Read as part of CBR14 Bingo: snakes. This book has several references to snakes, and also I think one of the characters turned into a snake? It was a wild scene, regardless.
It took me two tries to get into this one but ultimately, I’m glad I did. It didn’t match the hype but it’s a good read on its own.
Essentially, there are two books here: the first 20% that’s a compelling novel and the rest which is the magical mystery tour through the throes of Latinx faiths that come alive (or do they?).
Really, after the events of the first 20% concluded, my interest in the main character dropped off substantially, which is why I quit the first time. When I came back, I still didn’t care much for him but was seduced by the lush imagery of the book and the meditations on faith, race and culture. The book takes the reader on quite a journey and, even though there were a few twists I saw coming, roared to a fantastic finish.
With all that said, I’m not sure if magic realism is for me. It messes with the narrative flow when I try to comprehend characters doing things outside of the laws of physics in what is otherwise a bleak* noir tale. It made the book interesting, certainly giving it a flair. But I’m not sure it would work for me in other tales. Your mileage may vary.
*I don’t mean bleak as in the writing of the book but I’m trying to remove “dark noir” and “black noir” from my lexicon to try not to negatively associate bad things with dark colors. Can’t come up with a better term right now than “bleak.”