The Cal Leandros novels, by Rob Thurman
I discovered the first book in the Cal Leandros series, Nightlife, in early 2012 and it quickly skyrocketed to my top 5 Adult Urban Fantasy series. As the tagline reads: Cal Leandros. Half human. Half monster. All attitude.
Life is difficult for a kid whose own mother thinks him such a freak that she named him after the Shakespearean monster, Caliban. There are monsters outside his window and one of them might just be his dad. Young Cal has one thing going for him: An older brother, Niko, who would do absolutely anything to keep his sibling human and safe. Not an easy feat when a teenage Cal is captured by the Auphe and then dumped back into the world a few years older, and with interesting new talents and frightening new urges to content with.
Niko gives up college, takes his brother and flees, but the Auphe are never far behind. Pale skinned, red eyed and with a mouth full of needle-like metal teeth and a hunger for human flesh. Not the kind of family you’d want to bring to dinner.
The brothers end up in New York, where they meet unlikely allies in the form of a vampire named Promise, and the gorgeous, irresponsible, irresistible Robin Goodfellow, both of whom would very much like to get into Niko’s pants. One of them does, but I’m not telling who…
The series stands 7 books strong, with book number 8, Slashback, scheduled for release in March 2013.
|Book 1: Nightlife
Welcome to New York City – a troll under the Brooklyn Bridge, a boggle in Central Park, and a beautiful vampire in a penthouse on the Upper East Side. 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 his entire otherworldly elf race are after Cal. His half brother, Niko, gave up college to keep them on the run for four years, but now the Grendel monsters are back. And Cal is about to learn why they want him. 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…
|Book 2: Moonshine
After saving the world from his fiendish father’s side of the family, Cal Leandros and his stalwart half-brother Niko have settled down with new digs and a new gig-bodyguard and detective work. And in New York City, where preternatural beings stalk the streets just like normal folk, business is good. Their latest case has them going undercover for the Kin-the werewolf Mafia. A low-level Kin boss thinks a rival is setting him up for a fall, and wants proof. The place to start is the back room of Moonshine-a gambling club for non-humans. Cal thinks it’s a simple in-and-out job. But Cal is very, very wrong.
Cal and Niko are being set up themselves-and the people behind it have a bite much worse than their bark…
|Book 3: Madhouse
Half-human Cal Leandros and his brother, Niko, aren’t exactly prospering with their preternatural detective agency. Who could have guessed that business could dry up in New York City, where vampires, trolls, and other creepy crawlies are all over the place? But now there’s a new arrival in the Big Apple. A malevolent evil with ancient powers is picking off humans like sheep, dead-set on making history with an orgy of blood and murder. And for Cal and Niko, this is one paycheck they’re going to have to earn.
|Book 4: Deathwish
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…
|Book 5: Roadkill
Once, while half-human Cal Leandros and his brother Niko were working on a case, an ancient gypsy queen gave them a good old-fashioned backstabbing. Now, just as their P.I. business hits a slow patch, the old crone shows up with a job.
She wants them to find a stolen coffin that contains a blight that makes the Black Death seem like a fond memory. But the thief has already left town, so the Leandros brothers are going on the road. And if they’re very, very lucky, there might even be a return trip…
|Book 6: Blackout
When half-human Cal Leandros wakes up on a beach littered with the slaughtered remains if a variety of hideous creatures, he’s not that concerned. In fact, he can’t remember anything-including who he is.
And that’s just the way his deadly enemies like it…
|Book 7: Doubletake
Half-human/half-monster Cal Leandros knows that family is a pain. But now that pain belongs to his half-brother, Niko. Niko’s shady father is in town, and he needs a big favor. Even worse is the reunion being held by the devious Puck race-including the Leandros’ friend, Robin- featuring a lottery that no Puck wants to win.
As Cal tries to keep both Niko and Robin from paying the ultimate price for their kin, a horrific reminder from Cal’s own past arrives to remind him that blood is thicker than water-and that’s why it’s so much more fun to spill.