Night Life by Rob Thurman
I Rate it: 9/10
Category: Modern Urban Fantasy
"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 . . .
Another first person POV book - this seems to be my lot for the year so far. This time I didn't feel like I was reading a Mary-Sue (or Marty-Stu, as the case may be) however. Cal's voice and attitude are distinctive; he has a dark and dry sense of humour, and an underlying sense of fatalism which occasionally makes you want to kick him. I found it possible to detach from Cal and see where his personality quirks and failures were (unlike the former case where the oilslick of self-satisfaction over what a wonderul and righteous human being they are clogs you up). One of the other characters calls Cal a whiny little shit and Mr Morose, and to a certain extent, he is. But as the character also adds, he's brave, focused and stubborn, especially when it comes to his brother. If you enjoy Supernatural (I still have seen it myself), I imagine you'll enjoy this book - the pivotal and most interesting relationship is that between Cal and his big brother and protector, Niko.
This was an excellent story - solid characters, solid plot and solid writing. The plot might not have been the world's most original, but there was a nice little twist in the middle of the book, one that had me grinning evilly for pages and pages. The other characters in the book are well-drawn and individualistic, and the background and mythos intelligently thought out. There are threads here and there used as background which very obviously lead into a future book, but in this era of Inability to Write One-offs, it's mildly irritating but seemingly inevitable. The good news is the story does finish in this book (cliffhangers really piss me off in books) and that a second book, Moonshine, is on the way in March.
My take: Buy this book! Support this author and he'll get to write some more. Definitely worth the moolah.