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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

REVIEW: Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel Jose Older

The first in the Bone Street Rumba series, is a foray into paranormal noir.  Carlos Delacruz is an inbetweener--half dead, half alive--working for the New York Council of the Dead.  He thinks he's unique—until he encounters other entities walking the fine line between life and death.

Eliminating a threat at the Council's behest, Carlos learns that he isn't alone.  Guilt and duty lead him to find the sister of his victim. However, what Carlos discovers is an inbetweener sorcerer who has summoned ngks, a horde of imp-like creatures that consume spirits. If they're not stopped, they'll spread through the city like a plague. Revealing the identity of this man means that Carlos must confront his own life and death. Much remains shrouded in mystery for tale to come.

This was my chance to try a genre I'm not as familiar with. At times Carlos reminds me a bit of Harry Dresden (but Dresden has a better sense of humor or an isn't as cynical). Other readalikes are Fated by Benedict Jacka, The Devil You Know by Mike Carey, and Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey.

The city and this interpretation of Brooklyn are very much supporting characters to the narrative. Carlos is intriguing in perspective--jaded, but likeable for readers. What is interesting is experiencing him learn of his own fragmented memories and to see how he deals with some pretty life altering changes. I liked the book for its diversity of characters, pacing and storytelling. I did feel the flow was hampered a bit at times and I didn't particularly like the ending. Furthermore, I'd have to have proof that the depiction of female characters improves in subsequent books. From the covers alone, I think at least Sasha plays a larger role.

Final rating:
3 out of 5 stars

Follow the author on Twitter: @djolder

#BoneStreetRumba #halfresurrectionblues #paranormalnoir #mystery #ghosts

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