When twelve-year-old Miguel’s gang member Papa makes promises to Santa Muerte, someone in Miguel’s family loses a soul. The last time, it was Miguel’s gentle aunt. This time, the target is Miguel’s brother, Juan.
Santa Muerte, the skeletal patron saint of drug traffickers and murderers, always claims her fee.
The trouble is Miguel won’t let Juan’s spirit go. The resulting paranormal possession attracts demons, doppelgangers, and an ancient soul slayer from the depths of Hell — all of whom must be vanquished if Miguel is to live.
Even with help, Miguel’s refusal to release Juan threatens the lives of those Miguel loves most. Miguel must choose to release his brother or lose yet another loved one, for the bargain was made with Santa Muerte and the price must be paid.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story about growing up on mean streets, dealing with sofa-surfing, discarded needles, and homeless people, some who might be angels in disguise, sometimes.
I particularly relished the first person POV of Miguel, a 12-year-old boy trying to survive being thrust into the spirit world, when his older brother, Juan, is murdered. The internal chaos is magnificent, Miguel’s efforts to find some stability are wonderfully described. His courage in trying to bring his brother peace is inspiring. Scene setting, action, dialog, and secondary characters all come to life in an exquisite way under Chris’s pen.
I love this story and award 4.8 stars; the score would have been higher except for the handful of spelling errors I found.
I am excited to tell you the author has indicated she is working on a new story set over 200 years in the past, with a working title, "Atonement". I am looking forward to that very much.
You can follow the author:
tags: MG, YA, middle grade, young adult, spiritual, Christian, Catholic, Church, spirits, fiction