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
Taxi Tango #2