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The author, Rob Thurman, is an example of Moustache de Plume. She has also written the novels Trick of the Light,Grimrose Path,Chimera,Basilisk, and All Seeing Eye. The first two are set in the same universe as the Cal Leandros stories.Now has a character sheet under construction.Contains examples of:
Always Save The Brother. Cal and Niko frequently display this trope. The world had better hope it doesn't come to a choice between it and one of the Leandros brothers.
A Man Is Not a Virgin: Cal's losing of his virginity (more specifically, who he will allow himself to boink) is a plot point.
Antagonistic Offspring: Cal counts, seeing as he would like nothing more than to see his paternal race dead. Of course, seeing as 'Axe Crazy' is a wholly insufficient understatement to describe the Auphe, we cheer him on every step of the way.
Batman Gambit: Delilah's solution to her pack demanding the death of Cal. Her Alpha is dumb enough to believe that a girl can't handle killing a guy. Then she sics Cal on them, knowing that Cal is more badass than her pack.
Berserk Button: Cal and Niko are each other's. Mess with one brother, and the other will come after you. Also, don't hit on Niko in front of Promise.
Black Speech: The Auphe language. Cal learned it during his two-year stay in the Tumulus but the ability to speak it is buried in his suppressed memories and only comes out very rarely and only in very bad situations.
Despair Event Horizon: In every one of their past lives, when either Cal or Niko dies, the other always soon follows. Sometimes it's direct suicide by the survivor's own hand. Other times, the survivor becomes a Death Seeker out for revenge. Their present life is no exception, as illustrated by Niko going coldly and suicidally berserk when he's tricked by an illusion of Cal's bloody corpse.
Disappeared Dad: Whoever Cal's dad is, he and his race have been keeping tabs on Cal forever. Also, Niko's dad took off before he was born. And Cherish's isn't even mentioned. It's noteworthy for Cal, for killing his "dad" during his escape from Tumulus, and then for Niko, for killing most of the rest of the Auphe and all of the males, thereby deadending that genetic lineage of evil in the climax of Nightlife.
Domino Revelation: If the Auphe weren't bad enough all of the other weird monsters like the Goat Sucker show up or are often mentioned.
Gold Digger / Black Widow: Promise has had five rich, elderly, now-dead husbands. Black Widow is most likely a subversion since (a) she's a vampire and would outlive them anyway, and (b) given that she's a generally nice person, she probably made their last few years enjoyable.
Niko would burn the world to protect his brother. The only reason Cal ever gets near to any combat is because Niko is a firm believer that the only way to be ready for combat is to actually participate in it.
Cal reciprocates the sentiment just as strongly. And considering he's slowly slipping into a Sociopathic Type VAnti-Hero over the course of the series with Niko as his sole Morality Chain...the question isn't really if he kills you, but how much he'll make it hurt before he does so.
Ladykiller in Love: Robin after getting involved with Ishiah considers monogamy.He puts the word "monogamite" on his business card—along with the number for the suicide hot-line, which Robin figures everyone will need when they learn he is no longer available.
Laser-Guided Amnesia: The plot of Blackout involves Cal getting a case of this from repeated! Nepenthe spider venom.
Our Angels Are Different: Cal believes that the peris and the Greek gods with wings are probably the origin of stories about angels. Given that peris are winged humanoids and that Cal's peri boss, Ishiah, can not only seemingly appear out of nowhere but owns an actual flaming sword, he might have a point.
In Slashback, we find out that peris are former angels who quit heaven for Earth.
After all, the Auphe were where the elf myth had started and if you took away the hundreds of needle-fine metal teeth, the scarlet eyes, the black talons, shredding jaws, nearly transparent skin, and a raging desire to destroy humanity, then I guess you were close enough. The pointed ears were the same, right?
Our Werewolves Are Different: Particularly the ones who got bred to be more werewolf-y. And Catcher, who lost the "were" part of that entirely.
Also, according to one of the Wolf characters, they aren't humans who can turn into wolves. It's the other way around:
"We were wolves first. We started that way. We evolved as wolves and along the way a mutation did occur. We did split from the primary race...but that primary race was wolf."
Our Zombies Are Different: They're called revenants and they're actually alive, for all that they resemble rotted corpses of adult humans.
Power Limiter: As of Roadkill, thanks to Rafferty, Cal can only open two gates within a period of a few days before he dies. In Blackout, however, Cal implies that he believes his Auphe genetics will eventually override the block. In Doubletake, he turns out to be right.
Precision F-Strike: Cal may love the "F-bomb," but when Niko drops it in Deathwish, you know it's serious. It also goes for Slashback, where Niko even drinks soda and wine in that book.
Reincarnation: Robin knew the brothers in many former lives, recognizing them again in Slashback when he deals with a smartassed 11-year-old Cal. He even asks for the brother or cousin or whoever it is that's tied to him, so he can deal with the reasonable one. He says that Niko was once Achilles and Cal was once his cousin Patroclus.
Retcon: the plot of Slashback is pretty clearly one, newly mentioning something that Cal actually considers worse than being stalked and taken by the Auphe. Also, that the brothers met Robin when they were kids.
Romani: Sophia, Abelia-Roo and the Sarzo Clan. Cal and Niko are half-Roma, not that that counts.
Serial Killer: the plot of Slashback is about Cal and Niko dealing with serial killers, both twelve years ago and in the present day.
On recovering from amnesia, he says that Nik needs his real brother back—"not a Stepford version."
In Roadkill, he refers to Spock: "Thank God I hadn't gotten the pointed ears. Who wants to look like a Star Trek or Lord of the Rings fan boy for the rest of their natural-born lives?"
When speaking of an immortal and extremely angry entity who can destroy all life on earth, Cal, referring to the entity's habit of singing Roma dirges, says, "Maybe he'll hit American Idol and that asshole Brit will humiliate him to death."
When Cal sees a female revenant giving birth, he refers to her as "the size of Jabba, times two." He also refers to Catcher, a werewolf who is stuck in Wolf form as "Chewbacca."
Cal calls being on the run and being in very large wide-open spaces "a Where's Waldo? freebie."
Sibling Yin-Yang: Cal is lazy, foul-mouthed, sulky, not an intellectual, and loves junk food. Niko is a hard-working, rarely swearing, noble, intellectual guy who is a health food snob. The brothers rag on each other for these traits all the time.