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In a nightmarish new york city, life is there for the taking...Half-human Cal Leandros and his brother Niko are hired by the vampire Seamus to find out who has been following him-until Seamus turns up dead (or un-undead). Worse still is the return of Cal-s nightmarish family, the Auphe. The last time Cal and Niko faced them, they were almost wiped out. Now, the Auphe want revenge. But first, they-ll destroy everything Cal holds dear...

Customer Reviews:

  • Best one yet
    I loved this book! From one of my favorite authors, and one of my favorite series. Each book gets better and better! The world building and characters are amazing. Give it a try!...more info
  • Not as good, but still worthwhile...
    I'm a huge fan of this series, but "Deathwish" lacks Thurman's usual neckbreaking pace and action, an omission that's especially noticeable compared to the excellent - and excellently thrilling - "Madhouse." This new book feels a lot like treading water: Cal and Robin, especially, have little to do for much of the book, and most of the novel's emphasis on brotherly sacrifice has been well-covered in the previous novels. It's as though Thurman wanted to have her cake and eat it, too, keeping the group exactly where they are, in terms of who's alive and all the relationships, yet still forwarding a plot.

    As mentioned in the earlier review, "Deathwish" also features alternating first-person narration between Niko and Cal. It's a mistake, both to take us away from Cal, the funnier, more angsty Leandros brother we've come to love so much, and to give us to Niko, who has very little to say that isn't exactly as it's usually described by Cal. Without giving anything away, there's a big gimmick at the end that reveals WHY the author chose to organize the book this way, but it's really not worth it. And, as mentioned, gimmicky (There's also an oh-so-convenient plot device that has Cal suddenly able to feel how many Auphes are still alive...).

    In all, I found myself wishing that Thurman was willing to stay a little truer to the series' regular voice (and characters - we see almost nothing of George), and also to have the boys facing a better bad guy (Sawney is a hard act to follow, but the two villains here are sort of yawn-inspiring). Why not, for example, pull the trigger on the Rafferty storyline she's been saving? Or at least give us something a little scary.

    Also, anyone who follows Ms. Thurman's website knows she has a deal for a number of following Leandros books. That means you know, if you've got a brain in your head, that neither Cal nor Niko will be dying anytime soon. Putting the brothers in danger is one thing, but trying to convince us over and over that one of them is going to die is sort of silly. It's like "Supernatural": any other characters is fair game, but the two brothers make up the heart of the series, and surely aren't going anywhere, at least until the very end.

    And, despite this rather weak entry in the series, neither will I. The first three books were just too good. Still, I'm hoping the next book will have a lot more in common with them than with "Deathwish."...more info
  • Amazing as always
    Rob Thurman has done it again. She has written another amazing book about the Leandros brothers. What has always interested me about her books is the underlying theme of family and loyalty-the unbreakable bond between Cal and Niko.
    Thurman has built the relationship between Cal and Niko over the three previous books; there is absolutely nothing that Cal and Niko won't do for one another. They will kill to protect one another, sacrifice their life to save the other, even end relationships because it will always be Cal and Niko against the world.
    And what's exciting about Deathwish is this book is narrated by both Cal and Niko in alternating chapters. We finally get to hear Niko's story and I loved seeing Cal through his eyes.
    Besides exploring the relationship of the brothers, Thurman gives us a thrilling, read on the edge of your seat mystery. I was hooked from the first page and I couldn't put the book down til it was over and than I wanted to read it all over again.
    For me these books are about the brothers and it is just a bonus that Thurman adds in a monster filled mystery packed with action, humor, loss, and love....more info
  • Deathwish is like chocolate! I can't have enough!
    The world would be sucked up by a black hole without Rob Thurman! She's simply amazing!

    Deathwish (4th book of the Cal Leandros series) goes deeper and darker than before, but it still has the same sarcastic/health freak/horny/sexy characters that we all have come to love, so we still get good laughs out of it (VERY good laughs).

    I especially loved this book because we now get to see the world through Niko's eyes. Apart from adding to the history of the brothers, we get to read his side of the story and we can see Cal through a different perspective. I love it that we finally get to see how his emotions stir behind his normally calm face.

    Once again, the Auphe come to get Cal, but they have a different plan for him. The other villains, as minor as the might sound next to the Auphe, create a bigger challenge for our heroes, which makes the story that much more gripping!

    There is more suspense and a hell of a lot of good old Leandros Team action, as well as comic relief, and did I mention that there are some surprises near the end? One almost made me cry, and I don't cry. Deathwish literally kept my heart pounding, my hands twitching and had me at the edge of my chair/bed!...more info
  • No limits
    Picking up right where "Madhouse" left off, the Auphe (evil hell dimension hopping/traveling monsters) are again a threat to our heroes, brothers Cal and Niko Leandros. If that wasn't enough to deal with, there's also ex-lovers, mysterious ancient cabals, family complications and an unknown assailant that has killed a client. Things get darker as Cal's Auphe heritage starts to rise to the surface to become more central to his personality. Can Cal fight his darker impulses and should he?

    "Deathwish" has all that snappy and snark-tastic dialogue that has become the author's trademark but we're also treated to something new. I love the first person perspective of Rob Thurman's novels but in "Deathwish' the narrative/perspective changes back and forth between Cal and Niko's view. We have a great opportunity to see how Cal's long suffering brother views him and the choices he's made in his life. This also has the benefit of adding more depth to Niko's character as we get more insight on what motivates him.

    "Deathwish" is a bit psychologically darker than previous novels as the alternating character perspective also allows us to see just how far and to what lengths the brothers are willing to go to protect each other, and the answer is...there are no limits.

    ...more info
  • Something for everyone
    This book has everything, monsters, demons, hot bad boys, cool sexy ninjas, and a puck that could sell ice to eskimos. Thurman's world is a unique take on mythology. Nothing is quite as it is expected and it is never what it seems at first glance. It is a wild ride into the supernatural with lots of butt kicking action. The plot will keep you hanging and the characters will leave you hanging on the edge of your seat, waiting for the next book....more info
  • I Love Caliban! Great series
    Oh wow, this book has the usual villians and vampires, but this one has such a wild twist that you just do not see until the ending.
    I love Caliban and his quick wit and sarcasm, although i would love to see him and Georgie get together.
    This book starts of with a bang and keeps on going. ...more info
  • Freakin' amazing read
    After devouring the 3 previous Cal books, I dug my claws into this awesome installment in the series. Rob Thurman is a great writer and I can't wait to read more from her....more info
  • Urban fantasy at its best!
    Deathwish is the latest in the Cal & Niko series. And hopefully NOT the last!! These books have angst, humor, wonderfully rich (not to mention sexy, fierce & loyal -- ohh Niko, if only you were real) characters, action & a clever, exciting, well-written storyline.
    I highly recommend these books for anyone who enjoys the genre.
    ...more info
  • Loved it.
    Right after I read Deathwish, I went right back to the beginning of the Caliban series so I could go through them all again. I love the characters that Rob Thurman has come up with and the crazy and unique, albeit dark world she has put them in.
    Like I'm sure many people have mentioned, I really liked the added perspective of Niko in Deathwish. I felt that was very interesting and gave the series a whole new twist. I can't WAIT for the next book.
    If you like supernatural books, I highly recommend, not only Deathwish, but the whole series. ...more info
  • Keeps getting better...
    Rob quickly became one of my "must have" authors - if her name is on it, I'll buy it. I love how she takes her readers on a roller coaster ride and makes you scream for more. The Leandros brothers show you what being a family is all about: protecting one another, being there for one another, and knowing you never HAVE to say you're sorry but you'd better because there's a butt kicking in your future. It's about faith, trust, kinship and friendship. And it's all done with the odds so totally stacked against our boys, you wonder how they survive to fight another day. Each book seems better than the one before with the characters becoming more complex, the story line tighter, the twists and turns more fun...and with some of the sexiest men around - who could ask for more?
    ...more info
  • An interesting change of style
    The fourth book in the Cal Leandros series is a bit different from the others. The previous 3 books were all told from Cal's perspective. This one switches back and forth between Cal and Niko. That's the only reason I didn't give this book 5 stars. It was distracting at first, especially since it is the fourth book and I am used to "hearing" Cal tell the story. Also, I found if I had to put the book down mid-chapter, then came back to it, I would have to stop and think a minute to recall who was telling the story this time. For some readers this style might be off putting. While I did find it a bit annoying in the beginning, by the end of the book I really had come to enjoy hearing Niko's side of things as well and felt a much deeper connection to him after reading this one.

    The pacing was excellent, the plot enjoyable, the ending satisfying. The wise cracking comments of Cal and Niko can bring a smile to your face, while the obvious love and devotion they have for each other, and the loyalty to their small group of friends, warms the heart. It was nice to see Cal take care of Niko for a change, instead of always having to lean on him for everything. I was concerned when I read the ending that the series was over, so I am glad to see there will be more in this series. These characters have really been "fleshed" out in this book and I would hate to see it end now. It will be interesting to see where the story goes from here!
    Well done Rob(yn)! Keep up the good work!

    Another thing I like about these books is the complete lack of sex scenes. If I wanted to read soft porn I would buy a romance novel! Why other fantasy/occult type authors feel the need to fill pages and pages with unneccessary, expicit sex is beyond me. Characters can have personal relationships without us watching their every move in the bedroom!...more info
  • Pretty good series
    This series of books isn't bad. It sort of depends on what you're looking for. This volume hangs in there with the others. There are of course some weaknesses, this isn't great lit, ot high fantasy, but it's good adventure reading.

    I like some urban fantasy, the problem with a lot of it is that (for me) it's heavy on romance and light on story. Normally I detest "non-monster" vampires for example. But the vampire girl-friend here is handled well and not some "extra-tragic" romantic victom.

    So far despite a few draw backs I like this series of books pretty well. At least well enough to try the next....more info
  • Very disappointing addition to the series
    I loved the first three books in this series, and was excited to read the 4th book, especially when I learned about that half of it would be told from Niko's point of view. But I was extremely disappointed. The story of Cal and Niko has, at this point, lapsed into nothing more than two guys running around New York killing monsters. The development of the characters just wasn't what it was before. I didn't feel like the two of them were learning or growing at all. It felt to me like the characters (the reason I read the books) were put on the back burner, and pages and pages of katana-swinging, bullet-flying, monster slashing blood and gore took it's place. So, if you're reading it for the action, then it probably fits in well with the rest of the books. But if you're reading it for the story of Cal and Niko, I feel you will be disappointed....more info
  • Hopelessly addicted
    Rob Thurman captivated me with her first book, Nightlife and I've been addicted ever sense. Her characters are easy to fall in love with so much so that I feel hurt when they hurt and I laugh when they laugh. The humor gets me laughing every time I reread these books (and believe me, I reread them often) and it feels good to read something this refreshing. I was a little disappointed that there weren't as many true "life and death" scenarios as there were in the previous books. I really look forward to scenes like in Nightlife, where Niko is forced to kill his only brother to rid him of the demon possessing his mind and body, and in Madhouse, where the evil Sawney Bane takes a bite (literally) out of Cal, inflicting serious damage to his nervous system.
    I also hope that this isn't the true end to the Auphe. We've seen that they are a resilient species-refusing extinction time and time again-and are truly terrifying "bad guys." To see them go at this stage when there are at least three more books to the series makes me somewhat sad (crazy, I know). But their type of twisted evilness is so hard to come by in books now-days and I want more!
    Because of the difference in the way this book was written compared to the first three, I was hesitant to start it. Switching from character to character each chapter is nothing new to an experienced reader like myself, but having the switch happen in the fourth book of the series threw me off a little. However, after reading Deathwish, the different style was something I think we as readers needed, not having much experience with Niko's character as we have Cal's. It was, in my opinion, an interesting, but successful choice in style that succeeded in bringing to life Niko's character, making him easier to connect to on a personal level.
    Knowing that there are three more books (at least) to come gets me excited every time I think about it. I only wish I didn't have to wait so long before they come out. I find myself checking Rob Thurman's livejournal often to see if any more updates on the future Cal and Niko tales has been released. I look forward to her new Trickster's novels, though Cal and Niko will always remain #1 on my top favorites list. Because of that, I'm really hoping that Thurman will be able to create more amazing books for us that continue long after the planned 7th.
    ...more info
  • Who needs Chick Slayers when you've got the HTOH??
    I found the book to be great. It can stand alone, so it doesn't take place immediately after book 3. It has all the snarkiness that we adore. Honestly though, if you're a fan of the Supernatural TV series, you'll LOVE this series!! Rob Thurman is an excellent writer who can capture your attention and hold it throughout the book. GO READ this book NOW. Your life will be better afterwards. ^_^...more info
  • Awesome series!
    I love this series, and it keeps getting better and better. This time around, the author shook things up a little with the format. The first three books were all told from Cal's point of view, which worked just fine. Deathwish, however, alternates between Niko and Cal as the narrator. I'm of two minds about this - on the one hand, it was very cool to see the world, and in particular Cal, through Niko's eyes. He loves Cal unconditionally and that was great to read first hand. It also added a lot more humor as we saw how clearly they understand each other (and Niko's positive reinforcement of Cal with "unhealthy" food was very funny). On the other hand, it was sometimes difficult to remember who was speaking and I found myself flipping back to the chapter start to see which brother was talking. Since they are often talking about the same events, they're both men, they refer to the other as brother and know the same people, readers need to be careful of the nuances to differentiate, especially after hearing only Cal for the last three books. I think overall, the benefits are worth the extra attention and would like the new format to continue.

    The plot was very suspenseful as we learn that not only do the Auphe want to torment Cal, they have a new plan that has Cal and Niko contemplating drastic measures to ensure it doesn't happen. Though the Auphe are the main danger here, a subplot involving Promise's heretofore unmentioned daughter Cherish, a vampire ex-lover and a ruthless hunter consume most of the book - and shakes up Niko's relationship with Promise. We also get to see Niko lose his cool, and show just how deadly he is. The best development was the maturing of Cal, and Niko recognizing it. The two brothers disagree more and Cal takes a stronger stand on issues, even overruling Niko. The books have always been blatant about how protective Niko is of Cal - yet here we see firsthand that the reverse is true. A very small plot twist at the end actually surprised me! All our favorite characters are here, Robin, Delilah, and even Mickey.

    The conclusion was very satisfying, while still leaving room for further adventures. Though I am disappointed that Thurman's next book will start a new series with a different, female, protagonist (I want more Cal!), I am also excited to see where she goes with a heroine. In any case, the author has earned a loyal fan in me and I'm anxious for more, Trick of the Light: A Trickster Novel (Trixa). Highly recommended!...more info
    This has to be the best in the Cal Leandros series. For those who have read the previous book, I think this one will blow your mind away. What is best about the book is that you are able to read it through no only Cal's point of view but also Niks. Her depeciction of the charachters and what they have to go through will leave you with an incredible rush and excitement. You will never feel so devoted to two characthers ever in your life, until you read the Cal Leandros series.

    As I have posted in my previous reviews.
    The Cal Leandros series just keeps getting better and better. If you have not read any of the series I highly recomend you get them all.I personaly dont think you will feel to lost if you read this one first. The author, Rob, does an amazing job at recaping what has happened in the last books. So start reading, and when you are done, go back to the beginning of the series.

    Its got an entirely new world of mythology. The story centers around this two brothers and their friends. I love the way the author focuses on family and friendship while of course heading the charachters in a world of non stop action, drama, angst, and some good fun and loving. It has everything you could ask for.

    Those of you fans of supernatural. I can guarantee you will LOVE THIS BOOK...more info
  • An amusing fourth entry to Cal's World
    It's hard to run from yourself. Or at least the part of you that's more monster than man. Cal's and his fully human brother, Niko, have been running for a long time. Just when they think they get a moment to breath and stay in one place, the relatives decide it's time for them to be truely horrified. To top off the homestyle horror, Niko's girlfreind's skeletons are happily walking out of the closet and trying to kill them. Kill it before it kills you, that's been Cal's motto so far, but this time it's not working so well. People keep surviving and he has to make nice with Promise's daughter while Niko has to deal with her ex-vampire lover. Niko calm cool is finally cracking. It's a race to the finish to see who lives or dies.

    In the fourth installation of Cal & Niko's life thus far, we get the introduction of Niko's point of view. Cal is still lazy and surly, but now we learn that his rock, Niko, isn't as stable as we were led to beleive. Niko is complex and honorable. His only problem? He lives for his brother, just as Cal lives for him. A true, one without the other wouldn't be as good. I loved it. We get a lot more of Promise's history and poor Robin is forced into celebacy. He's trying to fight it all the way with little to no success, so surly is becoming his middle name. Add in his new pet and it makes for much sideline comedy. It's a great addition to the series, especially if you enjoy dark urban fantasy. I am more than hooked, I'm addicted....more info
  • Cal & the Auphe - Yay! Promise the vampire - Nay!
    I love Rob Thurman and, so far, I've loved her Cal Leandros book series to death. But this 4th book did little for me.

    What is most appealing about the Cal Leandros book series is the *primary* characters of half-monster, Cal, his human brother, Niko, and last, but certainly not least, their immortal, faun, friend, Robin Goodfellow. When the story focuses on these three, everything just flows.

    With the glut of vampire novels on bookshelves today, I really could have done without another one. So when I began reading this book and realized that a good portion of the story would be centered around my least favorite character, Promise - the vampire, I felt a sinking feeling in my stomach that simply refused to go away. Up until now, her character has spent most of her time on the fringes, but this time she's front and center - all thanks to her wayward daughter, Cherish. The girl is trouble with a capital "T" and the repercussions of her actions will no doubt resonate throughout the rest of the series.

    Fortunately, the vampire and her daughter make up only about half of the story. The other half centers around Cal's dangerous Auphe relatives sudden reappearance - and this time they've got something far worse than death planned for poor Cal! The toll that their presence takes on the brothers is devastating, and presents perhaps the biggest challenge they've had to face yet.

    We also get the opportunity to get not just Cal's point of view, but Niko's as well. They have very different and distinct personalities, so it was fun seeing things from Niko's perspective for a change. Finding out first hand what it's been like for him being burdened - since the tender age of 4 - with the responsibility of a younger, half-monster, brother who is constantly being hunted by his evil relatives was quite an eye-opener. It also goes a long way in helping the reader understand the unique and unbreakable bond that exists between the two. Each is the center of the other's world. They are literally "brothers in arms," and neither will allow anything or anyone to come between them.

    Robin, unfortunately, makes little more than a few cameo appearances here and, aside from some humorous one-liners, he's given little to do. But his presence does help to solidify his loyalty and dedication to the brothers and, in turn, their's to him. Our freaky faun also - as always - gets some play in the romance department, only this time it's hinted that the Playa might actually be getting a little tired of the game. :-)

    As a writer, Rob Thurman rocks! She's fantastically creative and knows how to spin a good urban fantasy adventure. She can make even played out vampires somewhat interesting. But why should she even have to try? Unlike Niko, I seriously hope she's worked all the vampire stuff out of her system. Considering the world she's created with these books, there are so many other, far more interesting, creatures she could focus on.

    Overall, this is far from a horrible read. Simply put, Thurman's talent is too good not to enjoy.

    ...more info
  • Perfect book, Perfect series
    This series is one of the best out! Each book in the series continues to get better and better although it is hard to believe any one book can be better then the previous. I have absolutely no complaints about this book (for the matter I don't have complaints about any book in the series!) This book had a different feel due to a lot more chapters in Nik's Point of View (POV) but it was definitely not a problem. If anything it gave more insight into who Nik is as well as more information about Cal and Nik's childhood. Cal matured in this book and Robin offered wonderful comic relief as always. The plot was solid and there was plenty of character development. The only complaint I have is that I have to wait for the next book in the series. I always believe that is the true testament of a great series, when your only complaint is that you can not wait to get your hands on the next book and feel a little empty knowing that you have to wait a while for it. Another solid book and trust me this series is a must read!...more info
  • Deathwish
    So, the split POV had me worried but really worked. I love the snarkiness of Cal and Niko. Rob, well, what is not to like? My advice, just buy it. I don't think you'll regret it. If you don't have the series, what are you waiting for? I promise you, it's a great ride(read).
    Helen...more info


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