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Review of Nightlife by Rob Thurman

Nightlife - Rob Thurman

Still, Grendels weren’t above using humans, and most humans weren’t above being used.

 

The monsters were there for anyone who just opened his eyes and looked. But ignorance is bliss and there were billions of blissful people in this world.

 

Maybe stupidity was a demon all its own.

 

Funny thing about faith ... it goes a lot faster than it comes.

 

Snap judgments? I’d gotten over those about the time I was toilet trained. Swore off diapers and faith in the human experience all in one week. You had to admire my efficiency.

 

Wouldn’t it be a stupid question really? Kind of like asking someone how it felt to be in hell. Hey, just how hot is it down there, huh? Is it the heat or the humidity? And, hey, is that torture and disemboweling by demons, really as bad as they say it is? Jesus. There’s a sheer level of awfulness that’s incapable of being put into words, a terror so intense it can’t be expressed.

 

Have you ever noticed how people, humans, tend to revert to children in times of great stress? It’s not necessarily that they want someone to take responsibility or to take care of them. And it’s not that they lose the capacity to understand what’s going on. What they do lose is the knowledge that life isn’t fair. As their life is falling apart around them, they absolutely refuse to believe it’s happening, right down to the last second. They start life as a child; they end life as a child.

 

I've said it before: I love stories with close sibling relationships and it'd be damned hard for me not to like a book that contains one. This was no exception.

 

Basic storyline follows two brothers. The younger (Cal) is part elf, and not the glowing Lord of the Rings kind. They are dark and viscous. And they want Cal for their own evil agenda. The older brother has given up his own life to protect his younger brother. It’s told in first person by Cal.

 

There's a wide range of monsters in this book, which is always fun. They're not all bad, and I found one of the good guys utterly entertaining. Not to mention how well he was developed and how nicely he fit into the plot. I really liked the interaction between the monsters and the brothers. The only thing I can see ruining this series for me is a vampire potential romance. I like my vampires bad. Or at least acknowledge how horrible they are. Butcher does this brilliantly. He has a vampire that's on his side, but never romanticizes the hunger of the vampire.

 

The brothers themselves are done nicely. I like their relationship. Cal is full of self loathing. I like my characters to struggle with who they are, and since Cal's father is a monster, he has every right to wonder about himself. It fits a kid of his age. For some, his ramblings might become tiresome. He might sound whiney or self-centered, but I never had a problem with him. His brother ... well, I think he was a little too badass. He knows everything and it made it difficult to relate to him. He's a badass fighter, book smart, healthy, and has crazy instincts. I wish he was a bit more flawed. Or more down to earth. Regardless, I still enjoyed parts of him and his interaction with Cal.

 

The pacing was rather slow at times, but I never had a hard time picking it back up. Just be prepared for drawn out scenes that are more about fleshing out characters than moving the story along. Since I love moments where we get to know characters (as long as they're entertaining), it didn’t really bother me or slow me down.

 

The writing itself was good. It flowed nicely and painted some great pictures. I loved some of Cal’s musing, and his voice never changed. Thurman kept him consistent even while he grew as a character. I also love that I never felt bogged down by lengthy descriptions. There was plenty to get the imagination flowing.

 

The world is urban fantasy, so not much to talk about there. The monster world fits in nicely and I never felt like I didn’t understand what was going on. I think there’s a lot more potential in the next book. I’m curious to see where Thurman takes it. Seems like it’s kinda all wrapped up with this book.

 

So overall, it was good and I plan on continuing the series. I’m not usually fond of young adult books, but this one didn’t have some love triangle or some swooning girl who couldn’t live without a boy. Always a bonus.

Source: http://booksbylkevans.com/2015/10/28/review-of-city-of-burning-shadows-by-barbara-j-webb