Chimera (Chimera #1) by Rob Thurman
After reading Cal Leandros book #1 Nightlife, I came to truly love Rob Thurman's style of writing and quickly ate up Nightlife and turned my sights on Chimera. Russian Mafia + Scifi elements + two great leads/brothers + action action = WIN! This book read like a scifi action thriller movie that it made it hard to really walk away from this book or even trying to sleep without wanting to peek at just one more page... Stefan Korsak saw his brother taken ten years ago. To this day, Stefan still holds out hope that his brother Lukas is still alive and is willing to put everything he has into finding him. Working on the low rung of the Russian Mafia , which he and his brother were born into by right of their father. But Stefan never wanted that life for either himself or his brother, but he's willing to do anything even kill to have his brother back. When word comes to him his brother is still alive, Stefan finds his brother is a sort of medical facility, one where children much like Lukas are kept and changed, altered into deadly weapons that kill. Worse, Lukas now Michael doesn't even remember Stefan, as they escape both learn to trust in one another and try to survive those whom wants Michael back and the mafia who wants Stefan dead. Chimera had me from page one. Rob Thurman has a way of getting into her characters head and quickly getting the reader attached to the character. With her trademark humor- Stefan comes across as kinda hard with at times a very dark sense of humor about himself and that around him. Rob plays with the fine line between good and evil with Stefan and what he would do to protect his brother, with the balance of his own morals and pulling the trigger add to this of wanting to keep his brother's hands clean of blood. Instead of the older brother being the serious one Stefan takes the joker role, as Michael who has never stepped out into the world and even saw everyday things he's pretty serious, but not without his own ironical sense of humor that at (many) times puts Stefan in his place and vice versa. Michael was a tad harder to life, as he was like a doll then a sullen child and later a child with eyes open in wonder to the world and a growth of trust and love for his brother. It was beautiful to see the change in Michael and sad to learn more about what he went through and his lack of even the human touch of affection. Micheal has alot to deal with in a shirt amount of time, and even has his own moral code he carries that conflict with Stefan but show how Michael is still his own person. If your a fan of RT's Cal Leandros novels, you'll enjoy the brother relationship between the two and how the love of family goes leaps and bounds. Both brothers try to protect one another, but are not superhuman- and do get hurt- poor Stefan more then Michael due to Michael's "strengths" I did greatly enjoy the story line with an added Russian Mafia element with two characters whom have Russian heritage without being all over the top badasses without going all stereotype. The scifi elements were also a great bonus without going hardcore science, but more in the realm of everyday theories, and scary scenario. Unlike Cal Leandros with it's horror, much of Chimera is full of action with bullets flying and the brothers trying to keep themselves bullet hole free. The baddies were baddies, and those whom you think would be an ally may or may not be as good as they seem. There was some weak points in the novel with the lack of depth to the characters that came much later then earlier or in bits and pieces which I would have liked a tad more. The baddies were baddies, which was okay with me, but the mad scientist was a tad OTT, but still all in good fun. Rob Thurman just keeps winning me over with her writing style and humor, I can't wait to get my hands on more of her novels! With Chimera easily being on my keeper shelf!