Carlos is an Inbetweener, the only one he knows – a man not entirely dead nor entirely alive and a definite asset to the New York City Council of the Dead. Though not usually a happy one
But one of their jobs for him introduces him to others like him. Which would be easier to celebrate if he hadn’t just killed one of them, Trevor, which official Complicates his attempted relationship with Sasha, his surviving sister.
A further complication is knowing where she stands with the scheming of a sorcerer – who has dark plans both for the city and for someone he cares deeply about
I am in two minds about the voice in this book – I don’t particularly like it or find it very natural or flowing and it doesn’t draw me in. But it does really work towards the theme and atmosphere of the book – the sense of place and the characters themselves. So I both don’t particularly like it but also appreciate the skill with which it is written and what it adds to the overall book.
I really love the world setting here –it’s dark, it’s gritty and it is extremely original. We have a world of ghosts, it’s grim and gritty but with nice moments of humour to stop it being overwhelmingly dark. It’s hard to have a nicely grim setting while having regular humour as wall – and this book nails it.
But it’s also really original and not something I’ve seen elsewhere. The nature of ghosts (and their organisation which I an excellent skewering of bureaucracy everywhere), the different kinds of ghosts, the drawing on of different belief systems, the portrayal of the underworld are all excellent, different and would have me coming back to this series for sheer novelty value if nothing else. And it all works well with Carlos and the odd place he occupies as an Inbetweener, a man who is dead and alive, able to be one with the dead but still moving around in an almost dead body.
Carlos himself is also an interesting developed character, more than just an agent of the bureaucracy and more than just a hard bitten, bitter operative, all jaded and sad. He has friends, he has interests - he’s very well read and that also informs his character as much as his jadedness, his friendships and his snark.
The story itself works as an excellent mystery because we often don’t have answers - but that very slow discovery of what is happening is an excellent vehicle with which to introduce the actual world setting, the characters and how everyone fits in it. The pacing works and leads us to more and more new and fascinating concepts in this world though I do think there’s a shaky moment in the middle were it becomes more than a little wobbly and I’m not sure where the book I going from there