Read Caleo by James Crawford Online


Every High School has their social outcasts. The band nerds, the math geeks, the chess club, the girl that chews her hair, but at Butler High, even the creepy nose picker in the chess club is more popular than Caleo Anima. No matter what he did, his pale skin, snow white hair, and piercing blue eyes always made him an easy target. He used to think that the only way thingsEvery High School has their social outcasts. The band nerds, the math geeks, the chess club, the girl that chews her hair, but at Butler High, even the creepy nose picker in the chess club is more popular than Caleo Anima. No matter what he did, his pale skin, snow white hair, and piercing blue eyes always made him an easy target. He used to think that the only way things could get worse would be if someone found out that he was gay, but that isn't even the tip of the iceberg of problems after a mysterious stranger shows up and changes Caleo’s life forever.Hidden amongst our society, a secret and magical race of people known as ‘Leeches’, have been engaging in civil war for decades. Both sides are desperately searching for a weapon with unlimited power that will give them the advantage they need to rule their world. This wouldn’t mean anything to Caleo, except for one problem...He is that weapon!Forget making it through High School. Caleo has bigger problems! As the search for him goes on, the world is quickly crumbling around him. He's now fighting for his life and the life of what little family he has left. With the help of new friends, he has little time to try and master his newly found powers as he tries to figure out who he can trust, who is trying to use him, and who just wants him dead. One wrong step and being the awkward pale outcast will be the least of his worries....

Title : Caleo
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 11281950
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 294 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Caleo Reviews

  • Mandapanda
    2019-01-20 02:03

    Beautiful cover but it's a shame what's inside doesn't live up to it. This book is under-developed and definitely not ready for publication. The editing is appalling, especially the first 40%. Incorrect sentence structure, mixing of tenses and various other grammatical errors. It was like a rough first draft. It's a paranormal tale that has a relatively interesting premise, Leeches (humans with unique powers who feed off normal humans) are in a battle with two opposing forces. Caleo is the young hero who discovers he is the Angel (ruler and most powerful of all Leeches). There is the faintest hint of an attraction between Caleo and one other character but this story is not a romance. Unfortunately there is a heavy reliance on mis-communication as the plot device. On many, many occasions the main protagonists withhold crucial information for absolutely no reason except as a way for the author to cause conflict. There is also plenty of TSTL behaviour. The book ends with a big cliffhanger and no resolution.I was astonished by the high average rating but I see that these are coming from fellow authors in an Indie Support Group here on Goodreads. For all of them that I could see this is their only foray into an m/m novel. If this is what they consider a 5 star read I would have serious reservations about reading one of their books.I also noticed that an m/m review blog rated the book 4 stars. There has been a proliferation of m/m romance review blogs recently. A lot of them seem to be giving high ratings in exchange for free books and attention for their blog. I think all of this is a lesson for new readers on Goodreads about the importance of finding 'friends' whose reviews are trustworthy and reflect your tastes. I am returning this book to Amazon for a refund.

  • Lynn Worton
    2019-01-28 02:48

    Review 6******WOW! This is a fantastic story! I loved it!Caleo Anima is a wonderful character! He is a warm and loving eighteen year old boy, but because of his pale skin and snow white hair, he is seen as an oddity and is shunned by most of his peers. I think this is very sad! I would love to meet him in real life! Maybe because I'm a bit of an outcast myself, I understand what he is going through! Caleo is a teenager with the usual teen problems (bullies, being ostracised and being (possibly) gay). However, all that pales in comparison to what is about to happen. He is thrust into a hidden war, when he finds out that he has powers that both sides would like to use. Caleo, along with his cousins Jack and Jillian, is thrust into an adventure full of danger and intrigue.I hadn't heard of this book until I was invited to an event on Facebook for the release. When I got my copy, I was completely hooked from the first page! It starts off with an amazing and unusual event that shocked me! I struggled to put the book down after that! This is a completely unique story that pits different camps of "Leeches" (people with special abilities/powers) against each other and humans. I loved the way the story flowed. It was fast paced, but it didn't feel rushed. I loved meeting Jack and Jillian. They are fascinating characters, but I must admit that Jillian came across a bit stuck up and uptight. She loosened up a bit and became more likeable as the story progressed. Jack, on the other hand, I would love as a brother! His sense of humour had me sniggering. He's full of himself, but in a completely likeable way. As the story progressed, I got to meet some other fascinating characters that had me wondering what their agenda was; There's a friend that is an enemy, and an enemy that is a friend! The intrigue of that alone would have had me hooked, never mind the other stuff that happened! The ending has a cliffhanger that made me gasp! I hate endings like this, but I also love them. Cliffhangers are the bane of readers such as myself! The problem with them is that they make a reader want to read the next book right away! I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series, called Jack, as soon as I can!james crawford has written an amazing story that is totally unique and exciting! I am adding this author to my "Favourite Authors" list, and will be on the look out for more of this author's work in the future.I HIGHLY recommend this book if you love paranormal/science fiction/YA genres. - Lynn Worton

  • Micah
    2019-02-11 02:00

    *Detailed but Spoiler Free review*Have you ever read a book that has a good enough Premise, the characters SEEM interesting and you are excited to read but as you read the writing just bothers you? That would be Caleo.After reading multiple 4 and 5 star books, Caleo is 2.5-3 star book at best.1. CharactersCaleo is the title character and the Lead Character.....As you can see by the cover and by the premise, he is a bit albino looking which of course gets him teased mercilessly. However, Caleo is not one to be bullied and he does have a pretty tough personality. Except the things with Caleo that annoyed me were that he just believed stuff too easily.Someone tells you that you are a supernatural being...he questions it all for one sentence and suddenly is like "Okay, please help me." He automatically just believes the first person he met(who did try to attack him) was truly on his side only to discover..wait, this is a bad guy. He was a cool and funny character but he just made dumb decisions.Jack & Jillian(Sigh...really...) are the 2nd and third main characters. Jack for most of the book was just...there. I mean he was one dimensional(I assume since the 2nd book is called Jack, we get it from his POV and possible development). He wasn't bad but he wasn't good. He is Caleo's best friend(And Caleo's crush) and that's really all you can say about him. Jillian was slightly more interesting. She too was a bit one-dimensional....but i liked her sarcastic comebacks and wittiness. She was tough but like her brother, she was just....there. She didn't deserve as anything really except someone to just be in the way.Nolan is my FAVORITE character...He is hot, Muscular, tough and he is blind but he has his own way of seeing and I loved how he was such a bad-ass character that still manage to have enough vulnerability and sensitiveness. He was blind but his power allowed him to see things differently. He swore to protect Caleo no matter what and it became a running joke that caleo has saved his life more than Nolan protected him. Nolan is the best part of this book because his scenes with Caleo were could feel the attraction on Caleo's part while wondering was Nolan merely being friendly or interested. The rivalry with Jack was a bit interesting...and like with Caleo, anytime Nolan shared a scene with Jack, he made Jack interesting.The characters are decent(with Nolan being exceptional) but they just felt one-dimensional and at times stupid.2. The Plot & WritingIt's a pretty simple Plot...Nothing ground-breaking or unique really...There are these people who are leeches who have the ability to sap the energy from other people(think vampires except they don't drink blood) and they each have supernatural abilities. Caleo's power deals with freezing things and Nolan's ability has him controlling water...Caleo is someone who is chosen and seen as the one to stop the civil war brewing..He of course has no idea about his legacy and who he is and the course of the book shows Caleo coming to terms with who he is as a person and a leech and trying to protect his family from those who want to cause him harm.No, the plot is not entirely original but it sounded interesting....and it was interesting. Except the writing felt a bit weak. It read like someone who was writing a fanfic or someone doing something for a creative writing class.Any tension that was built up.....was deflated a paragraph later. For example, Caleo and his friends suffer a terrible loss of someone close to them dying....At what happens. They are sad...for a few paragraphs. It gets more or less forgotten for a few pages or a chapter and then when it's time for the sad part, they suddenly remember "Aw, this person died. I am so sad."This is someone you've known for ages and throughout the course of the go from mourning that person, to making immature jokes, to reminiscing about the person to picking fights because you're jealous your crush is talking to someone and YOU FINALLY decide it's time to mourn again.The sad part is, they still never completely buried or mourned the person. it was just a waste.And this happened quite a bit. A character could feel one way for a few paragraphs and then suddenly have a mood change only to come back to that same mood a few pages later.No consistency....The way the characters spoke sounded like people reading at a dress rehersal as if they were learning their lines.3. OverallThe second half was DEFINITELY miles better than the first half of the book...It isn't a bad book per se and the book was only $ was a good read because the plot was interesting, Nolan is someone i instantly liked and i loved his scenes.In fact Nolan alone scores this book 2.5 Stars...I'm giving it a full 3 stars because the Premise is interesting and plot is good...If you can sort of tolerate the choppy writing, the book is actually a good read for the summer.If nothing else, read it just to see how awesome Nolan is #teamnolan

  • Daesy
    2019-02-02 04:59

    Ok this book seemed good, but I had this urge to go check the reviews for the other 2 books, and wtf....well Idk anymore when I'll read this book, bcs let's be sincere I'M NOT A FAN of what happens in book 3.(view spoiler)[ Caleo sleeps with Nolan? someone gets raped in book 2? Nolan dies? and other crap...> (hide spoiler)]

  • Robert Zimmermann
    2019-02-15 03:54

    After reading the description for Caleo, I thought I’d be in for a great read. There’s a great story to the book that is great for fans of paranormal books. It also has a main character who’s gay. Even in the modern and diverse world of today, this isn’t found in many books (though there’s a growing amount of releases to explore). This was new territory for me and I was looking forward to this change from the “norm.”While I thought the book sounded great, there are aspects that fell flat for me. The main thing was the writing. Even with a great concept to a story, the writing is what’ll hook a reader. I feel that while it wasn’t horrible writing, or anything like that, it was lacking. There weren’t grammar/spelling issues to make mention of, but another round with an editor looking out for word redundancy might have been useful. I found many instances where the same noun was used in one sentence, then the next. This felt awkward and the use of “it” would have felt much smoother and less repetitive. The frequency of this occurrence irked me.There wasn’t as much depth to the characters, even the main characters. I felt I wasn’t getting enough to sympathize with them through all the obstacles they faced. I also thought the reactions/emotions of most of the characters were unrealistic. Without getting into specifics, something big happens, and instead of devastation and an ok, now we need to man-up to survive” reaction…the characters feel bad for a few minutes but revert back to an almost “everything’s ok, our lives haven’t changed drastically” attitude.On the other hand, there were aspects of the story that kept me intrigued until the end. While I didn’t feel it played out as well as it could have, or expanded into (for me) a more enjoyable storyline, it still kept me reading. The variety of abilities the leeches have is great. There are abilities I’ve never thought of before, and in a culture full of superheroes and paranormal characters, that’s hard to come by. I liked some of the characters as well, especially Nolan. His power was great and the complications he brought to the story were also great. The way the book ends was intriguing as well, making me want to see how this story will continue.In the end, this was a good first novel to a series. Grabbed me enough to want to read the second book. crawford, in my opinion, has some things that could be improved or expanded on, but maybe book 2 does just that.

  • Kimberly
    2019-02-17 04:40

    For a first time author that pubbed his own book, I was impressed. A few editorial errors, but after I started really getting into the story, those just seemed to disappear with each chapter into this facinating world that Mr. Crawford has created.A 17 yr. old that has led a hard life b/c of his appearence finds out he's decsended from an ancient race that, when in a life threatening situation, have powers that save their lives. But Caleo is born with these powers thus making him the "Angel" or leader of this race.Such a great concept. Add in teenage angst, being in the closet about his sexuality, trying not to get killed by two warring factions wanting to rule over the others, and learning about a tragic past, well, you have Caleo.I really loved this book. The emotions, violence, and teenage humor all balanced out to bring together a well wrote story that was fast paced, but had enough downtime between the action to let you really get to know all the characters.Mr. Crawford has a great voice and I look forward to reading the next installment in the series. Awesome cliffhanger!! ;)Kimberly

  • Deeze
    2019-02-18 00:44

    I tried but this just didn't work for me. The was no realism in the characters. The outcast that is best friends with 2 of the coolest kids yet they don't stick up for him except wait yes they do?. The school announces the president is dead by class then tells them all to go to the auditorium to watch the news? wouldn't it of been better to call them all into the auditorium and told them together? And the teacher ducking into a bathroom to have a quick smoke? Why? played no role in the story as Caleo was already hiding in the bathroom so the teachers part was obsolete.It did have an interesting premise. The leeches theme could of carried this far, but the total lack of believability in the characters and their actions left me too frustrated to read on.

  • Dallas Vinson
    2019-02-13 23:46

    Excellent book, had trouble putting it down. Can't wait to read book 2.

  • Free_dreamer
    2019-02-10 07:57

    Overall rather meh. Didn't particularly care for Caleo and could have used another round of editing...

  • Dennis
    2019-01-26 07:46

    I was looking for a urban fantasy story with a gay main character. And I wasn't disappointed by this novel. The fantastic element in this book doesn't feel really new. People with different extraordinary powers fighting of the way those powers should be used. I felt it was really similar to X-Men stories, even if it isn't the same and a lot of questions about it are hopefully answers in Book 2 or 3. Nevertheless, I liked the way the powers are described and work for the plot.About the urban fantasy part, well it felt more like a dystopia, but I still likes it!About the gay part: Well you know that there is at least one gay character but don't expect any action apart from a lot of description of nudity. Every possibility to describe someone naked or in underwear is used!!I really liked the characters. The main character is likable even if lacking some self-confidence. I really like Jack the adoptive brother of th main character, who I think is the most conflicted. Some side characters are somewhat stereotyped, but that did not really bother me.The plot is full of events and so I could keep on reading without ever having to wait that something new would happen. At some points I even wished it was slower and would give the characters and there relationships more time to develop. That is on of the reasons I gave only 4 stars.The other reason I didn't feel it was a 5 star book is the fight between the different groups of lecchers. I thought the war is confusing and even if it does not have to be black and white all the time, I couldn't make out the motivation of the groups.In the end, I am looking forward to read the 2 book and learn more about Jack.

  • Bonnie Bernard
    2019-01-21 05:06

    I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review...which is to say my copy wasn't fully edited yet. Still, I give it five stars because the story engaged me enough that the few errors I encountered didn't faze me.Caleo is one of those teens many of us can look back on in our own lives and relate to - the lovable misfit without a sense of belonging anywhere. In Caleo's case, the misfit-aspect goes like this - he's unnaturally pale, an orphan, and he's gay. Not exactly a good combination for becoming the most popular kid in class. The author crafted Caleo's story in such a way that we never experience Caleo feeling sorry for himself, but we do experience the trouble his quirks and differences cause and how it eats away at him. Luckily, he has an adopted brother and sister team (Jack and Jillian) who stand up for him at school and with whom the reader quickly feels a kinship. Without them, I felt Caleo would be lost. So...good supporting "actors" there.This book is about Caleo learning of his strange, secret power and how to use it. Along the way, he meets up with several new friends (Nolan is my favorite) and creates a new life when fate deals him a severe blow. The plot is good, the action is hot, and the characters are easy to love. I will happily read the next book when it is ready (I already pestered the author for it).I recommend this book for 13-up, depending on maturity level. Another reviewer mentioned that there are several violent scenes and a couple of torture ones...true, there are. They're short-lived, but graphic. So, keep that in mind. I still recommend it highly to younger audiences though, not only because the theme is YA-based, but because Caleo is someone many teens can sympathize with. Though not all teens experience his particular circumstances, most should easily feel compassion for his outcast status. Good work, james crawford!

  • Will Lutes
    2019-02-19 08:01

    First off: I LOVE THE SERIES as a whole. Can't stress that enough. The characters are engaging and each has a solid voice that rings true to the reader. The premise is a good one and unique as well. The post-apocalyptic tone to the book allows the characters to never feel they have a solid footing so the drama plays well against the backdrop. While I love the relationship that Caleo has with Jack (the two are obviously meant for each other though they struggle with it) I can't help but also feel for Caleo's protector (the greek god like Nolan). This triangle is elemental to the book series (of which this is the first).Now for the problem: The author could have spent some time on the editing. Simple mistakes happen throughout the book (the worst being misspelled words that aren't really spelled incorrectly they are just so close the actual word the author is shooting for but the misspelled word is another correctly spelled word). This is something a careful second (third, fourth or etc) pair of eyes would have caught. Case in point: the author meant 'stepped inside' but what was in the book 'steeped inside'. (in the second novel in the series he misspells the famous rock band Styx as Stix. This is something a perusal of iTunes or Google would have corrected. Again, this takes the reader out of the moment and stalls the action of the book and it is entirely avoidable). Now, with that said I am fully behind this series to its conclusion (no matter how many books that may be). The premise is good, the characters (esp. the trio of Jack, Jillian and Caleo) are loveable, and the action comes in waves so there are level plateaus before the next round of roller coaster action ensues. Nice job Mr. Crawford. Now just slow down on the release schedule and ensure that the editing is as solid as the premise and characters deserve and nothing will stop this series success.

  • Bookwatcher
    2019-01-26 01:56

    Nooooooooooooooooooo A cliffhanger end!!!!! No wait, book 2 is already out! No need to despair! Starting Jack NOW!!Some words about Caleo, book 1 of the Leech seriesHow many times did you got a book and fear it would be not well written, or have a poor plot? Well, I can tell you this indie writer not only surprises me, but let me spechless!The plot is sooooo complex you will not understand a thing before 35% of the book. You will know everything from Caleo's point of view.. And it's weird... Very weird. From his birth something was different about him, and you have no freaking idea how weirder it will get!A very fast story, non stop action and MANY secondary characters will confuses you always more and more! I loved Nolan, his devotion and courage... I adored Jack... And so on... From a "simple" 17 years boy live to a post-apocalyptic reality... this book keep suprizing me, and in one word i would say It's... fantastic! Ok, will not spoil saying moreAnd can't write more... Must go, get book 2 and keep reading! No way in hell I will stop now!!!

  • Rogue
    2019-01-29 05:41

    A young adult story that has been written by a young adult, which makes a refreshing change. The prose is inexperienced and immature, BUT that adds to its charm, as there are no long winded, over-descriptions. The story is pure brilliance, and while readers will find it similar to recent movie storylines (X-men etc.), the difference is that Caleo himself stands out in a crowd and is not part of a group that stands out from the rest. The character is gay, but you don't really get that until over halfway through the book, and the references are mild and more the kind of struggles with feelings every teenage lad goes through, again adding to the books charm. The characters are strong and well rounded, despite the lack of in-depth description, because the author allows the reader to use their imagination and they draw you in before you even realise you have been.. I think this would make a great movie.

  • Lee Rey
    2019-02-17 05:44

    A YA series with a gay male lead, what's not to love. Caleo is the outcast and bullied at school and has a crush on his best friend and almost brother Jack. His life is changed drastically when he is told that he is the Angel, the leader of the Leeches that is born to rule rather than be turned into a Leech. However, nothing comes to easy for Caleo, he is hunted down by 2 sides of a Leech war: those that want to use him while others believe he is a false leader that needs to be silenced. His life is turned upside down when the Leech attack the president and a bomb is set off near his home. He meets an ally Leech named Nolan who helps him and his family to safety away from the danger. But dangers follows them and Caleo must fight. Unfortunately he loses. This book ends with a major cliffhanger and makes you want to pick up book 2. I will say there were a few grammatical erros, but did not take away from the story

  • Ann Snizek
    2019-01-30 05:47

    I completely enjoyed this book. The character dynamics were powerful and believable, the action was constantly pulling me through the book. I don't remember any spots that really dragged at all. The worst part of it was the ending. No, I'm not going to spoil it for you. I was just upset that it ended.I will say that if James Crawford hadn't ended it the way he did, I would be hunting him down like a Blessed!I can't wait to read the next book!!!

  • Aaron Varner
    2019-02-16 23:49

    I loved this book! While I do enjoy books that deal with being gay, coming out, controversy, etc. it was refreshing to read a book where the main focus was just on the story and not being gay. It was fast moving and I could barely put this book down. I am looking forward to the next in the series!!!

  • Luis Almonte
    2019-01-28 01:00

    Caleo was more than an interesting read - I couldn't put it down! The book kept me guessing right up until the very end, and even then left me wanting more. The beautiful cast of characters and rich dialogue made this read that much more enjoyable and worthwhile. I will definitely be reading the second installment in the series.

  • Mandy*reads obsessively*
    2019-02-02 04:06

    Free on amazon at the moment.

  • Yoru
    2019-02-14 01:59

    I'd been interested in reading this book when I happened to notice a Tweet from the author listing a deal for all three books in the trilogy, signed, as a bundle. Naturally, I couldn't resist, and so now here you have my review and thoughts on this first installment.This book caught me by surprise in ways I wasn't expecting it to. It does have its flaws and I'll mention those at the end, but my criticisms are very few here.Firstly, I loved the story far more than I was expecting to. This is a fast read and it hooks you pretty quickly, which are good things. The characters all feel very, very real and many of them are easy to relate to. If you're someone who enjoys stories that are character-driven, I think you're going to enjoy this one. If you like having a main character who is virtuous at heart but not without very human flaws, then I again state I think you'll enjoy this.Personally I found the set-up, the concept of this world and this race of Leeches, and the progression of the plot highly imaginative and written in a style that provokes cinematic imagery. Again, it isn't without its flaws, but for a debut novel, this is definitely worth a read.What are those flaws I keep mentioning?The first that must be pointed out is that I feel like the book is regularly advertised as having a gay main character in a way it makes it seem as though that is the sole defining trait of the book. It isn't, and the plot summary doesn't hinge on that overmuch, but having that be the sole selling point in advertisements feels like cheap clickbait to me. It works, but I do feel like there could be better ways of advertising the book that mention the homosexual MC without making that the only aspect of the book that gets mentioned. This is more of a nitpick than anything however, so feel free to ignore that.The second is that I feel like the only other thing I see mentioned in advertising about the book is that it's fantasy or magic-based, but it feels closer to science fiction or supernatural genres to me personally. There's nothing wrong with that either, it just kind of came across as misleading while I read.The third is the format. The font used in these books is not at all one that I'm used to (I may have to do some digging later to list here which font style it uses specifically,) so that took some adjusting in order to be able to read comfortably. There are also a few spelling and grammatical errors here and there in the book, but they were pretty sparse for the most part and didn't really detract from what I was reading.The only real issue I had with the story itself was the pacing and the events that happen. The book moves at a pretty breakneck pace between events, but sometimes the events that do get focused on seem somewhat drawn out and at times a little confusing. (I had to read through the last two chapters twice each in order to make sure I had a grasp of what was transpiring.)But those things aside, I definitely enjoyed reading Caleo. It was incredibly different and refreshing, and to that end, I do think it's worth checking out if your interest is piqued.

  • Ulysses Dietz
    2019-02-07 04:09

    Caleo (Leech, book 1)By James CrawfordFour stars Let me start by saying that I’ve already bought the second and third books (“Jack” and “Nolan”) to this series. I’ll follow up by noting that the story is pretty compelling, but as I read I kept thinking “these kids are all acting like jerks,” which lead me to remind myself: this is a young adult series, written for teenagers. Of course they’re going to act like jerks: they’re teenagers. Buried inside this post-apocalyptic adventure fantasy is indeed a classic YA LGBT novel, but I hardly noticed. Right from the start we know that something’s off, because the birth and infancy of Caleo Anima, a boy so pale that he’s meanly referred to as “albino boy” by the jocks who bully him, are anything but normal. As a result, Caleo is being raised by is grandmother (whose name is never given), along with his best friends Jack and Jillian Barely, who were orphaned in their early teens. They have a good life, helping Grandmother run her bed and breakfast, with the usual teenage drama. Jack is a star swimmer and Jillian is gorgeous. Caleo is sad because Jack doesn’t defend him or stick up for him as much as he might. Jillian’s boyfriend Mike is Caleo’s chief tormentor. But all of this becomes moot when a mysterious man called Steve Roberts appears at the inn, and suddenly the kids’ world is turned on its head. Caleo is not a normal boy—and it has nothing to do with the fact that he’s gay. He finds that he is something called a Leech—a human with special powers that are fueled by draining energy from others. The world of the Leeches is deeply factionalized and in turmoil, but has been hidden from the normal human world until now. Caleo, it seems, is something special, and his very existence triggers an internecine war within the Leeches, and unleashes a global war against the human race. My biggest problem with the book is the whole apocalyptic war, which is not very well framed and doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense. It mostly happens at a distance, and all of the action focuses on Caleo and his family trying to survive the local aftermath of the Leeches’ attack. As Caleo begins to discover the extent of his powers, he is guided and guarded by a muscle-bound blind man named Nolan, the brother of the mysterious Steve Roberts. I just tried to focus on the foreground story with Nolan and the teenagers. By the end, I was fairly well hooked, and very much anxious to learn what happens to all of these young people in the next book. There is much of “X-Men” lurking in the background premise, but not in the style of the narrative. This is unlike any YA/LGBT book I’ve read, and the fact that James Crawford has kept the language and action fairly straightforward is what saves it. The writing is not elegant, but it is good enough, and Crawford maintains the tone and watches his grammar. I’m looking forward to book two.

  • Casey Carlisle
    2019-01-24 00:55

    Actual rating 3.5 stars.This book made a place in my heart and nestled there. What a wonderful adventure. It was such a pleasant surprise for a gay themed YA paranormal not to be all about the gay thing. Caleo was a story about a teen discovering and navigating the world of his burgeoning powers, and the political landscape of others like him. It was very X-men-like with warring factions and other people with special abilities.Some aspects of the story-telling really held this book back for me however. The writing style at the beginning felt almost staccatoed. Stuttering along until the story found its legs. As well as the main characters’ behavior and reactions, more fitting to youths around thirteen and fourteen years of age. And then there were some of those overused tropes: The love triangle, the ugly loner main character who turns out to be the most special one of all, the in love with your best friend thing… I was grinding my teeth together. After the first five chapters this story moves along and gets really good. I just would have liked to have seen some of these stereotypical devices switched out for something a lot more dynamic and turn Caleo into something to knock the competition out of the park.The pacing is fantastic after we get over that stumbling first section; and it increases and builds with tension right up to the end. I didn’t want to put the book down. I did get a little frustrated about two thirds of the way through when the story line switched gears and the love interests of our protagonist, Caleo, got a switch-hit in dominance from the narrative. It was literally flipped in a page, and nothing was developed around it. A very weak turning point, or change in perception… I don’t know, it just didn’t completely work for me.I really liked Caleo’s struggle with hiding who he really is from those who he loves: whether it be coming out as gay, or revealing his ability, different people got to see different versions of him. His fears felt very real and motivated a lot of Caleo’s actions. At times he seemed to have bouts of immaturity or even anger that I found confusing, but I’m chalking it up to a testosterone thing… But on the whole he is a likable, relatable protagonist, and I became very invested in his story.Jack annoyed the crap out of me. In the first half of the novel he didn’t seem to care much for Caleo, letting him get in harms way far too much. I’m sure there could have been a more palatable dynamic to their relationship. It seemed like they were mates who looked away when the other was in physical danger. That appearing tough and popular to peers was more important to Jack than saving Caleo from some pretty serious beatings. Later in the second half of the story Jack became enraged and jealous, even over small things, which, effectively being Caleo’s step-brother, was somewhat uncomfortable. So I’m on the fence with Jack, he seems impulsive, flippant and a little unstable.Jillian was everything you’d expect from a pig-headed, yet loving step sister. I was living for her throughout the entire story. As I was Grandma. Both of these women kicked ass.It was also refreshing to see the family dynamic play out in the storyline, they stuck together, had each others back, and did things without question. I was really cheering for them to survive everything that was being thrown at them.Nolan turned out to be my favorite. He has a quiet masculinity that appealed to me. He seemed to respect where Caleo’s head was at and never pressured him. So I was angered when the narrative switched gears and suddenly Nolan was pushed to the periphery. It strongly felt like a storytelling device to give Jack some of the spotlight and fuel a love triangle. I was also annoyed at the continual interruptions, I wanted them to have a break so I could really find out what was going on.Caleo ends with major cliff hangers – I didn’t feel like I got a whole lot of resolution, so, luckily I bought this novel with its two sequels…. It better give me some sort of pay off otherwise I’ll be really angry. The books are fairly short, we don’t get a great deal of answers, I recommend the trilogy as a whole instead of the book as a singular, but only if you sit comfortably with some really overused YA tropes. Great escapism for me :)

  • Sabella
    2019-02-19 04:51

    Though this will sound weird, I am extremely particular about the YA books I read. This one ranks at the top of them and I've already mentioned to my teens that they have to check it out. The author brings this world to life in such a way that you find yourself expecting to see a Leech somewhere. Just amazing and beyond words.

  • Micha
    2019-02-15 03:56

    I like the idea of the story; but it's just not very good writing, is it? I don't get why Caleo yells everything. And his thought process. And the overall story development. A quarter in and it's already painful to continue.

  • John Eli Zuriel
    2019-02-08 07:41

    It had such potential, the narrative. But I found it draggy and a tad boring. The only thing really stopping me from giving it a lower rating is the thing Jack had, which really hit me.But, again. A bore. And I'm pretty disappointed.

  • Casie
    2019-02-20 05:41

    So awesome!This book was amazing! A new and interesting concept that made me extremely excited to read what was gonna happen next! The book just kept getting better as the story progressed. I'm super excited to read book 2.

  • Mike Macauley
    2019-02-04 03:07

    Wanted to enjoy it but couldn't get past the dozens of grammar and editing errors throughout the book. Those errors, coupled with some iffy writing, made me feel like I was reading a rough draft rather than a finished book. Won't bother reading the rest of the books, sadly.

  • Josh Peterson
    2019-01-25 04:44

    Fun read but disappointing conclusion. Fun read for most of the book but the end seemed rather confusing. I did enjoy most of it though.

  • Scott
    2019-02-20 01:02

    Some continuity and grammar issues, but a good start to this "epic". You get a lot of the emotions behind what is happening with Caleo without venturing into "telling". Will read on...

  • Avid Reader Amy's Reviews
    2019-02-09 02:50

    For me the cover sold the book. I loved the colors and that it focused solely on Caleo and his power which is frost. Reading the story it more than met my expectations.There is so much action and drama packed into this book it's insane. A good insane :) The story starts off when Caleo was a baby. Even then he was different. Frosty white but with the bluest eyes. He's not albino he is much more. His life changes when he saves his own life by taking his father's but inadvertently takes his mother's too. This prologue is an awesome set up to the book. Most of the time they are boring and drab but not this one.As the story continues you are introduced to Caleo as a 17 year old. Life for him is okay but it's not the Ritz. He stays with his grandmother and his foster siblings Jack and Jillian. Jack and Jill:) Caleo has a rough time at school. Not only is he being bullied for looking different but also because he is gay. Things change even more for him when he is visited by a guy telling him that he is even more different than anyone else. Things really start to pick up here because this guy, named Steve. Steve isn't who he says he is. I knew the moment he stepped into scene he was trouble. When all hell breaks loose and Caleo and his family are forced to go on the run. They team up with Nolan and others to survive. Nolan tells Caleo that he is from a race of humans called Leeches and Caleo is one too. Caleo is no ordinary Leech, no he is The Leech. He is the one who is suppose to rule them and be their life line in this upcoming war with the Blessed. Nolan was sent to protect Caleo at all costs because he is their only hope of surviving the war. Caleo is such a great character. He comes off as sweet and innocent but when he needs to be he is strong and harsh. Caleo spent his whole life being picked one for his looks and then for his sexuality. Now he is being thrust into the spotlight as the savior of a race he never knew existed. He takes it is stride even when heavy obstacles are thrown his way. Nolan is Caleo's bodyguard but there is more to him. As the book goes on you realize that he is connected to a character who is an enemy. So he has a lot to lose or gain no matter how the war turns out. There is a lot of chemistry between him and Caleo. I think that this is new for Nolan but he embraces his feelings for Caleo.Jack was raised as Caleo's foster brother but they are the best of friends. When Caleo's gift comes out Jack goes into protective mode. I think that he is almost over protective. Maybe he feels that with Caleo truly being different he will now loose him forever and that is why he acts out. Jack wants whats best for Caleo but sometimes it seems like he wants what's best for Jack and that is keeping Caleo near by. There is a lot going on in this book but it doesn't feel over loaded. There is a great build up to a love triangle for Caleo. Exciting. I can't wait for book two. There is more about the book I wanted to say but it gives away too much of the story by saying. All I can say is get the book. The author did a fantastic job in creating this world that you could actually see as you read the book. You become attached to the characters in the story and you feel sad when one dies. He puts great emotion into his writing. crawford's writing was clean and flowed well. He even left you with a pretty good cliffhanger.Overall I loved this book. It was awesome. I definitely can not wait for the next books in this series. I gotta know what's going to happen. There are no sex scenes but some language and violence for that I recommend for ages 15+.I received this book courtesy of the author in exchange for an honest review.