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I really dug Older's first book in the Bone Street Rumba series, Half Resurrection Blues, when it came out at the beginning of 2015, and am enjoying this second installment just as much.
The author is an interesting character himself, until 2014 an EMT by day, and a musician and author by night. His musical side comes out in a lot of his prose, which is very attuned to the sounds of NYC, where the Bone Street Rumba books take place.
These two books, along with Salsa Nocturna, his first collection of short stories, introduce many wonderful characters in Brooklyn, "civilian" and supernatural, primarily Carlos Delacruz, an agent for the Council of the Dead, and himself an in-betweener, half dead and half alive. The second character that comes to life in a great deal more detail in this book is Kia, a teenage girl who, against her will, is becoming all too deeply involved in Carlos' supernatural world.
Although Carlos was the narrator for the entirety of H-R Blues, Older has chosen to structure this second book by alternating the first person narration of each chapter; thus, Carlos narrates one chapter, Kia the next, and so on. It's a really interesting mode of storytelling, and Older is satisfyingly believable, in both his writing and his spoken narration, in both these voices.
Unlike the majority of books in the urban fantasy world, most of the characters in The Bone Street Rumba 'verse are men and women of color, a beautiful and rich layer to Older's already imaginative and cool storytelling. There are many beautifully drawn characters, wonderful comedic moments, great action, some creepy scary stuff, some lovely sweet moments, and a few awesome monologues of just plain philosophizing.
Bonus; the author himself reads his works and is a terrific narrator, giving each character a very specific sound. He's quite good and makes the listening experience super enjoyable.
There's some language, nothing terribly rough, a few f-words, but it is, nonetheless, a story with some sweetness at its heart. The hero and the people he is surrounded by are good, kind, and funny.
If you want to start at the very beginning, start with Salsa Nocturna, a nice introduction to the Bone Street Rumba 'verse, then dig right in. If you're a fan of urban fantasy, I know you'll enjoy it.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
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Really enjoyed the first book, but this installment is crazy cool, one of the best urban fantasy novels I've listened to. Older has gotten better in every way, writing, writing prose, and most importantly narration. Listening to this novel was like listening to Miles Davis, no matter what's going on, it's f'n so cool.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful