Review: Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel José Older

January 31, 2015 3 stars, Book Review 18 ★★★

Review: Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel José OlderHalf-Resurrection Blues by Daniel José Older
Series: Bone Street Rumba #1
Published by Audible Audio, Roc on January 6, 2015
Genres: Adult SFF, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 326
Length: 7 hours, 56 minutes
Source: Publisher
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*This book was provided by the Publisher for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.

“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 one of the New York Council of the Dead’s most unusual agents—an inbetweener, partially resurrected from a death he barely recalls suffering, after a life that’s missing from his memory. He thinks he is one of a kind—until he encounters other entities walking the fine line between life and death.

One inbetweener is a sorcerer. He’s summoned a horde of implike ngks capable of eliminating spirits, and they’re spreading through the city like a plague. They’ve already taken out some of NYCOD’s finest, leaving Carlos desperate to stop their master before he opens up the entrada to the Underworld—which would destroy the balance between the living and the dead.

But in uncovering this man’s identity, Carlos confronts the truth of his own life—and death…

Half Resurrection Blues is the first book in the new urban fantasy series Bone Street Rumba. It is a different take on urban fantasy then what I’m used to add it’s focused on ghosts and folks that are ‘inbetween’ being a ghost and living. The main character Carlos is just such an inbetweener, unable to remember anything about his previous life, not even his real name. He died and was brought back to a state of kind of half life. Currently he works for the New York Council of the dead pretty much as an executioner. Things pick start in the book one new years eve when he’s tasked with killing someone who just so happens to be just like him, an inbetweener.

There were:

Ghosts, a cool very large motherly type house ghost, ngks (try to pronounce that I dare you), inbetweeners (folks who’d died but weren’t quite dead), an undead council and Carlos who develops an instant hardcore crush/lust for the sister, Sasha, of the guy he kills at the beginning of the book.  Ultimately, this series starter has a lot of potential and a very unique character voice for Carlos. Unfortunately I had a hard time really connecting with him. I wasn’t particularly fond of his personality (not that he was a bad guy) but I just wasn’t pulled in by him either. The ancillary characters were interesting as well but none of them particularly stood out to me development wise, infact they all sort of blended together and that left me overall kind of disinterested in the story and world. I think that folks looking for an urban fantasy featuring ghosts should definitely give this one a try because I’ve had a few other friends who’ve read it and seriously enjoyed it.

An interesting thing to note is that the author himself narrates the audio version of the book which for some I think will help add a certain appeal to that version of the book.

Other reviews of Half-Resurrection Blues by fellow bloggers

Mogsy @ Biblisanctum

Kristen @ My Bookish Ways

Audio clip courtesy of Audible
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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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18 Responses to “Review: Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel José Older”

  1. Melliane

    I saw another review about this book and I confess that it made me very curious. Plus it’s nice to have something a little different. But I confess that the fact that you had a problem to connect with Carlos is delicate… Sorry it was like that.
    Melliane recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #128My Profile

    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      I thought he did a really good job with the narration. There were a few odd pauses every once in awhile but that might have been my fault listening in 2x speed. I definitely know I would have mispronounced the name of the cigarettes if I hadn’t heard him say it. I also felt he gave the narration an authentic feel and flavor especially with all the cussing lol cause you know how some people who narrate just sound all wrong when they say curse words? It sounded like second nature to him…Is that good or bad? 😛
      Tabitha (Pabkins) recently posted…That’s a Wrap – January 2015My Profile

  2. Jessica @ Rabid Reads

    Yeah, this was one of the new UF series I’d decided to wait a few installments before deciding to read, and I’m sticking to that plan. Ghosts creep me out already, but half ghosts? *frowns and squints* I do think it’s cool that the author narrated the audio version though (not that it matters b/c I don’t do audio, LOL–still cool though).