think.But a couple more sample questions, just before you run off: Does the snarky main character actually have to be clever and original with their snarkyness? Does the author have to do some work to make you buy an endearing brother relationship, does it have to have some dimensions to it besides constantly risking their lives for one another, thinking about each other, and teasing one another in that oh so brotherly way? If your answer is ¿Those things are great if they're there and all, but....Not having them can still be a good time, right?' then try the book, you'll probably love it. If the questions make you roll your eyes or laugh without even answering because it's all so clearly rhetorical as 'Of course, why would such a book even be worth reading if those things weren't true? Ha!' then you'll probably want to steer clear of this one.For me, there were two main attractions here: Sarcastic humor, and the endearing brother relationship. I was expecting unoriginal, but both felt so artificial I couldn't bring myself to enjoy them at all. First, the man character's narration. An awful lot of it is utterly masturbatory. Cal thinks about two things: How he's a horrible (half) monster and hey that sounds like a good reason for another good angsting session... and his brother Niko. But hey, we all have our pet topics. The problem is, Cal will start mulling over these topics for a good paragraph or more at any given chance. And he will rehash the same information, the same feelings and thoughts, every single time, when quite frankly they weren't floating too far above irritating the first time around. I'm a monster. I'm ruining my brother's life. Treat me like the filthy creature I am. Gosh, my brother loves me and I love him. And he's really good at killing things. But I'm not as good. I'm a useless monster. *loop* Sometimes if there are more important, life-in-the-balance situations at hand, Cal will tone it down and cut it back to a sentence or three. But he WILL NOT MISS A CHANCE to mull over them, just a little. Great, he hates himself, we get it. Must we always get his exact thoughts on the matter every time it comes up? A clench of teeth, a bat of the eye, a slight reaction. Must you ALWAYS say more? I might normally feel a little for someone in Cal's situation, but the constant restating of his woes dulls the effect, like a truly subtle, witty joke being drowned out of humor by an overactive laugh track.The brothers' relationship is a lot like this as well. Again, normally I'd be a sucker for this stuff. The protective older brother, the kid brother who understands his sacrifice and appreciates him. Admittedly, their complete devotion to one another is worn a little too much on the sleeve for my tastes, but the guise of playful annoyance with one another helps a little. Unfortunately, though, the narration rears its ugly head again, scarcely missing a chance to emphasize every protective, loving action, reiterating the lovely display of familial bond you have just witnessed. Whatever liking I may have had for their to begin with rat
cmwilson101 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Nightlife by Rob Thurman is the first book in the Cal Leandros series about two brothers - Cal and Niko - who are on the run after monsters burnt down their house and killed their mother. The book is satisfactory on many levels - action, character studies, paranormal, mystery, and humor. The story is action-packed, as you would expect from a novel about monster-fighting brothers, but first and foremost, the story is about the relationship between the brothers. They support each other and care for each other. Their relationship seems authentic - part love, part exasperation, part irritation. Both of them have different ways of dealing with the fact that Cal is half monster, which is interesting. Equally interesting are the characters they encounter: Robin Goodfellow, a "puck." (Satyr); Georgie, who can read the future; Promise, a "Black Widow" Vampire; and Darkling, a male banshee. And the mystery of why the monsters are chasing Cal is intriguing. All in all, a good and satisfying story which left me sitting in front of my computer, ordering the next book in the series on Amazon!
Groovybaby on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The book started slow but sped up nicely after character establishment and although the story line was wonderfully creative, I was expecting a little bit more from the characters once they bloomed. The reshaping of well known myth and fantasy creatures is attention grabbing but it seemed like the author was setting up characters for a series instead of this particular story and a few of the more interesting characters seemed to have walk on parts, at best, in this particular novel. The brother dynamic for the two unlikely main heroes is nice but they pontificate far too much on thier connection to each other. They are brothers, that's all that really needs to be said about thier relationship, we get that thier connection is strong without the re-establishing of that connection every chapter or so. I liked the mysterious aspect of Cal's lineage and his parents being far from perfect, his stumbling attempts to avoid his crush make him a very sympathetic character as well but, he still comes off as a little flat. He doesn't seem to like or dislike much of anything outside his brother and as exciting a character as he should be, that lack of intrest paints a rather dull picture overall. I wanted to like the sidekick, the aptly named "Robin" but I felt he was written with too many homosexual stereotypes to really be believable. He's fighting monsters and is pissed off that his silk shirt is ruined? I was pissed off that the great postential of this character was tossed away. I liked the story enough to want to read more, I just wish the great ideas were better written.
lovejoy_rat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Cal Leandros makes an exceptional anti-hero. You ride with him through the highs and lows, and Thurman delivers a satisfying ending. I can't wait for the rest of the series! :)
ladycato on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Cal is a monster. Well, half-monster. His father is a nasty creature called an Auphe--the basis for elf mythology, but the only accurate thing is the pointed ears. And for some reason, the Auphe have been seeking Cal for years. It's only because of the grim devotion of older half-brother Niko that Cal has stayed alive through their years on the run. That's about to change. The Auphe want Cal. Badly.Rob Thurman has created a unique urban fantasy series following the first-person vantage point of Cal Leandros. Most urban fantasy is aimed towards women, but this book should strongly appeal to everyone through Cal's sarcastic, snippy tone. Actually, all of the characters are fantastic. His older brother is a walking arsenal and the perfect guy to have at your back, and the supporting cast is just as brilliant. Cal and Niko aren't straightforward good guys; they are the Batmans of their world, surviving by grim determination and a steady aim. Normally they wouldn't be my type, but Thurman's solid writing and fantastic voice completely won me over. Just what I needed... another series to get hooked on.
les121 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book wasn't what I was expecting. Having heard it likened to Jim Butcher's the Dresden Files, I was expecting action, mystery, and sleuthing. Although there were some of those elements, this story was much more focused on the characters' emotions and relationships. It was intriguing enough to keep me turning pages, but when there still hadn't been any real action halfway through the book, I started getting frustrated. In addition to the unexciting plot, even the interesting, vividly drawn characters became tiresomely melodramatic by the end. In general, it wasn't a terrible book; it had decent writing, creativity, and a heartwarming portrayal of brotherly love. But the story just had too much emotional torment and not enough excitement and entertainment value to suit my tastes. I probably won't continue reading the other books in the series.
wyvernfriend on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Cal and Niko have spent most of their lives hiding out from their father. He wants them but it's mostly to bring the fantastic creatures back and they want to keep this from happening. It's a mission they want to ensure they keep doing. Life is complicated and there are layers within layers.It's an intersting read, not perfect but it shows a lot of potential.
Shrike58 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Two things in particular distinguish this novel from other series in the increasingly crowded field of dark urban fantasy. One is that you simply get a different character dynamic when the main characters are two brothers such as Cal & Neko Leandro; at least it worked really well for me. The other distinctive quality that stands out is Thurman's pitiless depiction of gleeful nihilism and violence in his antagonists, and the costs of having to become almost as destructive by the heroes if one is to face down such an all-embracing evil.
eljabo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've been putting off this book for awhile mainly because the cover creeps me out. I can't even watch commercials for scary movies let alone read an entire book. The stuff I can imagine is way worse than anything I can see on the big screen! Luckily, my extensive library fines prevented me from checking out new, less frightening books so I picked up this one. It was very fun and not scary at all! It kind of reminded me of the TV show Supernatural. Snarky humor, two brothers against the world, an assortment of evil beings...what's not to love? I can't wait to read the next one!
MonicaLynn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very interesting, took me a little while to get into but then it drew me in and I had difficulties putting it down. Alot of action and the love of brothers tells this tale of Grendels (aka Auphe), A vampire, A human and a puck as well as a few others in there. Niko and Cal really fight for each other as a family. Great story can't wait to read the next installment.