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Doubletake: A Cal Leandros Novel by Rob Thurman
Review by Drew Bittner
Roc Mass Market Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780451464446
Date: 06 March 2012 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Website / Show Official Info /

Cal Leandros and his brother Niko know how much trouble family is--Cal's inhuman Auphe side made their lives hellish for years. But now it's Niko's turn as his father Kalikos has come to town. He needs Niko's help...and it might take everything the brothers have to survive that request.

Meanwhile, Robin Goodfellow is reunited with his fellow pucks, only to find that a lottery may decide his fate. If luck is against the brothers' best friend, he may end up revisiting more than just old times with his family.

It turns out Kalikos is searching for a legacy of the Vayash clan, an item of ancient power. If he can claim it, he'll undo a disgrace laid upon the clan years ago... and maybe much more than that. At the same time, Cal discovers that he's got problems, in the form of a brand new enemy with extremely close ties to the last Auphe. In fact, if this enemy has his way, Cal's bloodline might yet have their revenge.

More by Rob Thurman:
Cal Leandros Novels:
* Nightlife
* Moonshine
* Madhouse
* Deathwish
* Roadkill
* Blackout
* Doubletake

Korsak Brothers:
*
Chimera
* Basilisk

The Trickster Novels:
* Trick of the Light
* The Grimrose Path

As these three separate tales draw closer together, unexpected ties are revealed, loyalty is tested and Cal faces death for perhaps the last time--if he's willing to push himself past his limits to save his brother.

In Doubletake, Rob Thurman conjures up one of the grittiest tales of the Leandros brothers yet. The dangers here come from unexpected directions, with multiple (and conflicting) treacheries threatening them from all sides. Cal is driven toward his Auphe side once again, forced to call upon the power his inhuman heritage gives him even at the risk of his humanity, while Niko must navigate the demands of a father he never knew, and how much he's willing to give a man he doesn't know.

Robin Goodfellow also evolves, showing tiny glimpses of a caring, compassionate soul hiding beneath sarcasm, lust and a bit of bitterness. His challenges this time around are unique and his way of responding is a bit unorthodox, even for him. Suffice it to say that even someone as old as Goodfellow can learn new tricks.

Although there is an investigation of sorts and a mystery to resolve, the strength of this book lies in the bonds between the characters. Over the course of the series, their faith and loyalty has been close to the breaking point, but rarely has it been pushed so far.

In a series that constantly finds new ways to explore the bonds of brotherhood and friendship, this book takes those emotions to a whole new level. And the book is stronger for it.

A quick note: this book was finished as author Rob Thurman was convalescing from serious injuries suffered in a car accident. It might have been the writer's last work. Thankfully, Thurman seems to be recovering well and we can look forward to many more books to come. As good as Doubletake is, I would be deeply sorry if this had to be the last one; I would miss this writer far too much.

Recommended.

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