Pros: Book nine and I’m still enthralled!
Cons: I feel like I missed some things
Rating: 4 out of 5
Rob Thurman’s Downfall, book nine in her Leandros Brothers/Cal Leandros series, could see the end of Cal and his brother Niko. They’ve been reincarnated over and over, and they’ve never lasted long. They’re trying to take on Grimm, the only other human/Auphe crossbreed other than Cal. Grimm is much better at creating Gates than Cal is, but Cal can be much more inventive in their uses. It’s up to Robin Goodfellow–who has been friends with the brothers throughout most if not all of their incarnations–to save the brothers from themselves.
Whatever you do, this is not a good installment to start with. It’s wrapping up (or at least bringing together) many threads from previous books, and you really need the background in order to understand it. Personally I think it’s worth hunting down the other eight volumes to read in order; this is an extremely good series.
The narration is split between Robin Goodfellow and Cal. Each one has a very strong voice, and it’s interesting to see Cal becoming more introspective over time… in some ways, at least. It’s also fun to get to see some of the things Robin has secretly been up to–getting inside his head is very useful in that way! Over time there are some monologues in here, but they remain interesting rather than breaking the pacing, probably because of the characters chosen for narration.
I remember that in a previous book I was skeptical of the introduction of reincarnation as a plot point, but I like how it’s handled. I found that it didn’t pull me out of the narrative or interrupt the pacing, and in fact some of the stories added to things.
I do feel as though I missed some of the things leading up to the climax. I may have to read the book again at some point to see whether I can pick them out after-the-fact. Right now it feels a little like a deus ex machina, but I have a feeling that if I’d picked up on more, it would have been fine.
Arson–it wasn’t a compulsion, but it was an entertaining hobby.
As always, I have to recommend the latest Rob Thurman/Leandros book, because the setting is original and fascinating; the characters have buckets and buckets of personality without becoming stereotypes; and the plot and stakes pull me right in!