Out of Aztlan

Creature. Dec. 2022. 200p. ISBN 9781951971090. pap. $17. HORROR
Castro’s (Mestiza Blood) latest is a moving and terrifying new collection of short horror stories that is steeped in the Latinx experience from one of horror’s most exciting authors. Bursting with beautiful imagery and pull quotes aplenty, this collection delivers winner after winner. Some standouts include “At the Bottom of My Lake of Blood’’ about the rising of a beautiful and terrible goddess with cosmic powers that is horrifying and also captivating. “Dawn of the Box Jelly,” which is more standard horror fare, pulls the reader along on a heart-pounding quest to stop mutant jellyfish. All of the stories manage to create a hypnotic atmosphere that will swiftly pull readers in. The cover, illustrated by Luísa Dias, is colorful and bright, easily grabbing the reader’s eye.
VERDICT Colorful and complex language paired with an edgy tone and mystical plotlines make this an easy choice for acquisition departments. Some good suggestions for read-alikes include Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado, Other Terrors: An Inclusive Anthology edited by Vince A. Liaguno and Rena Mason, and Both Sides: Stories From the Border edited by Gabino Iglesias.
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