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Five Midnights by Ann Dávila Cardinal #BookReview

Five friends cursed. Five deadly fates. Five nights of retribución.

If Lupe Dávila and Javier Utierre can survive each other’s company, together they can solve a series of grisly murders sweeping though Puerto Rico. But the clues lead them out of the real world and into the realm of myths and legends. And if they want to catch the killer, they’ll have to step into the shadows to see what’s lurking there—murderer, or monster?

Five Midnights by  Ann Dávila Cardinal book cover

Title: Five Midnights| Author: Ann Dávila Cardinal | Publisher: Tor Teen | Pub. Date: 4th June 2019 | Pages: 304 | ISBN: 9781250296078 | Genre: Horror | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 3 out of 5 | Source: I received this novel from the publicist for review consideration

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Five Midnights Review

Five Midnights is a novel about addiction, acceptance and the shadows that follow us.

This novel primarily follows Lupe, a half Puerto-Rican, half Northern American who is staying with her Uncle (Tio) and Aunt (Tia) for the Summer. Lupe, who inherited more of her mother’s NA genes than her father’s PR genes, spends a lot of the novel in heightened emotion, trying to fit in, she takes a lot of crap for not having the ‘right’ coloured skin. Secondary character and our potential love interest Javier, and the rest of his ‘cangrejo’ brothers, are being hunted down, and together, Lupe and Javier try to hunt and track down the killer on the loose. I liked Lupe and her fiery spirit, she was ‘at ten’ a lot of the time, however, and I don’t know whether I wholly knew or believed who she was. Her character could certainly have been developed a lot further.

This is a young adult horror novel that could have taken the plunge a bit further into the horror. There were times towards the end of the novel where I thought I had imagined this novel was a horror at all, I thought I might have misread the description previously and this was simply a thriller or mystery novel. When the horror happens, it is distracted by switching to a more plausible and sensible non-horror storyline and through different perspectives. It just felt slightly confusing. This novel for me did not have any scary elements, I don’t know if that’s because I am not really familiar with El Cuco or not, so if subtle horror is your thing, this is certainly a good one to try.

Some parts were quite jumbled, in particular near the ending, fights left barely any physical damage moments after they happened, and forgiveness happened pretty quickly. I didn’t really mind it, but it threw me off a little. Some parts of the novel, (I can’t really say what for spoilers) felt pretty YA, but this novel does deal with some adult themes in the background.

I have never been to Puerto Rico but it was described beautifully, the food sounded delightful and made me feel as though I was there. All in all I would say this was a 3 star read, but I would be intrigued to see what comes next from Dávila Cardinal.

You can find this book at many retailers via clicking on the appropriate link on GoodReads (Buying direct from retailers is a good way to support indie authors); however, in the spirit of supporting literacy programs, we would like to point out that you may be able to purchase this book through BetterWorldBooks.

Published inHorror Book ReviewsUnstarred Reviews


  1. I had many of the same thoughts you did. The ending baffled me, and I just felt like all these great elements by themselves didn’t quite come together smoothly. Although I loved the atmosphere!

    • plumreads__s

      It’s such a shame, but yes, the atmosphere was truly wonderful!

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