Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Battle Hill Bolero
Bone Street Rumba #3
Daniel José Older

January 3, 2017 / ISBN 9780425276006

Reviewed by Jan Fields


The Bone Street Rumba trilogy comes to an end with a bang and more than a few whimpers. The petty cruelties of the Council of the Dead have led to a simmering resentment from those they govern, but the heat is turned up to full in this last book in the series and the results are violent and compelling. Carlos Delacrus is an inbetweener, a half dead, and though he used to work for the Council, he comes into this novel with a whole lot of anger against them, anger that burns hotter and hotter as the scope of the Council's double dealings unfold for him. But Carlos is just one character in this cast heavy novel that switches between viewpoints, usually among the good guys, but not always. I especially enjoyed the dips into the head of necromancer Caitlin Fenn as she struggles to survive and deal with the aftereffects of the evil things she’s done. The result of all these viewpoint switches can be confusing and even choppy, but also surprisingly compelling and insightful. The scope of the trilogy is quite large, despite all taking place in a relatively claustrophobic feeling New York City, and this third book had a lot of strings to tie up. Some definitely ended neater than others, making me wonder if Older was leaving the door open for the trilogy to become a full-fledged series – but despite a few loose-strings, the ending had a satisfying feel (albeit with a few deus ex machina moments). The language of the novel reflects voices we don't often hear in fantasy and that can be challenging as well, but also rich and musical. I vacillated between loving the book and disliking it, but in the end, I settled on a challenged enjoyment. This isn't an easy novel, but it's one that lingers well after the last page is turned.

Reviews of other titles in this series

Midnight Taxi Tango #2


Reviewer Janis Fields is the author of over two dozen books for children and adults including Threads of Deceit, Ghost Light Burning, Wellspring of Magic, and Emerald Dragon.
Reviewed 2017