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

Blackout - Rob Thurman Loved, loved, loved. Thurman has done a lovely twist on the old amnesia device, successfully re-inventing Cal and writing a riveting book. While technically it could be a stand-alone book, it's genius is in the setting of the series and character development.The sarcasm is much less dark and self-flagellating and closer to genuine playfulness--more than once I giggled with Cal's lines like "Sun in the sky, bacon in the skillet, and a cell phone for everyone past the first stage of mitosis." Then there was Miss Terrwyn saying, "You have a mouth on you, don't you? I was thinking you were the quiet sort, but maybe I was only thinking you should be the quiet sort." And Cal's boast of confidence, "While I might have the haircut of a sheepdog, I was one badass mother-effing sheepdog." Or during a fight with a pack of spiders: "The other one fell but dragged itself behind the refrigerator. Wasn't that always the way? Off to the ultimate spider sanctuary." The section with the mummified cats in Robin's house was merited a laugh out loud--"Salome perched on top of that giant refrigerator with dimly glowing eyes crossed in pleasure... It was only right. Every power-mad villain merited minions." It was been torture to put it down so I could do those annoying things like go to work and sleep. The writing has flashes of beauty that I don't often see in the Leandros series, perhaps because it is so preoccupied with the darkness in Cal's life. Cal's re-introduction to Promise deserves mention: "she was more of a marble statue under a cascade of moonlight, smelling like flowers and ivy--the glory of a weeping graveyard angel."I found the plot engrossing and still somewhat unpredictable, even as we knew it would revolve around the returning memories. Cal's memories started to return in fragments but had the surprise of them receding again, both for organic and inorganic reasons. Much better development than the stately pace or sudden return amnesia artifice. Perhaps my only complain is that even on re-read, I'm still not sure about the gestalt moment when Cal pieced together Niko's role in his memory impairment. It seems like a eureka! sort of moment that deserves more reflection, but instead we get cagey hints that Cal has realized something but needs to check it out. That coyness was inappropriate for such high-quality character development . Warning, my star rating is entirely in context of the series--until Roadkill, I've been feeling like I was losing interest in the series. Roadkill gave it a new spark and Blackout set off fireworks.