A potent, powerful and timely thriller about migrants, drug lords and gang warfare set on the US/Mexican border by prize-winning novelist, Marcus Sedgwick.
Anapra is one of the poorest neighbourhoods in the Mexican city of Juarez - twenty metres outside town lies a fence - and beyond it - America - the dangerous goal of many a migrant. Faustino is one such trying to escape...more
On the top of the hill Christ himself stands with his arms outstretched, facing both Juarez, and, on the other side of the river, El Paso, in a gesture of brotherly love. It’s a misleading gesture. His arms are outstretched because he is nailed to a cross.
The first few reviews for Saint Death haven't been that great and I honestly wasn't expecting to find Marcus Sedgwick at his finest. But to say I thought this book was fantastic is an understatement - this book may be the best book I've read ...more
At first, I found that I didn't have much to say. Or perhaps I had so much to say and so little looking appropriate for this review at first glance - but maybe this is the mark of great books. Maybe there's something magical about a book that makes your thoughts whirl endlessly. With Sa ...more
(Wow, I am really enjoying these cheesy openers nowadays. Great.)
Yes, I'm on a tangent right now. Bear with me. What I'm getting at is that there's a wide spectrum being meaning and being generally interesting. And I think at places, this book just wanted to g ...more
Saint Death is a book that is...really hard for me to review.
Marcus Sedgewick is an author that I love. There's something about his books, something about his writing that's otherworldly. His stories aren't just compelling; they're imaginative and full of depth and importance.
This book is no exception.
Saint Death follows a ...more
If Cormac McCarthy ever wrote a YA book, it would be this one. Desolate setting? Check. Horrifying and often meaningless violence? Check. Social commentary to be ignored at your peril? Super-check. The writing is spare as hell, the word count is marginal, and yet it's got the weight of a lead brick in a pillowcase. It might as well be called No Country for Young Men. I mean, damn.
Is it too brutal for teen readers? Well, no. In fact, the idea that teenagers sho ...more
Yes? Me too.
Do you believe teen/YA readers are also worried about global warming, rising sea levels, and the pending migration sh*tastrophe humanity faces due to human-caused climate change?
Yes? Me too.
Do you like to read stories set in Mexico?
Yes? Me too.
I expected that the 2016 YA contemporary novel, "Saint Death," would ...more
They might be murdered by loved ones gone mad, or killed by ancient Norse vampires. And so it is no surprise when people die in his latest book, Saint Death.
However, there are no mystical spirals of madness or viking vampires here. Instead you have the cold reality of life and death just south of the border, a culture that is fueled by poverty, greed, desperation, and founded on America's need for cheap goods and drugs.
This slim little book takes p ...more
Saint Death is one of those books you are going to want to hurl across the room, not because you hate it but because its too painful. Or you could do what Joey does and put scary books in the freezer for another day. The release of the book is so timely and I hope that it will reach the hands of many because it is such an important book. Right now, the conversation surrounding immigration is one of the most politically charged ones. People fee ...more
Located on the border of Mexico and America is Juárez, a town built on greed, corruption and death where corporations bleed people dry before the gangs sink their teeth into them. It is a town born of climate change and pollution, destruction and the pursuit of riches, where thousands of people live in shacks and water is a precious commodity.
What if this is the logical conclusion to the world we are creating?
This is the question Marcus Sedgwick as ...more
This is my fourth Sedgwick book, and he has yet to fail me so far. Like with his other renowned literary YA works (The Revolver, Ghosts of Heaven, Midwinterblood), Saint Death is the kind of novel that screams "Notice me!" to academic critics who dismiss YA as a genre incapable of being conceptual and complex. Saint Death is e ...more
What must life be like living in a poor neighbourhood? Every night your sleep is disturbed by gunshots, the people you know slowly disappear each time a gang raids the town, you live in fear for your own life. This is the concept international award-winning author Marcus Sedgwick explores in his latest Young Adult novel. Set in Anapra, one of the poorest communities in Mexico, Sedgwick delivers a story of pover ...more
It is gritty, hardcore and it forces reality right down the readers throat. It was one of those books you finish and think ‘wow.’ At the same time you can’t really identify why. It is just a whirlwind of brash hard-hitting realism.
Faustino is looking for a way out of his slum existence. He is tired of being surrounded by uncertainty, violence and death. Each day is a str ...more
Arturo was an honest yet frustratingly flawed character. No matter what he does, the odds seem to be stacked against him. I really appreciated his loyalty and commitment to get from one day to the next. Faustino was in an even more risky situation, but he, too, had been through a tumultuous childhood like Arturo. Both of them are just trying to survive, even if they choose different avenues to do so. Their friendship was complicated yet ran deep, prevailing through all that they went th ...more
If you want a book that’s written in a very matter-of-fact way, you may like this book. But even when I was supposed to feel emotion, and KNEW I was supposed to be feeling emotion, it was just too ...more
This is a story of 24 hours or so in the life of Arturo, a poor man who lives, as so many others do, in a makeshift shack near Juarez on the Mexican side of the border with the USA. Life is wholly dominated by two factors: drug cartels whose power means that there is effectively no law, so they murder, rob, rape and intimidate as they please, and the factories whic ...more
My mum ...more
It follows the story of a boy named Arturo who is from a neighborhood in Mexico called Anapra, a poor neighborhood near the bigger city of Juarez. Arturo tries to help his friend Faustino who is in trouble from the drug gang in the city. It follows what Arturo goes through the next two days in order to help his friend. The reader does not only witness the fear and danger that folks live in due to the drug gang but also the realities of industria ...more
I really loved the writing style and I'm definitely interested in the author's other books because of the writing ...more
This is not a happy book, and to be fair, I’m a little unsure why I requested it in the first place, since I’m usually not too keen on reading ‘realistic’ stories (the world is depressing enough as it is). Well, no: I guess I requested it because I like Marcus Sedgwick’s stories, also I met him briefly at a book festival and he was definitely a cool guy. So, yes, I guess there’s that.
And, anyway, I enjoyed the story. Though I should’ve guessed i ...more
So I ...more
I'm consistently impressed by Sedgwick's writing every time I pick up one of his books. He has this really great way with descriptions. Usually I'm the kind of reader who sort of skims longer descriptions and is more interested in the characters' actions and dialogue, but for this novel I was so into the setting and the atmosphere.
My only wish is that the story was longer. I am satisfied with the powerful, raw ending ...more