Skip to content

Santa Muerte by Cynthia Pelayo #BookReview

I am your salvation. I am your beginning. Your end. Your life. Your death. All death.

You can run, but you can never hide from SANTA MUERTE

Ariana Molina is a high school student in Chicago and life is quiet until her father, Reynaldo Molina, the lead federal investigator in Mexico targeting criminal organizations arrives on her door step. After her father is involved in a mysterious car accident that leaves one person dead, Ari begins to have visions of a veiled skeletal figure that asks for her father.

Struggling with gruesome ghosts, and being suspicious of suspected gang members that have moved in across the street, Ari soon becomes the target of the drug cartels and their black magic cult of Santa Muerte.

Santa Muerte by Cynthia Pelayo book cover

Title: Santa Muerte | Author: Cynthia Pelayo | Publisher: Post Mortem Press | Pub. Date: 22nd December 2012 | Pages: 223 | ISBN: 9780615744629 | Genre: Horror | Language: English | Starred Review: No | Source: Self-purchased

Page break indicator for Sci-Fi & Scary

Santa Muerte Review

‘Santa Muerte’ is a fun, quick read that mixes horror themes with a thriller plot and throws in YA vibes. I’ve certainly read better books this year, but it did give me a few hours of solid entertainment. Sometimes that all you need from a novel.
The book tells the story of a young Latinx woman in Chicago, Ariana Molina, whose father Reynaldo is a federal investigator for the Mexican authorities. Reynaldo tackles drug gangs and has ended up in hospital in the course of his work. The plot follows Ariana’s investigation into the attack in her father. The horror element, which is more in the dark fantasy vein, involves visions of a mysterious female figure , Santa Muerte. These aspects end up entwined in other parts of the story and Cynthia Pelayo does a good job of blending the fantastic themes with the more down to earth crime story.
What I liked most about ‘Santa Muerte’ was the depiction of Ariana’s life as a young Latinx woman. Pelayo does a great job of describing it, surrounding Ariana with an engaging supporting cast. There’s her cousin, who is a tattoo artist, and her layabout boyfriend, as well as other figures from the local community. Pelayo paints a convincing portrait of everyday life and weaves her plot around it.
The believable characters and strong sense of place give her a good foundation to work from. The plot she builds on top of them isn’t amazing, but it was good enough to keep me turning the pages. There are twists aplenty, with Ariana and Reynaldo’s past playing a part and things wrap up nicely at the end, while leaving things open for the next book in the series. Similarly, the horror in this book isn’t going to give anyone nightmares, but it adds enough spice to things to keep them interesting. Overall then, this is an engaging, undemanding book that will keep you entertained if you fancy something lighter.

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
©Sci-Fi & Scary 2019
%d bloggers like this: