SLASHBACK - Rob Thurman
A Cal Leandros , Novel Book 8
ISBN: 978-0-451-46502-3
March 2013
Urban Fantasy

New York - The Present

In New York, a neighborhood exists where humans shouldn't see or visit for their own safety. Here the paien, or supernatural live, with peris (once thought to be angels), werewolves, vampires, and other strange species live. The paien Ishiah owns the Ninth Circle, a bar where Cal Leandros works.

Cal Leandros is half alphe, or monsters also called grendels. These evil beings are now gone from the earth, but apparently alive in other dimensions Cal can reach through creation of gates in reality. A talent he learned when forced to live in the alphe world for two years.

Nik is Cal's older brother. He is the person who raised Cal and loves him. Their alcoholic, often absent and abusive mother had no love for her second son, so Nik took over. Together the brothers earn a living eliminating the most terrifying supernatural monsters, beings of evil incarnate, in bloody battles. Cal and Niks' friend, the puck Robin Goodfellow, acts as mentor and provocateur. Sometimes he offers assistance or helps heal them after their vicious fights. When Cal was eleven he told Nik they lived next door to a serial killer. Today, twelve years later, Cal's boss Ishiah, tells him there is another serial killer in New York, a paien, and one who seems to be targeting the brothers.

SLASHBACK switches between events of twelve years previous and the present throughout the story, the past having grave implications for the brothers' current situation.

Nik is the cornerstone of Cal's existence, a heroic warrior who taught Cal how to use weapons, a loving brother, stoic, and disciplined. Cal is snarky, lazy, and sloppy. He enjoys pissing people off, yet is an amazing warrior due to Nik's training. He knows his dark being is overtaking his human side, and that Nik's love saved him growing up. Now his love for Nik keeps Cal from becoming the unimaginable monster he knows he could become. The terrible supernatural killer the brothers must face may break both of them. In this dark world where friends are few, Cal and Nik's close bonds define their very lives and also create their greatest weakness.

Robin Lee