Midnight Taxi Tango (Bone Street Rumba book 2) by Daniel Jose Older.

Stars: 4 out of 5.

This is the second book in the series, but it can be read as a standalone without problems. I haven’t read the first book in the series, Half-Resurrection Blues, but the important points of what happened in it were mentioned in book 2, so I didn’t feel lost and confused. Plus, from what I understood, Midnight Taxi Tango covers a different story, so prior knowledge of the world and the characters is not needed.

I really enjoyed this book. More than I thought I would based on the description, actually, and it was all thanks to the wonderful characters Mr. Older has created. They are real. They are larger than life. And their emotions are sincere. You can’t help but root for them and follow them along in their search for the truth.

But those characters are also why I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars. No matter how much I tried to ignore it, Carlos got on my nerves way too much. I understand that he is going through a rough time – he’d killed the brother of the woman he loved, and she in turn tried to kill him then ran off into the sunset. I get it. What got on my nerves is how whiny he is about it. He spends most of the book either brooding about that, or trying to look for her, or brooding about his lost memories. And when the shit hits the fan and he realizes that both his woman and his babies (that he had never seen before) are in danger, he totally loses his shit. It takes the vigorous intervention of the other two protagonists to wipe him back into shape… I can live with brooding, but it gets old real fast.

Not to mention, that I really didn’t like his reaction when he learned a certain uncomfortable truth at the end of the book. I won’t mention it here because it’s a huge spoiler, but Carlos, man, why to be a douche to the woman you love…

So thank God for Kia and Reza, the other two protagonists who share the POVs in this book, because those two women are absolutely amazing. Though, kicking ass and taking names, but without becoming a cliché. Without them to kick Carlos in the nuts every now and then or drag him along kicking and screaming, he wouldn’t have made it to the end of the story.

I loved that they both had their own character and back story and agency, and never became the standard kickass female who suddenly transforms into a damsel in distress in need of rescuing by the male protagonist by the end of the book. No, both Kia and Reza did their fair share of rescuing instead. And they were the ones who collectively killed the big bad in the end, not Carlos. Kudos to strong women how they are supposed to be! I wish there were more of them out there.

And I need to mention the world these characters inhabit as well, because I found it quite interesting. It’s urban fantasy, so it’s New York pretty much like our own, but with the addition of ghosts and other unsavory supernatural entities, like the Resurrected (people who were killed, but inexplicably came back to life, or half-life, again), and the creepy bug-guys who are the baddies in this book. And those supernatural entities try to stay hidden, so most of the normal people don’t know they exist, especially since very few people have the ability to see ghosts.

What I liked about the ghosts in this world is that they are not just forlorn and powerless souls who spend their time mourning their deaths. They have powers, they can interact with the living world if they want to, and they can be deadly. So it makes sense that there would be an Agency responsible for keeping the ghostly activity in check. Though after finishing this book, I’m not so sure that their intentions are all that honorable…

Anyway, I would recommend this series for anyone who likes urban fantasy and is looking for a new take on the genre. And I am definitely looking forward to the next book, though Mr. Older, please make Carlos finally grow some balls? Or let’s just ditch him and focus on Kia and Reza. On, and that awesome librarian as well!

PS. I have received an advanced reader copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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