Friday, October 13, 2017

Me on All the Crooked Saints

Title: All the Crooked Saints
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Release Date: October 10, 2017
Publisher: Scholastic Press

Any visitor to Bicho Raro, Colorado is likely to find a landscape of dark saints, forbidden love, scientific dreams, miracle-mad owls, estranged affections, one or two orphans, and a sky full of watchful desert stars. At the heart of this place you will find the Soria family, who all have the ability to perform unusual miracles. And at the heart of this family are three cousins longing to change its future: Beatriz, the girl without feelings, who wants only to be free to examine her thoughts; Daniel, the Saint of Bicho Raro, who performs miracles for everyone but himself; and Joaquin, who spends his nights running a renegade radio station under the name Diablo Diablo. They are all looking for a miracle. But the miracles of Bicho Raro are never quite what you expect.

All the Crooked Saints is a heavy book, full of the weight of all the characters and what makes them up. Their wants and their fears. Their secrets. The important things left unspoken.

It's hard to describe this book, like it is whenever I read a Maggie Stiefvater book. This seems so much like a book about people and their interpersonal relationships as opposed to a magical realism story about people and their interpersonal relationships. The magical realism is still there, the priest with a coyote's head and the twins tied together by a large snake, but to me it felt weighted down by the characters and their decisions. After The Raven Cycle, a series I found to be full of magic coursing through winds and whispers and trees, this felt far different. Slow. Heavy with shadow. Unfortunately for me, for my reading tastes, I didn't enjoy it as much as her previous books, but I imagine others might feel different.

(I received an advance copy of this title from Scholastic Canada.)

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