Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Review: Trick of the Light by Rob Thurman

Hello everyone :D

How are you doing? Nothing really special with me. I had a relaxing week-end, but it was way, way too short. The problem at work has been resolved, so this week should be much better. I'm currently reading the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan. Thank you Isabel and Hilcia!! As a result, there's a very big chance that I'm heading to the bookstore tonight :P

The month reading-wise has been good so far. My only concern is that I haven't read much romance in the past two weeks... I look at my TBR pile and nothing really appeals to me - and that is scary... so I end up reading fantasy, urban fantasy and YA. Hopefully though the new releases at the end of the month will help :) Another block point I can't seem to overcome is writing my Best and Worst of 2009 post. I'm planning to write two - one with numbers for this blogs and another one with titles and comments for BT. Yeah, might not be happening ^_^; Ah well. We'll see how it goes at the end of the week :)

Trick of the Light by Rob Thurman
published by ROC (New American Library) in September 2009
Now you see it....Now you don't....Now you're history.

There are demons in the world. Monsters. Creatures that would steal your soul. You might hide under your covers at night and pretend all's right with the world, but you know. Even if you don't want to admit it...

Las Vegas bar owner Trixa Iktomi deals in information. And in a city where unholy creatures roam the neon night, information can mean life or death. Not that she has anything personal against demons. They can be sexy as hell, and they're great for getting the latest gossip. But they also steal human souls and thrive on chaos. So occasionally Trixa and her friends have to teach them some manners.

When Trixa learns of a powerful artifact known as the Light of Life, she knows she's hit the jackpot. Both sides-angel and demon-would give anything for it. But first she had to find it. And as Heaven and Hell ready for an apocalyptic throwdown, Trixa must decide where her true loyalty lies-and what she's ready to fight for. Because in her world, if you line up on the wrong side, you pay with more than your life...
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Trixa Iktomi, Book #1

The Story: The blurb is a bit misleading... Trixa does have something personal against demons. Basically, Trixa has been in Las Vegas for the past 10 years for one reason: kill the demon who took her brother's life. In the meantime, she has to make a living so she owns a bar as a facade and deals in information. Aside from her thrusty bartender, Leo, she has befriends two young men, Griffin and Zeke - one's an empath, the other a telepath - who works for the House of Eden... demon slayers under the supervision of angels.

Trixa is close to achieving her goal when she is shown how to find the Light of Life, an artifact she's been looking for years which can completely shield a place from harm. With this bargaining chip, she can find out which demon has killed her brother... However, not only are demons interested in the Light of Life... angels are to and so Trixa will have to tread lightly...

My Opinion: Last year, I read Ms Thurman's Cal Leandros series and really enjoyed it. So when this book came out, I immediately bought it... and then, it joined my TBR pile. I'd say the strength and flaws of the Cal Leandros series are the strengths and flaws of Trick of the Light.

The major difference between the Cal Leandros series and Trick of the Light is that the protagonist is a woman instead of a juvenile male :P As a romance reader, I am more used and I prefer women as the main characters, but I was wondering if Ms Thurman could handle it... and she did. I was glad to find out that Trixa was not a female version of Cal. There's no question that she's tough and that she could rank very high on the kick-ass scale, but it's not the first thing you notice about her. She's also not as sarcastic and cynical as Cal :P Trixa is an interesting character with many, many layers... I don't think we've peeled out all the layers in Trick of the Light and it'll be interesting to see how her character behaves in the next book. The only thing that was obvious from the beginning of the book is that she is much more than what she appears to be. Although interesting, I thought her character was hard to connect to and not that likable. From the storyline, you know that Trixa is a very independent character, but also... hmmm, alone - isolated and that's the way she lives her life.... and this come across very clearly to the readers... and I think the writing style did not help. Leo, her bartender is still quite a mystery and I'm still not sure how to describe their relationship... There's a connection between the two... but is it only friendship or more?

The characters I liked the most were Griffin and Zeke. I thought they were just so cute LOL. Griffin is the one who takes care of things, the one that needs to be needed... while Zeke - he sees the world in black and white, no shades of grey. As a result, he's dangerous. Ms Thurman wrote them in a way they would complement each other... so you can't help but like them :)

The story was okay. A lot was going on and I think it was a bit too complex and confusing. I found it hard to follow at points and I wasn't that engaged. I really didn't care much about all the angels and demons. What I was happy to find out though is that Trick of the Light takes place in the same world as the Cal Leandros series... we're just adding demons and angels to all the paranormal creatures. I liked the references to Robin Goodfellow and I'm hoping for a cross-over of the two series in the future :D

My biggest problem with Trick of the Light was the writing. While I enjoy Ms Thurman's books, the writing always causes me a problem... It's not that the writing is bad, only her books are tedious to read ^_^; and as a result, take a long time. I know that "enjoy" and "tedious" are two words you don't often go together to describe something... but really. The same happened when I read the Cal Leandros series. Hilcia thinks that it's do to long internal monologues and she is definitively unto something... Well the internal monologues in Trick of the Light are even longer ^_^;

However, I'm really happy that I persisted because the ending was definitively worth it :) The twist at the end saved the story for me. Sure, there was some foreshadowing throughout the book, but it was still a surprise for me :D

Grade: C. Trick of the Light was an interesting book, but so far, it cannot compare to the Cal Leandros series. Still, I'm going to look for the second book when it'll be released :)

*You can go here to find my reviews for the Cal Leandros series.


  1. I wish I liked Urban Fantasy more. I buy it from time to time but I'm just not drawn to it. After reading the first little part of your blurb I knew there was too much going on here for me. Too bad. :)

  2. Just got Nightlife from the library after hearing about it from a couple places. Looking forward to reading it!

  3. ...the ending was definitively worth it :)

    I'm so glad to hear this because I only got about 80 pages into this one. I haven't given up on it yet and your review gives me some hope. Thanks!

  4. Nath, you know how much I'm enjoying the Leandros series, but I'm a bit reluctant to pick this one up for now. I think I'll wait until the next book comes out. :)

    I find it interesting that this series takes places in the same world as the Leandros books, though. I'm now wondering if the world building is going to mesh well or if it's going to be conflicting. Hmm....

  5. What are you looking forward to at the end of the month?

    Sometimes you just have to read what appeals to you at the moment rather force yourself to read what you're used to!

    I'm curious to see what you pick for Best and Worst of 2009. I can't do it, too much brainstorming on my part. 2009 was a new year as far as keeping track of monthly reads, buys, and reviews so baby steps for me. Lol!

  6. Tracy - If you're not drawn to it, Tracy, just don't force yourself :)

    I like them because they usually keep the same heroine/hero and there's usually a romance thread.

    Trick of the Light wasn't the best UF book... but if you want some recs LOL.

    Mollie - I hope you enjoy Nightlife Mollie :D I thought it was pretty good :D Deathwish though... that one is great :D

    Leslie - Let me know when you're done reading it Leslie!! :D Want to know what you thought of it :D

    Hilcia - Yeah, I think it's wise to wait for one or two other books... just see how it goes.

    I do wonder though, since the next book in the Cal Leandros' series is a roadtrip, I wonder if they'll go to Las Vegas.

    Well the fact that angels exist is not really surprising, given the peris right (Isiah). The explanation she gave was okay... but will have to wait a few more books to see if it really works out.

    Tabitha - LOL, what's up with all the nicknames!? :)

    Hmmm, I have 2 Kay Hoopers at the end of the month (Blood Ties and Serena's Web), Angel's Peak by Robyn Carr, the new Kristan Higgins (it has a Feb. 01 release date, but it'll be out b4, I'm sure of it). Cinderella's Deal by Jennifer Crusie (that's a re-issue that I don't have)...

    I know what you're saying... so that's what I'm trying to do. Reading what floats my boat :D

    I might do the post this week-end. I still don't know ^_^;

  7. Oh, haha. I hadn't realized that I signed into my blogspot account! The account is inactive so I rarely ever use it but I think it's linked to my gmail so that's why I'm automatically signed in?

    I'm also looking forward to Kristin Higgins new release and Jennifer Crusie's re-issue. I've never read Kay Hooper though I've seen her books around alot!

  8. Tabitha - LOL, luckily, I know who you are :) And yes, blogger is linked to gmail, so you can automatically be signed in :)

    The Kristan Higgins showed up at the bookstore already!! Don't know if I should wait for the Jennifer Crusie re-issue too though... sigh.