Cover Image: Mestiza Blood

Mestiza Blood

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Member Reviews

Overall rating of 3.5 stars.
Interesting tales of love, loss, sex, blood & creatures to keep you awake at night. 
Like all anthologies has some stand out tales and some that just slightly fall down. V. Castro has put together an interesting collection from the Chicana experience which is what drew me to this & was intrigued by some of the creatures in these stories & would love to know more. Some of the standouts for me include The Demon in my Eye, Street Fighter & Pentagram Peepshow. I like how in all the stories the females have been written as strong characters no matter their circumstances & will do what they need to do to survive. This is the first work I have read by V. Castro & cannot wait to check out her other work. 
ARC given by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you to Flame Tree Press and NetGalley for the chance to get to read this so early. I felt like I'd won the Lottery because I absolutely loved "The Queen of the Cicadas" and now don't have to wait until the book hits the shelves next year to enjoy it and ...

Wow ...

Sensational.

This is a collection of as terrifying, erotic, freaky, sexy, twisted, funny, and generally dark stories as you're ever likely to come across. V. Castro does not pull any punches when it comes to letting it all out there and I, for one, loved it.

These stories are all deeply rooted in Mexican folk tales and horror and, more specifically on the side of the power of the feminine in those tales and that mythology. These mythological characters and the women that they support in the 'real' world do not lose in these stories - they win and they win with extreme vengeance. Even in a story like "Street Fighter" where the supernatural being is 'male' then it's the mortal women who prevail. If that frightens or offends you then this is not the book for you. It's also deeply rooted in the very real 21st century experiences of Mexican-Americans and immigrants of color, particularly women, in the United States.  If that frightens or offends you then this is not the book for you.

Mal de Ojo is a little Stephen King-like gem of just a handful of pages that leaves you smiling evilly.

The novella-length star of the show is Truck Stop and it's the freakiest of the litter. I think it will be too much for some people but it's a helluva powerful piece of writing and captures so many elements of what being 'the other' means.

Many of the shorter stories left me gagging for a novel-length extension of the narrative and hoping that the author will revisit them somewhere down the road. That's not to say that the stories in themselves were not satisfying, they are, very coherent and satisfying, I'd just like to read a novel where the gaps in the years are filled in. "The Cold Season" springs to mind in that regard.

I'd put this up there with Stephen King's early collections - Night Shift or Different Seasons - in terms of the quality, variety, and consistency of this collection but from the point of view of theme, power, and the focus on the power of the female in the real or shadow worlds, this is a stand-alone powerhouse.
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"My belly is hungry for his insides. It stokes my appetite for a bloody stew of caldo. I will devour him the way he devoured me".

This is a unique horror anthology with a blend of creature feature stories based on Mexican Folklore and stories about love, lust, violence and revenge. This collection has it all! Including some steamy monster erotica. 
I was captivated by all of these stories! As a latina, I appreciated all the latin culture references. It started off with "Night of the living dead chola" where the protagonist is a corpse coming back to life seeking revenge, which had me HOOKED from the first sentence. My only main issue is that I wanted more! Seriously, it happened with a lot of her stories where I get so invested that I get upset when it's over. But then I realize it's okay because her next stories were just as gripping and satisfying. 

V. Castro has a wonderful way of writing details that bring her characters to life. It's so immersive, relatable and deliciously terrifying. If you love imaginative horror with buckets of gore and a side of sexy, then this is the book for you.

Thank you to the author, Netgalley and Flame Tree Press for an arc copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Mestiza Blood will be available January 18th, 2022.
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V.Castro can really do no wrong. Her writing is a breath of fresh air, filled with passion, beauty, horror, and redemption. Each story is a testament to the beauty of culture and self love and I could not be more grateful for the ARC copy. Mestiza blood even includes nods to characters from her other works which is a wonderful thrill for frequent readers of her work. Absolutely wonderful.
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“If I learned anything from my youth, it’s that I’m always ready for a fight”

This was the first time I read something by V. Castro, and I fell in love with her writing. As a latina, I felt very touched by the topics she talks about in this anthology. It has a very pulp vibe that I love, with all these bizarre elements, the horror, the sensuality, the empowerment and attitude of Castro’s main characters. I also appreciate the folk side of each story, the mexican culture is fascinating. I will definitely read more from this author.
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3.5  stars

I did really enjoy this anthology and I felt like the author did a fantastic job of building up the collection of stories, it made me feel like I was on an acid trip that intensified with every page I read. I felt like each one weaved together a larger narrative of horror, culture, everyday life experiences, Chicana experiences (which is what really had me wanting to read this anthology) and touches of a sort of creepy fantasy. I did like the concept of each and every story I felt like the ideas were so strong and started off really well; that being said I did have a couple issues with the mid-sections of some of the stories, as well as a few issues with so many ideas trying to be brought up in a single story rather than being spread out. 

For the first issue I had I personally felt that the stories all had very fantastic and well constructed beginnings and endings, but I did find some of the middle sections drug on a bit, not for all of the stories but there were a couple that showed this, and if there was just a bit of paring down some of the more unnecessary details maybe that could have changed the pace? But also I can see why the details were added and how they enriched the setting and created the proper atmosphere for the reader. So I can see why this was done I just wish I knew a better way to accommodate both the pacing and the atmosphere building, it’s a tricky balance and I think this one slightly missed the mark. 

As for the second issue I had, I think the author overall did a really fantastic job of weaving the big picture ideas and themes that surrounded the entire anthology, but I personally felt that there was a less successful weaving of ideas and themes in the stories themselves (again this issue wasn’t present in every story just a few). I think that has more to do with the amount of things the author wanted to touch on rather than their ability to write, because trust me the moment you start reading the author completely sucks you in, and there is no question about talent just a little overeagerness to touch on many things in such a short space; because I definitely think that if the stories were longer and still covered the same amount of topics then I wouldn’t have an issue or view it as clunky, because there would be the right amount of space and time to be able to build up connections. 

Overall I really enjoyed this even with the minor issues I had, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.

ARC given by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
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This was such a good collection of short stories that featured darkness, horror, hope and hearta=break, it was so good i cant wait to read again and again, I loved it
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