Half-Resurrection Blues: A Bone Street Rumba Novel
Author: Daniel José Older
Narrated by: Daniel José Older
Available from: Audible
“Because I’m an inbetweener—and the only one anyone knows of at that—the dead turn to me when something is askew between them and the living. Usually, it’s something mundane like a suicide gone wrong or someone revived that shouldn’ta been.”
Carlos DeLacruz is a man between worlds. Left for dead in an alley three years ago, DeLacruz now works for the New York Council of the Dead; a group of shady supernaturals who police the dead and keep things in balance between the world of the living and the world of the dead.
Daniel José Older has gone to great lengths to create a world that, while living in the shadows, is accessible and believable. Just below the surface of New York lies a society of ghosts, gremlins, Necromancers and a few who live while dead. And they are the core of this story.
While, on the surface, Half-Resurrection Blues is a mix of the Sukie Stackhouse, Anita Black and Anne Rice, it’s also something else altogether. Delacruz is a cool character who doesn’t brood in the shadows, stewing over what happened to him and why he was chosen. Nor is he a showboating super heroic character.
Fact is, he doesn’t really seem too bothered about why he is what he is – well, at least until this story – and he screws up as much as he wins.
When Carlos is asked to fix two problems, someone plans on opening a gateway – an Entrada – between earth and the after life, and an infestation of seemingly indestructible gremlins who also seem to be the harbingers of doom, the events are linked in ways he cannot foresee; ways that will open his already crazy world to things he’d never even thought possible. Including the possibility of love.
Carlos’ narration throughout the story, and Older’s writing, serve to create a world that feels so real you can smell the cigar smoke. It’s a world that delights on just sitting on the fringes of our reality, making it feel like somewhere these type of things are happening just beyond our sight. And that’s a delight.
It’s hard to classify HRB; it’s a supernatural thriller, it’s a mystery novel, it’s a romance in places; but what it is is fun and what it has is a great character in Delacruz. Older’s writing is so accessible – his narration on the audio is a delight – it’s telling that he is the man who created this world and these people within it, because his tone is just perfect – that you can just slip right into the tale as it’s less concerned about the the how and the why but rather the moment that these caracters are living; though there’s plenty of tantalising tidbits throughout that tease just how complex this reality is.
The noir tone is a delight and while I compared this to Sukie Stackhouse and others, in the end this is a universe that is quite unique. And heartily recommended
Roll on book two…
4 out of 5 Nerds
Thanks so much to Audible.com for letting us review this title and keep an eye out for our interview with Daniel José Older in the near future.