In Gabino Iglesias’ second novel, ghosts and old gods guide the hands of those caught up in a violent struggle to save the soul of the American southwest.
A man tasked with shuttling children over the border believes the Virgin Mary is guiding him towards final justice. A woman offers colonizer blood to the Mother of Chaos. A boy joins corpse destroyers to seek vengeance for the death of his father.
These stories intertwine with those of a vengeful spirit and a hungry creature to paint a timely, compelling, pulpy portrait of revenge, family, and hope.
Title: Coyote Songs | Author: Gabino Iglesias | Publisher: Broken River Books | Pub. Date: 2018-10-31 | Pages: 114 | ASIN: B07JQG6X5P | Genre: Horror | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 5 out 5 | Source: Received a copy from the author for review consideration
Coyote Songs Review
“You don’t want to sleep because you’re hungry. Quieres sangre.”Gabino Iglesias
This barrio noir is a stunning example of a mosaic horror/crime novel that pulls the reader through vastly different, yet similar, experiences. The sections are titled with the focus characters: Pedrito (heartbreaking/revenge/coming of age horror), The Mother (insanity/horror), The Coyote (justice/vigilante), Jaime (crime/family/final showdown), Alma (art vs life/body horror/advocacy vs. insanity), and La Bruja (death/sorrow/horror/vengeance). The novel cycles through all of these and returns back to them as the book progresses.
Pedrito is the first section, and I must say it contains one of the most shocking, unexpected scenes I have ever read. It starts this book off with the force and movement I have come to expect from a novel by Iglesias. The stories featuring Jaime and La Bruja, while different, are two other standout sections for me. Jaime struggles with life and expectations and family; his story and the ending showdown just resonated with me. La Bruja broke my heart and terrified me at the same time. Her story, for me, is close to what I consider the heart of this book.
All of the other characters have their own experiences with real-life horror, psychological darkness, and a fight against something larger than themselves. While these tales can be appreciated separately, there is something more. A common thread exists that ebbs and flows as the story requires, allowing each separate piece to both stand-alone and take its place with the others simultaneously. This isn’t a “smash you in the face” connection, I could just feel the fit, if that makes any sense at all. And I love it. I’m here for it. I mostly know why, but there is something intangible that I just can’t adequately convey.
This is the second novel I have read and loved by Iglesias. I opened October with his novel Zero Saints, and closing out the month with Coyote Songs is as near to perfection as I can hope for. Pick up this book. Read it. Inhale it. This is not one to miss.
Coyote Songs is available from Amazon
Tracy joined Sc-Fi and Scary in September 2018. She reviews horror books for the site and bemoans our general lack of grammar, but puts up with us because she loves us anyway. Feel free to reach out on Twitter and Instagram at @tracy_reads79, or on Goodreads as well!
Tracy is also part of the Ladies of Horror Fiction crew.