THE YEAR IS 2030 in Santa Muerte. In a dramatic, final attempt to free her inner demons, twenty-year-old Daniela Delgado tempts fate and winds up on a strange farm in 1923. With an olive complexion due to her Mexican/Italian heritage and a fresh pixie cut, she is mistaken for a “boy of color.” Her only shot at survival now is to play it cool, pose as “Danny,” and figure out how to get back home to her two, loving moms.
And then she meets Daphne—an abused, motherless farm girl in desperate need of freedom and a friend. Having escaped Daphne’s father, the two of them are now roaming the streets of New York City disguised as a young aristocrat and her male servant. They’re running out of money, and ideas. And Daniela thought living in 2030 was tough.
But her solar powered smart phone works. And there’s someone within range. She pings them. A selfie of an attractive male comes in with the text: I’m Lain. Who the f— are you? Even in that moment, Daniela knows this can’t be safe, but what are her choices? They meet Lain at a speakeasy on the Lower East Side. When Daniela reveals her last name, Lain says the only Delgado he knows is Anaya—the head of the Santa Muerte Coven of witches in Merida, Mexico. And then he hints that Daniela is a liar, even though she rocks a man’s three-piece suit like no woman he’s ever met. And as for her tattoos? Don’t get Lain started….
Despite the intrigue, Daniela adds Lain to the list of folks Daphne and she must outrun to stay alive. But as they plan their trip to Mexico, they soon discover that list is much longer than they thought. And they uncover a few other things, too, about Daniela’s true identity…. (via Goodreads)
I received an autographed copy of Santa Muerte through Rich In Variety Tours in exchange for an honest review!
Santa Muerte was nothing like any other book I’ve ever read. It was strange, fast-paced and mysterious.
That being said, there are some huge triggers in this novel. There’s an on-page suicide attempt, rape and incest mentioned openly, parental abuse, the KKK, mentions of an abusive relationship, stalking, gaslighting, and so much more. These characters go through some awful shit, and it’s hard to read sometimes.
Like I said earlier, this book moved so quickly, which was kind of how Daniela and Daphne were living, but it got a little hard to keep up with at times. There was so much going on all the time, but Stone’s prose kept me going through the novel, even when I had to check back through to remember things.
I could have used a little bit more world building, especially with the coven. I won’t go too much into detail because I don’t want to spoil you, but I really wanted to know a whole lot more about the world Anaya works in, and I hope that we’ll get that in Book 2.
I wanted to steal Daphne away from everyone she knew. She was so necessary to help bring Daniela out of her shell, and I hate how her part of the story ended. Also, Anaya’s kind of a massive asshole. Maybe she has to be, but I wanted to throttle her. A lot.
It was very diverse, which I give it credit for. Daniela is, as mentioned Mexican and Italian, raised by her two mothers who are in a mostly-loving, committed relationship. There were hints of issues in the book when things got stressful between the moms, and it was never really clear what either of them did for a living, but they were both pretty high ranking in the community, from what I inferred.
This book would probably be a 3.5 if I did half stars, but it was on the upper side of that, so I’m rounding it up to four stars. There’s just so much going on in this series that I can’t wait to read the rest of it!
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