In Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel José Older, Carlos Delacruz is an in-betweener–he was partially resurrected after dying a death that he barely remembers. He’s an agent with the New York Council of the Dead and he believes he’s the only in-betweener… until he meets more. One of these in-betweeners has summoned ngks–beings that are capable of eliminating spirits. They’re roaming the city taking out agents of the New York Council of the Dead, as the in-betweener controlling them prepares to open the entrada–the entrance to the Underworld–and disturb the balance between the living and the dead.
I listened to this on audiobook and I’m so glad I did. It’s narrated by the author and he does such an amazing job! I think there’s always something to appreciate when listening to an author read their own work, but it can be hit or miss in terms of how engaging a storyteller they are. A vocal storyteller, at least. The best voice actors add a cinematic quality to the narrative and not all authors are able to do that.
One of the reviews on Audible said that listening to Older narrate Half-Resurrection Blues was like listening to spoken word poetry and that is a great way to describe the audiobook. The text has a strong rhythm and it was so much fun to listen to.
Not only that, but it was nice to hear from the author how to pronounce “ngk.” He describes it in the text, of course, but still… I would have been changing the pronunciation the entire time I read the novel!
Okay, quality of the narration aside, lets talk about the story. I have to say that as I wrote the summary above I was smiling because it sounds like such a fantastical story–which, of course, it is. But if you’re worried about this being a fantastical story that seems far-fetched, it didn’t feel that way as I listened to it. I was pulled into the point-of-view of the narrator and was living the story with him.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am looking forward to listening to Midnight Taxi Tango, which is book two in the series (Bone Street Rumba). I highly recommend listening to it, if you’re interested in this story.
WHAT HAVE YOU READ–OR LISTENED TO–LATELY?
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