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WesternSFA
Slashback
by Rob Thurman
Roc, $7.99, 337pp
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Cal is having an identity crisis, as in he’s identifying more and more with his demonic/monster heritage, feeling less and less connected to his eroding humanity. Whatever soul he has left is tired of the struggle for integrity. At the root of his fury and despair is the knowledge that his very existence puts his older brother Niki continually at risk and has repeatedly brought danger, death and loss into Niki’s life. So Cal courts trouble, both at the supernatural-clientele bar where he works and on the dark streets of New York .

In this, the 8th in the Cal Leandros series of urban fantasy, crucial back story finally gets told, paralleling current events in the lives of the two brothers, and some radical revelations give this story the literary equivalent of 3-D treatment. And of course there’s the irrepressible Robin Goodfellow, Puck, whose shrewdness is exceeded only by his lewdness.

Slashback is much, much darker than most of the UF out there, but that means that the moments of radiance mean that much more. This is serious, carefully crafted storytelling, with a big emotional payload. ~~ Chris R. Paige

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