99 Following

book reviews forevermore

Goodreads refugee and wordpress blogger


“The more I read, the more I acquire, the more certain I am that I know nothing.”
― Voltaire

Madhouse - Rob Thurman Another dark entry into the Leandros series, this time focusing on the pursuit of mass murderer Sawney Beane the Redcap, and on the mysterious attempts to assassinate Robin Goodfellow. Cal is less despair-ridden and more sardonic, which is a welcome relief in an overall grim story. I know the wisecracking narrator can be overdone, especially in the UF genre, but it seems appropriate here. This is Cal talking, the one who's been kidnapped, had his personality damaged, been trained to violence and known no loving connections but Niko. His flippancy is part of a picture of emotional damage and distance, and one of the enjoyable developments in Madhouse comes when he realizes the extent to which his inner circle has broadened and his emotional risks have increased. Even though the books are action-oriented, there is quite a bit of emotional development as well. In fact, there will be a... hug. As usual, the brother relationship is well done, with moments of being swatted upside the head standing in for pats on the back, and threats of violent training replacing kudos. School of hard knocks gone exponential. Although tracking down Sawney is what drives the story, it's the side characters that kept me interested. We witness complicated interactions between Ishiah the peri and Robin; Promise the vampire assists them with their search; Delilah the wolf gets involved in the search for fun and money. Hints abound at their own complicated pasts; all are fascinating additions to the cast. Thurman's mythology and monsters are always interesting as well, and we meet another boggle, and her almost endearing brood, a pack of spider-women and a Valkyrie among others. I thought Thurman did a beautiful job of developing complexity in her depiction of a boggle, one of the monsters. In a more uplifting development, Cal finally gets laid, after turning down Robin's first two matches. "She may--may try to eat you afterward, but it's rare... Only if she she finds you very, very charming, and with your personality, I think we know what the odds are on that."Overall, it's a bloody story--how could anything centering on a mass murderer not be?--with too many descriptions of mutilated bodies and eviscerations to be a truly great book for me. People who aren't bothered by horror will likely be untroubled by it.