Published by Scholastic Press on 10th October 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Magical Realism, Fantasy & Magic
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From bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater, a gripping tale of darkness, miracles, and family. Saints. Miracles. Family. Romance. Death. Redemption.
Here is a thing everyone wants: A miracle.
Here is a thing everyone fears:
What it takes to get one.
Any visitor to Bicho Raro, Colorado is likely to find a landscape of dark saints, forbidden love, scientific dreams, miracle-mad owls, estranged affections, one or two orphans, and a sky full of watchful desert stars.
At the heart of this place you will find the Soria family, who all have the ability to perform unusual miracles. And at the heart of this family are three cousins longing to change its future: Beatriz, the girl without feelings, who wants only to be free to examine her thoughts; Daniel, the Saint of Bicho Raro, who performs miracles for everyone but himself; and Joaquin, who spends his nights running a renegade radio station under the name Diablo Diablo.
They are all looking for a miracle. But the miracles of Bicho Raro are never quite what you expect.
The Good Things
- I finally got around to one of the new Maggie Stiefvater novels! I like her books a lot. They always have really unique fantasy elements.
- Standalone! It was just the right length and wrapped up fairly well.
- Set in the 1960s, which isn’t a time period I’ve read before!
- This book was odd, and I mean that in a good way. I found it really unique and the writing style really appealed to my strange sense of humour.
- Loved the concept of the miracles! They weren’t miracles in the traditional sense, but more so a way of recognising and then overcoming darkness in oneself.
- There were a lot more characters than I expected! And all of them had relatable aspects to their personalities and struggles.
- All the characters went through some important growth, even the side characters!
The Not-So-Good Things
- I struggled with the writing style initially. Not sure if it was because I haven’t read a Stiefvater novel in a long time (though this was a bit more odd than her previous books) or because I wasn’t quite in the right mood for it.
- Rather than being well rounded, certain aspects of the characters’ personalities are exaggerated. I get that it’s to help highlight their darkness and subsequent growth, but it also meant I didn’t connect with all of them well.
- I have questions about what happened to some of the pilgrims.
- I wanted more Daniel (he was so sweet, but was barely in the book despite his predicament being important to most of the characters)
- There are a lot of references to 1950s/ 1960s music that I just did not get because I have no knowledge of music. It didn’t affect my reading experience, but it would have been nice to get the references.
Despite issues connecting with the story at the start, I ended up really enjoying this book! It was odd, but fascinating and unique. The concept of miracles was great, and I loved following the growth of all the characters. Overall it was a nice, quick character driven story.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
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