- Author: Ann Davila Cardinal
- Published: June 4th, 2019
- Publisher: Tor Teen
- Rating: 3/5
If Lupe Dávila and Javier Utierre can survive each other’s company, together they can solve a series of grisly murders sweeping though Puerto Rico. But the clues lead them out of the real world and into the realm of myths and legends. And if they want to catch the killer, they’ll have to step into the shadows to see what’s lurking there—murderer, or monster?
I was so excited to get ARC of this book, I mean a story based on Puerto Rican folklore about “El Cuco” (boogeyman) that is something I’m familiar with so when I got this in the mail I just jumped right in. Now, let me say the 3 stars rating is a very strong rating, it’s not like I didn’t enjoy the book because I did, the writing is great and the descriptions and places named made me want to hop on a plane and visit some family. I will get into this review without giving too much away.
The book follows Lupe and Javier, the story changes to different POVs besides Lupe and Javier but we mostly get Lupe’s and Javier’s side of the events. Lupe travels to Puerto Rico to visit her uncle and to spend time with family. This time around there’s a series of unsolved murders that her uncle is investigating and that’s when Javier’s story along with the gang by the name of Cangrejos come into play. The cangrejos are a gang of five childhood friends, that are all getting murder by someone or something on their eighteen birthdays and their birthdays are only a few weeks apart.
I will have to say some of my favorite things were the way the author made you feel like if you were there in the island, I like how the similarities of some of the towns reminded me of the actual town in Puerto Rico, I mean I can’t say I’m 100% sure that when the author spoke about El Rubi she was referring to La Perla. I also, liked how closed she was with her uncle and how he wanted to be a parent figured for Lupe since her father was an addict and wasn’t really there for her.
Another thing we get in this book besides a bit of horror is how it touches on the effect of drugs and being an addict, and how one bad decision can lead you to many others.
Now to some of the things I didn’t really like about the book and the reasons why I couldn’t fully give this book a 5 stars rating. First I will have to say, the Spanglish here was real! I understand that a lot of Spanish do that but I personally hate it when I’m talking to someone in English and they start dropping Spanish words in between, I absolutely hate it. I have gotten better with it but I would like for someone to stick to a language if possible and if you don’t’ know the word just ask, and I know that’s a personal thing but I dislike it a lot. Another thing that bothers me was one of the side characters Marisol, she was very aggressive towards Lupe and even Lupe herself at times was really too much for me as a character, she got offended and wanted to argue and fight almost everyone that didn’t agree with her. Even thought the writing was great the pace at times especially at the beginning was very slow, it actually took me a bit more than 50% of the story to really get exciting.
Overall, I did enjoy this book and will definitely will be picking up another book by Ann Davila Cardinal. I love the writing and how she made you feel like you were right there with the characters.