Midnight Taxi Tango (2016)

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Almost all long-running urban fantasy series have a larger story arc, and whether the individual volumes succeed that don’t advance the larger story depends often on how good and interesting the design of the monster-of-the-volume is. And while the enemy creatures in Midnight Taxi Tango, the 2nd of the Bone Street Rumba series, are nifty from a purely aesthetic viewpoint, they aren’t exactly exiting in terms of characterization, just some ugly creatures for the heroes to blast away.

Another thing that Older does in the second volume is that he tells the story from the viewpoint of three characters, and from my experience it’s usually the moment when most UF series go astray. Yes, never changing or playing around with POVs is highly formulaic, but this part of the formula is one of the primary reasons why I enjoy reading UF so much.

That said, Older does manages to give each of his three characters unique inner voices, and both of the two new viewpoint characters are interesting. I’m still not sure I like that Older is messing with the formula in this case, but it works more or less (no character is boring, which often makes me want to skip parts with more than one POV in other books) and it keeps you engaged, something that the threat in this volume rarely does, apart from the occasional gruesome imagery (which is probably even more effective if you can’t stand cockroaches).

Compared to the first book, this one feels neither stronger nor weaker. A bit different with some good points and no larger fault than messing with things I don’t like UF authors messing with, yet mostly making it work. For a filler volume it’s pretty good, but admit I would have liked to see Older illuminate the setting more in-depth or advance the bigger plot than this bug hunt.

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