Kirsten Reviews: Doubletake by Rob Thurman

, by Kt Clapsadl

Doubletake by Rob Thurman
Cal Leandros #7



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.




Rob Thurman continues the ‘Cal Leandros’ series with the seventh installment, entitled ‘Doubletake,’ which finds the series’ titular character dealing with an absentee father - that of his half-brother Niko, and a meeting of the pucks, yes, all of them. There’s a lot of hijinks afoot and a lottery, but not the kind that any puck would want to win. Robin Goodfellow is back, and he’s not all that happy about his involvement in any of this family’s business. But then, these three never are thrilled to see family, not when they bring so much trouble.

Cal is saddled with trying to keep Niko and Robin’s relatives from causing even more trouble than usual when his own past shows up, and in a typically unpleasant way.

The trick with any long-running series is resolving certain plot elements, while at the same time ensuring that more obstacles are pushed into the protagonist’s path.

In ‘Doubletake,’ the bond between Cal and Niko is one of the most important aspects of the story, and the theme of family is clearly the focus of the book. The stakes are raised when Cal’s humanity, the one thing that prevented him from being unbalanced and the danger that people have assumed he truly is, no longer keeps him in check.

Niko, for all his issues, loves Cal, and often serves as his conscience, and the only moral compass that Cal will listen to in times of trouble. Thurman is aware how much rests on these two brothers, and the story pays equal attention to their fraternal bond as well as the action and danger in which they invariably find themselves.

Some aspects of the book aren’t as strong - the Robin storyline, and the presence of certain characters fell short when compared to Niko and Cal’s bond being tested and their history expanded. However, the book is strong overall, although this story doesn’t hold up as a standalone, so new readers are advised to start at the beginning of the series to catch all the references.

The lesson of ‘Doubletake,’ and the entire series is that blood doesn’t always decide who a person is, but the people that one calls ‘family’ matter most of all.

(Received a copy from the publisher)

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Previous Books:
  1. Nightlife
  2. Moonshine
  3. Madhouse
  4. Deathwish
  5. Roadkill
  6. Blackout


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