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Midnight Taxi Tango

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Midnight Taxi Tango (2016) Daniel José Older

First things first: that is an absolutely MARVELOUS cover. I LOVE it.

It’s (obviously) not Carlos, who was the main character of the first book (and who is a main character here, never fear) but is Kia, the high school student who works at Baba Eddie’s botánica and is being pulled into Carlos’ world of the dead.

A textbook lies open on the counter in front of me; I don’t even remember taking it out. It’s trig, some shit I already know how to do, and can’t be bothered answering a bunch of mindless questions about. I know this is a terrible reason to be getting Cs, but the truth is, I’m bored out my mind almost every day in school.

Carlos is still reeling from Sasha’s disappearance, and still doing the dirty work of the Council of the Dead, but becoming more and more unhappy with what he’s asked to do.

“Listen,” Riley says a little too gently, “we all been hurt, man. It’s okay to feel pain. I mean shit, she was carrying your child. You ain’t seen her in what, four months?”

“Six months and seven days.”

Riley leaps up. “See? That was a test, and you failed. You counting the days, man. Just be upset and be okay with being upset.”

We also meet a third character, Reza, about whom I won’t say anything, so you can meet her without an expectations.

“Turn slow,” a woman’s gravelly voice says. “Hands in plain sight.”

She’s standing perfectly still in a perfectly tailored gray suit. Her stance is just wide enough to brace for the recoil from the hand cannon she’s aiming at my face. It’s clear from the bulges between her vest and bloodred dress shirt that she’ll never be outgunned. Even her goddamn footwear is perfect: elegant alligator-skin dress shoes, perfectly shined. For the first time in my weird little life, I am outdappered.

I really love these characters, not just because they’re so very different from the people around me, but that does have something to do with it. But mostly they’re just delightful.

“Have you heard the good word about Jesus Christ today, ma’am?” I say, flashing the cheesiest grin I can muster.

She smiles for a half second. “Try again.” Not a cop— way too smooth and she would’ve ID’d herself by now.

“Vote yes on question six,” I say…

I mute the TV— you have to stand up and turn the remote at some hypotenuse-ass angle while pressing the button eighteen million times to get it to work…

Carlos is half dead, so I suppose he could be classified as a zombie, and I hate zombies, but he’s not a shambling wreck that wants to eat your brains, so I’m good with him.

If you haven’t read anything by Daniel José Older, I highly recommend that you check him out. Start with Half-Resurrection Blues, the first book in this series, or Salsa Nocturna, which is short stories with some of the characters and set in this world both before and after these two books.

Seriously, check out the short stories and see for yourself.
Rating: 9/10

Published by ROC

Categories: 9/10, Covers, Fantasy, Hispanic, Supernatural     Comments (0)    



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