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review 2017-09-19 16:21
Review: Battle Hill Bolero
Battle Hill Bolero - Daniel José Older

The conclusion of the Bone Street Rumba, a wonderful UF trilogy with some short fiction I still haven't gotten around to, was quite satisfying, but perhaps not as strong a read as the second book. Book three follows through on the plots opened in the previous two, but lacks the POV character that made book 2 so amazing, the dapper AF gun toting lesbian. She's still around, but rarely on screen.

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review 2017-05-19 22:04
Review: Half-Resurrection Blue
Half-Resurrection Blues - Daniel José Older
Battle Hill Bolero - Daniel José Older

I wasn't exactly planning to read this one. Last year, I read the sequel, which I loved. And didn't feel like there was back-fill I needed from the first volume. I thought I'd just continue on from the second book.


I've learned all the wrong things from Dresden books.


Recently, I started Battle Hill Bolero and was completely lost. There's a lot of history the book tried to remind me of that I just did not have. So I picked up book one, and here we are. 


This book is great. So much happens, I had to keep rewinding to catch details. As with the other two books in the series, the narration is excellent. So good that I'll just keep rewinding rather than swapping to text. 


And now I'm back to book 3!

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review 2017-02-21 00:02
Battle Hill Bolero (Bone Street Rumba #3) by Daniel José Older
Battle Hill Bolero - Daniel José Older

The dead now rise… up.


The Council has had its own way for too long. Too many souls have been lost. Too much injustice has been swallowed. The Remote districts, the rebels, the dispossessed are rising up – war is coming.


Of course Carlos, half dead, memoryless and very much adrift – is in the middle of this; even as his own history and murky past come crashing around him.




There’s a lot about this book series I love – which are continued excellently in this book. I love many of the characters and the conflicts they face and the lives they’ve lead. I love their voices and the excellent solid realness behind so many of them. Most of the main cast feel like people, complete people, not extras to advance someone else.


Most of the cast are also POC with their cultures, races and origins clearly labelled. As I’ve said before, this book series does so well with racial diversity because it doesn’t just use racial labels as brief descriptors but not involving them in their actual depiction. We have several latino characters (and “latino” is not just a wide vague descriptor but we have notes on the different South American and Carribean nations and cultures that are covered by that label), Black characters, Native Americans, Asians – there is a huge racial diversity in New York City and this is reflected in this series


The ghosts themselves have so many different and excellent little factions – from the poignant spirits of the Black Hoodies – ghosts killed by police, to the ancient, slow incomprehensible and enigmatic ancient ghosts, to the calm and powerful ex-slaves to the fluffy and slightly silly cyclists who died in traffic accidents. All little societies coming together for reasons both meaningful and silly and all very human.


It’s these characters continuing their story from the previous books which truly make this series – not just Carlos and Sasha but the many powerful characters around them as well. But still, Sasha and Carlos’s examination of their past, both the revelations and how they dealt with it – and how they then relate to each other given their very very very very oh-so-very complicated history – are an excellent part of the book (if almost tangential to the main story). Especially with Juan Flores mixing it up even further.


The plot itself had large amounts of epic elements as well. We have a grand conflict, with sacrifice and loss and desperation and power and passion. It was at times very emotional, often very moving and often blood-fizzling exciting


What did make it harder for me to follow this book is that there’s such a huge number of characters in this book. This is the book where everything comes to a head and we have the full blown conflict with all kinds of factions and forces coming together



But I think that this would work better if we moved it to maybe 3 books in the future it would be better. We have all these many factions, all of these different groups and districts and people all with their own grievances against the council along with other supernatural beings like the River Giants –but all of them feel a bit out of the blue. They’ve all just appeared: the relatively narrow story we had about Carlos and his close associates has now exploded to include all these vast new cast members who are either completely new or had relatively minor roles before. But the way they’re written almost implies we should know them or be invested in them or even get the conflict each personally faces. It feels almost like book three there was a sudden decision to tell a whole different story but there were these two other inconvenient prequels to fit in somehow.




Read More



Source: www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2017/01/battle-hill-bolero-bone-street-rumba-3.html
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review 2017-01-17 20:43
[Book Review] Battle Hill Bolero
Battle Hill Bolero - Daniel José Older

Battle Hill Bolero (Bone Street Rumba #3) / Daniel Jose Older


This book.

This fucking book.

I just can't even come up with the words to review it, so please bear with me.

Battle Hill Bolero is angry and joyous and lyrical and triumphant.

Book one was good, book two was great, and this book is why you read the first two.  To get to this glorious point.  If it's been awhile since reading Half-Resurrection Blues or Midnight Taxi Tango, take the time to reread them before diving in to Battle Hill Bolero.  Get back on first name basis with the characters.  The book dives forward and takes no prisoners.

Advance Reader Copy courtesy of Roc (Penguin RandomHouse) in exchange for an honest review; changes may exist between galley and the final edition.

Source: libromancersapprentice.blogspot.com/2017/01/book-review-battle-hill-bolero.html
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review 2016-12-26 05:50
"Tonight we rise as one and change the world!"
Battle Hill Bolero - Daniel José Older

Battle Hill Bolero

by Daniel José Older


Bone Street Rumba. Half-Resurrection Blues. Midnight Taxi Tango. Battle Hill Bolero. From the titles alone, it's clear how important an influence music is on Older, and his love of rhythm and texture can be felt through the pages. Sure, it's a story about ghosts and humans duking it out against supernatural monsters, but for me, the series is just as much about New York City, the backstreets and communities that half-dead Carlos Delacruz and his full-ghost and human friends inhabit, from the juxtaposition of layered history in the ghost world to creeping gentrification to chatty santeros to the clash of cultures on the city streets. In Battle Hill Bolero, the story really picks up its tempo.


If you've read my reviews before, you probably know I'm somewhat cavalier about series order-- even in this case, I started with Midnight Taxi Tango (#2) and only recently went back to read Half-Resurrection Blues (#1). So please take my word for it when I say that this book simply won't work without the previous two in the series. (In fact, that realization, which occurred within the first chapter of this book, is the reason why I went back to read the first book.) Any discussion of the plot necessarily involves spoilers for the previous books, so consider yourself warned.


After the slow buildup in the previous books in the series, the rebellion against the Council has finally reached boiling point. After a host of mutual misunderstandings, Carlos and Sasha are finally trying to work things out, complicated by the revolution exploding around them. Battle Hill Bolero is chock-full of battlescenes, and some of them are pretty awesome. However, I did find it surprising that, given the series' focus on exploring the humanity of the other characters, there was so little concern for the sanctity of the lives (or unlives, as the case may be) of the adversaries. This is a civil war that pits friend against friend and coworker against coworker. How did the fight against the Council become a fight against a faceless enemy? I also don't tend to find plotting to be Older's strong point, and this book was no exception. I never really understand why the antagonists--and some of the protagonists-- do what they do; their often contradictory actions seem to serve only the plot.

One thing that drove me slightly nuts was Carlos's entirely inconsistent status as secret rebel. At one moment, they're looking for a traitor; at another, he's going out to a bar with them; at another, they offer him a job; at another, they're attacking his house. It was logically inconsistent and didn't even really drive the plot. The ngks were another issue. While it was gratifying to see all the pieces of the previous books come together, I have no clue how or why they got involved, and why anyone thought it was a good idea to employ the magical equivalent of a nuclear attack. And while it was interesting to finally find out what happened at Carlos's death, it was sort of a letdown. Honestly, the whole "murder their whole families" thing still makes no sense to me, particularly given that Carlos and Sasha had no idea who they were in their previous lives anyway. But the biggest issue was, of course, Flores. Other than to drive the plot, what was the motivation for all the insane actions he took, from sending them to the Web to starting a war against them to bringing in Caitlin? He was basically a plot device, and a shallow one at that.

(spoiler show)


I'm drawn to these books because of the vivid glimpses of New York that Older gives us, and the diverse characters, not because of the plot or action scenes. And I absolutely loved some of the characters introduced here, from Kris the take-no-prisoners ghost to Red, a transgender pirate whose spunky spirit outlived his body by centuries, as well as old friends from previous books. And then there's the sheer love of language that imbues the story, and the sly situational humor that is such an integral part of urban fantasy. For example:

"Meetings are Satan's way of balancing out all the beautiful things in the world, like music."

We even get an enjoyable cameo from Shadowshaper as well as a few hints about the next mythological entities Carlos and the gang will encounter. Battle Hill Bolero is a watershed book for the series. It absolutely cannot be read without the other books in the series, for the plot is filled with an unexpected but gratifying symmetry. I'm not sure where Older will take the series next, but I'm definitely in for the ride.


~~I received this ebook through Netgalley from the publisher, Berkley Publishing Group, in exchange for my honest review. Quotes were taken from an advanced reader copy and while they may not reflect the final phrasing, I believe they speak to the spirit of the novel as a whole.~~


Cross-posted on Goodreads.

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