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Half-Resurrection Blues

(Bone Street Rumba #1)

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  2,208 ratings  ·  506 reviews
“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
Mass Market Paperback, 326 pages
Published January 6th 2015 by Roc
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Stefanie E Smith I believe it is definitely intentional. He narrates the audio book and it is the most amazing audio book ever. The difference between Carlos and the…moreI believe it is definitely intentional. He narrates the audio book and it is the most amazing audio book ever. The difference between Carlos and the other characters becomes much clearer. I'm not sure if its because of Carlos's state or not but it seems like Carlos is stilted and the rest of the characters are smoother.(less)
Jean Young adult and mature because of language and moderately explicit (allusive, not using taboo language) sexuality.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,208 ratings  ·  506 reviews

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Rick Riordan
Dec 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Adult urban fantasy -- With a series named Bone Street Rumba, how could this not intrigue me? Older's hero is Carlos Delacruz, a half-dead, half-alive agent and hit man for the New York Council of the Dead. (You knew the dead of NYC had a bureaucracy, right? Of course they do.) Delacruz has no idea who he was when he was alive. He doesn't know how he became an in-betweener -- not exactly mortal nor a ghost -- but his special status makes him valuable to the Council since he is able to move freel ...more
Jan 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: fans of Leandros, paranormal romance

Broken finger review #6:

In a fit of compulsive organization, I'm cleaning off my TBR. Perhaps because of Shadowshaper, Older popped up. Intrigued by the premise, a half-dead, half-alive main character--because if there's ever a metaphor for modern life, that's it--and thought it might be the perfect gym read. I still have the broken finger, so I can't hold heavy hardcovers, and hey--paperback! And urban fantasy--fast moving, right?

Well, sort of. The first 140 pages blipped by on the exercise bik
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Aug 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum


It feels like just the other day I was expressing my desire for more ghosts in urban fantasy, and then onto my lap drops Half-Resurrection Blues. There’s a twist to it, though. Protagonist Carlos Delacruz isn’t exactly a ghost. Instead, he’s an “inbetweener”, which is exactly what it sounds like – someone not quite alive and
K.J. Charles
I really enjoyed the linked short story collection Salsa Nocturna: Stories so I picked this up. NY-set urban fantasy where the inbetweener Carols (was dead, got resurrected, is now somewhere in between) worked for the Council of the Dead, dealing with rogue ghosts and keeping things tidy. Obviously it all gets complicated, with a significant building threat and some fantastic evil vowel-free demons who operate on timy exercise bikes. As you do. Urban fantasy fun with terrific spirit of place and ...more
Dec 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Originally posted on The Book Smugglers

Carlos Delacruz is an agent with the New York Council of the Dead who can be often found working alongside his ghostly partner trying to maintain peace between the dead and the living and protecting the entrada to the underworld. Brooklyn is his domain, where he goes hunting when he is told and where he has found a measure of peace and companionship amongst those who know what he is if not who he is.

For Carlos is an inbetweener, someone not entirely dead bu
I am quite pleased to say I enjoyed this. Is it the best-written book ever? Nah, it's not. But it was entertaining and a new (mostly) genre for me. I don't read a lot of paranormal noir. Paranoirmal? My last few forays into Paranormal were an urban fantasy romance which gave me eye strain from constant rolling and the Moore books about the little girl who was the Big Death, which were just too much for me in too short a time period.
I can't remember why I'd put this book on hold at the library. I
A lot of urban fantasy covers some pretty similar beats. Dangerous person working for/against/around a powerful paranormal organisation, wandering around fixing this week's intra-dimensional threat. And Half-Resurrection Blues doesn't go anywhere particularly new on this point. Carlos is a man without memory or a pulse, not quite dead and not quite alive, working for an organisation that sends not-alive people (mostly ghosts) to fix paranormal/supernatural issues. The current problem is imp-thin ...more
Feb 12, 2018 added it
Shelves: fantasy, unfinished
I gave it 100 pages.

Sorry, DJO! I still like you!

Friends who haven't tried this author:
I recommended starting with Anyway: Angie if you like harder, more horror-leaning urban fantasy, or one of his other Tor shorts.
If you prefer YA, Shadowshaper is excellent. Especially recommended for Brooklyn residents.
Jan 01, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
This book was received through a giveaway

I was really excited to read Half-Resurrection Blues, but my excitement rapidly turned to disappointment upon reading. As an avid fan of urban fantasy, I’m always looking for a new series with a different twist, and had high expectations for this book’s ghostly premise. However, the book had several glaring shortcomings that ruined my experience.

The Main Character: Carlos Delacruz is one of the most boring generic characters I’ve ever had th
Jan 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This book is made awesome by the setting and cast — it’s full of detail that places it exactly in time and space, in Brooklyn and in the ghost/s of Brooklyn; it’s full of characters with all kinds of origins and all kinds of stories, all of which is supplemented by the kind of details that make them feel real. Mannerisms, foibles, culture-specific ways of speaking or thinking… and it’s never some kind of monolithic culture, but all sorts of cultures in a melting pot, a dialogue. The background o ...more
Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten*
3.5 stars

I adored Carlos' narrative voice; he really sounded like he was telling the story and I was right there next to him. Somewhere in the middle things got a little muddled and I remember wondering if anything was even happening or if it was all just words, but the action kicked in again in the end. I never grew attached to Sasha; their romance felt way too rushed to me. I loved Riley and Dro and Mama Esther and Baba Eddie and Dr Tijou. The ngks were bizarrely scary, especially once you saw
I honestly think this is a "it's not you, it's me" situation, so don't take my rating as a knock at the book because it's really just for how I felt about it. I tried for more than a quarter before having to DNF because I wasn't feeling it at all. And the thing is, I wanted to like it so bad! I did like certain parts of it, like how relatable the world felt. And ain't that some shit when it's an Urban Fantasy, huh? I haven't felt this at home when I read contemporary! I found Older's world to be ...more
2.5 stars

I immediately bought this book (Kobo had 50% discount code I could use) without reading any early reviews because I am a sucker for urban fantasy with male protagonist. I always try to find a new series I can follow. So I was intrigued -- and the a couple of friends gave this 4-stars rating.

Unfortunately, this book didn't work for me...

Maybe I am a lazy reader; I don't like the sensation that I've been dropped in the middle of an urban fantasy world without so much of an introduction.
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)
You can also read my review here:

I’ve been waiting so very long for a full length novel featuring Carlos Delacruz, who works for the New York Council for the Dead. I first met Carlos in Older’s magnificent story collection Salsa Nocturna and so, of course, I couldn’t wait to dig into this. A bit of history: Carlos is an inbetweener, both alive and dead, and he has very little memory of who he was before he “died” and went to work for the Council. It makes
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 ...more
Montzalee Wittmann
Half-Resurrection Blues (Bone Street Rumba #1) by Daniel José Older is a different kind of urban fantasy. The main character is an agent for the dead because he is in-between the living and the dead. He takes cases for the dead. He sees the dead, knows them like we know live people but at the same time, he has live friends. The mystery is good, suspense filled, great fresh fantasy, and great characters. The only fault I found is too much sex. I am not a prude, I don't mind sex in books but ther ...more
The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears
All you need to know for now is that Carlos Delacruz is my newest book boyfriend. I don't care that he's half dead, he's got a sword cane and mad swag.
Zombieslayer/Alienhunter {merry wanderer of the night}
Whatever it is that's been causing all this static is out where tonight. I'm sure of it.
The more I can disappear, the more chance I have of catching it.

Carlos Delacruz is an inbetweener, a partially resurrected dead man who was nursed back to half-life after being found in a Brooklyn park years ago.
As a being neither dead nor truly alive, Carlos has proven himself a worthy asset to the Council Of The Dead, the spectral court of laws in the land of the deceased, as a Soulcatcher. A Soulcatcher fi
Jan 08, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
I thought it was a decent first effort but I have to admit that I had a difficult time connecting with the protagonist, Carlos Delacruz. It took me much longer to read the book than usual and I found it easy to set it aside and read other things. The entire time I was reading the story I kept waiting for something to open up and grant me more insight into the character, something that would make me give a damn about him. Rather than getting a lightening bolt moment it sort of trickled in but it ...more
Jan 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult, diverse, fav-adult
Truly fantastic. So many layers to explore and discuss. The character development was great and Daniel's Brooklyn is alive--not in the cliché "practically another character" sense. More like it was the fabric, the sinews, the magic that tied everyone together.

Anyway. I listened to the audio version which I HIGHLY recommend. Daniel narrates it himself so the inflection and rhythm and emotion in the words comes across perfectly. It's an added bonus to hear him give each character a different voic
Jan 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
This is a hard book to review. When deciding whether to buy it, I checked Goodreads and saw a number of 5 star ratings. Everywhere I looked, this novel was obtaining great reviews. So I bought it.

Let me say that the author is an amazing writer. I have nothing but great things to say about his sense of style and craftsmanship. If I was going to rate it solely on that, I would agree.... 5 stars. Unfortunately, the story and the characters just didn't do it for me. While I enjoyed the Brooklyn sett
This was a 3.5 read for me.

My thoughts:
• I was excited to read this book and was not disappointed.
• This is a first book in a series and the worldbuilding was expertly done without dragging down the plot yet allowing the reader to feel the actions matched the world. The author also left enough room so that the world complexities could be further flushed out in future stories.
• So love that Older gives us the “real” Brooklyn with all of the diversity, pageantry, grittiness, conflicts of old timer
Jan 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
This is a book that I wanted to love with my whole heart, but that fell a little short.

The Good: Older's characters are interesting and all have their own voice, distinct and new. He promised a diverse urban fantasy novel and delivered on that -- the NYC of Bone Street Rumba is populated with people and ghosts who would be right at home in the real city. It's nice reading a fantasy where the protagonist could be someone like you.

The world-building, too, is fascinating, but Older doesn't give it
Oct 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Half Resurrection Blues is a beautifully written ghost noir by Daniel Jose Older that paints a realistic and vivid picture of New York that I’ve never witnessed before. There’s so much to love about this book whether it be the world he’s created, the humor, or the diverse cast of character, but one aspect I must praise is its writing. When it comes to writing, one thing that irks me is lengthy descriptions. I find it ridiculous when some authors will gladly spend ten pages describing a sunset or ...more
Feb 15, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: first-reads
Half-Resurrection Blues is a pseudo-enjoyable romp through an ultra-contemporary paranormal New York mired in way, way too much profanity.

Don’t get me wrong. I work at a newspaper as a reporter. I swear way too much and, because of this, we even set up a swear jar in the newsroom. Twice.

I have no problem with profanity, especially in everyday usage.

I do have a problem with the overuse of profanity in novels, where the profanity serves no actual purpose. That’s the most detracting thing about
Sadie Forsythe
Jan 14, 2016 rated it liked it
I liked it, but I didn't love it. I liked Carlos. I liked the author's voice. I loved that the main character's gaze was Puerto Rican, therefore not white, and the reader is gifted with observations we rarely see. (This is part of why it's so important to have authors of color, not just characters.) I liked the idea of the story and plot. But I always felt like I was playing catch up, like I was never certain what was happening. Time was indeterminate and frequently large chunks of time would
Jan 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, readharder2015
It's been a long time since I was completely sucked into a world created by a book. Older fills his pages with diverse, complex, and lovable characters. This book was a complete pleasure to read.

Edit: I re-read this in January 2017 in order to refresh my memory for the final book in this trilogy and I may have only fallen more in love with Carlos and Riley and Sasha and Daniel Jose Older.
Dramatically Bookish (ReviewsMayVary)
I have tweeted Mr. Older a strongly worded tweet about his choice of endings for this book! I do not appreciate the feels!
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Loved it!
Jan 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, 2015
Daniel José Older introduced his Bone Street Rumba universe and inbetweener Carlos Delacruz in his short story collection Salsa Nocturna (which I have not read...yet), and he wastes no time plunging the reader into the world with his debut urban fantasy novel, Half-Resurrection Blues. I felt at a slight disadvantage not being familiar with the world already, but the general concept becomes clear quickly: Carlos Delacruz is neither alive nor dead, and Brooklyn is full of ghosts and shit.

I knew
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Daniel José Older is the New York Times bestselling author of the Young Adult series the Shadowshaper Cypher (Scholastic), the Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series (Penguin), and the upcoming Middle Grade sci-fi adventure Flood City (Scholastic). He won the International Latino Book Award and has been nominated for the Kirkus Prize, the Mythopoeic Award, the Locus Award, the Andre Norton Award, ...more

Other books in the series

Bone Street Rumba (3 books)
  • Midnight Taxi Tango (Bone Street Rumba, #2)
  • Battle Hill Bolero (Bone Street Rumba, #3)
“It’s a whole other kind of sorcery—pulling the pieces of a shattered heart back together, and it’s one I know nothing about.” 8 likes
“that true sheet-grabbing throb that emanated from the sweat-soaked room on the third floor.” 2 likes
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