Kirsten Reviews: Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel Jose Older

, by Kt Clapsadl

Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel Jose Older
Bone Street Rumba #1

“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 by Daniel José Older is the first book in the Bone Street Rumba series, and gives readers the first full length novel featuring the character of Carlos Delacruz, previously introduced in a story collection from the author.

For those who haven’t heard of Carlos before, he’s what is known as an ‘inbetweener.’ This means he’s both alive and dead, quite possibly the only one of his kind, has virtually no memory of who he was before he crossed over to the other side, however briefly, and consequently has a few issues.

In the course of working for the the New York Council of the Dead, Carlos is usually called in when the dead need help dealing with issues like unwarranted revivals, or a suicide gone wrong. This time, he’s tasked with taking out a man by the name of Trevor, who is somehow threatening the stability of an ‘entrada,’ aka an entrance into the underworld. What Carlos doesn’t know is that this assignment will result in him finding out more about his past, and also crossing the path of Sarco, a sorcerer who is looking to obliterate the barrier separating the living and the dead. To do so, he’s summoned a horde of implike ngks who have the ability to eradicate spirits, and as is their nature, these imps are spreading quickly throughout the city.

Carlos has to figure out both Sarco’s identity, and figure out a way to stop him, but he will also have to confront his life, and death, which is something of a tall order.

The author has a lyrical writing style that lends itself well to this version of New York City, often taking the twisted path in his storytelling, which makes for a highly readable first installment in a promising series.
(Received a copy from the publisher)

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