Zando. Mar. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9781638930365. $27. HORROR
DEBUT The novel opens just moments after a young couple has lost their only son Santiago, his small body folded between them in his tiny bed. In an act of grief or love or desperation, Magos, the boy’s mother, carves out a piece of his lung, places it in a jar, and begins to feed it. This being a horror novel, of course, this doesn’t go well, and eventually the hungers and desires and thingness of what results must be reckoned with. How Magos and her husband Joseph reckon with monstrilio provides the emotional thrust of the story, which is told from four perspectives across the urban landscapes of Brooklyn, Berlin, and Mexico City. Córdova asks the reader to consider the limits of familial love and understanding. He provides no easy answers, and readers may find themselves touched and horrified in equal measure.
VERDICT An enthralling debut that packs a heavy emotional punch. Fans of domestic horror like Zoje Stage’s Baby Teeth or Ashley Audrain’s The Push will find a lot to chew on here.
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