Monday, July 13, 2009

Review: Moonshine

Title: Moonshine
Author: Rob Thurman
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Cal Leandros/Book 2
Published: March 2007

*Spoilers for the first book*

From the back cover~

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...

About six months have past since the end of the first book, Nightlife. Things are getting back to normal or at least as normal as it gets for Cal and Niko. The Auphe, demons who were after Cal, are dead and gone. So without that threat hanging over their heads they were finally able to think about a future that didn't include running. Working as bodyguards and detectives for supernatural beings makes for some interesting clients. It's not exactly safe work but Cal and Niko are not used to safe. It's work they're qualified for and sometimes the pay is even good.

Once again we get the story from Cal's POV and he's as sarcastic and enjoyable as ever. :) Robin Goodfellow aka Puck, plays a larger role in the brothers' lives, he's become a friend of sorts who can usually be counted on in a fight. And Niko and Promise, the lovely vampiress, add a bit of a romantic element that is primarily off page. Promise's developing relationship with the brothers increases their small circle as she slowly becomes an integral part of their world.

Where Nightlife had the world development and back story you would expect of a first book, Moonshine focuses more on the day to day living of the brothers' world. Since they've chosen to stay in New York City they must think more about the mundane things like rent and monthly living expenses. Before there was always that knowledge that wherever they were it was only temporary. But now they have decided to put down roots, not that those roots can't be yanked out if need be.

This time around we get to go undercover with Cal and experience the Kin ~ Werewolf mafia. The Kin are very violent with a strong adherence to survival of the fittest. What's interesting about the werewolves in Thurman's world is that they are not all or nothing type of wolves. Meaning they aren't either in human form or wolf form. There are some weres that will have parts that are human and parts that are more wolf at the same time. This is due to breeding and the idea that the werewolf community has in regards to what makes the best werewolf. I do like the spin that Thurman has added to the weres and she takes it one step further with Cerberus.

Cerberus is one of the head honchos of the Kin. He's also the reason Cal is going undercover. Cal gets a job working for Cerberus and isn't quite sure what to expect when he meets him for the first time.

Cal's reaction to his first sight of Cerberus ~

There were a lot of things to be said about Cerberus, but let's focus on the primary one.

Cerberus was freaky as shit.

As you can see Cal tends to get to the point. I won't say anything more about Cerberus except that Cal was right. :)

The plot is like something out of a detective/crime solving type of story except supernatural beings are the clients and the criminals. And when it comes to supernatural creatures you can never be sure who the bad guys and the good/semi-good guys are. I really enjoyed the story and trying to figure out just who the really bad guys were and how it would end. I also like reading about the different weres that Cal got to know and annoy. He very good with pushing buttons and it's fun to see just how far he'll push. ;)

I'm loving this world that Thurman has created. The character growth continues not only with Cal and Niko but we get to know Robin and Promise even better. I was indifferent to Promise at first but now that she's begun to reveal more I've come to like her. The series is dark and gritty as well as laugh out loud funny at times. Thurman keeps the plot tight and kept me enthralled in Cal's world. After reading Moonshine I couldn't help but continue with the next book Madhouse.

Visit Rob Thurman's website to learn more about this series and her new series, Trickster Novels, starting this fall.

Rating: A-


  1. Hmmm... Leslie. This is the UF series you're liking. It looks as if it's getting better as you go along! I like the idea of 2 brothers. :)

  2. Great review, Leslie :D I got both Nightlife and Moonshine, now I just need to start reading them :) but I'm glad to see that you've also enjoyed the 2nd book!

    (Got Moonshine, because there was only 1 copy close-by ^_^; Didn't want anyone to buy it and then, I would have to order it online)

  3. Hils ~ yes, it continues to get better. I love the relationship between Cal and Niko - very genuine.

    nath ~ the pressure is on. LOL I really hope you like this series. :)

  4. I enjoyed your review, Leslie! It's so much fun to relive reading this series through your reviews. :-)

  5. Renee ~ I've totally fallen for these brothers. :)