Caleo Anima was born, seventeen years ago, on a freezing cold day. But he didn’t get that name until a good six months later, when he was adopted by his grandmother. Caleo lives at the Purple Rose Inn, together with his cousins Jack and Jillian, and his grandmother who owns the Inn. Life is good. Or, it would be… if people would stop staring at him, would stop bullying him. With his snow white hair, and skin that is only a grade darker, Caleo stands out. Being gay doesn’t help either.
Caleo is in the middle of a test at school when the news breaks that the President has been killed. All students are to go to the Auditorium so that they can watch the news at it develops. Instead of following the rest of the students, Caleo heads off to find Jack and hides in one of the bathrooms when he sees two of his teachers coming down the corridor. From that moment on, life will never be the same. Or safe.
‘Caleo’ is the first book in a new series, called ‘Leech’, by James Crawford. As a fantasy novel, Caleo stands out from the crowd with a nice spin on the genre. The location and setting are good, with some interesting places that I would love to vist, and the characters are well-developed. Some of their decisions might not be smart, or clever, or wise… nor should they be. Caleo, Jack and Jillian are not world-weary adults; they are seventeen. And, yes, even some of the decisions made by the adult characters might not be the best ones. It is something that makes James’s characters all the more believable.
As I was preparing this review, I was asking myself what I would rate the story. And that wasn’t so easily answered. I love the cover, that part gets 5 out of 5, so that decision was quickly made. However, I cannot give Caleo 5 out of 5. No matter how much I think that the story is well worth it. There are just too many editorial issues that niggled me. But that was the only thing that bothered me… and then I remembered: it is not something I have to worry about; I haven’t rated any of the books I have reviewed. If you like the fantasy genre, Caleo is a very worthy recommendation.
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 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.