Carlos Delacruz is a halfie, an inbetweener. That means he was dead. And brought back to life. But not all the way.
He doesn't know much of anything aCarlos Delacruz is a halfie, an inbetweener. That means he was dead. And brought back to life. But not all the way.
He doesn't know much of anything about his life before that. Who or what he was. He works for the Council of the Dead now, the ghosts of Old White Guys who decide the comings and goings of the restless dead in New York City.
This, the first book in the Bone Street Rumba series, introduces us to Carlos (though you'd know him from Salsa Nocturna if you read Daniel Jose Older's anthology), his partner and best friend Riley, and their jobs as Soulcatcher Primes -- those who hunt down the ghosts who aren't content with simply being dead, but prefer to try messing with the living or upsetting the balance between living and dead.
The story spans months between New Year's Eve and the summer of the following year. taking Carlos on an intense journey full of pain, love, horror, shock, sorrow, discovery, and humor. The Brooklyn through which he travels is populated with colorful characters, both living and dead.
In an immensely refreshing change of pace, readers who are nonwhite will be gratified to see that the cast contains Black, Asian, Dominican, Cuban, Brazilian, Puerto Rican and Native American characters; drawing a much more colorful and accurate picture of Brooklyn and New York than most Urban Fantasy even makes an attempt to portray.
Carlos is a wonderful melange of emotion: frustration, desperation and curiosity over his amnesiac past. Love, lust, and sorrow over his chilly half-alive condition and what that means for women he finds himself attracted to. Rage, protectiveness, and fear, over his friends, and the dangers his world holds even for those who are already dead.
The world through which Carlos moves is full of characters who are each fully realized people in their own right, not "diversity tokens" colored in but not detailed enough for a reader to really care about them. Teenage Kia is full of attitude but covering a compassionate heart. Philosophical Russell, whose mind is devious enough for his law practice, but whose heart is spiritual enough to embrace some meaningful truths in his life. Jovial Baba Eddie, the santero, who sees more than he lets on he does. Victor -- the apparent sole regular human in Carlos' circle, who is amazed, wigged out, and fascinated by the things he is learning and seeing.
Carlos brushes through their lives as he tries to unravel the mystery of a spiritual infestation of nasty little creatures called "ngk" (pronounce it like you're about to choke on a mouthful of liquid but are caught trying to swallow and spit it out at the same time) and what it means for the living and the dead of New York.
I read through it so fast, and was left wanting more. The only thing I can say I'd like to see a bit more of in Carlos' world are women. They tend to show up and waltz back out of the story until needed again, or drop out of the story altogether. I'd like to see more of them involved directly and to have their loose ends wrapped up too by the time the story ended. ...more
Better than Celebromancy. The criticism is true you have to be a mulitfandom geek to get all the references, but the world is fun. I haven't felt a stBetter than Celebromancy. The criticism is true you have to be a mulitfandom geek to get all the references, but the world is fun. I haven't felt a story stir my fanfic muse like this in ages.I...more
Not quite as good in my opinion as the first, but still fun.
We find out more about Kira, about her relationship with Balm. As I suspected we find outNot quite as good in my opinion as the first, but still fun.
We find out more about Kira, about her relationship with Balm. As I suspected we find out more about the Solomon family. And man do I dislike what we find out. Ditto the elaborated history of Kira's birth.
The battle between light and shadow seemed to take almost a backseat to the questions raised in the early part of the book. The world threatening problem seemed far more easily solved. And then there's the whole "they love each other but won't say so" bit. Still, an engaging read...more
I was around for the research phase of the Rose Marshal stories, and voraciously read them then they were completed in one marathon binge session on tI was around for the research phase of the Rose Marshal stories, and voraciously read them then they were completed in one marathon binge session on the web.
An Urban Legend done as true, but not in the schmaltzy "how bad can we scare you" Hollywood style, Rose Marshall, the ghost of Sparrow Hill Road is way more than that. It's a love story for the ages. It's a tale of loss and tragedy. It's a story of family bonds. And it's a tale of revenge that Beatrix Kiddo only wishes she could've managed.
The twelve stories are each a chapter, and each named after a song that fits thematically with Rose's story: the road, the cars, the dates, the crashes, the romance. So you have a real life soundtrack to play along with the whiteknuckle tension McGuire weaves for the reader.
I'm looking forward to seeing the story in its new, novelized form, and of course already on board for the whole series. Buckle up. It's gonna be a bumpy night....more
Nice to see a story told that gives a reader a little background on the Deacon. I've been a solid fan of this series since Patient Zero. The Joe partNice to see a story told that gives a reader a little background on the Deacon. I've been a solid fan of this series since Patient Zero. The Joe part was almost icing on the cake. ...more
I don't know why I leapt to read this. Yes, I do. It is Tybalt, the cat, the king, the devil may care scoundrel. But, as seems always the case with thI don't know why I leapt to read this. Yes, I do. It is Tybalt, the cat, the king, the devil may care scoundrel. But, as seems always the case with the Tobyverse stories, a reader pays for charms, laughter and breathtaking romance with saltwater tears to fill the ocean....more
Another tale of the 20th century members of the Healy family.
Frannie and Johnny, happily married now, with a new baby, have been rather firmly encourAnother tale of the 20th century members of the Healy family.
Frannie and Johnny, happily married now, with a new baby, have been rather firmly encouraged to go on their honeymoon. It's a new experience for Fran, whose upbringing was with a circus. And they behave as one would expect newlyweds to behave.
All is sweet charming romance, even after they check into their cryptid run hotel; until they run across a cryptid version of a gangland murder.
Fran and Jon save the would be victim, only to have him decline their further assistance. Until he realizes how much he needs it.
I could've done with a little more about the host family, but the story was a quick and jaunty read, comfortably holding its place in the period setting.
I hope there are more Frannie and Johnny stories... Oh. Fair warning: the Aeslin mice only show up for the first page....more
Full Disclaimer: Smashwords edition. Possibly translated from another language by the blog page. So spelling and grammar errors abound.
The autFull Disclaimer: Smashwords edition. Possibly translated from another language by the blog page. So spelling and grammar errors abound.
The author knows how to start a story, I can give her that much. It's a spoiler to say how, but the main character has a moment of shock, then goes straight for anger and denial, clinging with her fingernails as long as she can until the truth comes out.
Her dad, who died of cancer (earlier than necessary because he refused chemo!) was the warden of a mystic circle on his property which serves two purposes: a place for vampires to rest safely when they can't cope with the rapid changing of the world anymore; and a jail for when the troublesome ones need to be contained. Daddy dearest didn't see fit to say word one to either of his daughters about this. Just put it all in a journal with a letter to be given the after his death. So one can hardly blame Sarah for reacting with rage when she finds all this out.
The vampire on the property who is not willingly asleep is named Michael and he's putting the sexy vampire woogie on poor Sarah. This pisses her off, and she calls him a stupid, sexy vampire. Which cracked me up.
Sarah is unusual from many heroines in that she's kind of a rough and tough chick. She does not shy away from violence, and prefers to be angry rather than to fling herself down crying. It's a refreshing take.
Sarah's sister Katie is the lucky one for certain values of lucky. She's pretty and she got to go off to school and follow her dreams, as Daddy dear assumed Sarah would just take after him and take over the family bed and breakfast when he died. Which she has, dutiful girl that she is.
So Sarah has to contend with the gossip in a small town, jealousy and resentment of her older sister, the aforementioned stupid, sexy, vampire, and then the arrival of Alex -- big-eyed blond-haired pretty boy who was apparently sent to help her cope with her situation and knows more about it than she does, even with the journal. Oh, and although they're obviously attracted to each other, Alex and Sarah can't touch -- for some reason, when they do, she gets visions and he gets bombarded with the emotions from the vision.
The big final battle wasn't very big. A lot of it happened outside of the main character's sight, so we know she got her ankle sprained, and there was blood everywhere. The writing itself is a little wobbly. There are moments when Sarah's narrative is phrased with absolute certainty -- for things she could only guess at.
Still, it is a quick read, and diverting enough. It would more approprately have been 2.5 stars, maybe even 2.75.
The wisecracking wizard with a vocabulary equal parts military historian and nerdy fanboy returns from the mostly dead to find hTypical Butcher fare.
The wisecracking wizard with a vocabulary equal parts military historian and nerdy fanboy returns from the mostly dead to find himself up to his ears in the type of trouble that means a horrible fate for every one he loves if he doesn't step up.
His chivalry, and his casual sexism , as well as his 'lone wolf because it's better that way' tendencies get in his own way, but like the song says, he gets by with a little help from his friends.
As usual it is a rollicking action adventure full of thrills that picks up speed as it goes, pausing only for moments of impertinent hilarity, irreverent humor, jaw dropping shock and heartwrenching emotional gut punches along the way.
All of the old team of friends, family and allies are there, and as usual they show up right as you begin to wonder where they are.
What I found difficult to keep my suspension of disbelief was that this was not the first time Harry has had to fight temptation when in a place of getting phenomenal power that might cost him his soul. So why all the angst when he knew he'd beaten temptation of this caliber before. That detracted from the feeling of danger and urgency for me. Lasciel spent way longer in his head than the mantle of Winter has so far, and she was an accomplished, millennia-experienced liar. Winter's mantle was fae, could not lie, and was straightforward about what it wanted. It should barely have been even a consideration for Harry given the contrast between the two.
And this power being a very male and controlling, dominating one made the book tough to read in places as Jim Butcher describes in vivid and brutal detail several dark and nasty places in Dresden mind/libido.
I'm not sure I can forgive the author one particular plot twist, but the introduction of a particular new character I expect to see more of in future books at least eased that pain.
There had better be a novel explaining what transpired to get the secure apartment for one character and the new kitty cat better also show up in the few books remaining.
The stage is being set for Empty Night, Hell's Bells and Stars and Stones. The endgame is a hell train a few stations away.
My final thought is to remember that characters doing or saying racist and / or sexist things does not automatically mean the author supports them. Nobody thinks Stephen King is really a creepy murder obsessed perv after all....more