In New York, 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. Of course, most humans are oblivious to this, 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.
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....
©2010 Rob Thurman (P)2010 Penguin Audio
Patrick Lawler could bring the encyclopedia britanica to life with his performances. It is a tremenous treat for all of us urban fantasy readers to discover him as the voice of Cal Leandros. Nightlife is a great start to a long series, I'm thinking a little Dresden, but a bit less mature and gets quite a bit wacky when the real baddie pops in about half way through the book (don't want to spoil it!) A fun listen. Hope we get to hear the whole series!
I like urban fantasy, so this book was right up my alley. The characters are likable; the main character is funny; the narration is nuanced and the story itself is fine. That being said, I purchased this title a few years ago and listened to it. I re-listened to it, because I saw the title in my library and couldn't remember it at all. When I re-listened, I remembered little bits, but not much. It is like a bag of potato chips: filling, satisfying, no nutritional value. But you're still going to eat it.
I am a voracious reader (average about 4-5 Audible books a week, in addition to those I "eyeball".) I have been hooked on recorded books since the time of cassettes/CDs and was thrilled when I became an Audible member in 2007. I find reader reviews good guides to spending my credits, so have finally decided to write a few (although, I would rather be reading!)
The main characters are half-brothers. The younger brother, Cal Leandros, constantly wrestles with his inner monster (we learn later it is more than inner, but I won't spoil the reveal.) Nikos, the older brother, with whom Cal shares a mother, is a martial arts expert that has stuck by his brother, whose "nature" cause them to have a peripatetic life. moving from place to place to escape some pursuing evil.
This is a first effort and isn't perfect. Some of the writing is uneven, some of the dialogue a bit unrealistic (Nikos vacillates from sounding like a teenager to Yoda) and I felt like there should be a drinking game associated with Cal ruminating on his "monstrosity." Plus, Nikos is a bit TOO good with his marital arts, to be a match with some of the otherworldly foes he battles.
That aside, this was a really fun read, with some interesting spin on the "traditional" mythology and is chalk full of otherworldly creatures (trolls, shifters, vampires, etc.) I really like the strong bound between the two brothers and LOVE the snarky dialogue. The minor characters liven up the book (especially Rob Fellows.)
Patrick Lawlor is an excellent narrator and does a great job with voice characterization. The gin-soaked sound of his voice helped underline Cal's otherworldly nature.
I anxiously await the addition of the other volumes of this series to Audible!
amateur photographer and author
I did struggle through this one. The plot was a little predictable and the main character barely had any chance to develop from his whining self pity before the story is hijacked by someone even less likable. This also another case of the fist personnperspective completly ruining any chance of developing side characters that are more interesting than the limiting main character. Also, the narrator's voice was like listening to a chain smoker tell his life story. If that is your tabacco-laced cup of tea, go ahead. As for me, I don't think I will be listening to any more of these. Maybe in print, but not voiced by this guy.
Yes. Love the voice of Cal. Just like what I would think. Great to listen to when working out.
The point where Niko and Cal's friends said goodbye to him as they were going to kill Cal/Darkling.
The snarky tone that he can get to his voice and all the other inflections he does so well.
When Cal saw his brother taken by Abbigor.
Superb reading of the book but I was wondering if the was he said Auphe was how Rob told him to say it or if that was something that he brought himself. Awesome if he did. It really sounds like someone punching him in the gut every time he says it.
I was introduced to the series by my younger sister who was right when she said I would love it. I was thrilled to see it on audio and although it was bittersweet as my sister has since lost her battle with breast cancer, I decided I would listen to it in her honor! I am so glad I did. Patrick Lawlor did a fabulous job with the embattled brothers. I can only hope that we see more! Not only do you get the love of two brothers but a battle between the good and bad, made more difficult when one of the brothers teeters on both sides! You won't regret listening!
Say something about yourself!
Love this series. Cal and Niko are brothers who fight demons. Cal's is the younger brother and has demon father. Their mother had no maternal desire and left the kids to raise themselves. Fortunately, Niko has an unbound love for his younger brother, a protection instinct of a grisly bear to her cub and a moral compass of an apostle. His mission is to protect his brother while improving Cal's self esteem by kicking his butt instead of letting him have a pity party.
Niko is a kick ass big brother whose abilities are way to good to be human, but he is human. His knowledge and skill are the force to their surviving the line between humans and demons.
It is the predictable plot of being in a subset of species and not feeling whole as either human or demon. Yet, Cal has a set of skills where he can use to help others. The usual ingredients are in the mix. The brothers have to look over their backs for demons, try to make a living with their special skills and evading the law when they have to kill someone or something. Oh, yes the constant desire to have a "normal" life.
Niko is the big brother with the goal to make sure that Cal can take care of himself. So Niko spends the entire series training Cal to be prepared at all times for anything. So at anytime Niko might throw a knife, kick or punch at Cal to make sure he is alert. The brothers had to forgo many relationships to stay alive and together. The moral code of Niko is what drives the cases the brothers accepts.
This is an entertaining series subject to the benefits and flaws of any series.
I did not like the narrator Patrick Lawlor. When I listened to the subsequent books and MacLeod Andrews narration is much better.
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