Tor Nightfire. Mar. 2023. 304p. ISBN 9781250781178. $28.99. HORROR
A New York architect originally from Mexico, Carmen Sanchez jumps at the chance to oversee the renovation of an old Mexican church into a hotel and bring her daughters along for the summer. However, from the start of their trip, an angry force seems drawn to Luna, the younger daughter. When the renovations open up a hidden room, revealing an ancient piñata made of pottery and filled with viscera that was part of the complex religious practices of the conquered Nahua civilization, a wronged spirit is able to seep out into the modern world with very real consequences. The novel’s omniscient narration allows the characters and historical details to realistically build, laying a strong foundation for the dread that permeates every page. Gout (Ghost Radio) succeeds in presenting a thought-provoking, violent, and immersive revenge-horror story and excels in restoring the rich history of an erased people.
VERDICT A great choice for readers who enjoy novels where the true horrors of colonization and human-rights atrocities are corrected in gruesomely riveting fashion while retaining the utmost respect to the victims, as seen in the works of V. Castro, Stephen Graham Jones, and Tananarive Due.
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