This week the Matchmakers team welcomes our guest blogger, Youth Associate E Hogan!
Queen of the Cicadas a novel by V. Castro, builds a layered, atmospheric story that explores the meaning of blood justice and fate with contemporary themes and strong mythic imagery.
Blending Mexican folklore with urban legend styling, Cicadas weaves past and present-day storylines, and this visceral horror novel shines brightest during the gruesome moments. A perfect creepy read for a chilly fall evening, Cicadas is likely to appeal to readers who enjoy visceral body horror reminiscent of Clive Barker. Pivotal moments include a vividly described, historically situated hate crime against Milagros, whose storyline is explored in the present by Belinda, a woman determined to uncover those wrongdoings and bring justice where there was none. As Belinda carries out this quest for the truth, events take a more personal significance as they begin to connect to her present-day reality. Exposing the violence of the past, Belinda discovers that this viscous murder has a powerful aftermath with unimaginable consequences. Grappling with complex history of brutal oppression, sexism, and racism, Castro’s tale brings notions of mythology, tragedy, and inheritance to life with religious fervor, as Milagro is ultimately granted with the power to avenge her death by an Aztec Goddess. Epic in scope, with strong female characters, Queen of the Cicadas addresses themes of motherhood, sexuality, power, and kinship. This fast paced and unflinching novel is heightened by Castro’s eye for detailed images and strong settings. Cicadas relishes in the gruesome physicality and is told in a strong contemporary voice. Overall, a chilling tale that builds a riveting ideology and takes a fierce look at legacies of violence and the consequences of injustice.
Highly recommended for fans mythic stylish stories and fresh, feminist takes on body horror.
More body horror books:
Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
The Hollow Places by T. Kingfisher