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I enjoyed almost all of this book, and I hadn't realized Mansbach was the genius behind "Go the F*** to Sleep" until I looked him up when I was halfway through. I love a gory little horror story, and this one pulls no punches at all. What I had taken to be a straight-up crime novel turned delightfully supernatural, and there was plenty of grim humor, likable characters and spunky dialogue. I'm glad to know that this is the first of a new series, and as soon as my credits renew I'll be sure to snag the next entry.
Now the bad news. I'm a 55 year old white woman (no, that's NOT the bad news), and I'm the first to admit that I never know when I supposed to be offended any more. But this witty horror novel referred relentlessly to something which niggles at me still.
Without spoiling anything, I can say that the story centers on a supposed Aztec legend featuring the blood of virgins. Many, many virgins get a very rough deal in this story - past and present. Excuse me, not JUST virgins. These have to be, and are presumed by the author, FEMALE virgins. Because, well, hymens, I guess.
The story consistently and without pause considers the Virtuous, Unsullied Female to be priced above rubies, and frequently suggests that a woman who's had sex is completely worthless to the Other Side. Another character in the novel is very decidedly NOT a virgin, but because he's a Man, he is also pronounced Virtuous, as long as he only kills in self-defense. It's painfully skewed.
It's also suggested several times that the worst thing that a MAN can experience is knowing that his daughter has been raped. Because then - apparently - she's no good to anyone anymore.
Okay, I'm still not sure how I feel about this. Honestly, I enjoyed the book very much, and I don't look to horror fiction for my moral or politically-correct compass. But I can't leave the point unmade, either.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
An army of undead virgins, an ancient priest and his son who bathe in virgin's blood and a heart that beats outside the body, all occurring in the modern day. I was not anticipating this storyline and this is not my cup of tea. The narration was good and there is a second book in the series which I will skip.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful