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Reviews - Mexican Gothic & Mouth Full of Ashes

I read mixed reviews about this book, but I enjoyed it. It's a slow burn set in a misty mountain near a disused silver mine in Mexico. It had hints of Susan Hill, but with much less characterisation. Like Michael McDowell's "The Elementals", the setting is the main character in this story.

The antagonists are a family of colonial settlers who are rampantly white-supremacist, believing in eugenics and a master race.

The indigenous-Mexican protagonist is oddly sympathetic in spite of her obvious inauthenticity, she sees herself as a rich party girl with a brilliant mind in search of something worth her efforts.

The house is strange and haunted, and the cousin she has been sent to rescue (so passively written that she seems an absence rather than a presence in the tale) may or may not be insane.

The action ramps up to a frenetic pace near the end, so if you prefer faster paced novels, you will be rewarded eventually. I am comfortable recommending it to fans of Susan Hill or Wuthering Heights.

Buddy-reading this helped my enjoyment, but I was thankful it was short. It was written as a love letter to The Lost Boys and there are many parallels with that film, including a few lines that made me chuckle.

However, I was dismayed at the constant and repetitive internal thoughts of the protagonist. Thankfully, one of my co-buddy-readers explained that the internal dialogue accurately reflected what it's like to live with an ADHD brain (as the protagonist does), so what I would have dismissed as poor writing, was actually character development. I was excited to learn something new, but would not have recognised that from the novella alone.

In summary, it was an okay read and quite fun in places, worth checking out if you too are a fan of The Lost Boys.

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