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Madhouse (Cal Leandros, Book 3) by Rob…
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Madhouse (Cal Leandros, Book 3) (edition 2008)

by Rob Thurman

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5221919,378 (3.95)10
Member:Cobscook
Title:Madhouse (Cal Leandros, Book 3)
Authors:Rob Thurman
Info:Roc (2008), Edition: First Edition, Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:2012 reads
Rating:***
Tags:Urban Fantasy

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Madhouse by Rob Thurman

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Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
Holy cliffhanger hell, that was a doozy.

Other than the last few paragraphs that came out of nowhere and knocked me on the side of the head, the book was rather sedate. Sure, there's a cool plot about a restored and ancient serial killer that's tough to beat, but just like the others in this series so far - nothing feels frantic or particularly suspenseful about it.

I think the main issue is that most Urban Fantasies dip their genre toe deeply into the mystery pool, stimulating the thinking part of the brain as much as the action part. With this series, there's little mystery - most of what is unknown is discovered almost right away, leaving little pause and wonder (no surprise) - so it's basically connect the dots from one action point to the next.

Cal isn't as emo as before, but he's still realistically conflicted, which is fine. He's a unique character and I like his sassy attitude, gritty outlook, normal hormones, and sense of loyalty. Niko still hasn't grown on me as he's too perfect and paper pure, but he's okay as a background and their brotherly bond is still fitting. Promise is still kind of lackluster, but Robin is - as always - a fun character bomb that was tossed into the group.

The villains were brutally vicious and hard to conquer, but I knew they were be bested in the end so there's just wasn't enough tension to raise the rating. You could have put in any other antiquated serial killer and had a similar feel of rush and story. It was creative to use who the author did (I won't spoil it), but I think the issue is what I explained about -the way the world goes about sending out these signals. It's a little redundant.

I'll still continue with the series - the author writes well, dialogue rings true, the world-building is filled with bizarre fantastical creatures and powers. And of course after that cliffhanger - I have to see that the demented starter race may have come back to finish the job.

( )
  ErinPaperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
Still struggling with his Auphe-ness, half-human Cal and his brother Niko are just beginning to get their agency off the ground. Their latest job, tracking down who swiped a serial killer's ashes from the Met, doesn't seem too tough - until it turns out the serial killer stole himself. Sawney Beane is back, and he's hunting...

Comes with bonus malevolent, basement-dwelling mummy. What fun! ( )
  SunnySD | Jul 18, 2013 |
Damn Rob Thurman. She is responsible for many of my lost hours of sleep in the past couple of weeks alone. She writes well and knows when to stop a chapter so you have to keep reading the next one. Her characters are engaging and tug on my emotions even if they’re a bit unrealistic. There’s action and drama and the story moves along at a brisk pace, there is lots of bloodshed and characters on the verge of death. (I admit, I have very emotionally juvenile tastes in that arena.) She even shares a name with an extremely respected father in my field of study in grad school.

This is just like the others in the series and just as good. I've been plowing through these and I don't know what I'm going to do when I reach the end. ( )
  maybedog | Apr 5, 2013 |
Damn Rob Thurman. She is responsible for many of my lost hours of sleep in the past couple of weeks alone. She writes well and knows when to stop a chapter so you have to keep reading the next one. Her characters are engaging and tug on my emotions even if they’re a bit unrealistic. There’s action and drama and the story moves along at a brisk pace, there is lots of bloodshed and characters on the verge of death. (I admit, I have very emotionally juvenile tastes in that arena.) She even shares a name with an extremely respected father in my field of study in grad school.

This is just like the others in the series and just as good. I've been plowing through these and I don't know what I'm going to do when I reach the end. ( )
  maybedog | Apr 5, 2013 |
As both reviews of the previous books in this series show, I am a big fan of the Cal Leandros books. I won't go over old ground here, needless to say both previous books are excellent and this novel continues this trend. This book starts off in a similar vein to the last one, whereby the brothers are on a job, albeit a relatively minor one. However after completing it they come across a number of bodies hanging in the tree's. This starts them off on the trail of Sawney Beane, a legendary Scottish serial killer from the 15th century. This part of the novel was problem my only gripe, since I live in Scotland and have never heard of him, but the way the novel portrayed him I felt like I should have known such an important part of Scottish history. But that is only a minor issue, not something that detracted from my enjoyment of the novel.

There is a lot of fleshing out of characters here. Cal is currently working in a pub for other wordly creatures called the ninth circle, for a peri called Ishiah. Ishiah has a past relationship with Robin Goodfellow, and slowly we learn more about Goodfellows past through Ishiah. A sub plot deals with a mistake from Goodfellows past catching up with him, and we get to see some of his darker side. Some hints are made to Promises past as well, but nothing too revealing. But you can't help but get the feeling that more is still to come in future novels. Some of Goodfellows attraction to Niko is hinted at too, as there are a number of similarities between Niko and Ishiah.

And Caliban begins to experiment with his ability to create portals. Mostly with bad results, but we begin to get a sense of the power he has access to. And also the danger of it. This is one of the things I like about Rob Thurmans novels, she consistently drives the characters forward, bit by bit, and we get to see them change from novel to novel. I also love the way she creates fantastic creatures, some of whom are based on popular mythological creatures, i.e. the Auphe and elves, and Abbagor the troll. This novel introduces us to the peri, another fantastic creation, who closely resemble Angels. However, as per Rob Thurmans usual, they are nothing like angels. Except in appearance. And of course Cal's trademark witty pessimism is back. There is also the return of a particular favourite of mine, Abbagor, and I suspect based on the encounter here and the ending of the novel he will be back again, perhaps as an ally? Although that is purely speculation on my part.

Sawney Beane makes a good villian, just the right mix of crazy, violent and unkillable to make you really hate him. After the slight cliffhanger ending of the previous novel some important decisions are made in Georgina and Cal's relationship. It was about time too, however the relationship probably went in a direction most readers weren't expecting. And speaking of cliffhanger endings, this was a huge cliffhanger. I won't spoil it, but you will find yourself needing to read the next book, straight after. And that is no bad thing. It is the start of something I had suspected was coming, but was taken aback by the novel ending on this note. But really all it did was get me so excited about the next novel.

I would thoroughly recommend this novel, along with all the others in the series. I count myself as a huge fan. ( )
  NickDevonald | Oct 24, 2012 |
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As always, for my mom
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I hated kidnapping cases. Hated them with an unholy passion.
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Book description
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.
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Cal Leandros is only half-human. His father's dark lineage is the stuff of nightmares-and he and his entire otherworldly race are after Cal.

(summary from another edition)

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Rob Thurman is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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