If you know Daniel José Older’s work, then you know how he writes. I imagine he writes like he plays music, with a lyrical quality that is nearly impossible to tear yourself away from. Carlos is the narrator, and he wears his pain on his sleeve, his loneliness always palpable. After all, as far as he knows, he’s the only of his kind. And yet, he’s not afraid to fight the good fight, and his sarcasm is as sharp as a freshly stropped razor, as is his sense of humor. I don’t want to give too much away, but suffice it to say that Carlos does find clues about his past, and meets a woman that may have the key to his future. First though, he’s got to take care of a pretty nasty imp infestation that seems to be directly associated with Sarco. Those imps are nasty business, and the first time we meet one is, well, you’ll see. I’ve never quite read anything like it. The imagery is so twisted. So very, very twisted.
New York has long been considered a colorful, richly diverse city, but Older’s magical rendering makes it something very special indeed, full of ghosts, soul catchers, and many other otherworldly delights and monstrosities. It makes for a very creepy and exciting mix, daubed with shades of melancholy, and even some very clever horror elements, and the ending will leave you reeling. I can’t recommend this book, or this author, highly enough. This is what urban fantasy is all about, and when you start this, allow some time to finish, because you won’t want to come up for air until you do.
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